Elizabeth's Note: It's hard to contain my enthusiasm and support for Vermont Nut Free Chocolates! So many of us no longer have to feel left out of the fun or be consumed with anxiety and worry at holidays and special events because VNFC has taken the worry and nuts and peanuts away and replaced them with JOY! - Love, Elizabeth
Many of you may know that I have Anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts and shellfish. I've had these life or death allergies for 20 years now. I developed them after my 2nd pregnancy. Over the years, some of the most risky or downright dangerous things to dare to eat are candy, treats, baked goods and chocolate. Especially chocolate! Finding chocolate that isn't made without peanuts or nuts or in a facility without peanuts or nuts is very difficult and a "may contain" type of label isn't work risking my life or yours for that matter.
There is nothing more unsafe for a person with Anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts that a celebration or gathering with baked goods and treats whether at home, away, at school, at college or in the workplace. Vermont Nut Free Chocolates takes the worry and anxiety away and creates the ability of being able to now blend in without fear of food and treats, drawing attention to yourself or inconveniencing others.
I also understand and live by the concept of eating as clean as I can. For me, this lifestyle of clean eating and exercising daily helps keep control of the inflammation component that often accompanies those with food allergies. So for those who might read this and think, "Well you shouldn't eat that anyway. It's not good food for those with food allergies and definitely isn't clean eating," I want you to know that I completely understand and so I write this from a treat standpoint. I also write this from a fitting-in standpoint. In 20 years now of having food allergies, I will tell you, this was the first Christmas I've ever had absolutely no worry, concern or even a slight hint of anxiety and blended perfectly with my treats. It was so fun!!!
The other huge relief was that my entire family loved it. This means I didn't have anxiety or stress of others around not enjoying an event because there couldn't be these types of food around, which usually happens because I am present and we don't risk my life with having food around that I don't eat, but does contain allergens.
So, shortly before Christmas I placed an order. It helped support Eleanor Garrow-Holding from FAACT, where I am a spokesperson.
These mini twist pretzels are dipped in chocolate and have the same great taste as our popular Pretzel Toppers. Packaged in a resealable stay-fresh bag. Approximately 36 pieces per bag (7 oz) Milk Mini-Twist Pretzels: Milk chocolate(cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, skim milk powder, butterfat, soya lecithin(an emulsifier), natural vanilla), pretzels (enriched flour[wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid], salt, corn oil, corn syrup, ammonium bicarbonate, malt extract, and yeast.) Dark Mini-Twist Pretzels: Dark chocolate(sugar, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, soya lecithin(an emulsifier), natural vanilla), pretzels (enriched flour[wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid], salt, corn oil, corn syrup, ammonium bicarbonate, malt extract, and yeast.) (Contains wheat and dairy) White Mini-Twist Pretzels: White chocolate(sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, soya lecithin(an emulsifier), natural vanilla),pretzels (enriched flour[wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid], salt, corn oil, corn syrup, ammonium bicarbonate, malt extract, and yeast.)
A rich crunchy, buttery toffee coated with a thin layer of delicious milk or dark chocolate or plain without chocolate. Packaged in an 8 oz box. (Please note that box design may change with the time of year) Toffee Crunch Bark-Milk Chocolate (whole milk powder, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, skim milk powder, butterfat, soya lecithin-added as an emulsifier, vanilla extract), unsalted butter, sugar, water, salt, Contains dairy and soy. Processed on shared egg, wheat and gluten equipment. Toffee Crunch Bark-Dark Chocolate (sugar, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, soya lecithin-an emulsifier, natural vanilla), unsalted butter, sugar, water, salt. Contains dairy and soy. Processed on shared egg, wheat and gluten equipment.
Now, when this arrived, I'm not going to lie. I've gotten so protective of my life and being alive that I didn't trust it. I have gotten into a habit of just avoiding all of these types of foods because they just aren't usually safe due to allergens and so I had just stopped eating treats. So the products sat untouched and untrusted for about ten days. I didn't even read the labels or open the box for fear of being disappointed, finding a different ingredient that couldn't eat and just anxiety of it.
