Be Wary of Allergen Labels

Today I learned (thankfully the easy way), that food labels aren’t consistently trustworthy — though you probably already knew that.

I felt like making some chocolate chip cookies this evening, but didn’t have enough of my Ghirardelli Special Dark Chocolate Chips, so decided to pick some up while I made an errand to Wal-Mart. I normally do my grocery shopping at HEB, so was in for a surprise when I learned that Wal-Mart doesn’t carry my go-to chocolate chips.

As I read the ingredient lists for all the chocolate chips that might work for me, I came across this:

Do you see that? At the end of the ingredient list, it says ‘May contain milk.’ But IN THE LINE RIGHT ABOVE, it says ‘milk fat.’


Thank goodness I read the ingredient list and not JUST the ending!! I realize that it’s always been important to read the entire list and not just the ending, but we’re all guilty of just being tired of reading lists upon lists, when it would be incredibly easier to just look at the bottom.

My PSA after this incident:



Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Chip Pancakes 🥞

The Christmas holidays are busy for everyone, but ours seemed to be especially busy with finals and sales quotas. But we made sure we got as much homework done one particular night in order to spend some quality time together the next morning. And sometimes a morning just calls for some delicious pancakes!

Since I’ve had food allergies my entire life, it’s always been hard for me to go out for breakfast due to cross-contamination and just the overwhelming use of dairy and eggs in breakfast foods. So at a very young age, I learned how to make my own pancakes! I think I’ve had this recipe memorized for about two decades! 😆



Because I’m not technically vegan, I do still use regular flour and other products in my cooking. While many of my ingredients may end up being vegan in order to be dairy- and egg-free, my recipes are purely just to avoid my particular allergens.

First all all of the dry ingredients and mix well. I find it best to start warming the griddle in between the dry and wet ingredients. Then add the almond milk and canola oil, and again mix well!

And now for the best part: toss in that extra flavor!! For this particular pancake recipe, I used chocolate chips!  When my youngest brother is in town, we add in both chocolate chips and fresh blueberries to shake it up a bit. Other times (like during the fall), I like to mix in some pumpkin puree. Now whisk away!! 🙂



Once the griddle is warmed up and the batter is sufficiently whisked and mixed up, spray some cooking spray on there and pour some batter on the griddle and get to cooking! I prefer to use a floppy spatula to do the pancake-flipping and a pastry brush to spread the margarine on the pancakes. And it’s always nice to have a cup of coffee and some Christmas jazz playing in the background ☕



After the pancakes are cooked, served warm and with your choice of fruit and/or topping! My personal favorite is sliced bananas and some syrup 🙂