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A blog about all things allergen-free and delicious

Entries in treenut-free (2)


Tender Halloween Candy List (Allergen-free & Vegan)


If you are reading this post, and are a parent of food allergic kids, you don’t need me blabbering on about what a pain in the buttocks Halloween can be.  It must be tough to tell your kids that they can’t go trick or treating or that they can’t trade candy with their friends. Your kids just want to belong.  And Halloween is a huge social event.

For some children, however, even the very presence of allergens like peanuts, dairy or wheat could be deadly, so even wrapped, allergen-free candies mixed in a bowl with other candy can cause a reaction.

To help with the candy part of Halloween, we are compiling a “living list” of candy and other treats that are free of the most common allergens.  If you have a favorite that isn’t here, send me an e-jingle.  I’ll research it and add it to the list as appropriate. 

Stay tuned for more from Melanie Potock on creative (and practical) ways to deal with the social side of Halloween.  Read my Interview with Melanie on reducing school & food allergy stress...

NOTE:  Please remember to look at EVERY label to double check that each product is safe for you or your child.  Also, if you see something you like, order it soon! 

Free of the top 8 allergens

The candies in this section do not have any of the top 8 allergens (eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, dairy, fish or shellfish)



Indie Candy really goes the extra mile to make not only safe, but delicious candy.   I've tried several of their sweets.   Their chocolate truffles are delicious and their gummies are fantastic. 

Indie Candy Lime Frankenstein Lollipop (big 8 allergen free)
Indie Candy Orange Jack O' Lantern Lollipop (big 8 allergen free)
Indie Candy Pineapple Ghost Lollipop (big 8 allergen free)
Indie Candy Orange Jack O' Lantern Gummies (big 8 allergen free)


Additional Information on Indie Candy:

  • Kitchen free of Big 8 allergens
  • Cater to a variety of special diets - GFCFSF, vegan and Feingold
  • Kosher certified.
  • Majority of our ingredients are organic.



Enjoy Life

 click image to go to coupon.Chocolate Bars

  •  Big 8 free
  • Made in a dedicated nut- and gluten-free bakery     



Yummy Earth Organic Candies 

They sell wholesale allergen-free and organic hard candies with names like "Roadside Rootbeer Barrells" and Pomegranate Pucker".  None specifically for Halloween it seems, but they are in retail stores like Whole Foods, Baby's R Us and many Marriotts around the country. Thanks to for this suggestion.

  •  Big 8 Free
  •  No High Fructose Corn Syrup
  •  Free of MSG
  •  100% Natural Colors
  • No chemical dyes
  • Real Fruit Extracts   
  • 100% Natural Flavors
  • Kof-K Kosher Parve
  • Processing Plant: no tree nuts or peanuts allowed in the facility.



Gimbal's Gourmet Candies 

The gourmet jelly beans look great, and they make those and their other flavors without the Big 8 allergens.  We haven't tasted them yet, but we like their ingredients and their philosophy.  Their Honey Lover's flavors support a project that keeps the ever-important honey-bee healthy, alive and pollinating.  Gimbal’s donates 5% of Honey Lovers proceeds to the University of California Davis Honey Bee Research.

  • Big 8 free
  • Gelatin-free
  • Kosher-Pareve
  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Facility is free of big 8 allergens

Sold online through Candy Direct.


Free of Many Common Allergens


These candies are free of some of the most common allergens.


Premium Chocolates 

Thanks to Audrey Depenbrok for this suggestion.  Audrey has good taste in vegan cupcakes, is a dairy-free Tender Foodie contributor, and a chocolaholic like myself.  So I respect her judgement here.

Located in Lakeside, NJ, or order online:

  • Soy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegan
  • Kosher-Pareve
  • Nut-free
  • Testing:  Random testing for dairy & nuts


Goody Good Stuff

Gummies, is what I would call these candies, and I heard of them through Saffron's Gluten-free MarketDeb, from Saffron's calls them "gummie-type thingies". 

  • Vegetarian
  • Fat-free
  • Meat-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Nut-free 
  • Gluten-free
  • Egg-free
  • Gelatin-free
  • Soy-free   




Fancypants Bakery


Fancypants makes the cutest nut-free cookies.  Just too cute to eat.

  • Peanut-free
  • Tree nut-free
  • Facility:  Nut-free





Divvies Bakery

Divvies (and their jelly beans) gets mentioned by fans on the Tender Palate Facebook Page every so often, and Halloween has been no expection.  Divvies is a bakery, and they make candy as well.  Including ghosts, goblins and dinosaurs.  Rahr.

  • Peanut-free
  • Tree Nut-free
  • Egg-free
  • Dairy-free
  • dedicated facility where no peanuts, tree nuts, milk or eggs "enter the doors". And Divvies uses ingredients that are certified allergen-free.
  • Divvies conducts routine testing to minimize the risk of any cross-contamination in their certified allergen-free ingredients.




Potential Mainstream Candies

I say “potential” for these, since there is no testing or processing information on the web site.

Dove Chocolate

Rockford Allergy Food Network, a support group for food allergies in Michigan, gave me the heads up that many Dove Chocolate products are now produced in a tree-nut- and peanut-free facility.  Bravo, Dove!  Since they went nut-free in 2009 or 2010, there may still be products on the shelves that were produced with nuts.  So read the label carefully for the "May contain" labeling.

  • Peanut-free
  • Treenut-free
  • Allergen-free facility since 2010 (so read your labels carefully)
  • Testing information not available.



Tootsie Products

It would be great if Tootsie offered facility, allergen testing, and processing information - but they don't.  They have so many options that are gluten- and nut-free.  I have two emails into the company to request further information, but have not heard back.  (They are Kosher-certified, which, in my opinion, is a good sign that they are testing oriented.)

