Happy Easter From The Food Allergy Chronicles

Happy Easter!

A knitted Bunny Egg Cozy a top of a 'grape juice' dyed Eggnot

Enjoying an Easter weekend with family…how about you?

Click here for the cute pattern for this super easy Bunny Egg Cozy from Zakka Life…crafts, recipes & life… sitting atop of my ‘grape juice’ dyed Eggnot.

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Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hot Cross Buns

                                                                     ” Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns,
                                                                            One a penny, two a penny,
                                                                                     Hot cross buns.”

A basket of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are traditionally enjoyed on Good Friday…therefore, I will be up early today with my breadmaker in order to have Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hot Cross Buns fresh from the oven for my boys’ breakfast…perhaps brunch.

Unable to purchase these delicious treats from a grocery store or bakery due to my boys’ combined food allergies…dairy, egg, sesame, peanut/tree nuts, lamb, beef, shellfish, fish, mustard and raspberry…I set out to adapt a recipe.

I chose the Hot Cross Bun recipe from my from my well-used original Black & Decker All-In-One Deluxe Breadmaker Recipe Guide Book.

This recipe was easily adapted, easy to make, easy to bake…and tasted great!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hot Cross Buns

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hot Cross Buns

1 1/3 cups Natur-a Rice Beverage or Natur-a Soy Beverage
1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/14 tsp kosher salt
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Add in at the beep:  3/4 cup raisins

Glaze:  2 tbsp sugar and water dissolved. (I just heated in the microwave)
Icing:     1/2 cup icing sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp pure vanilla and 2 tsp water…or until a desired consistency for piping a cross on top of the buns is reached.

Measure all the ingredients in to the bread machine in order…minus the raisins.
Select the Dough/Pasta Setting and press start.
Add the raisin at the ‘Add ingredient’ beep.
When the dough is complete…remove dough to a lightly floured surface…knead dough a few times. See tip below.
Divide and shape dough in to 18 round pieces…I made 11.
Place 2 inches apart on a parchment, silicone or greased baking sheet.
Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
Spritz with canola oil, cut a 1/4  inch deep cross on top of each bun and bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes. (I rotated my two baking sheets with 11 buns every 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes)
Remove to cooling sheets and brush glaze over top of the buns.
Cool on cooling sheets…pipe icing over top of the cut cross.

Enjoy!

Tip:  As Matthew is not so fond of raisins and Michael wanted to have raisins…I did not add the raisins at the ‘Add ingredient’ beep. Instead, I divided the dough in half and kneaded in about 1/2 cup raisins into half of the dough.

How will you be celebrating Easter Weekend? Have a ‘Hoppy Easter’! 

Natural Dyes For Our Eggless Easter With ‘Eggnots’

Easter without eggs?

Eggnots ceramic dyeable eggs

Yes…it can be done.  It has taken a bit of ‘creative imagination’ over the years to create an ‘Eggless, Dairyless, Peanut/Tree Nutless  Easter’…but such is the life when you have a son with an egg (dairy, sesame, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nut, mustard and raspberry) allergy.

So you can just imagine my excitement when I discovered ‘Eggnots’ last year…I was giddy as a schoolgirl…even my teenage sons got caught up in my ‘eggnot frenzy’!

‘Eggnots’ are dyeable, ceramic ‘eggs’…created by a ‘most awesome Aunt’ whose niece has an egg allergy.

Last year my eldest son held an ‘egg’ in his hand for the first time…they really do have the weight and feel of a real egg! Click here for my first post on ‘Eggnots’. 

As much as I love ‘Eggnots’…I was not a 100% sold on the results of my dyeing with store-bought food colouring…the colouring faded as they dried and seemed a bit patchy.  After sending my comments to ‘Eggnots’…they sent me a free dozen for me to try again…this year I decided to try some natural-dyes.

‘Eggnots’ recommends going to Allyson Koerner’s review for natural-dyes…click here. She used natural-dye recipes from Better Homes and Garden…as did I.  Click here for their list of natural-dye recipes.

