Thursday, 20 July 2017
A big thankyou to Crabbie's for providing me with these bottles of alcoholic gluten free ginger beer for todays review, they were very much appreciated! What with the hot, changeable weather recently it's always nice to have something refreshing on hand to cool down with, especially when it's alcoholic.
Crabbie's have been going since the 1800's when Scottish pioneer John Crabbie started creating drinks from steeped ginger and exotic spices from the far east. For more info on their history, do check out Crabbie's website: www.crabbiesgingerbeer.co.uk.
The Original variety is made to Crabbie's "unique steeped ginger recipe" and contains 4% alcohol. I chilled it in the freezer, before pouring into a glass to drink ice cold. It was lovely; super refreshing, spicy and fiery with a lovely ginger warmth. The low amount of alcohol was just right, enough to make you feel a slight merriness but not keel over. Great for a summers day! 8.5 out of 10.
The Scottish Raspberry variety had a lovely pink hue to it, with that unmistakable aroma of sweet raspberry. I was worried this wouldn't mix well with ginger beer but to my surprise it was lovely, it gave a nice tart refreshing edge to the more fiery sweet ginger. It somehow works really well! I would definitely try this again. 8.5 out of 10.
Hats off to Crabbie's, these are two lovely drinks for the summer months. I would highly recommend them if you're in need of a light, gluten free alcoholic refreshment - they're perfect for picnics and barbecues. I'll be seeking out their other flavours now!
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
A big thankyou to Goupie for sending me some of their lovely chocolates to review recently. They are "A devilishly moreish chewy chocolate confection with a hint of crunch", hand produced by a small team in Kent. They come in triangular pieces and are freshly made to order every week. There's 17 individual flavours, 13 of which are vegan friendly, whilst 7 are gluten-free. For more info do check out Goupie's website: https://goupie.co.uk/
I got the Lemon Meringue and Date & Walnut as these are both gluten free, but they also make varieties such as Hazelnut, White Chocolate & Lavender and the intriguing "A Taste of Christmas" based on the humble mince pie (only available from October to December).
Lemon Meringue (Gluten Free):
Described as "A citrus cocktail of zesty candied lemon and rich marshmallows " these had a delightful lemon aroma when I cut into them. The centre is light and chewy, very sweet and oh so moreish. The Belgian dark chocolate is the perfect coating, with the marshmallow being a nice finish. These had me hooked! Before I knew it they were gone...oops. 8.5 out of 10.
Date & Walnut (Gluten Free, Vegan):
Described as "A priceless pairing of succulent dates and creamy walnuts", these are dairy free and vegan as well as gluten free.
The centres in these were very sticky, no doubt thanks to the dates, and oh so moreish. They also have a rich chocolate flavour going on.
They're the perfect ooey, gooey munchy snack that will keep you reaching for more. Super rich and full of flavour, with the walnuts adding a slightly savoury edge, these would make a perfect end to a meal. 8 out of 10.
Out of the two boxes Goupie sent me, it's hard to pick a favourite because both were so moreish and addictive, but as you can see the Lemon Meringue scored higher, purely because I prefer zesty fruity flavours. Both are great though, and boy do I wish I wasn't gluten sensitive so I could try the other varieties!
Saturday, 15 July 2017
Following on from my review of Ombar Centres Coconut & Vanilla, today's review is another bar they sent me recently; Ombar 90% Cacao, made with organic Ecuadorian raw cacao. This is gluten free, dairy free, suitable for vegans and made with coconut sugar rather than refined white sugar.
The chocolate packs quite the cocoa punch, it's somewhat fruity and sour and a lot richer than regular chocolate. It was nice and I appreciated the different flavours compared to regular cacao, but it's not something I would neccesarily eat as a snack. It's something to be appreciated with a glass of wine or strong coffee.
Overall, a nice but very intense chocolate, this is one for the chocolate connoisseurs rather than an everyday indulgence. For that I would stick to the Ombar Centres.
Nutrition Information (per bar): 201 Calories, 18g Fat, 9.1g Carbohydrates, 3.6g Sugars, 3.5g Protein.
Organic Ingredients: raw cacao, coconut sugar, cocoa butter.
8 out of 10.
