For over five years I’ve gone without gluten, soy, dairy, corn and a multitude of other foods, such as vanilla, nutmeg and, oddly, asparagus. Most of my food cravings have disappeared, or I’ve found substitute foods to satisfy my yearning taste buds.
Except for chocolate!
Is it weird that I actually dream about eating entire bags of chocolate chip cookies and tubs of two-bite brownies and chocolate-covered strawberries and fudge-layered cake (I’m starting to drool!). And if I’m going to be completely honest, chocolate is the one food I will sometimes eat fully knowing it will make me sick (witness May 5th, 2012 blog Damn Those Peanut M&Ms). For the most part, anything with chocolate will also have soy or dairy or vanilla, even most dark chocolate which has a higher percentage of cocoa and less of the “bad” stuff.
So I pretty much have to avoid chocolate, unless I want to spend the next week curled up in a ball on the couch.
Some of you are about to suggest an allergy-friendly dessert cookbook with yummy recipes, but don’t hit the reply button yet. Not that I don’t enjoy salivating over the pictures in these cookbooks and recommend them to others (so keep sending your books to me!), but the long list of ingredients and steps make my blood pressure leap.
You see baking scares me. Might have something to do with that time I made brownies for my sorority and accidentally used leftover garlic butter, or that other time I served undercooked brownies to my son’s preschool class.
So what does an allergic chocoholic who doesn’t bake do when she craves a sweet? Here are some of my tested and approved chocolate fixes:
Just discovered these at a neighborhood health food store and loved them! Crunchy chocolate taste and get this–Dr. Oz says they’re good for you.
Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and Mega Chunks
I mix these with almonds and dried cranberries and devour by the handfuls, which probably explains my mega-chunk hips.
Larabars with chocolate flavors (note that chocolate chips may be cross-contaminated with soy; see the website)
I’m a big fan of Larabars and not just cuz the founder is from my home state of Colorado. I keep a Chocolate Coconut Chew in my handbag for chocolate withdrawal.
Enjoy Life has a number of other chocolate temptations, including cookies and “candy” bars.
Rice milk chocolate bars, such as the Ricemilk Crunch, aren’t my favorite, but will do in a crunch (excuse the awful pun).
So do any of you fellow allergic chocoholics have a sweet suggestion to share?