A few of my favorite Allergy Friendly Products…


Enjoy Life Soft Baked Minis 

Recently a super fun event occurred in my life – I had the opportunity to visit the world headquarters of Mondelez International, the American multinational confectionery, food and beverage company. So, big deal one might say but my excitement stems from the fact that ‘Enjoy Life’ is an independently owned subsidiary of Mondelez! I use the word ‘independently’ very consciously. Way back in 2015, when Enjoy Life was acquired by Mondelez, I was concerned, very concerned. Would a small Allergen-free snack food company survive in the big corporate world. On that front, am I relieved or what – Enjoy Life has become bigger and better but continues to have the small company feel. They continue to engage with customers like myself on a personal level via social media which has convinced me that they sincerely care that my child with severe multiple food allergies should be safe but not deprived. The highlight of the visit…an opportunity to drop in at the company store and get my hands on discounted Enjoy Life  – yayy! But the best was yet to come…my greedy eyes fell on the the new snack packs. Small packets of soft baked minis by Enjoy Life. Now, my son and I love the fresh box of Snickerdoodle, Double Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookies by Enjoy Life but my one problem with the soft baked Enjoy Life cookies is that it becomes rock hard within days of opening the box. Granted that I can warm it up in the microwave to soften it but the new snack bags are just right for the school lunch box and I don’t have to worry about wastage after having spent an arm and a leg on them and driving miles to find a store that stocks them.

 

These snack packs are a sure winner and a must try for anyone with the top 8 food allergies or even someone who wants to eat healthy and whole grain or gluten-free.

Vermont Nut Free Chocolates:

Now these chocolates are not dairy-free but they are completely tree nut and peanut free. As a baby my son could not ingest dairy even in minute quantities without his whole body swelling up literally like a cue balloon. However, today at age 11 he can have processed dairy like cheese or chocolate – yes, there is hope. But, I was surprised how incredibly difficult it is to find chocolates that have been processed in a facility that do not process nuts. Initially I would take a chance and unless the packaging said ‘May contain traces of allergen’, I would give him the chocolate. That was until I visited the Hershey chocolate factory in Hershey, PA. Since then,  I have realized that we have just been lucky thus far since cross-contamination is very likely if the equipment is shared. So, if one can eat products like chocolate with dairy in it – this chocolate is the best I have found in the market. The packaging is beautiful and the chocolate itself is shaped soooo gourmet – love!

Picture courtesy: store.vermontnutfree.com Our personal favorite the decadent dark chocolate!

‘Tolerant’ range of Legumes based pasta:

First off, I have to gush over the adorably cute packaging of this range of legume pastas – it instantly communicates the image of fun, youthful and organic through the use of earthy tones on a brown paper base. I am a vegetarian and the nutritionist in me firmly believes in legumes as a fabulous source of fiber, proteins and healthy carbs. And then I found his useful nugget of gold on the Why Legumes page of the Tolerant Foods website, ‘Plant protein found in legumes provide the body steady, lasting energy that can last 4-6 hours vs. meat which only lasts about 2-3 hours!’ In my experience, the incidence of soybean and chickpea/ garbanzo beans allergy is quite high. However, lentils and beans like black bean, red lentil, mung bean, peas is relatively rare. My son is allergic to soybeans and chickpeas so lentils and beans are the way he gets his vegetarian proteins. Apart from the zillion lentil/ bean soup recipes that Indian cuisine abounds in, I love the legume pasta version – packs in the vegetarian protein punch despite food allergies.

EB-RL-Pasta-PENNE-8-oz
Picture courtesy: Tolerant Foods website

Recently I tossed the red lentil pasta with Allergy Friendly Harissa paste that a blogger friend gifted me (Instagram – LifeDelicious). Harissa is a North African red chili paste Unadulterated culinary delight and my taste buds screamed in joy 🙂 Love you Kavita ❤

IMG_4566
Tolerant Red Lentil Penne tossed with peas and Allergy Friendly Harissa – 19+ grams of protein / serving

Stay tuned for more Allergy Friendly, AllergyFoodie posts as my baby’s 12 birthday draws near…

 