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
I was recently sent a few chocolate bars from Ombar to review, which made me very happy indeed - I am currently avoiding dairy and trying to cut back on sugar a bit (let's see how long that lasts!), so these really made my day when I got them in the post. They're completely vegan, dairy free and gluten free and made with organic raw cacao. This particular bar contains a truffle filling of creamy coconut flavoured with vanilla.
The filling looks somewhat like the centre of a Lindt Creamy bar, and it tastes de-licious! It's extremely rich, and melts in the mouth perfectly giving an indulgent taste experience. The chocolate is rich and earthy tasting - you can definitely tell it's made with raw cacao, and it contrasts nicely with the creamy centre.
If you're dairy free or vegan, these are bars you will want to stock up on and eat all to yourself. They're so rich and satisfying that a little goes a long way, I do wish they came in larger bars though. I couldn't help but want more after eating this - old habits die hard I guess!
Ingredients: Creamed coconut, coconut sugar, raw cacao, coconut oil, cocoa butter, vanilla extract.
Nutrition per bar: 202 Calories, 15g Fat, 16g Carbohydrates, 11g Sugars, 2.9g Protein.
9 out of 10.
Monday, 10 July 2017
Today's review is for some lovely truffles I was kindly sent by Monty Bojangles recently. I've already reviewed their Scofflets Truffles which were delicious, so how does this Choccy Scoffy boxed variety compare?
The box is delightful and very well presented, and even gives you an indulgent recipe to try at home that includes butter. Naughty!
The truffles may look plain, but they taste delightful. They melt in the mouth like butter, with a creamy and smooth melt. They're very rich so you only need a few for a chocolatey hit, but they're oh so satisfying.
Overall, these truffles from Monty Bojangles taste great and would make the perfect birthday or Christmas gift, or more likely a cheeky treat all to yourself (I certainly didn't share them!)
8.5 out of 10.
Friday, 7 July 2017
It's British Summertime, and in in true fashion we're having heatwaves followed by downpours...so what better way to cool off than with ice cream, right?
Today's review is one I've had in the archives a while, I bought a box of Haagen Dazs Fruit Collection way back when mainly to try the Blueberry and Cream variety, but it also contained this tub that I've never tried before, Mango & Raspberry. I was disappointed with the white chocolate Mango & Raspberry sticks so how does this variety compare?
Thankfully it's s lot, lot nicer! Like the other pots from The Fruit Collection this comes with it's own individual spoon - so handy for picnics!
The pot consists of mango ice cream with swirls of raspberry sauce mixed in, and is the perfect creamy and fruity combination. The flavours complement each other well, with the sauce bringing nice bursts of tart raspberry to the sweeter mango ice cream.
Overall, this is a great flavour from Haagen Dazs and now I want to try the large tub version! I would highly recommend The Fruit Collection too though; there's such a nice range of different flavours in it and the small pots are so handy for picnics.
9 out of 10.
Nutrition Information (per 87g pot): 211 Calories, 11.6g Fat, 23.7g Carbohydrates, 23.6g Sugars, 2.9g Protein.
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
It's been a while now since I reviewed regular Fruit Salad Softies, and I really enjoyed them so I was super excited when Tangerine Confectionery offered to send me some of the new Sour variety to review. They're described as "Sour, fruity and soft" and come in both Blackcurrant & Lime and Raspberry & Pineapple flavours. They're available from the likes of Tesco and stores like Home Bargains.
The sweets have similar colours to the regular variety, but when you bite into them the difference hits you. They have a vague sour flavour in the background, that isn't overpowering, but is definitely there. These were nice and it was certainly easy to eat a lot of them at once, however when compared to the regular variety I didn't enjoy them half as much.
Overall, these are an ok variation and nice if you like tangier sweets, but personally I will stick to the originals. Kids will love them!
Nutrition (per 100g): 328 Calories, 0.3g Fat, 78.3g Carbohydrates, 50.1g Sugar, 3.1g Protein.
8 out of 10.
Monday, 3 July 2017
I haven't eaten Fox's sweets in a while, although I did used to love both the Mints and Fruits as a kid. Recently, they've been doing some limited editions such as Pop Bottles, and this year there's a new variety for Summer in the shape of these Ice Cream Favourites. The flavours consist of Raspberry Ripple, Strawberry Cream, Rum and Raisin, and Banana. Some bold flavours for sweets I'm sure you'll agree!
I was very excited when I saw these in shops, so I was over the moon a few days later when Fox's sent me a few packs to review. Cheers Fox's!
