I’m going to make a confession now – I’m not a religious person. My baby isn’t going to be christened and I don’t plan on taking him to church, although he may choose to do these things in later life (which is absolutely fine by me). But, at this time of the year I do celebrate…
Well, I celebrate chocolate… That’s very wrong of me, I suppose, but there’s lots of us – all over the world, that worship the lovely scrumminess that is chocolate. But, I have a rather large problem with chocolate and that’s a problem that my mischievious little Monkey might have to deal with as he gets older as well.
We’re both lactose intolerant. I developed it as I got older and Monkey was born with it. Hopefully he’ll grow out of it, but for now we have to be very very careful with his diet. He’s mainly breastfed, which helps us to avoid lactose in formula milk. However, we have had to use some formula when my milk supply is low (I have lots of problems which I’ve written about before http://daisytheclothbummum.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/breastfeeding-my-journey-so-far-and-looking-to-the-future/ ) and that’s had to be a special prescription lactose-free milk.
So, when I was contacted with the possibility of reviewing some Easter Eggs from Holland and Barrett that both Monkey (when he’s older) and I could enjoy without any problems, I jumped at the chance. I do eat some normal chocolate, but it’s a calculated risk that I take and it affects my stomach after I’ve had it. The thing is – sometimes it’s just worth it, but I know that I’d be better off avoiding it. The difficulty is that when you grow into something like lactose intolerance, you’ve already had tastes of all the normal food that you now (quite cruelly) aren’t meant to have anymore. Like cheese. God I love cheese, but I do pay the price for eating it!
Now, the problem when you get foods that are free from lots of allergenic ingredients is that they often don’t taste very good. I remember when I tried Carob bars, thinking that they’d be a good alternative to chocolate. They weren’t. I hated them – the texture of them actually made me feel a little sick. I’d also tried chocolate for diabetics (my grandad ate it) and that really didn’t taste very good at all.
So, when I got a big box with three Easter Eggs in it that you can get in Holland and Barrett stores http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/ (lucky me!), I was actually a little cautious in my excitement. They looked just like normal eggs and I didn’t want to be disappointed by them. I wanted, no – to be honest – I needed them to taste like proper chocolate as then I’d have a great alternative that would solve a lot of my problems. Without going into too much detail, eating chocolate tends to make my stomach go a little nuts but I take the risk as I just can’t face giving it up. But, I know that I’m probably going to have to as Monkey gets a little older as I’ll have to set a good example for him, if he doesn’t grow out of his lactose intolerance.
I got sent the following:
A Dark Chocolate Easter Egg (made from 60% cocoa solids) that’s dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, egg free and suitable for vegans/vegetarians.
A Sugar Free Milk Chocolate Easter Egg that’s suitable for people that follow a sugar free diet, reduced net carbs or low glycemic index diet
A Children’s Dairy Free White Chocolate Egg that is dairy, gluten, wheat and egg free and also ok for vegans and vegetarians to eat.
I sat down and very carefully, methodically, had a taste of each one. You might call it breaking open the eggs, thoroughly enjoying smashing them and guzzling chocolate – but I see it as a more refined moment in my life! I have to say that I was very impressed with them. They actually tasted of chocolate! I couldn’t eat too much of the milk chocolate one as that does contain some milk powder, but you couldn’t tell that it was sugar free at all. My grandad would have loved it!
Being very honest, I’m not a big fan of white chocolate as I do find it a little sickly, but the children’s egg tasted very good. It wasn’t at all obvious that it was a ‘different’ kind of egg and I like the fact that it also comes with some little white chocolate buttons. For a child who’s unable to eat anything else remotely linked to chocolate, Easter must be a pretty miserable affair – so it’s great to see products like this on the High Street that will make them feel more included. I know that if Monkey carries on with his intolerance that I won’t hesitate to buy one of these eggs.
However, the egg that had to be cracking for me (I know… I’m sorry…dreadful pun time again) was the dark chocolate one. This one, on paper, ticked all my boxes, as it’s dairy free. I love dark chocolate. I could sit and eat it forever! So, I took my time over this one – really letting the chocolate melt in my mouth to get the flavour, expecting it to not live up to my obvious chocolate connoisseur standards. It was absolutely delicious! I’m actually slightly embarrassed to tell you that I scoffed the whole thing in two evenings. Whoops! It really was lovely and I think I’ll be getting Mr Clothbum to buy me one for Easter.
So, gone are the days where if you had an allergy, you were subjected to a rubbish diet – or one where you’d suffer for the sake of a little treat. These eggs are brilliant (in my humble opinion) as they really do taste like chocolate and fill that egg-shaped hole in a lot of people’s Easter weekends beautifully!
I was sent the eggs to taste and review for free, but was not given any payment to do so. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own (apart from the information about what dietary requirements the eggs are for)