I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but Easter is always one of those celebrations that creeps up and takes me by surprise. I suspect that the general busy-ness of the 6 weeks beforehand plays a big part in my seeming inability to effectively organise for it. Every year I say I’ll be sorted and every year I fail miserably. When you consider the steady pace of events through our household this year: from Shrove Tuesday’s pancakes to Valentines Day, my birthday swiftly followed by M’s 10th and Mothers Day thrown into the mix for good measure, there’s no wonder that having finally paused for a much-needed breath, I’ve once again almost let Easter pass us by,
In previous years both M and G have been able to enjoy dairy- and soya-free Easter eggs, although last year was very different as by the time the day arrived, M was only eating rice, chicken and cucumber and our options were limited to plastic eggs and an accompaniment of non-edible treats. Thanks to some strategic conversations with M’s dietician and some canny planning on my part, Easter 2016 is promising to be a much more exciting time for him as we’ve timed to perfection his next food challenge: cocoa and dairy-free chocolate!
M is now counting down to when he can start this food trial and I’ve been frantically exploring the free from market as, believe it or not, there have been some exciting new ventures in the dairy- and soya-free chocolate world that we’ve yet to discover. Here I’ve decided to share some of the great options available for those of you looking for a fantastic dairy-free Easter chocolate treat and hope that you’re able to find the perfect one for you.
Please note: Due to M’s previously identified hypersensitivity, we are avoiding soya lecithin as well as dairy and soya, but not all of these products use an alternative, so I’ve listed any “may contains” listed by the manufacturer.
Plamil Foods – This is a brand that I’ve seen, but knew very little about. They are the oldest vegan company in the UK and as well as not using milk, their factory is also gluten- and nut-free. Impressively they were the first company in the world to make dairy-free milk chocolate in 1983 and the first organic chocolate in the UK. Their Easter products include a variety of Easter Bunny bars and bags of half chocolate eggs as well as the more traditional hollow eggs.
Moo Free Chocolate – We’ve been big fans of Moo-free chocolate for a long-time, not least because they were one of the first dairy-free brands that I discovered that used sunflower lecithin, making them really safe for M. As well as their ever available chocolate bars, they are selling hollow Easter eggs in 3 flavours: Original, Bunnycomb and Orange.
- Dairy-, gluten-, lactose-, casein- and wheat-free. Also vegetarian and vegan
- Uses sunflower lecithin
- *May contain traces of hazelnuts
- Available from a number of stockists including Sainsburys, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett. For a full list, click here
- Prices from £4.00 to £4.99
- G’s mark out of 10: 10/10
D&D Chocolates – This is a new brand to the whole family and I was lucky enough to have a taste at the recent #FFFA16 judging days I attended. As their website shows, they have a whole range of really lovely Easter products from the delightfully named Chuckling bunnies, mini eggs and various felt bags and baskets crammed full of chocolate. They also sell carob products and have a similarly impressive range of those themed for Easter too.
- Dairy-, nut- and gluten-free. Also vegan
- Uses sunflower lecithin
- *May contain traces of soya
- Available on-line as well as Independent health stores
- Prices from £2.50 to £29.99
- G’s mark out of 10: 8.5/10
Cocoa Libre – These are a relative newcomer to the freefrom market, but impressively have been shortlisted at both the #FFFA15 and #FFFA16. When I first saw their products, I got very excited as they are made with Rice Milk, which is clearly labelled on their packaging, but sadly they also include soya lecithin at the moment.This means that they’re not currently suitable for M, though I’ve no doubt that G would love this box of 10 Easter chicks.
- Dairy-, gluten-, wheat- and nuts-free. Also vegan
- Uses soya lecithin
- Available on-line as well as a number of small independent stores around the country
- Prices from £1.95 to £4.95
- G’s marks out of 10: Unfortunately G didn’t manage to try this one before I published this blog, but the chocolate I tasted at the #FFFA16 earned a 9/10 from me
Booja Booja – If you eat dairy-free chocolate and want to be indulged, you need look no further! Booja Booja makes the most decadent and delicious chocolate, which is perhaps far more suitable for the adult taste than for children, though needless to say,
G and M both loved their champagne truffles a few years ago! They have a beautiful selection of Easter eggs in this years collection and I’d be hard pushed to know which to choose.
- organic as well as dairy-, gluten- and soya-free
- *May contain nuts
- Available from stores including Waitrose, Holland & Barrett and Sainsburys. Other stockists can be found on-line here
- Prices from £9.95
- G’s marks out of 10: We didn’t try their Easter eggs, but their truffles deserve a richly indulgent 10/10