The sweets are all individually wrapped and to be honest it was a little difficult distinguishing which flavour was which judging by colour alone. The bright yellow ones were clearly Banana, the paler ones were Rum and Raisin and so on.
Going by taste though it was pretty obvious. And despite my reservations about Rum and Raisin flavoured sweets...they were actually REALLY nice! Yes they tasted a tad artificial, but unless they were going to put real rum in kiddies sweets (imagine the outrage!) then this was inevitable. They were very addictive, I couldn't stop munching, or rather crunching on them.
The Banana flavour were also pretty good, with that fruity sweet flavour we all know and love.
The Raspberry Ripple were very pleasant and comforting, with that vanilla and raspberry combo that works so well in ice cream - they pretty much nailed this flavour.
The Strawberry Cream I didn't really notice as much, it was there and it was nice but not very distinctive when mixed in with the other flavours.
Overall, this is an excellent selection of fun and quirky sweets, with flavours that make them stand out. I would buy these if only for the Rum and Raisin and Banana varieties!
Available from Home Bargains.
Nutrition (per 100g): 393 Calories, 0.5g Fat, 97.1g Carbohydrates, 69.2g Sugars, 0.1g Protein.
8.5 out of 10.
Friday, 30 June 2017
It's Summer, although you wouldn't think it...in typical British fashion we've had heat waves followed by showers - things never change!
On a rare hot day recently, I decided to try these dairy free, gluten free, vegan coconut based ice creams from The Coconut Collaborative. They were on offer for £3 at Sainsbury's for a pack of three sticks.
The ice creams are made with a base of coconut frozen dessert, which consists of coconut cream, and grape juice, with a dark chocolate dairy free coating, consisting of coconut sugar, cocoa and inulin.
Taking a bite, these were a very welcome treat on a boiling hot day. The ice cream centre is cool and refreshing, and rather like sorbet. The vanilla adds a nice flavour, with the dark chocolate being the perfect coating. These are a nice dairy free ice cream, although I did feel they were lacking something. The texture is too much like sorbet rather than a creamy ice cream, which tends to be the problem with a lot of coconut based ice desserts. I do wish there was a creamier dairy free ice cream more widely available.
Overall, if you're vegan or dairy free these are a nice treat especially on a hot day, and I would recommend them. I don't think they'll be a regular purchase for me though.
Nutrition Information (per 95ml lolly): 204 Calories, 6.9g Fat, 18.4g Carbohydrates, 11.9g Sugars, 0.9g Protein.
7.5 out of 10.
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
I do love Nakd bars, especially the various limited editions they've been doing in recent years from the likes of Carrot Cake to Lemon Drizzle, plus the Nakd Nibbles range. They always bring some interesting and tasty flavours to the healthy snacks market, stopping it from getting too boring and "health food-y".
This year, not only have they launched the new limited edition Lemon Drizzle they've also brought a new flavour to their main range - Cocoa Coconut. I'm surprised they haven't done a coconut variety before to be honest...well, they did do some Nakd Nibbles Coconut in small bags (which are still available) but they're hard to find.
Luckily Nakd saved me the bother of scouring multiple Asda stores for this new bar, and sent me some to review - thanks Nakd!
The ingredients consist of dates, coconut, raisins, cashew nuts. It's nice to see coconut so prominently on the list. The bars are suitable for vegans, vegetarians, gluten free and dairy free.
They tasted pretty darn good! The coconut gives the bars a richer, more tropical edge and they somehow feel more filling for it. The cocoa gives it that nice rich kick and compliments it well. I liked how these tasted satisfying without being too sweet or focused just on the dried fruit. They make for a perfect filling snack.
Overall, these new Cocoa Coconut bars from Nakd are a definite winner! Tasty, filling and satisfying, you can't ask for more from a healthy snack bar. And if you've heard about the recent controversy from the American Heart Association about coconut being unhealthy (despite it's widespread use in the health world), I would take it with a grain of salt...they're basing these studies on people who already have unhealthy diets. Embrace the coconut!
8.5 out of 10.
Nutrition Information (per bar): 133 Calories, 5.5g Fat, 17.5g Carbohydrates, 16.7g Sugars, 2.1g Protein.
Ingredients: Dates (53%), Coconut (16%), Raisins (15%), Cashews (10%), Cocoa (5%), a hint of natural flavourings.
