Being an allergic child is difficult, especially around Christmas. Fun-looking, unsafe food is everywhere. Santa comes to school and hands out chocolates. You sing at the nursing home and the staff passes out treats. There’s a cookie buffet after the children’s church Christmas play. Your best friend gets a chocolate Santa in her stocking every year, and why can’t you?! And so on.
Your mom and dad try their best to make you dairy-free treats that are “just like” the ones everyone else has, but it’s not the same. Where is the pretty wrapping? The fun shapes? The sparkly foil? Where is the Advent calendar with chocolates in it?!
Enter Amanda’s Own Confections. I recently had the chance to try one of the gift-wrapped chocolate packages from their Present Box. (I saved the rest for my daughter’s stocking. Shh!) The chocolate is pleasantly semi-sweet—not too overpowering for a child’s palate but definitely chocolate-y. This isn’t surprising, considering the ingredients are just evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, and cocoa butter. Such a short ingredient list and attention to allergy issues makes Amanda’s Own chocolate dairy-free, tree nut-free, peanut-free, egg-free, and gluten-free. Amanda’s Own recently switched to a new recipe, which means the chocolates are soy free as well.
The really exciting part for me, though, is the beautiful packaging of the Present Box. Eight tiny, sparkly, red and green packages waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed by someone who can’t eat most of the beautiful candy on display in every store.
In addition to the Present Box, we had the chance to try Amanda’s Own Chocolate Advent Calendar. It features their delicious dairy-free, semi-sweet chocolates nestled in a colorful Christmas box. I was expecting each day’s door to reveal a gift-shaped chocolate like those in the Present Box, but no! Every day the door is opened to reveal a different chocolate shape: horses, toys, sleighs, and a large Santa chocolate to enjoy on December 25! We were especially impressed by the extra Christmas-day treat of the Santa, as most advent calendars end on December 24. This was the first year we were able to enjoy chocolate Advent Calendars in our home. Thanks to Amanda’s Own we now have a new Christmas tradition.
Other Christmas chocolate items Amanda’s Own features include Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Chocolate Bars, Santa Totes, Angel, Santa, and Snowman Chocolate Lollypops, and Solid Santas. No hollow Santas and Easter Bunnies here! Allergic children can so easily feel left out of the fun of eating special treats, especially around the holidays. Thanks to Amanda’s Own, they can have their own festive chocolates, too.
If you’re looking for an everyday treat (or perhaps a Halloween surprise) instead of a holiday one, look no further than Amanda’s Own’s Sunflower Cups. The bottom layer of the cups is a combination of their chocolate and sunflower seed butter, the top is pure chocolate, and in the middle is an extra dose of pure sunflower seed butter for an added flavor boost. We had a chance to try the Sunflower Cups a few months ago before the addition of the extra sunflower seed butter and then later with it added. Our only criticism the first time around was that the cups could use more sunflower seed flavor, and now they have it! Everyone in our family loves these, even the peanut butter cup devotees.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Amanda’s Own chocolates are dairy free, peanut free, tree nut free, egg free, gluten free, and soy free. Their site notes: “Even though our new chocolate recipe does NOT include soy, we feel it is important to let you know that there may be some soy lecithin in this chocolate. we have cleaned our equipment and facility well, however, since our previous recipe contained soy lecithin, there may be some someplace and we want our customers to be aware of this.” Always see the packaging and contact the company for allergen “may contain” labeling and manufacturing processes.
For Product Information: visit Amanda’s Own at www.amandasown.com