For those with peanut allergies, baked goods present a serious risk. Many baked goods do not appear to contain peanuts, yet were baked in a facility that also processes peanut ingredients, making cross-contamination a possibility. These traces of peanuts may not be seen, smelled, or even tasted once in the baked goods. For this reason, many people with severe peanut allergies avoid store-bought baked goods entirely, instead choosing to make their own at home to reduce the risk.
Are you craving chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven? Maybe you're after warm, gooey brownies or another chocolate treat. Chocolate chips are a staple in every baker's kitchen. Those with peanut allergies must be careful to avoid chocolate chips containing traces of peanuts. To be peanut-free, the chocolate chips must be processed on their own line, away from products that contain peanuts, peanut butter, or other peanut ingredients.
This rules out many of the brands typically found in the grocery store. Both Nestle and Hersheys chocolate chips warn on the packaging that they are not processed in a nut-free facility. However, there are alternatives for those who are shopping for chocolate chips and are allergic to peanuts. One of the most popular nut-free chocolate companies is Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, which sells several varieties of chocolate chips through their online store. Another is the 365 brand found at the grocery chain Whole Foods. Whether you opt for these brands or try out another type of chocolate chip, always look for allergy information on the packaging. If in doubt, call the company to ask about their allergen policies.