My top nut free discoveries at The Allergy & Free From Show North 2013

I’ve just returned from the Allergy & Free From Show North, laden down with goodies and with a long list of nut free food brands to try. Whilst I didn’t make it to every stand (and I did take an hour out to listen to an excellent talk on “Food allergy in infants and young children” by Dr Aideen Byrne from Alder Hey), the majority of my afternoon went like this:

Me: [Approaches stall]. Hi, are your products nut free?

Them: Yes.

Me: [Eyes wide] Are they free from nut traces? Are they made in a nut free facility?

Them: Yes.

Me: [Gaping slightly] Really?? What’ve you got? Tell me more!

I’ve set out below my nut free food discoveries, which I’ve also added to my nut free food list. (This is based on my conversations with the various companies, obviously do check the labels for yourself each time and make your own enquiries of the manufacturer if you are in any doubt whether a product is safe ).

As a family, we avoid products that “may contain nuts” (even if the risk is very slight). However, I appreciate that not everyone does this, so I’ve also listed below those companies I spoke to who said “we have products which do not contain nuts as an ingredient, but…” their factory also handles nut-containing products or they couldn’t vouch that their raw ingredients had not been near nuts at some point earlier in the production process.

Nut free food discoveries

Nut Free Food At The Allergy Free From ShowAllergy Bakes – this is a new company set up by cousins Alex and Alison which bakes without nuts, dairy and eggs. I met Alison through the Manchester Allergy Support Group and know that, before setting up Allergy Bakes, she was already expert at baking allergen free for her daughter who has multiple allergies. I left their stall with a bagful of goodies and the cupcakes were demolished by my children within minutes of me arriving home. I also got to sample their lovely nut free Christmas cake (yes, you read that right: a Christmas cake WITHOUT nuts!).

Amy’s Kitchen – With the exception of their red Thai curry, Amy’s products are nut free.

BFree – I feel a bit slow on the uptake on this one, as I’ve seen BFree recommended on Twitter, without realising they are indeed nut free. Stocked up on their bagels and wraps.

Clive’s Pies – This company makes a range of gluten free pies which are all made to a nut free recipe. The factory in which the pies are made does handle nuts, however the nut products are made on a different product line and a different day to the pies.

Doves Farm – They had a range of cookies which are produced in a completely allergen free environment (that does not use wheat, nuts, milk, peanuts, sesame, egg or soya). We’ve had the lemon zest cookies in the past and I understand cocoa crunch, fig & quinoa and stem ginger cookies are now also part of the same range.

DS Gluten Free – This company makes products such as bread, biscuits and pasta. The lady I spoke to assured me that, if there is a chance of cross contamination, they will use an advisory label. So if a DS Gluten Free product doesn’t say “may contain nuts” (or equivalent wording), it has been made in a nut free environment.

Eskal Foods – I tried their Free Nut Butter and can vouch that it does taste uncannily like the real thing! I didn’t buy a jar for D as he’s never eaten peanut butter proper, so fortunately he doesn’t think he is missing out. However, if you have a child who has been diagnosed peanut allergic at an older age who misses peanut butter, then this may well be worth a try.

Isabel’s – This company makes baking products which are all nut free and made in a nut free environment.

Newburn Bakehouse – This is Warburtons’ gluten free range, which is all nut free and made in a nut free environment.

Prewetts – Although Prewetts make, for example, nut-containing cereals, they also have products (such as their porridge and chicory) which are nut free and made in a nut free environment.

Panjaban Curry Bases – Homemade style curry sauces which are nut free and made in a nut free environment.

Sweet Mandarin – They make sauces (for example, barbecue, sweet and sour and sweet chilli) which are nut free and made in a nut free environment.

Tasha’s Dairy Free Delights – Tasha’s make homemade chocolates, truffles and more, using Plamil and Moo Free chocolate. Plamil is a dedicated nut free brand. Moo Free chocolate may contain traces of nuts. However, the Tasha’s website states you can specify which type of chocolate is used.

The Frank Food Company – This company makes “Frank bars”, snack bars which are gluten, nut and dairy free. I also tested their nut free pesto sauce, which was delicious but contains pine nuts so I shied away from buying as D hasn’t had this before. (Pine nuts are seeds, not nuts – here’s a link to the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s advice).

The “may contains”

Afia’s – This company makes fresh home cooked Indian food, such as samosas and chutneys. Whilst the ingredients are nut free, the factory does handle nuts.

Emerald City Cupcakes – They don’t use nuts in any of their products, however some of their ingredients MIGHT be labelled “may contain nuts”.

Feel Free – They don’t use nuts in their ingredients and their products are made in a nut free facility. However, they stop short from saying they are “nut free” as they don’t have 100% traceability on every raw ingredient.

Glamour Puds – None of their sponges and chiffon pies contain nuts as an ingredient, however they are manufactured in a facility where nuts are present.

Glebe Farm – They do have products which don’t contain nuts as an ingredient. However, their cereals (for example) are made in a factory that handles pecans. They put a “may contain” warning on the packaging wherever there is a cross-contamination risk.

Pudology – Their chilled desserts are currently labelled “Not suitable for nut allergy sufferers due to manufacturing methods used”. However, from chatting to the business owner, Lucy, I understand that the desserts are now made in a nut free factory and the packaging will, in due course, be updated to reflect this. The new packaging will be labelled along the following lines: “Recipe: No nuts. Ingredients: Cannot guarantee nut free. Factory: No nuts”.

Udi’s – Their products are made to a nut free recipe and made in a nut free factory. However, they don’t currently promise products are “nut free”, as they import some of their raw ingredients and cannot vouch there is zero cross contamination risk.

Should also mention…

Allergy Adventures – They have a nut free book coming soon (hopefully before Christmas).

Elephant and Camel Cafe – If you are ever in the Windermere vicinity, this cafe has various nut free cakes on its menu (it also provides event catering).

3 comments

    1. Hi Jackie – I’ve not found nut free mincemeat yet (shout if you spot it!), but I’ve seen that Matthew Walker do a nut free Christmas pudding and Allergy Bakes do a nut (and dairy and egg) free Christmas cake (for links to both, see http://www.nutmums.com/nut-free-food/).

      For recipes, I’ve seen this nut free Christmas cake recipe on the Lucy’s Friendly Foods blog (http://lucysfriendlyfoods.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/christmas-cake/) and this one on the Good Food Channel for nut free mince pies (http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/658459). (Not tried making either myself yet!)

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