I made the cabbage (blue), yellow onion skin (orange), turmeric (yellow), paprika (red/orange) and the grape juice (purple) recipes.

I made all the natural-dyes (minus the grape juice) in the day…then left them overnight…I ran out of time. The next day I tested three of the colours…

Submerging eggnots in natural dyes

…submerging each ‘eggnot’ in the blue (cabbage) , yellow (turmeric) and purple (grape juice) natural-dyes…needed to use a spoon to hold the ‘eggnot’ under the natural-dyes.

I left them for over an hour…wanted to make sure they really got hold of the colour.

Eggnots floating in their natural dyes

Boy, did they ever!

I then tried the red/orange and the orange…these both needed much more time…I left the red/orange one over night and still the colour was quite pale in comparison to the other natural-dyes.

My results…totally impressed with the natural-dyes…just look at the beautiful colours of nature! Love, love, love them!!!

Eggnots coloured with natural-dyes

From left to right in the front are…blue (red cabbage), purple (grape juice), and brownish orange (yellow onion skins). Back row left to right are…purple (grape juice), light orange (paprika) and mustard yellow (turmeric).

Tips:  Pat the ‘eggnots’ dry with a paper towel when finished dying…let them sit upright in the paper towel to dry…placing them in an eggcup holder will result in a two-tone colour…which you may or may not be after.

Are you familiar with ‘Eggnots’? If so, what has your experience with dyeing ‘Eggnots”? What is your experience dyeing eggs with natural-dyes?

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing

I had so much fun trying out all the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cakes!

Enjoying a piece of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing

They were all winners in my book!

Subtle differences set them apart:

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Bundt Cake with Dairy Free Lemon Icing had the added texture and flavour of crushed pineapple. Michael loves pineapple, however, ‘bits’ of it in his cake were not appreciated. Perhaps they should be pureed!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with ‘Cream Cheese’ Lemon Icing had an extra boost of cinnamon that everyone seemed to love. The ‘Cream Cheese’ Lemon Icing tasted just as I remember Cream Cheese Icing to taste…perfection!

I was stunned that my Matthew loved it…in his words,  “cheese in icing?…disgusting!”

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing had an extra hint of flavour from orange juice both in the cake and in the icing. I personally loved this combo! The boys loved it too…they would just prefer it be made in a cake pan.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing

The original recipe came from my mother’s cake recipe archives…THE LONDON FREE PRESS, Wednesday, April 18, 1984. It was in the Lifestyle Food Section written by Susan Lee. The cake was originally made to be cut into an Easter Bunny Cake…she even had directions on how to cut and assemble the bunny.                                       That would be a fun project! Perhaps next year!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf

1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce
juice and zest of half an orange (save rest for icing)
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the grated carrot, sugar, oil, water, applesauce, orange juice and zest.
Be sure that the oil is well combined with the other ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon.
Stir in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into an oiled and floured loaf pan.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf batter in loaf pan
Bake at 350 F for an hour. Cake is done when the cake tester comes out clean.
Cool in loaf pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes before turning out on cooling rack.

Dairy, Egg,Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf coolingWhen the loaf is completely cooled, it is ready to ice.

For the Dairy Free Orange Icing, I adapted my Dairy Free Vanilla Icing. Click here for recipe. I replaced the vanilla with orange juice and added 3/4-1 tsp of orange zest. I simply spread the icing over the top, sliced and served! Yummy!

Enjoying a slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake Loaf with Dairy Free Orange Icing

Enjoy!

Tip 1: I cut the recipe in half for this loaf. If you like a thicker cake, I would use the entire recipe (increase baking soda to 2 tsp and double all the other ingredients) and bake in a 9 inch cake pan. Watch the time. The recipe gives 45 minutes for the 9 inch cake pan…I would think it would take the same time as the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake did…more like an hour and 15 minutes. I would start testing the cake around an hour.

