Saturday, October 29, 2016

Enjoy Allergy Free Treats for Halloween

In my private life I've tried some products that I've never written about here on The Chocolate Cult. Why? When companies and individual makers send us products I want them to know that is appreciated so I don't just talk about the products I buy or am gifted very often. I have seen Enjoy Life Foods products in the organic and natural food section of our local grocery stores for years and when they've been on sale and I've had coupons I've tried them. They vary widely but this summer Enjoy Life sent me some products to test out and write about and two of these fit into our Halloween theme in October. These are the NEW Snack Packs that while not packaged with spooky designs are easy to hand out as treats. I don't know about you, but as a little girl and a teenager I used to eat chocolate chip right out of the bags that my mother bought to make cookies with. I know, not the healthiest thing to do and a bit sneaky, too. These snack packs are portion controlled variations on what I used to do. Enjoy Life Foods sent me these two bags to test and write about honestly here on The Chocolate Cult; no other form of compensation was received in exchange for my honest written opinions.

Enjoy Life Mini vs Regular Chocolate Chips
The nutritional information on the snack packs is identical. Each 1 ounce snack pack has 140 calories, 11 grams of total fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 14 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugars, 2 gram protein, with a touch of calcium (2%) and 20% of the daily iron you might need. By comparison, these are better than an average candy bar. Not only are they nutritionally better but Enjoy Life Foods is focused on making "Allergy Friendly" products. If you or your child has problems with common food items (dairy, tree nuts, peanut nuts, and soy), you might find these products useful alternatives. In this photo you can see the difference in the sizes of the chips in each snack pack -- mini chip versus morsel -- before we look at each pack in depth.

The bright yellow bag has the Semi-Sweet Mini Chips. These have that strong dark chocolate with an equally strong sweet scent that I associate with semi-sweet chocolate. As you can see these is quite a few of these little chips in a snack pack. Picking up a few with my fingers and popping some in my mouth is fun! I'm playing with my food! The flavor is what I would expect, intense chocolate with an edge of sweetness that does not dull the chocolate experience. The chips make a soft sound as I chew them. Like most chocolate chips, these are designed to maintain their shape if you were to bake them in a cookie so they are a slow melt if you just want to hold them in your mouth. The flavor was more intense when I chewed so I recommend that. This would be a good treat for older children, ages 10+ because of the intensity of the chocolate. Many kids don't like the bitterness of chocolate, one reason we give them milk chocolate, but if your kids like darker chocolate, this is a good choice.

The dark red back holds the Dark Chocolate Morsels which sounds awesome to me! However at 69% cacao these may not be ideal for kids because of the bitterness reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph. However teenagers may love it as may adults. Again know your trick o'treaters or party goers and choose accordingly. As you could tell from an earlier photo, these morsels are much larger than the mini chips but the stack of them in the snack pack is still impressive. These have less of a sweet fragrance but not more of a dark chocolate scent; I know that seems odd but that's the best way to describe when I smell when I take a whiff of that pile. When I bite into one the flavor starts off smooth then quickly sharpens to slight bitterness which I personally love but I know for some of you reading that you don't like the bitter stuff so this would not be the best choice for you -- go back to the yellow packs and enjoy those. It only takes a few of the morsels to start that cocoa rush I'm likely enough to get with certain chocolate products -- testing these relieved a headache I'd been challenged by for hours!

I liked both varieties for different reasons. For Halloween treats, the only drawback is really the cost. But if we go by $6.99 that you can see on the website if you bought several of them, that puts these snack packs in the range of the single candy bars that my grandmother used to hand out to her grandkids who come to her house on Halloween.  I'd use these Enjoy Life Snack Packs for kids that I know have allergy concerns, someone you are closer to than the random trick or treater that might show up at your door. However, I haven't seen these new products in our local stores so I can't say what the cost would be there, how often they might go on sale, or if coupons could be a factor in reducing the cost.  If you have and you've tried them let me and Enjoy Life Foods know what you thought about them by leaving a comment below. I can say that for quality of chocolate, allergen concerns, and packaging for portion control, these earn Sacrament Status here on The Chocolate Cult. Will they win "Best Halloween Treat 2016"? Come back on Halloween in just two days to find out.

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