Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dealing With Allergies at the Holidays: Allergy Friendly Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (redone)

Okay, so I'll readily admit that I didn't make the whole "posting up all the Halloween recipes on Halloween" thing.  I tried, I really did, but we had a lot going on around here with a Halloween carnival at school to get to, my daughter developing a minor obsession with her costume and mom going into serious crash mode once the Halloween festivities were over (son never has slept, but with the changing of the seasons and the changing of the light he's been waking up at 2:00 am and is up all night.  He seems to be dealing with the 2 hours of sleep or so he gets per night, but mom isn't doing so well).   So, a couple of recipes are a bit late.  BUT you can still use these come birthday parties or other holiday festivities, so I don't feel too bad :).

First up is a complete redo on the whole Harry Potter "Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans" concept. 

My daughter REALLY wanted some for her Halloween treats, but there was no way that I could think of that I could master the art of making jelly beans without corn, figure out how to do multiple flavorings (including gross ones) to those jelly beans, etc all within the span of a couple of days.  And honestly?  While I can get behind the idea of chocolate, the idea of making jelly beans that taste like dirt just didn't seem very appealing to me.

So, I sat down and put my thinking cap on and got out my super powered breakfast tea for the added caffeine boost to the brain and tried to think of a way to get the IDEA of a surprise flavored candy work, while still hopefully making it have some nutritional value. 

So, here's the idea I finally came up with.  Yes, some of the ideas for this will be gross, but that's the point of the "every flavor" thing right?  And believe it or not, doing this I was able to get my daughter to try dehydrated mushrooms, four different types of dried berries and some dried salmon.  I would say that this experiment was SO worth my time and effort.  And while jelly beans have different colors to warn you what is inside?  Well, this doesn't even have THAT so the dare factor goes up even further ;).

The best part about this way of doing things, too, is once you have the ingredients, a tablespoon of chocolate goes a long way in coating little bits of things, so you won't have to invest a fortune in chocolate.  Now, the other stuff?  Well, you can go as overboard as you want with it.  I just used stuff I had around the house (including a lot of home dehydrated stuff), so feel free to do so as well :).  If you are looking for dehydrated mushrooms, by the way, try Costco, Three Bears (a local Alaskan Costco-type store) or an Asian market (in Anchorage, hit New Segaya...they have tons of great dehydrated mushrooms there...I use them all the time).

Enjoy folks!

Allergy Friendly Harry Potter Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (redone) or "I Dare You Chocolate Clusters" (Dairy Free, allergy friendly)

  • 1 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (or less depending how many flavors you'd like to make)
  • A bunch of dehydrated foods tailored to your needs.  Suggestions include:
  • Dried berries such as cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
  • Dried fruits such as bananas, pineapple, apricot, mango
  • Dried vegetables such as peas, mushrooms, green beans, etc. (just make sure that they aren't too hard when dried)
  • Dried meats including beef, turkey, salmon (I used salmon candy)...use home made to avoid garlic and other "add ins"
  • Dried bacon bits (real bacon, not Bacos please)
  • Coconut (cut super small in a spice grinder to avoid detection ;)
  • Nuts (cut small in a spice grinder)
  • Other additives such as:
  • Cinnamon candy flavoring/oil
  • Peppermint extract (or dried mint leaves)
  • Curry Powder
  • Cheyenne pepper (don't use too much or you're mean)
  • Wasabi Powder (okay, that's always mean, but fun ;)
  • Lemon, lime, orange or other fruit extracts
  • Grated orange peel (add a little orange extract and you have chocolate orange flavor...yum!)
  • Coconut or almond extract
  • Instant coffee crystals
  • Parsley (for a "grass" type of taste)
1.  Take any large pieces of food and cut them into small pieces about 1/8 of an inch (just try to get them about the same size as the dried berries are so everything looks similar).

2.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler (I added a little olive oil to make it melt smoother)

3.  Take about 1 TBS of melted chocolate at a time, place in a 1/4 measuring cup and use to cover the dried fruits (use a fork to manipulate your food items around) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet (use a sharpie to mark different flavors if you so wish as you place them on the paper).  Or add your flavoring of choice (extracts, etc), I go with just a couple of drops per TBS and then taste (add only a pinch of cheyenne pepper or other powdered item per TBS or it'll wake you up terribly when you bite into one later) and drop by small drops onto a piece of parchment paper.  Stick immediately into the freezer to harden (it'll stop the small drops of flavored chocolates from spreading too much). 

With the extracts you might have to take them and add to the chocolate "mound"  a few times to build them up and look more like covered berries, but seriously it's not hard, just stick back in freezer between applications.
4.  Take your different chocolate mounds of covered culinary "surprises" and mix them all up on the cookie sheet and then add them to different small bowls for people to try.  Don't let people pull out mounds and smell them.  No no, that'd be cheating.  Just make them pull out a piece of chocolate and eat it and watch the different reactions ;).
You could also, if you are crafty and don't mind the work, put your surpises in actual chocolate molds and make a "surprise in the center" type of application, but I didn't want to use that much chocolate on an experiment that might or might not work.

I think this a very neat way to get the same effect as the every flavor beans, while still being able to craft the experience tailored to your varying allergy needs.  If you have a nut allergic kiddo, don't use nuts.  If you have a green bean allergic kiddo, make their batch without green beans, etc.  Just be sure you place the chocolate from your big pot into the 1/4 cup measuring cup (use a clean one for different allergy needs or clean the cup very well to reuse).

If your child is allergic to chocolate, you could try this with a royal icing type of covering or you could try making an actual sugar candy coating as well. 

This is a very sneaky way to get your kids to eat some nutritious foods on a dare, or at least get them to try it (which I admit I used this trick to get my son to chew on some dried at least got the taste into his mouth which is the first step to picking up new foods :).

I'd store the leftovers in the fridge to stop humidity from doing bad things to these and for long term storage throw them in your freezer. 


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