  • Gluten-Free (All Tootsie products are gluten free except Andes cookies.)
  • Peanut-Free
  • Nut Product-Free
  • “Tootsie does not use wheat, barley, rye, oats, triticale, spelt, or any of their components, either as ingredients or as part of the manufacturing process.
  • Corn and soy products are used
  • No testing or facility information provided. 
  • Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Frooties and DOTS have become kosher-certified by the Orthodox Union (OU).




RECIPE: Not Your Mama's Chocolate Mousse Tart (super allergen-free)

"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." ~James Beard

A Healthy yet Naughty Tart.  Really.

About two months ago I saw a recipe for Banana Cream Pie from Chef Jenny Brewer.  I am not a fan of banana cream (nor of pie), but many Tender Foodies are.  Plus, the pie was touted as being "better than chocolate cake" and chocolate cake is in my wheel house.  So I posted the recipe on social media for gluten- and dairy-free pie lovers everywhere.

Since a great number of Tender Foodies have developed multiple food allergies, the response I received was, "I wish it were free of {insert allergen here}.  I began to wonder:  Could you make a PIE that is free of the Big 8, plus make it oat-free, corn-free, coconut-free, and sesame-free?  And could that pie be GOOD?  I asked Chef Jenny if she could do it, and she accepted this challenge. 

Chef Brewer specializes in healthy food, dessert included.  So when I tested the recipe myself, I kept thinking, "This pie is really good for me.  How will it taste?  How will it taste?  How will it taste?"  Part of me agrees with the James Beard quote above.  Dessert is supposed to be decadent, shameful, indulgent.  Naughty.   Since this pie is actually a tart, the naughtiness is in its name, without one ounce of naughty in the pie.  Until you taste it.

What is the difference between a pie and a tart?  The short answer is that a pie has sides, but a tart does not.  I like this post from The Kitchn that explains this more in depth.

No one will know that the "cream" in the mousse is actually avocado.  When I finished my first slice, I felt nourished and satisfied, so did my fellow testers.  This is a great quality in a dessert (and a great quality in a saucy little tart, too, I would imagine).

Chef Jenny made a video that demonstrates the finer points of making the tart (see below).  So give this recipe a try and let us know if you like this recipe as much as I do.


8' Spring Form Pan (the crust is really sticky, and this pan works great)

Food Processor


Medium-sized skillet

Toasting the Sunflower Seeds in a Swirling, Dry Pan.

The Crust

1 cup pumpkin seeds, sprouted and/or toasted* (toasting gives great depth of flavor)
(*to toast pumpkin seeds, place them in a dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring until brown, about 5-7 minutes, being very careful not to burn. Alternatively, place in a 375 degree oven and roast for about 5 minutes, or until browned.)

½ cup popped millet**
(**to pop millet, place in a dry, hot skillet over medium heat and stir constantly -don't let them burn- until you hear consistent popping.  See video below for more)

½ cup raisins

1/3 cup dates, pitted

2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 4 Tablespoons water and left to gel for 3-5 minutes            

pinch of salt

In a food processor bowl, pulse pumpkin seeds and millet until seeds are ground. Add raisins, dates and pinch of salt and chop until everything is ground together.  Add in flax mixture and pulse until sticky. Wet your fingers and press the mixture into 8-inch pie pan and keep refrigerated while you prepare the filling.

The Chocolate Mousse Filling

2 large ripe Haas Avocados
(if your avocados are small, add another avocado and adjust the ingredients.  Avocados vary quite a bit in size.)

1/2 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder

3-4 Tablespoons maple syrup or agave 
(or more or less to taste, depending on size of avocados)

1 TBS vanilla extract
(depending upon the size of your avocados, you may want to start with 1/2 TBS and add more to taste)

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. 

Spread into crust and chill until ready to serve.

Note: taste it and add more cocoa and maple syrup if desired.  I used a 10" springform pan so that the crust was very thin, then doubled the filling.  If you would like more naughtiness, you can double the filling with an 8" springform pan, too.  It will give you a more voluptuous tart.

Watch the Video Demonstration


Where to find the ingredients:

I used raw cacao powder, processed wtih no preservatives or additives (no alkaline). From Harvest Health.

The pumpkin seeds I used were sprouted and salted from Go Raw, so I cut back the pinch of salt to accommodate.

The whole grain millet is from Eden Organic.  They process their millet in a gluten-free factory and test their millet to 5ppm (the proposed law requires 20ppm).  Thanks to Saffron's A Gluten-free Market for sourcing this for me.  Please note that even though millet is inherently gluten-free, not all brands source, process or test millet as a gluten-free product.  Look for the gluten-free label and check any brand's web site.  Eden's whole grain millet is what I recommend.

Saffrons has an online store, as well.  So if you can't find it, give them a shout, or let us know that you would like them to carry this online and we'll tell them.


Avocado provides Vitamins C&K, B6, folate, and copper, potassium and dietary fiber.  It also provides anti-inflammatory and digestive support and being researched as a blood sugar regulating food.

Pumpkin Seeds are protein and Omega-3 rich. They are one of the healthiest seeds around providing manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, Vitamin K and zinc.  Pumpkin Seeds are also thought to be anti-inflammatory, good for prostate health and may have cholesterol lowering benefits.

Whole Grain Millet has manganese, tryptophan, magnesium and phosphorus and is thought to be heart-healthy like oats.

Organic Raw Cacao contains flavanols and flavanoids that have been studied for cardiovascular health.  The benefits are all in how the cacao is processed, so organic and the less processing the better.