The Coconut Collaborative (Vegan, DF)

It’s always interesting to see which products make the leap from specialist shops and websites to mainstream supermarkets.  The Coconut Collaborative range have certainly done that.  We haven’t reviewed this product before because coconut is an Allergy Brothers’ allergen, but now they are everywhere it seemed rude not to.

Initially, I had several questions about this product:

  1. Was I really reacting to coconut as I suspected during the granola testing?
  2. Why are the naked people in the logo without their modesty leaves on the lemon pot packaging, but the cartoon people have them on all the other packaging?

I discovered the answer to question 1 is “definitely” and the answer to question 2 is “who knows?!”  I actually really enjoyed the Little Choc Pot I tried.  It was very rich and creamy so that’s a pretty good review for something that also made my tongue sting!  Allergy Dad, who is not a fan of healthy(ish) food, also gave the lemon pots a big thumb’s up.  Because I am a numpty/like to thoroughly test things, I thought I would try another Coconut Collaborative product.  I tried the rice pudding, but I didn’t like the texture.  Too few lumps in too much runniness.  Unfortunately, this product also confirmed that coconut has moved from my food friends list to the reacting foes one.  I didn’t try the rhubarb yoghurt, which was a big shame because that is my favourite flavour.  I guess I will have to make my own with Nush nut yoghurts and rhubarb puree.

In summary, there’s a reason why these products have hit the mainstream.  The little pots really are very good!

P.S.  If you have a moment and a Word Press account, would you go to Allergy Wizard’s first ever review and maybe like it.  He would be super excited to have some more readers.  Thank you.

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Vegan Cheese Omelette!

Recently, Allergy Little had to have a day off school because he had a cold.  Obviously, I wasn’t pleased that he was ill, but it was nice to have my cooking wingman back for the day.  It was like the beginnings of this blog when he was at home during the day while Allergy Big was at school. Enough reminiscing…

Allergy Little and I decided to try Terra Vegane’s Egg-free Omelette Mix, which we bought from The Veggie Stuff website.  The ingredients of the mix are Potato Starch, Cassava Starch, Chick Pea Flour, Amaranth Flour, Sunflower Oil, Nutritional Yeast, Corn Starch, Baking Agent (Potassium-Tartrate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Turmeric, Kala-Namak Salt.

The mix is easy to prepare as you simply mix 4 tbsp of omelette mix with 4 tbsp. water.  Allergy Little and I were very surprised by how eggy and sulphurous this smelt, as eggy as an egg mayonnaise sandwich left in a plastic lunchbox on a hot coach on a summer term school trip.  Luckily, the smell quickly disappeared.

We cooked the omelette mix in a little olive oil, and used Vegamigo Pizza Melty vegan cheese as the filling.  And what we ended up with was pretty impressive.  It’s not exactly like a fluffy egg omelette, but nonetheless it tasted good and not at all like it had smelt on mixing.  The texture is different too as the cassava flour makes it a little doughy.  However, judged on its own merits, and not as a fake cheese omelette, it was very good.

The best thing about winter! Featuring Schlagfix vegan cream

Please note, this post contains affiliate links to help fund the cost of running this website.  Thank you.

The second best thing about winter is a walk in the crisp, countryside air.  The best thing about winter is the hot chocolate you can justify drinking after the walk.  Unfortunately, the Allergy Brothers had never been able to have an enormous hot chocolate covered in cream and marshmallows, because we have never found a whipped cream that they could eat.  Soyatoo sold soya-based creams that could be whipped (Soya Topping Cream – 300ml) or came in pressurised containers(SOYATOO – SOYA SOYA CREAM SPRAY), but these were no good for the Allergy Brothers.

We were very excited to discover that Schlagfix sell a “Universelle Schlagcreme” that the boys could potentially eat.  This product can be used for whipping, cooking and baking.   If I am honest, I found the name very funny too because I am immature.  Anyway, here are the Ingredients:

Water, Palm kernel oil (fully hydrogenated) 15%, maltodextrin; glucose syrup; stabilizer: starch, E435, E331, E464, E460, E466, E339; emulsifiers: E4,81, E471, E475; salt, flavour.

Allergy Little enjoyed helping whip the cream, although, as you can see, he doesn’t like the noise of the beaters.  It turns out that you can get this cream in a pressurised container (Schlagfix Vegan Squirty Cream) too so that would save some work.20171228_162729

If we are honest, Allergy Little and I weren’t that impressed.  It turns out that something that is made out of oils and E numbers tastes like…  well, oily chemicals.  Who knew?!  But this product has its uses.  I am sure if you flavoured the cream then it would be much better.  I can imagine that we will use this cream when we need to make an Allergy Brother-friendly version of a specific recipe.

We used regular marshmallows, but you can get vegan mini pink and white marshmallows.

Vegan Cheese Showdown

The holiday season has all sorts of associations for different people.  Rather shallowly and greedily, one of the things I love about Christmas is the food, especially cheese.  I was really pleased to see some new (to me) vegan cheeses on the Veggie Stuff website.  So, without further ado, it’s a vegan cheese showdown <hum the Rocky theme tune here>.

The two cheeses are Jeezini Intens and Green Vie Smoked Gouda flavour.

