It's hard enough trying to find different recipes and researching foods but when our family finds a new item that is safe for us and convenient, we always give it a try. Don't get me wrong- you know that I have posted many,many times that there are always dishes in my sink because I cook and prepare constantly but as I once read by author Bette Hagman " Use as many prepared items as you can". This is something that I tell many newly diagnosed person with food allergies. Why? Because in the beginning, it's realistic. If you are diagnosed and try to read labels, find foods that do not contain any of the allergens, budget, prepare and you still have your normal life, using prepared items helps you maintain your sanity until you get over the initial hump.
I was excited to try out the Home Free cookies, especially since many of my Facebook-likers have mentioned them before and had nothing but good things to say. I was also excited because my local Whole Foods has not carried them yet. If you have not heard or seen them either, Home Free makes cookies and coffee cakes that are free of gluten, peanuts, egg, tree nuts, dairy, cholesterol, trans fats and GMO's. Their facility is also dedicated peanut, tree nut, egg and dairy free. This covers SO many of my son's allergies and that fact that their facility is also free of most of these items makes me do the happy dance.
Home Free sent me a box of their Mini Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies and a bag each of their Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies and their Mini Crunchy Vanilla Cookies. Do you know how hard it was for my son not to eat them while he waited patiently for me to sample them first? Then, it was equally as hard to keep him from devouring the rest. All of the samples are great for someone who needs to crunch on something sweet. The texture is good and there is no funny after-taste that sometimes comes along with allergy-friendly products. They also kept well for several days after the package was open (I have noticed I have a hard time keeping some items fresh after opening).
We also tried the Crunchy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies..yum! Mommy has a soft spot for chocolate and I don't indulge myself a lot but I was actually letting my kids have more so that I did not eat them all up. You would think that having chocolate with chocolate chips would be too much chocolate (if that is actually possible) but these cookies were perfect- not too much of anything, just right.
The last item we had were the Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies. I would compare the taste of these to be similar to a crunchier version of Chips Ahoy. These also had just enough sweetness to curb my craving for chocolate and they were immediately munched up by my children. I did manage to spare a few for Dad for when he got home but I had to hide them. The funny thing was that I kept the empty boxes and bags to write about them and the kids came home every day asking "You got more samples? Can I have some?" The ultimate, quiet torture!
Overall, our family was satisfied with all of our samples. HomeFree also offers other items, such as a Cookbook, Starter Kit, flours and other natural baking products. They are on Facebook and their website is http://www.homefreetreats.com. The only thing I do caution for fellow gluten allergy people is the fact that Home Free does also produce similar products with gluten in them as well. As you all know, having items in a facility that also produces gluten-containing items may or may not be a problem for your specific allergy and therefore, you should use your best judgement when deciding if these items are safe for you to eat.