Tip 2: For a Dairy and Soy Free Icing, replace the Earth Balance Vegan Sticks with Earth Balance Soy Free Spread.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake

I love Carrot Cake!

A slice of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Dairy Free 'Cream Cheese' Icing

In honour of my birthday on Easter Sunday…I was determined to whip up a new favourite for the family…Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake!

My boys have never tasted Carrot Cake…I think the word ‘carrot’ turned them off!Chocolate and Vanilla were more to their liking!

Now that they are ‘mature teenagers’…lol! I decided it was the perfect time to try my luck with my ‘all-time favourite’.

Carrot Cake has not always been a favourite of mine…the typical presence of walnuts in the cake made it taste ‘funny‘ to me.

I have no memory of my mother making Carrot Cake as a child…however, she assures me she made it…she even has a note written on her recipe stating even my brother, David, liked it! He was always all about chocolate!

A memory I do have involving walnuts is the avoidance of them!

As a child growing up, around Christmas, my mother would fill a basket of nuts and place them by the fireplace with a nutcracker. As kids, my brother and I would love to try to break the nuts open with the nutcracker…not very easy…but a fun challenge!

I believe that would have been my first encounter trying a walnut. I have this memory of my mouth going dry and my tongue feeling ‘funny’…not tingly but more ‘numb like’.

Hard to describe as I have not had a walnut in years!.

It wasn’t until my son, Michael, began describing the feeling in his mouth when he ate something he was allergic to. I put ‘two and two’ together and came to the conclusion that I might have a possible walnut allergy!

Suffice it to say…I tend to overlook Carrot Cake as it tends to be baked with walnuts.

As a special treat for my birthday weekend, I chose to create a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake.

And so, the quest to find the best recipe to adapt began!

Original recipes for Carrot Cakes that I adapted to be allergen friendly

The first Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake recipe I adapted was from The Toronto Star’s Susan Sampson, Cooking 101. I have been hanging on to this recipe for a while now…I was excited to finally put it to the test! Susan Sampson adapted the recipe, Carrot Cake With Ginger Icing (click here) from epicurious.com. (click here)

I further adapted the recipe to make it allergen friendly: I replaced the 2 eggs with 1/2 tsp of baking soda, 2 tbsp of water and 1/4 cup of cinnamon applesauce.

I chose to bake the batter in a small bundt pan rather than a 9 inch cake pan, spread a Lemon Icing for the topping and decorated the cake with grated carrot and Surf Sweets Jelly Beans.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Lemon Icing in a Bundt pan

Verdict: Delish! Both Michael and Matthew were sceptical at first…but easily converted once they had a mouthful! Michael seemed to be pleasantly surprised at the taste and moist texture. “Are there bananas in this?”, he queried, upon discovering a piece of crushed pineapple and then proceeded to pick all the ‘bits’ out.

Note to self: Omit crushed pineapple. Both enjoyed the ‘twist’ of a Lemon Icing. I assured them the icing will taste even better when I get my hands on a container of Tofutti Cream Cheese!

The second, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake to adapt, came from my mother’s cake recipe archives. She retrieved her original clipping of Easter Bunny Cake from the Lifestyle Food Section of The London Free Press, Wednesday, April 18, 1984.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Orange Icing in a loaf pan

This recipe had the lovely addition of orange juice in the cake and in the icing. I baked it in a loaf pan to rave reviews!

The third and final Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake I adapted came from my mom’s sister…my Aunt Frances.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Lemon Icing baked in a round cake pan

As much as we all loved my mother’s recipe…Aunt Frances’ was the clear winner in the ‘taste buds’ of my boys. Perhaps it was that extra teaspoon of cinnamon!                   (The cake above was 1/2 of the following recipe)

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
4 tbsp water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, applesauce, water and grated carrots. Combine well until the oil is incorporated throughout the mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, powder, salt and cinnamon.
Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl of the wet ingredients.
Pour batter into a 9 inch cake pan that has been lined with parchment paper, oiled and floured.
Bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 15 -20 minutes depending on your oven. Check to make sure that a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
Let cool in cake pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before turning cake out to finish cooling.
Once cooled it is ready to ice and decorate.

