Chocolate and allergies 

99% of chocolate on supermarket shelves has that scary line for us – MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUTS. What it means is that peanuts are handled in that factory whether they go on the same conveyor belt or not and there is a risk of ‘contamination.’ 

One brand of chocolate doesn’t become safe simply because she tried a piece last week and was fine. It doesn’t permenantley crown that brand ok for us. That bar, on that day going down that conveyor belt was safe… the next one could easily contain the dreaded peanut – and for us that’s a serious matter. 

It’s like a game of Russian Roulette that I don’t want to play. Along with the peanut and hazelnut risk chocolate mostly contains soy (which we avoid as a health preference) and a bucket of sugar. 

She has had the odd little piece here and there but I find myself ‘hawk-eyed’ on her to ensure she is ok. 

My found alternative is far safer for her, easier on my nerves and sooooooooo much better. It’s Jo Whitton’s chocolate recipe from her blog Quirky Cooking

I make it in the Thermomix but you could easily alter to a stovetop method (and I imagine melting the cacao butter would be a heady, delicious and soothing process.) 


From memory (see the link above) the recipe calls for cacao butter, cacao powder (do not confuse with cocoa), maple syrup or honey, salt, vanilla. Very simple, clean.and nothing too scary. It sets lovely and keeps in the fridge. It sits ok on the bench but in a Brisbane summer I wouldn’t trust it. Bonnie devours it with that deep smile that can only come from a mouthful of chocolate. We have a zero risk of nuts and zero processed sugar, reduced overall sugar and no soy! This is in fact dairy free too. I have some to a friend who said it was up there with Lindt standard so that’s saying something. That’s the basic plain recipe but you could start jazzing it up by pouring it over dried fruit or adding peppermint or rose…or my current favourite dried orange slices.

I did see that the brand Sweet William is producing a ‘christmas’ chocolate that is nut, dairy and gluten free (the gluten coming from the glucose syrup derived from wheat.)  At Easter time we got their bunny ones and it was nice to have something else in the mix but they do contain soy and an awful lot of sugar.. we found them incredibly sweet. 


We haven’t gone the chocolate advent calendar.. instead we do an advent tree. We pick a little bag off the tree each day and do the little activity inside. Bonnie really likes it and it’s a whole lot of fun to get us into the Christmas spirit. I will adjust them as she grows older but for now I don’t re- jig and simply pack them away ready to use next year 

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a journey and a rebirth

well, I have missed some time on here…oops. I had so much to say and so little time. So much has happened and we are such a different parenting path than I imagined we would be.

 

I am using this space to re-ignite the flame (for in the kitchen!) Sounds strange on it’s own, but not for our little family.

Our little blessing, Bonnie Mae, now 2 years old has multiple anaphylactic food and environmental allergies.  I will write a big post on it all explaining how we first came about it all but as it currently stands she is anaphylactic to coconut, egg, dog (a rare one to be anaphylactic to), and allergic to wheat, peanut, hazelnut, dust/mites and cat. Yep, it’s quite the list.


Food wise, it’s been a journey for us. I have learnt new skills in the kitchen, combining this and this to substitute that. I feel lucky for already having confidence in the kitchen, but I still remember the beginning of the journey feeling like I was in a mind field.

Needless to say, its been a big year, with two anaphylactic shocks and survivals and the devastating rehoming of our dearly beloved pets, we are feeling tired as we enter the festive season. Lately, I have been very uninspired in the cooking department (something I used to love.) I think a combination of constantly substituting recipes and developing my own (a very new experience) and sourcing tried and true recipes that suit Bonnie’s needs and keep our palette entertained.

That’s where you come in. For a good twelve months now, various people have encouraged me to write down my allergy food knowledge, to share my findings and learning’s and of course stumbles! What a perfect way to re-ignite my inspiration in the kitchen and hopefully help another mumma bear (or papa bear) out on their allergy journey.


So stick around and get ready for delicious dishes and story sharing of life with an allergy kid.

xo