My go-to brands for Allergy Friendly Foods…


My little one had to keep away from all the top 8 food allergens and a few more till age 4 – wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shell fish, soy, dairy, peas, sesame, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and garbanzo beans. The only place he lucked out was – he was not allergic to the gluten part of the wheat protein so he could try oats and barley. So, in the first instant it seemed like there was literally nothing he could eat but I did find quite a few items that he could have. My son has outgrown a few allergies like wheat so remembering the brands free of all the top 8 food allergens was a trip down memory lane. I have not mentioned any of the Indian brands I use because I use it exclusively for Indian cooking and neither have I mentioned local New Jersey brands that I see and pick up once in a while in my local health food store but the supply is not consistent. Given my background in Food and Nutrition – my focus has been on nutrition and variety. Here are some of the go-to brands in our Allergy Friendly household (I will keep updating as I remember more or find new brands). Here are my top go-to AF (Allergy Friendly) picks as of now…

Continue reading “My go-to brands for Allergy Friendly Foods…”

Earth Balance: Allergy Friendly vegan spreads and butter!


With holidays right around the corner, a good butter substitute is the urgent need of the hour! AF (Allergy Friendly) does not mean that our sugar cookies, cakes and breads should taste gross 🙂

So, here is a little secret from my kitchen to yours…psst – ‘Earth Balance’ range of products!

Continue reading “Earth Balance: Allergy Friendly vegan spreads and butter!”

I am in ‘love’…with Tempt Hemp Ice Cream :-)


It is a good time for those with multiple food allergies in the quest for dairy alternatives. There are more substitutes available than ever before – Rice Milk, Oat Milk, and more recently Hemp Milk.  Personally, I find Hemp Milk by far the most nutritious because it has a much higher fat and protein content than the either Oat or Rice milk. That is a definite plus when giving it as a dairy alternative to children – especially the balanced quantities of fatty and amino acids. Living Harvest – a company with its roots in Canada and presently headquartered in Portland, Oregon (surprise, surprise 🙂 )  is the force behind Tempt Hemp Milk and other Hemp Milk products. Hemp Milk is definitely a very creamy dairy substitute and works quite well in cooking too. I have used it to make rice pudding, soups, pasta sauce etc. but as a drink my little one din’t quite like it. However, if you like the taste and are not allergic to Hemp seed – Hemp Milk is definitely one of the most nutritious dairy alternative drinks to try. Living Harvest has a great short write-up about Hemp which is definitely worth a read and titled ‘Why hemp?

Courtesy: Picture taken from Living Harvest, Tempt website.

Continue reading “I am in ‘love’…with Tempt Hemp Ice Cream :-)”

Allergy Friendly “Daiya Vegan Cheese”


Where does an ardent foodie like me hang out for fun?! No points for guessing that one of my favorite haunts is any kind of food market 🙂 – American, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, European (yes – on a trip to Switzerland, it was not the glaciers but a local organic food market that was my first stop – go figure!). All in the quest of yet another elusive food item that will make the mouth burst with flavors and the tummy do a little jig even if a person has food allergies! The allergy friendly food market has been making great strides in the recent past so it is a fun-packed adventure…

Continue reading “Allergy Friendly “Daiya Vegan Cheese””

DariFree: a dairy-free milk alternative!


Yes – I am still around and working furiously on getting fun and unique input for AllergyFoodie 🙂  Am presently on a 2 month culinary journey in India. The objective – ferret out forgotten old family recipes from the deep recesses of my aunts’ memories! As we talk by the kitchen fire – long-forgotten memories of granny (whom I fondly called avva) surface, the flavors of some of the wholesome, simple and allergy-friendly dishes she used to make waft through and tantalize our mind’s nasal passages. The salient feature of avva’s dishes was how they had remained unchanged through generations – handed down from mom to daughter over the kitchen hearth. Unfortunately, many of these gems have gotten buried under the onslaught of modern quick cooking methods and new cuisines.  So, very soon you will see a series resulting from this food adventure but for now I have to share information about an exciting new product that I chanced upon…DariFree

Courtesy: Pictures taken from Vance Foods website

Continue reading “DariFree: a dairy-free milk alternative!”