If you have a soy allergy, a simple Lemon or Orange Icing is the perfect complement to Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake. Click here for my Vanilla Icing recipe. Replace the vanilla with lemon/orange juice and add about 3/4-1 tsp of lemon/orange zest. Taste to adjust to your liking.

Dairy Free ‘Cream Cheese’ Icing

1 227g tub of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Stick
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups sifted icing sugar
3/4-1 tsp of lemon zest

In a large bowl, cream the Tofutti and Earth Balance until well blended.
Stir in the lemon juice and slowly start to blend in the icing sugar.

I spread about 3/4 of the Dairy Free ‘Cream Cheese’ Icing over the top of the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake. Sprinkled the edge with grated carrot that I let sit on paper towels to soak up any moisture and decorated with Surf Sweet Jelly Beans.

Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Dairy Free 'Cream Cheese' Icing

Yummy!

P.S. I will be posting the adapted version of my mother’s recipe from The London Free Press on Friday.

P.P.S. Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily has another ‘giveaway’. Click here to check out her latest idea!

Our Allergen Friendly Easter Dinner

Easter weekend was particularly festive! It was a double celebration…

my birthday 2012

it was also my birthday!

The day started out with Easter Sunday Mass followed by a quick change for my long run…17 km!

Longest run of my life to date!

The boys had fun diving into their Easter bags that the Allergen Friendly Easter Bunny left for them.

Boys Easter bags 2012

A cupcake container filled with Guardian Angel Solid Chocolate Eggs free of dairy, egg, and peanut/tree nuts (I divided a package of  eggs between them), gum, Yummy Earth candy drops in Pomegranate Pucker…their favourite, a package of Surf Sweets Jelly Beans for Michael and Gummy Bears for Matthew, a can of Sparkling SanPellegrino Limonata or Aranciata (Orange) and to top it off…a Maple Sugar Easter Bunny!

Boys allergen friendly candy for Easter 2012

The Easter Bunny even had them hunting for an extra special ‘Easter Treat’ for the boys to share.

Guardian Angel Tasting Box of Chocolates of the boys special Easter Treat

A box of Guardian Angel Chocolates Tasting Box free of dairy, eggs and peanut/tree nuts.

Caramel and Honey…yummy!

Guardian Angel Caramel and Honey chocolate

A truly decadent treat the boys have never indulged in due to their food allergies. Chocolate Ganache is their favourite so far…still Maple Jelly, Salt Flower Caramel and Coffee left to sample.

All my favourites were at hand for our Allergy Friendly Easter Dinner:

To start, we noshed on Spicy Edamame Dip from Trisha Yearwood’s cookbook, Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood:Stories & Recipes To Share With Family & Friends. I love this dip with raw veggies such as sugar snap peas, carrots and peppers, where as, Michael loves the dip with Rosemary crackers by La Panzanella.

Allergy friendly appetizers of fresh veggies and Spicy Edamame Dip with rosemary crackers

Taking a break to toast my birthday with a glass of Prosecco!

Toasting my birthday with a glass of Prosecco

I roasted a Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary for the boys.

Roasted Chicken with Lemon, garlic and thyme

While Andy barbecued a New Zealand Mediterranean Seasoned Boneless Leg of Lamb.

Barbecued Seasoned New Zealand Boneless Leg of Lamb

Yummy!

Our main dishes were accompanied with Roasted Asparagus and Roasted Mini Potatoes with fresh thyme…

Roasted asparagus and mini potatoes

and of coarse…freshly baked homemade French Stick.

Dessert was my favourite cake…Carrot Cake…now…Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake with Tofutti Cream Cheese Icing decorated with grated carrot and Surf Sweets Jelly Beans.

Dairy, Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake

I was afraid that after a week of trying three adaptions of Carrot Cake…we would all be Carrot Caked out! Thank goodness for hungry neighbours!