Obviously, the most important criteria on this site is ingredients.  The Green Vie’s ingredients are “Water, Coconut Oil (Non-Hydrogenated) (24%), Modified starch, Sea Salt, Vegan Flavourings, Smoke Flavouring, Colour: Natural Beta Carotene, Preservative: Sorbic Acid, Vitamin B12”.  The Jeezini ‘s ingredients are “Water, Plant Based Fats (Shea Kernal Oil, Coconut Oil) (23%), Modified Starch, Starch, Sea Salt, Vegan Flavour (Contains Soya Bean Oil), Olive Extract, Colour: B-carotene.”  They are both free from dairy, gluten, lactose, and palm oil.  The Green Vie brand is also soya free, while the Jeezini includes soybean oil.

Round One to Green Vie on points

Now, price – the Green Vie was £2.85 for 180g and the Jeezini Intens was £3.50 for 200g.

Round Two to Green Vie on points

Finally, it’s the taste test.  Recklessly, and despite all my previous experience with vegan cheese, I decided to try a slice uncooked.  The Jeezini was not good; it had that weird soapy taste that vegan cheese often has.  The Green Vie tasted really good.  To be fair, the Veggie Stuff website had a tip about the Jeezini “Best served at room temperature, as the flavour and texture is improved when warmer. This cheese alternative melts very well, ideally under direct heat like grilling or also zapped in a microwave.”  I grilled the cheeses on a wrap.  The Green Vie was still really good.  I am afraid that the Veggie Stuff website and I will have to agree to disagree.  Heating the Jeezini just made it stinkier and soapier.  At this stage, I decided to take The Green Vie Smoked Gouda to the ultimate level – the mighty crisp sandwich.  Some of the cheese and crushed Pom Bears in a wrap turned out to be the crowning glory of this taste test.  The Jeezini was consigned to the rubbish bin, which as I am both frugal and greedy gives you an idea of how bad it really was.

Round Three – win by knock out to Green Vie.

 

Homefree Lemon Burst Mini Cookies

Ingredients

Gluten free whole oat flour, evaporated cane sugar, high oleic safflower oil, organic tapioca starch, pear juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, lemon extract, salt, pure vanilla extract, cream of tartar, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), sunflower lecithin, gum karaya, rosemary extract.

Allergen Information

Made on shared lines with soya lecithin.  Made in dedicated facility containing no peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, casein, fish, crustaceans, molluscs (shellfish), wheat, gluten, sesame, mustard seeds, celery, sulphur dioxide, sulphites or lupin.  Home Free Treats carefully source ingredients and test for peanut, almond, egg, milk and gluten proteins.

20160608_195833Can you see the toys strewn around in the background of the photo?  Quite often whole rooms looks like this at Allergy Towers.  These are the days when the only solution is baked goods.  Today, I thought I would try these lemon burst mini cookies.  The front of the packet showed a slice of lemon with the words “pucker up!” so I was expecting a big hit of lemon flavour.  It was more of a waft of lemon and that was a bit disappointing.  On the positive side, these had a good texture for a gluten free biscuit and were nicely sweet.  Of course, the biggest positive about this brand is their commitment to producing allergen free food.  It almost seems churlish to complain about the flavour not being strong enough when this product is potentially such a boon to some people with very sensitive allergies.

Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg

Ingredients – Whole algal flour, Whole algal protein, Modified cellulose, Cellulose, Gellan gum, Calcium lactate (plant source), Carageenan, Nutritional yeast, Black salt.

I had been reading rave reviews of this plant-based egg replacer all over the internet (egg replacer you can scramble – girly scream of excitement!) so Allergy Little and I were pretty excited to try this.  Well, to be fair, I was excited to try this; he just wanted to do some whisking.  The instructions recommended ice cold water so we used ice cubes to cool the tap water down.  The instructions also said to whisk vigorously, and Allergy Little took this responsibility very seriously.

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Once the excitement of whisking had worn off, the complaining started.  “It smells yuck,” he said.  To be fair, it smelt sulphurous and eggy.  I tried to explain that this is what eggs smell like.  Allergy Little looked at me sceptically.  I told him all would be well once it was scrambled.  So we cooked the vegan egg mixture.

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“It looks like monster snot,” he said.  Again, annoyingly, Allergy Little was right; it did have a strange gel-like texture, not like scrambled eggs.  But the proof of the pudding, or plant-based egg substitute, is in the tasting.

I added a little black pepper and Maldon salt.  Allergy Little would just not try it, and,  despite his many allergies, he is often quite gung ho about trying new foods so this was an early warning for me.  I tried it.  I didn’t like the texture.  It was slimy and wrong.  I decided it was just because I was expecting scrambled egg texture and this was slightly different.  I just needed to get used to it and eat some more.  About a quarter of my way in, I decided that Allergy Little was right; there was something in this that was not agreeing with me.  After the lentil pasta debacle, I am much more open to trusting the Allergy Brothers’ first impressions.  They literally seem to be able to smell out their allergens.  Allergy Little’s complete refusal was a sign that I should quit before this made me really ill.  I have no idea which ingredient made me feel ill, but you can bet we won’t try this again!

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