Monday, 26 June 2017
What have we here, a new variety of M&M's that is actually a UK exclusive for once? You're spoiling us, Mars! After all we have been deprived of the Peanut Butter M&M's for what seems like forever now, import stores notwithstanding.
Yes, Mars are gracing us with this new Peanut and Hazelnut Limited Edition which can be found in Poundland, and no doubt other stores to follow soon. Described as "an assortment of milk chocolate with peanut and hazelnut in a sugar shell", these come in 128g bags.
The M&M's are different sizes and it was hard to tell which were hazelnut and peanut, because despite the wider ones looking like hazelnuts - some weren't!
I ate a few of the fatter ones and was met with the regular peanut variety...so disappointing! Eventually I found a hazelnut one - at last, what I've been waiting for all this time!
It tasted good, very good in fact, and was every bit as nice as you can imagine a hazelnut M&M to be. The hazelnut tasted fresh, reminding me somewhat of Ferrero Rocher, but with a crunchy candy shell.
I have to say, I really did enjoy these M&M's but I found it annoying that the hazelnut are mixed with peanut. It waters down the excitement and novelty of having hazelnut M&M's just a bit! No doubt it's due to costs; I'm guessing hazelnuts are a lot more pricey than peanuts, but still...I couldn't help but want a bag full of just hazelnut M&M's.
Overall, these are a great limited edition and it's nice to see a different type of nut in an M&M for a change, and I'll certainly be buying a few more bags. But I do hope it will lead to an edition with just hazelnut M&M's in future!
Nutrition Information (42.6g): 218 Calories, 26.6g Fat, 57.2g Carbohydrates, 51.8g Sugars, 9g Protein.
Ingredients: Sugar, peanuts, cocoa mass, hazelnuts, skimmed milk powder, lactose and milk proteins, cocoa butter, milk fat, starch, palm fat, glucose syrup, shea fat, lactose, soya lecithin, gum arabic, colours, dextrin, glazing agent carnauba wax, palm kernal oil, salt, flavourings.
8.5 out of 10.
Friday, 23 June 2017
A big thankyou to the makers of Vibe Popcorn for sending me some samples of their new range to review recently. Vibe popcorn is described as "feel good" popcorn and is a bit different from your average flavoured popcorns, with extra ingredients as well as a sweet hint of honey. They're available from Asda now, and will be stocked in other supermarkets from July. Below are my thoughts on each variety.
Vibe Strawberry with a hint of Honey:
Described as "popcorn coated with freeze-dried strawberries and honey", this is suitable for vegetarians and gluten free as well as non GM.
The popcorn is generously coated with the freeze dried strawberries, which taste absolutely delicious! I couldn't get over how nice and different this popcorn tasted, there's no artificial flavourings but rather a realistic strawberry flavour that reminded me almost of strawberry jam. The honey gives an extra sweet edge that compliments it perfectly, making this quite a treat indeed. I seriously couldn't stop eating! I would highly recommend this one, definitely a must-buy. 9 out of 10.
Vibe Coconut & Cacao with a hint of honey:
Described as "popcorn coated with toasted coconut, cacao nibs and honey", this is actually the one I was looking forward to the most.
There were plenty of cacao nibs stuck to the popcorn pieces, giving a nice speckled effect.
To be honest, I couldn't taste the cacao nibs much, I mean they were there and gave hints of cocoa, but I think real choclate might have been tastier. The coconut flavour was pleasant, and it's nice to have real coconut rather than an artificial flavouring in popcorn, but something about this variety felt a bit off to me. I think a fruit flavour paired with coconut would've been better, or a full on chocolate variety with cacao nibs. Not bad, but not something I would buy again personally. 7.5 out of 10.
Overall, this Vibe Popcorn range really surprised me, I absolutely loved the Strawberry variety and wouldn't hesitate to buy it again, whilst I could take or leave the Coconut version. I really hope they bring out more flavours in the future because I think they're onto something with these.
Nutrition Information (per 30g):
Coconut & Cacao: 142 Calories, 4.5g Fat, 23.5g Carbohydrates, 15.8g Sugars, 1.5g Fibre, 1g Protein.
Strawberry: 125 Calories, 1.8g Fat, 26g Carbohydrates, 17.9g Sugars, 0.9g Fibre, 0.8g Protein.