Before we indulged in Carrot Cake…the boys had fun outside with the sparklers!

Boys outside with sparklers

My Aunt Frances’ adapted Carrot Cake was the winner!

A slice of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Carrot Cake

Yummy!

Happy Easter!

P.S. I will be posting my Aunt Frances’ adapted Carrot Cake recipe on Wednesday.

Grandparents Guide: What Does The Easter Bunny Leave Children With Food Allergies?: Part 2

With Easter just around the corner…the Easter Bunny is busy creating Easter Baskets for boys and girls.

What does the Easter Bunny leave in the baskets of children with food allergies?

The boys Easter Bags for 2012

The Easter Bunny is full of surprises…many of which are great ideas for Allergy Friendly Easter Baskets.

Click here to hop on over to the Grandparents Guide to continue reading my story on all the Easter Bunny’s ‘Tricks of the Trade’ for creating his Allergy Friendly Easter Baskets.

Happy Easter!

Grandparents Guide: What Does The Easter Bunny Leave For Children With Food Allergies?: Part 1

Spring is in the air and Easter is just around the corner!

The Easter Bunny will be busy creating Easter Eggs for his annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Oh my gosh…there he is! Quick…grab the camera! He must be on his break!

Allergy Friendly Easter Bunny siting 2012

Every year, without fail, the Easter Bunny has been sighted in our backyard. Much to the delight of my boys…cementing the legend of the Easter Bunny forever!

What does the Easter Bunny leave for children with food allergies?

I know this question played in the minds of my two boys at this time of year. I would reassure them that the ‘Easter Bunny just knows…just you wait and see!’

Sure enough, Easter morning would arrive. There, on the table, sitting with their ready-to-go Easter baskets, would be a letter from the Easter Bunny explaining their Easter Egg Hunt for that year.

Each child had a certain number of coloured eggs and sizes to find throughout a designated area of the house. When their basket filled up, they would dump them on the kitchen table only to then dash back out to finish their quest.

Upon opening their treasured plastic eggs they would find all sorts of ‘treats.‘ Perhaps not what one would expect to find in an Easter Egg…but then again, these were not just your every day Easter Eggs!

To read more of my story on Allergy Friendly Easter Eggs…click here…and hop on over to the Grandparents Guide.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes for Easter

My boys find it hard to resist my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes…therefore it was easy to come up with a ‘special treat’ for them for this Easter!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes for Easter!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Mini Cupcakes for Easter

So fun!

As Matthew is not a jelly bean kind of guy…I made some just for him.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Easter Cupcakes with and without Surf Sweets Jelly Beans

Just follow my recipe for Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes. Click here for the recipe. I halved the recipe to make 24 mini cupcakes and 3 regular cupcakes. Any leftover cupcakes can easily be frozen for a later treat.

To make the Easter basket design on the mini cupcakes: I used a Round Tip #12 decorating tip. I swirled the icing around twice on the edge of the mini cupcake leaving the centre open. Filled the centre with 3 Surf Sweets Jelly Beans. So cute!

To make the swirl top: I used a Round Tip #12 decorating tip. Starting on the outer edge of the mini cupcake, I drew the tip around the edge, moving it closer to the centre each time around until I was in the centre and then drew the tip upward.

Perfect for a Tea Party!

Easter Tea Party with Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

Tip:  These Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Vanilla Cupcakes are just as tasty without any icing…I can vouch for that! I had a hard time keeping the boys away from eating all the mini cupcakes before I had them iced!

Question: What ‘special allergen free treats’ will you be baking this Easter?

Celebrating Easter With An Egg Allergy

My eldest son, Michael has multiple food allergies…one of which is to eggs.

ceramic eggs by EggNots in a ceramic egg carton

I have mastered baking without eggs but how does one get through Easter without eggs?.

Chocolate eggs, marshmallow eggs, creme eggs, caramel eggs, peanut butter eggs, mini eggs…grocery stores are overflowing with ‘eggable treats’ for Easter!

