I see a Robin, I see butter cups, I see Easter baskets in the grocery stores. NO! Nothing strikes terror in a Mom’s heart as quickly as realizing another holiday with candy is upon us. If your child has dietary restriction or you choose to avoid certain additives in foods, you know what a battle it is when little Johnny Jumper gets sent home from school with a bag of goodies you will have to toss in the trash. The key, have a battle plan.
If you need supplies for the traditional Easter basket, keep small toys, books, puzzles and the like in mind for making a basket full. When it comes down to candy, there is hope and help. You can choose to make candy or you can shop for lesser known brands that fit your needs. Here are a few I have discovered as I seek to find what to buy.
Lara Bars. Known as the original fruit and nut bars, I would be lost without these gluten free dairy free, soy free, GMO free kosher, vegan bars. If anyone wants to send me a case, I’ll be happy to give you our address.
Unreal Candies. The unjunked food candy treats are made with sustainable palm oil, grass fed dairy, traceable cacao, gluten free, no GMO’s no preservative, no corn syrup. You will find them in forms your children will want, much like large nation brand popular versions, only safer.
I was ecstatic to find safe jelly beans. The organic and Natural Gummy Candy company makes a line called Surf Sweets. Vegetarian, organic fruit juice, no corn syrup or GMO’s gluten and casein free made in a nut free facility, these are 97% organic.
Chocolate Bunnies. Remember being a kid and seeing the row of chocolate bunnies at the 5 and dime, oh wait, my age is showing. Still, the great anticipation of the day was to delight in your very own chocolate bunny. You and your child still can with a bunny from Divvies, Made of solid, gourmet peanut-free, tree nut-free, milk-free and egg-free chocolate and hand poured in Divvies-own molds, the 4-ounce bunnies are made in a dedicated facility.
Just in the event you don’t have time to shop on line or run to a dozen stores asking for allergy free Easter treats I am going to leave you with a couple of recipes. When you live in the boonies you resort of making your own most of the time. Enjoy, I am off to gather some farm fresh eggs to die naturally with things like mint leaves and red cabbage. Hoppy Easter Y’all.
Mock Mounds or Almond Joy Recipe by Tessa The Domestic Diva
- 4 cups grated, unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup softened or melted coconut oil
- 2-4 tablespoons coconut nectar, real maple syrup, honey, or agave
- Roasted whole or slivered almonds (optional)
- 1½ cups dark chocolate pieces, I use cacao chips
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- In a food processor, put the filling ingredients and process for several minutes. The mixture should soften and heat the coconut oil and the coconut pieces should begin to break down and move smoothly. The less time you process, the more chunky it will be. Some time is necessary so that the mixture will bind well.
- Taste for sweetness, add more if you like. Coconut nectar gives the mixture a slight tan coloring…just like the original!!
- Line an 8 x 8 or similar sized pan with waxed paper or parchment.
- Pour the coconut filling in and spread around evenly. If you would like to use almonds, now is the time. Press them in!
- Place the pan in the fridge or freezer to speed the solidifying process.
- Meanwhile, melt your chocolate with the coconut oil.
- Once solid, lift the whole chunk out by lifting the paper. Cut into desired shapes. Dip each piece in the chocolate, letting the excess drip back before laying it on A Silpat, parchment, or waxed paper to solidify. Store in an airtight container on the counter or in the freezer. Unlike most coconut oil delicacies, these are solid at room temp and travel well out of refrigeration, at least here in the cooler NW!
- SHORTCUT?: I have also done these the easy way by spreading the chocolate coating right over the top of the whole pan and forgoing the dipping process!
Jelly Bean Birds Eggs
Not candy, but a twist on the no bake oatmeal cookie we all learned to make as kids .Yes I took my old sugar laden stand by and tweaked it for our family. This version works well to shape and make into birds nest for holding jelly bean birds eggs. Just roll into a golf ball size, press down, and put a thumb print in the middle. When set, melt a dab of chocolate for glue, and glue in jelly beans. If you want grass, color shredded coconut with liquid chlorophyll (taste like mint!) or a safe natural green dye. Put the grass in first, then add the jelly beans as eggs.
1/2 cup honey or agave for vegan version
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder or melt 1/3 cup of cacao chips
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond butter
2 cups gluten-free oats or any if not gluten free
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. In a medium saucepan, mix together honey and cocoa powder. Heat over medium heat until combined. Stir in almond milk and coconut oil and bring to a boil. Continue stirring and boil for one minute.
2. Remove pan from heat and stir in almond butter, oats, coconut, vanilla extract, and salt.
3. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop cookies onto wax paper. Let the cookies set up for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.