Rice Up Wholefoods Co=operative, Southampton

Definitely worth a detour for: Rice Up Wholefoods Co-operative, Southampton

dairy-free cheese at Rice Up Wholefoods

I’ve only just found this awesome health food shop. No supplements for body builders here, just great, well chosen products for those with restricted or extremely healthy diets. It even has a deli counter with dairy and egg free ready made sandwiches, salads and cakes – how cool is that!

dairy-free milks at Rice Up Wholefoods

The Seed, Buckfastleigh, Devon

I’m always delighted to find an independent health food shop, especially one in such a tiny, cute town as Buckfastleigh. It was very unexpected in such a small place, and it was one minute’s walk from where we stayed. A most welcome find ๐Ÿ™‚

Well stocked with plenty of dairy free cheeses and milks, gorgeous fresh fruit and veg and also great coffee on tap. The staff were superย friendly and helpful, with bags of local knowledge and advice. What’s not to like? Well worth a browse if you’re passing….

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The Bran Tub, Petersfield

Health Shops, worth taking a detour for:

The Bran Tub, Petersfield, Hampshire, UK

This lovely, cavernous health food shop has been a regular pilgrimage for us – a true well stocked treasure trove which is always buzzing with customers. I’ve found some real hard to find gems here, from soya condensed milk to real dairy-free choc ices. Definitely well worth a visit!

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Free-from Chocolate Advent Calendar

All my daughters’ friends seem to have chocolate advent calendars. We usually have versions with toys behind each window, but since I really want to make sure they feel just like everyone else, I went on a mission to find a free-from variety.

Moo-Free makes one that looks promising, but since it “may contain traces of nuts” it is not good enough if you have a nut/peanut allergy.

Kinnerton make a true nut, dairy and egg free version but you have to be organised enough to pre-order direct from the company. I just wasn’t that organised this year.

This Celtic Chocolates advent calendar is the one we opted for, and was easily available in Holland & Barrett health food stores. It doesn’t have much allergy info on the pack (it simply says ‘contains soya’) but I’ve spoken to the manufacturer and he explained their zero tolerance policy on any nuts entering the factory. He certainly convinced me that Celtic chocolates are as safe as can be. December 1st tomorrow, and we’re ready to go.

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Pom-Bear Original Crisps now milk-free

Pom-bear crisps seem to be a favourite with children (or maybe just the adults that buy them for the children!) but have always been out of bounds to us as even the original, salted flavour contained milk.

It seems that they’ve changed the recipe (but I’d still check the ingredients on every pack, just to be sure) and the original, salted flavour is now milk-free. Nice one Pom-bears! They may not be the healthiest food but one that often appears at children’s parties and places that welcome children – at least we now have one more option (in our very limited selection) of a snack which we can grab and go…

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Dairy and Nut Free Cocoa Powder – found at last

Tesco’s once again comes up trumps with an allergen free cocoa powder.
I’d been buying cocoa powder in Marks and Spencer as it was the safest I’d found but it is still ‘made in a factory that uses milk’. Now Tesco will be the favoured supermarket (again) for cocoa powder… The only warning on the pack is that they cannot guarantee that the ingredients are nut free (although the recipe contains no nuts), but then again that applies to all products.

Update (Oct 2012):ย I haven’t been able to find this cocoa powder for a while. The only one available from Tesco’s own brand now seems to be theย Everyday Value Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder.ย Bizarrely, this cocoa has no allergy advice on the container – nothing to suggest it does or does not possibly contain milk or nuts. I was a bit nervous to use it, and even phoned the manufacturers. They have confirmed that it is free from any allergen ๐Ÿ™‚

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