Many of these ‘eggable treats’ for Easter may not contain eggs…but they often contain other allergens such as dairy and peanut/tree nuts…thus scratching them off the list for our family.

Thankfully, Allergic Living Magazine has put together a list of ‘Best Safe Candy, Bunnies for Easter 2012.’

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Guardian Angel order of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Mini Chocolate Eggs and a box of Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Chocolates Tasting Box…salt flower caramel, chocolate ganache, honey and caramel, maple butter and coffee. Yummy! Do you think they might share them?

The boys will be so surprised!

Easter Egg ‘treats’ are covered…but what about colouring and decorating eggs?

This has been a stumbling block for me for years. In years past, we substituted colouring eggs with decorating plastic eggs with stickers.

On one of my Dollar Store rounds, I found this cool kit to decorate ‘eggs’ with cardboard cut out stands and foam stickers to stick on cute animal heads, arms and legs.

cardboard cut out decorations on a plastic egg

A little finicky for young children…but with a little help… a great decoration or centre piece!

Now, imagine trumpets tooting!!

Wait till you hear what I discovered on my Allergic Living Newsletter…words cannot describe how ecstatic I was upon reading about the company EggNots!

EggNots was created for all those children with egg allergies that have never been able to touch let alone dye an Easter Egg. EggNots are dyeable ceramic eggs with the look and feel of real eggs.

I kid you not…I quickly ordered myself a dozen ceramic eggs!

They arrived in a typical cardboard egg box. (They were packed in another box for delivery)

carton of ceramic eggs from EggNots

Oh my gosh…they are a thing of beauty!

opened carton of ceramic eggs from EggNots

Tears welled in my eyes as Michael, with the egg allergy, held his ‘first egg’!

“Really….this is what they feel like?” he exclaimed with the biggest grin ever on his face. He looked over at his brother to confirm…”Yup!”, his brother nodded. “Except the real ones usually are colder cause they’re in the fridge.”…“Cool!”

Worth ever penny I spent…and we haven’t even coloured them!

I then discovered our friend up the street, with an egg allergy to raw eggs, had never dyed an Easter Egg herself! So she joined in on the egg decorating party…the more the merrier!

I had some Club House food colouring leftover from years ago but decided there would not be enough so I purchased Club House’s Neon food colours.

Following the instructions on the EggNots packaging…we mixed up the 1 tsp of vinegar and food colouring with 1/2 cup boiling water, dunked in our eggs and waited.

EggNots ceramic eggs being dyed

Beautiful!

EggNots ceramic eggs dyed beautiful colours

The old food colourings (yellow and green to right) paled in comparison to the Neon colours. Luckily our friend, Victoria, chose purple (her favourite colour)…she was very happy with the results! Even happier that she could take it home!

Colouring ‘eggs’ is fun at any age…there were lots of laugh, great banter…memories made!

When I questioned Michael about the experience, he gave me a typical 15 going on 16 answer…“Ya, it changed my life forever!”

You watch…they will be asking to do it again next year!

Note: Not sure what the perfect way to dry coloured eggs is…when they finished drying the top half seemed darker than the bottom.  Any tips?

Update 1: I redyed the EggNots with blue, green and pink…it seemed to help them keep their colour better.

EggNots redyed with the Neon food colouring in blue, green and pink.

Update 2: I was so pleased to witness my friend’s two-year old son, with an egg allergy, hold his first ‘egg’! (It’s an EggNot)

My friend's two-year old son, who is allergic to eggs, holding his first 'egg'.

Update 3: I redyed Victoria’s EggNot purple, dressed it up with some purple thread and popped it into a hen egg cup for her to take home.

Victoria's EggNot redyed in a hen eggcup

P.S. Does your child have an egg allergy? What ideas have you come up with at Easter? Please share!

P.P.S. Did you think the first picture of the ‘eggs’ at the top of the post were real?They’re EggNots.