Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Deck the Trees with Dairy Free Chocolate... Tra la la a la, la la la la!

In a previous post (see here), written a few years ago now, I shared with you my efforts in making my own Christmas tree decorations - dairy free chocolate ones being in short supply in those days. These days, I know you can get some from D & D Chocolates (an online company that only makes free from chocolate - see here), but I still love the fun of making my own... and so does 'Baby' - well 'Kiddo' these days!!

However, having munched through the supplies of chocolate coins I had bought from Tesco (yikes) and found that Sainsbury's had mysteriously suddenly not got any (after having them on the shelves ALL year), I realized an alternative was required!! Hence this post!!

Ta da! An alternative has surely been found - in the shape of Tesco's new chocolate fondant truffles! And very nice they are too (I've been taste testing, don't you know)!! I got my inspiration from some Christmas Tree decorations I designed for the craft table at the Toddler Group I help run.

Now I've just got to find some discipline not to eat all truffles too! :)


Where there's a will, and all that! :)



What you will need:

Box of Tesco Dairy Free Chocolate Truffles
Star shape gift tags 
Glue Dots
Stick-on Gems



Using gift tags makes this so easy peasy, that young children can easily make them.



How to make your decorations:


1. Stick two/three glue dots on the back of your truffle - it may help to make sure you cover the bit where the foil joins at the back - you don't want your choccy falling out after all!
The danger is that the truffle wrapping might come adrift!


2. Attach your foil wrapped truffle to the middle of a star-shaped gift tag - mine are from Waitrose (on offer, at two for three), but I'm sure you can find them elsewhere, either that or you can cut and make your own.
Already looking good!


3. You could leave your decorations just as they are, but I love a bit of bling. If you do too than you can embellish your gift tag with stick-on gems, like so:

Bling! Bling!

4. Now don't forget to tie the ribbon at the top of your tags, and they're all ready to hang on your tree!


Now to actually put my tree up... ho hum!!



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Please note: 

This post is not an advert. I have not been paid to write this post. I am not sponsored in any way, even by advertising. I do not receive products free to review, although I have often been offered them. This is to try and maintain an unbiased approach. All views expressed are my own (unless I've asked for The Hub's or Kiddo's).

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Oo ah! Christmas Chocolat 2016

Uh oh!

Christmas is almost upon us, the season of Advent is about to begin and I have not yet completed my annual dairy free chocolate post. However, of course there is more to Christmas chocolate than Advent calendars, so PHEW we might still be of some use to you! As always, this list is not exhaustive, but hopefully you should find most of the main brands listed here.

It's fabulous to see the choices for the dairy free community really expanding this year - although in Sainsbury's and Waitrose there have been very few changes this year, there are a few changes to some of the other store ranges, with a new entry by Asda stocking Kinnerton's new chocolate mints box. 


Great for lovers of dark chocolate - Kinnerton's new selection box




Unfortunately, last year's Asda Santa has not reappeared! :(

Tesco also have a new box of chocolates available (which I suspect are Choices caramels dressed up in a Tesco box, but of course I could be wrong)!



Tesco's new choc box

as well as an Advent calendar by 'Chocologic'. 


New kid on the block - Chocologic's Advent Calendar


It seemed a bit lightweight to me, when I picked up the box, but was cheaper than most, at £2.50. There hasn't been much stock available in my local store, so don't hold your breath finding one of these in yours! Made with soya flour, it was no good for me, so stayed firmly on the shelf!

Tesco have also opted on the Choices selection box this year - as have Asda and Holland & Barrett, but again, my local Tesco was very short on stock - not seen any since I bought these!


More by chocolate labelled 'Tesco' but made by Choices

Here is the same box, in Asda packaging:

Choices, Choices...

If you want something a bit more individual, then check out Cocoa Libre's range at Holland and Barrett. 


Fun shapes!

Kiddo loves their chocolate shapes. They're a bit more pricey, but that is because they are handmade.


So you can see there's plenty of places to choose from, so as in previous years, I've attempted to help you cut through to the information you need, by creating some handy comparison charts, which hopefully you will find useful.


This table shows the different products created by the major free from brands and where to find them:


Advent Calendar
Selection Box
Chocolate Novelty Figures
Chocolate Boxes
Chocolate Coins
Tree Decorations
Booja Booja
x
x
x
Waitrose,
Holland & Barrett Ocado
x
x
Choices
(also make Tesco, Sainsbury’s & Asda’s free from chocolate)
Sainsbury’s  Asda

Holland & Barrett
Ocado
Asda
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Asda
Holland & Barrett
Sainsbury’s Holland & Barrett
Ocado
Tesco
Asda
X
Chocologic

Tesco
x
x
x
x
x
Cocoa Libre

x
x
Holland & Barrett
x
x
x
D & D Chocolates
Online only
Online only
Online only
Online only
x
Online only
Holland & Barrett
Holland & Barret
x
x
x
x
x
Kinnerton

By pre-ordering online only (see here)
x
Asda
Ocado
Kinnerton
x
x
Moo Free

Sainsbury’s
Waitrose
Asda
Ocado
Sainsbury’s Ocado
Holland & Barrett
Holland & Barrett
x
x
x
Plamil

Online only
Online only
Online
Holland & Barrett
x
x
x

NB The chances are that not all Holland & Barrett items listed here, will be available in your local store, however, you can order online and have delivered either to your home or to your local store.


This table shows the main brands and some of the major allergens that they are free from:


Dairy Free
Gluten Free
Soya Free
Egg Free
Nut Free
Vegan
Booja Booja
ü
ü
ü
ü
x
ü
Choices
(also make Tesco, Sainsbury’s & Asda’s free from chocolate)
ü
ü
*Lecithin
ü
ü
ü
Cocoa Libre
ü
ü
*Lecithin
ü
ü
ü
D & D Chocolates
ü
ü
May Contain
ü
ü
ü
Kinnerton

ü
ü
*Lecithin
ü
ü
ü
Moo Free

ü
ü
ü
ü
x
ü
Plamil

ü
ü
May Contain
ü

ü

*Soya Lecithin is the oil from the Soy bean. Technically, this should not cause a reaction in those allergic to soya, as the protein has been removed, but those who are particularly sensitive may still react. If unsure please consult with your Doctor/Dietitian.




ONLINE

The good news is that should you find it difficult to find dairy free chocolate locally, there are places you can buy it online. Try the following websites if you are struggling to find dairy free chocolate locally:







AND... CHOCOLATE THAT IS NOT QUITE DAIRY FREE ENOUGH FOR US

Not all 'dairy free' products are equal! Although Vegan products are made without milk, they may be made on factory production lines where other products that do contain milk have been made. This could mean that they contain traces of milk, which can cause problems for those who are quite sensitive to milk. However some people choose to be dairy free and those who are allergic to dairy have varying levels of sensitivity, so here are a few other brands that might interest those of you who are okay with traces of milk:

Aldi 
Hotel Chocolat
Lidl
Montezuma's dark chocolate
Zero Zebra - claim to be allergen free but are made on production lines where allergens have been handled and have caused mild allergic reactions in some allergic individuals.


FINALLY:

Hopefully this post has provided you with the information you need to find the chocolate that is right for you. The information included in this post may change over time, so follow @dairyfree on Twitter or Dairy Free Baby and Me on Face Book, to keep track of any updates.



Please note: 

This post is not an advert. I have not been paid to write this post. I am not sponsored in any way, even by advertising. I do not receive products free to review, although I have often been offered them. This is to try and maintain an unbiased approach. All views expressed are my own (unless I've asked for The Hub's or Kiddo's).


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