Taste Test Tuesday: Enjoy Life Decadent Soft Baked Bars

This summer I’ve been golfing a lot.

BD (before diagnosis) I typically stayed home while my family hit the links.  (Golf courses with limited restrooms aren’t the best place to be when you’re having a reaction to gluten or soy or dairy or corn or one of the other myriad foods I now know I’m allergic to.)  Fortunately, since cutting out offending foods from my diet, I am much more active.

Country Club of Colorado

The new dilemma: What do I snack on when I’m playing four hours of golf, or hiking in the Colorado mountains, or taking a day trip to Denver.  Certainly not anything from a snack bar or a  fast food joint!

Fortunately, portable allergy-friendly products are becoming more and more common. In just the five years since my diagnosis, I’m amazed at the availability of convenience foods for an allergic food.  More importantly, many of them actually taste good!

So I’ve decided to review some of these products in a regular blog post called Taste Test Tuesday.

My first review is–drum roll, please–Enjoy Life® Decadent Soft Baked Bars.

Enjoy Life Decadent Soft Baked Bars

Full disclosure: The company sent these to me to try after I offered to review.  I was curious to see if these new bars could win me over. I’ve had some pretty awful cardboard-tasting “bars” since AD (after diagnosis) so I was a bit skeptical, and honestly, somewhat reluctant to bite into one.

The four boxes sat unopened on my pantry shelf for several weeks. Then one day when I was late for a tee time, I grabbed a Cinnamon Bun for breakfast.  Now I won’t try to convince you it tasted like I imagine one of those cinnamon buns in the mall does, but it was good. Quite good.  And no wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish or shellfish!

So the next time I golfed, I took a Chocolate SunButter®.  Yummy!  As you may have read before in this blog, I adore chocolate!

My gluten-free son is a bit pickier than I am (he gets to be since he can eat dairy, soy and eggs).  Yet he LOVES the S’mores. S’mores were always a favorite dessert when he was growing up so it’s nice he gets to enjoy them again. He took the rest of the bars back to college.

If you like tart flavors, you’ll enjoy Cherry Cobbler.  I couldn’t get excited about this one, and my son said the bar tasted odd (he’s used to sweeter, I think).  No worries–there are three other flavors for us to enjoy.

The Decadent Soft Baked Bars are now a staple in my pantry, in the care packages I send to my son, and in my golf bag.  Thank you, Enjoy Life, for making a product that helps this allergic foodie enjoy her golf game again.

Now if you could just help me with my putting.

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Visit Enjoy Life Foods for more information.

I Dream of Chocolate

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:

SaviSeed Cocoa Kissed

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?