Finally, I braved up and with my husband, and opened the box. To my sheer delight, we read each package and ingredient labels and determined I could eat it. However, I took one white pretzel first and we put my epi-pens and allergy medication nearby just in case.
Now, in writing this, I hope you are getting a picture of the dangerous nature of other people's baked goods when you have peanut and tree nut allergies. I am a creature of habit and will chose safe over sorry. Generally, I recommend with 100% certainty that you pass on other people's baked goods or treats. I'd tell you probably to pass on a treat-based company that claims they are nut free even because I've fought for my life before in the ER with those claims before - ice cream comes to mind as I write that.
You don't have to pass on this company or the treats they provide. I'm alive and here to prove it! :) I shared a window into my anxieties with food with you all, so you can see what someone with Anaphylaxis goes through to just eat a piece of chocolate. So not only, as I said before did I live, but we all also enjoyed every crumb of every treat. Everything was absolutely amazing!! It was the first time in many many years I've experienced no fear in fun treats and had joy in my life in this area.
Our favorites are the white chocolate and chocolate covered pretzels.
So, I know this post is getting long, but I was to share more because another very high-anxiety, treat-based day is approaching - Valentine's Day. I just absolutely envy women who get a box of mixed chocolates (minus the gross ones) from their sweetheart. I'm a flowers and chocolate person on this day big time. For me, for 20 years, my holiday has been flowers and red licorice - no chocolate.
For our Elizabeth's Best Award consideration Vermont Nut Free Chocolate sent us their True Love Gift Pack.
Well, let me tell you about true love for a moment: AMAZING. The only thing wrong with this scenario is Feb 14 is like a month away and we devoured the contents of the gift pack, LOL! (We'll be placing an order right away.)
The package contains a decorative gift box containing one Cupid Heart (3.6oz), one Marshmallow on a stick (2.5oz), one 2oz Jelly Beans, one 2oz Skippers, and one Rose Pop (1oz). Available in milk or dark chocolate. Dark chocolate (sugar, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, soya lecithin-an emulsifier, natural vanilla. (Processed on dairy equipment.) Milk chocolate (sugar, whole milk powder, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter,, skim milk powder, butterfat, soya lecithin(an emulsifier), vanilla extract
My husband said the jelly beans were the kind he had as a child. He also loved the Skippers. I loved the chocolate heart and rose and the kids ate the marshmallow on a stick.
Thank you Vermont Nut Free Chocolates for taking the time to not only exist for those of us with food allergies but be excellent and the best you can be for those of us and our families, friends and co-workers.
Oh and check this out... :)
About Vermont Nut Free Chocolates:
Vermont Nut Free Chocolates was founded in 1998 by the mother of a little boy with a potentially life-threatening peanut allergy. Gail and Mark Elvidge first learned of their son Tanner’s allergy when he suffered a reaction at 8 months old. They were shocked, concerned and frightened to see this reaction in their small child.
To ensure their son’s safety they began to thoroughly read ingredient labels and discovered that the hardest product to find for a nut allergic child was chocolate. Many chocolate companies manufacture products that contain nuts which makes their other products unsafe for nut allergies because of cross contamination on shared production lines and facilities. Not wanting Tanner to miss out on a childhood indulgence Gail began making homemade chocolate that was guaranteed safe.
The combination of love for her son and passion for chocolate inspired Gail to create Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, a company dedicated to making quality tree nut and peanut free confections. For the first two years Gail and Mark ran the business out of their Vermont home, hand making all the chocolates in their kitchen. Today, Vermont Nut Free Chocolates is proud to produce in a dedicated nut free facility with over 30 devoted employees in the Lake Champlain Islands in Grand Isle, Vermont. In addition to ordering online, customers can now find our products in over 500 stores nationwide.
Vermont Nut Free Chocolates is committed to providing quality chocolates and treats that are safe for those with tree nut and peanut allergies. We truly believe that those with and without nut allergies will find our gourmet chocolates to be among the finest they have ever tasted.