Thursday, 22 June 2017
A big thankyou to the team at Kind for sending me their range of Fruit and Nut and Nuts and Spice bars to review recently...the range is now widely available in UK stores and consists of bars with all natural ingredients, that are dairy free, vegetarian as well as gluten free. There's a lot of varieties in the range, and below are my thoughts on a few that I was sent.
Almond & Coconut Fruit & Nut Bar:
Containing a mixture of almonds, coconut, honey and rice flour, this bar was full of chunky almonds which made it very satisfying to crunch. The coconut gives it that nice mellow tropical flavour, with the honey bringing a light natural sweetness. Overall, a very satisfying and tasty bar! 8.5 out of 10.
Caramel, Almond & Sea Salt Nuts & Spices Bar:
This is one I've reviewed already, so be sure to check out my review HERE!
Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Bar:
Containing 60% mixed nuts, honey and a dark chocolate flavour coating (dairy free), this was again a very satisfying bar that felt very wholesome.
The lick of salt and the dark chocolate make it that extra bit tasty and moreish, so you get the best of both worlds. A very filling bar! 8 out of 10.
Madagascan Vanilla Almond Bar:
Containing a whopping 75% nuts (!), consisting of almonds, peanuts and cashews the main flavour of this bar is the madagascan vanilla.
Again this bar was very satisfying, with the chunky nuts feeling wholesome. The sweet vanilla flavour is perfect and gives it that extra luxury touch. I loved this one, the vanilla flavour is soooo good! 8.5 out of 10.
Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Bar:
This one I was super excited for, it contains 7g of protein as well as 50% nuts, which include peanut butter and almonds. It also has a dark chocolate coating and soy protein isolate.
Whilst this wasn't quite peanut butter in bar form, it was a very satisfying and wholesome bar. The peanuts are perfectly roasted and crunchy, with the chocolate coating adding a nice finish. 8.5 out of 10.
Well, that's all for today's review...I will be reviewing the remaining bars Kind sent me separately as there were just too many to fit in one post! I do love these bars, they're so satisfying and feel like real foods rather than some similar products on the market; I'm so glad to see them more widely available in the UK.
NUTRITION (per 40g bar):
Almond and Coconut: 194 Calories, 4.8g Fat, 21g Carbohydrates, 12g Sugars, 2.8g Fibre, 3.3g Protein.
Caramel, Almond & Sea Salt: 203 Calories, 16g Fat, 15g Carbohydrates, 5.3g Sugar, 7.3g Fibre, 5.9g Protein.
Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt: 199 Calories, 15g Fat, 16g Carbohydrate, 5.3g Sugars, 7.1g Fibre, 5.7g Protein.
Madagascan Vanilla Almond: 237 Calories, 16g Fat, 14g Carbohydrates, 4.1g Sugars, 5.7g Fibre, 6.5g Protein.
Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate: 201 Calories, 13g Fat, 17g Carbohydrate, 9.2g Sugars, 2.5g Fibre, 7.1g Protein.
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
With this early Summer heatwave, I'm finding myself reaching for ice cold drinks a bit more often than usual, but it's hard to find one without any artificial sweeteners in. Luckily, Robinsons have come to the rescue with their new range of naturally sweetened drinks called Refresh'd, which contain fruit juices as well as stevia. If you've not heard of stevia before it's a sweetener extracted from plants, and tastes sweeter than actual sugar. Robinsons kindly sent me some drinks from the range to review, and below are my thoughts on each flavour.
Raspberry & Apple:
Containing spring water, fruit juices, natural flavours and stevia this flavour was lovely. It reminded me somewhat of the raspberry juice drinks I loved as a kid, albeit without the artificial flavours and colours. It was very refreshing and had a light sweet flavour that was perfect on a hot day. 8.5 out of 10.
Orange & Lime:
A more citrusy variety this time, and again one that was very refreshing. It was the perfect level of sweetness with enough orange and lime tartness to balance it out. 8 out of 10.
Apple & Kiwi:
I love apple juice, and this Refresh'd version is like a lighter version of the traditional juice, perfect if you want a low sugar drink. The kiwi compliments the apple flavour perfectly. 8 out of 10.
Overall, this is a great new range from Robinsons, and does exactly what it says on the label: they're refreshing, light and naturally sweet, with a hint of fruitiness. I would be very happy buying these on the go, which isn't some thing I can say about most juice drinks - they're usually too sugary or laden with artificial ingredients. Thankfully not in this case! These get s big thumbs up.