A mom's meanderings through feeding a family with food allergies.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Belatedly: Tasting Party Summary
I am long overdue in sharing the results of this year's tasting party with everyone! My apologies, somehow September has left me breathless with the barrage of activity, errands, and unexpected events. Whew!
Without further ado, let me get started.
First, I need to thank the lovely ladies in my support group who graciously volunteered to set up for the tasting when they found out that open house for preschool was on the same night. Thanks to them, I did not have to skip either event.
Now, on to the sponsors.
Somersault Snack Company: These crunchy bite sized nuggets are full of flavor! Nut free and protein packed, there are 4 flavors to try. I put a few aside for my husband to sample, and he actually called me as soon as he tried them because he was too excited to wait until I got home to tell me how good they were. Then he placed an order so our house would be stocked.
Good Belly Probiotic Juice Drink A non-yogurt based probiotic beverage that tastes delicious! My kids love it, so I asked Good Belly if I could share. Know what? My tasters loved it too. It was the surprise of the evening for most attendees. A dairy free probiotic drink that tastes like juice? Every one of them had that skeptic look on their face that told me they had not heard of it before, and were not sure it would appeal. And everyone made the same face of surprised delight to discover it was tasty, and safe! Try it out.
Barney Butter Honestly, I did not try this as my house is nut free. But I knew that a few of our moms had complained that it was hard to find tree nuts that are free of cross contamination with peanuts. Ta-Da! Barney Butter is an almond butter spread that is peanut free. I saw several moms packing this to take home and try, and one reported back that it is the first almond butter she has loved! (How considerate of everyone to wait until they got home to try the nut based product. Gotta love people who "get" allergies.)
Nana's Cookie Company Nana's was kind enough to send samples of their gluten free lemon and chocolate cookies. The lemon cookie was a bit dry for my taste, and I did not have the opportunity to try the chocolate. I did get an email the next day from an attendee asking if she could purchase the leftovers from me. (No deal. I shared some more with her, as well as those who could not make it and a neighboring food allergy support group. Share the love.)
Amanda's Own Confections Can I get an Oooh Yeah! Dairy free, nut free, gluten free, egg free chocolate that is not only yummy but local? I'm in! Originating out of a suburb of Cleveland, I am excited to support not only a tasty allergy friendly product, but from a neighbor! Who doesn't need more safe chocolate in their life? Living somewhere between milk and dark chocolate with an intense and deep chocolate taste that is not overwhelmingly sweet this one will come home with me more often. Consensus? None left. Doesn't that speak for itself?
Courtney's Confections I'll be honest, I am totally biased on this one. The owner is a member of our allergy support group, and I have mentioned her before. This time she shared a peanut safe yellow cake, and an egg/dairy/nut safe chocolate cake. Oh. My. Tasty, and you truly can't tell anything was missing.
Sweet Alexis I'm not sure how I missed the chance to try these, as I was really looking forward to them. Dairy, egg and nut free cookies? Perfection. That is what I need more of in my life. I suppose that the fact that we ran out before I got to them is a good thing, but I'm still pouting. C'mon. It was my party. You'd pout too, if it happened to you.
The Pure Pantry I heard more than one surprised voice say "These are gluten free? What's in them? Ohhh. You used butter. That has to be why they are so good." It's a cookie mix that you can prepare to meet your allergen needs. My volunteer made them with EnerG egg replacer and real butter, and they were good. I think they would be every bit as good with Earth Balance in place of the butter. You could serve these with no apologies.
Goldbaum's These gluten free ice cream cones came recommended from a fellow allergy mom. I was really surprised when I discovered they also have gluten free pasta and rice crackers. (Be careful, the rice crackers have a nut warning on them!) The cones? Paired perfectly with a little coconut milk ice cream. The pasta? Not mushy like gluten free pastas can be.
Home Free Treats This is the only sponsor from last year that was invited back. Why? Because they were so incredibly well received last year. This year did not disappoint. The cookies were incredible. Even more exciting? She has just released a gluten free oatmeal cookie that tastes like the real thing! Moist, chewy, decadently delicious that makes you think "This is too good to be legal. What's in there?" I saw most tasters pick up the box to check it again. And quite a few that were not gluten free yet still proclaimed they would buy it! Don't miss these. Really.
Gilbert's Goodies Gluten, dairy, nut, soy, and corn free cookies. Our bite sized cookies arrived slightly shaken, which is good because the calories fell right out. (It does work that way, right?) They do have egg, so they are not a match for our house. I was surprised when I tasted the snickerdoodle flavor that the cookie was not a chewier, more moist cookie. Don't get me wrong, it was not bad, I just expected more from tasting a forbidden fruit I guess. The other tasters did not share such reservations, and seemed to accept these cookies as a tasty snack possibility.
Questions? Bring them on, I'll try to answer them.
Still in the learning curve trying to figure out how to balance time spent with the kids and time spent on housework. Goal: nurtured kiddos and house that the health department won't shut down. Oh, and juggle the allergies too. We avoid: dairy, eggs, nuts, chicken, rice, sesame, soy, chocolate, kiwi, banana, avocado, oat, coconut, gluten, and DOGS. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?