Thursday, 19 June 2014

Primal Joy Foods: Paleo Balls, Paleo Brownie, Coconut Bar & Nut Crunch - Review

A big thankyou to Primal Joy Foods who sent me a selection of Paleo snacks to review recently. For those who really are in the stone age and haven't heard of it, The Paleo Diet excludes the likes of grains, processed foods and sugar. It is said to have many health benefits especially for those with problems such as diabetes, arthritis and autoimmune illness.

I've flirted with the Paleo diet on and off over the last few years but never really been able to stick to it - I love my snacks too much! Luckily there's a few companies like Primal Joy Foods springing up that sell products made from natural, unprocessed ingredients.

The products sent to me included a paleo chocolate brownie, coconut bar, "paleo balls" and some granola-style "nut crunch".

I started off by sampling the Paleo Balls, and must admit I did giggle at the name! They include dates, banana, coconut oil, and cacao in the ingredients. They were very squidgy in textures thanks to the dates, with a deep rich flavour. I really enjoyed them and they gave me a nice energy boost - these would make a great on-the-go snack.

I tried the Paleo Coconut Bar next, which looked very much like a flapjack despite containing no oats. It's made up of dessicated coconut, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, honey and coconut flour.

It tasted lovely - very light and moist, with the honey giving it a subtle sweetness that wasn't overpowering, and it felt a lot healthier than a flapjack thanks to the light texture. I loved this bar and will be ordering some more for myself very soon!

Rich Chocolate Brownie...

Made of almond flour, cocoa, egg, coconut oil and honey, this paleo version of a brownie was delightful. It's denser and more satisfying than a regular brownie, with a squidgy moist texture. The subtle sweetness from the honey is just right and avoids being overly sickly compared to "regular" sugar-laden brownies.

Last but not least is the Nut Crunch which is like a Paleo version of granola. It consists of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, honey, coconut, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, coconut oil and vanilla. This is the perfect substitute for breakfast cereal and would go great with coconut milk...although I just scoffed the lot straight from the bag! It was very delicious indeed and the honey gave it the perfect level of sweetness.

I have to say I am very impressed with these Paleo snacks, and despite thinking they would be inferior versions of regular ones I actually preferred them! The lack of refined sugar makes them a lot lighter and allows you to actually taste the other ingredients - I would definitely recommend them if you fancy a healthy treat.

Primal Joy Foods are available from their website here:

*Products sent for an honest review.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Nestlé Rowntree's Randoms Football Mix - Footy Edition

Whilst in Tesco Express recently I noticed these new limited edition (or "Footy Edition") Ronwtree's Randoms. I haven't seen them in other shops so assume they must be exclusive to Tesco, just like the limited edition Halloween Randoms were last year (seems like Nestlé and Tesco have some kind of deal going on).

Unfortunately there's not a lot I can say about them...they're pretty average jelly sweets that come in football shirt shapes and that's about it!

The colours included are red, green, yellow, orange and white, to go with the football theme.

They taste like pretty average jelly sweets really - not as nice as Haribo, but better than regular supermarket branded jellies. I suppose footy fans might get some fun from these, but as far as limited editions go they're pretty boring and uninspired. There wasn't even a jelly football in sight!

Overall, a very lazy and boring limited edition. You can do better than this, Nestlé!

RATING: 5.5 out of 10.

Price: £1 at Tesco & Tesco Express.
Not suitable for vegetarians. 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Pringles Brazilian Zesty Chilli Style - Review

Although made in Belgium (and this is highlighted on the pack), these Zesty Chilli Pringles are Brazilian themed...just like most products in shops right now. This flavour is limited edition and exclusive to Asda. I was sent them for an honest review and can gloat that mine didn't get damaged in the post, unlike those of other snacks bloggers ;)

Opening the tube revealed a strong aroma of chilli and citrus. I poured the Pringles into a bowl and shared them out with my family whilst watching TV.

We all agreed they were very tasty and had a strong chilli kick, complimented by an equally strong citrusy lime flavour. I was surprised by just how intense the flavour was! They were lip-smackingly moreish and it didn't take us long to munch through them all.

Overall, these zesty chilli Pringles are a delicious flavour and perfectly suited to the Brazilian theme going on at the moment. I would recommend them if you like strong, spicy flavours!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: £2.69 exclusively at Asda.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes, and vegans.

*Product sent for an honest review. 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Creighton's Lemon Bonbon White Chocolate Bar Review

Many thanks to Creighton's Chocolates for sending me a selection of their lovely bars to review recently. All of the ones I've sampled have been fantastic but I wanted to start with this (no longer) "Top Secret" bar. What could it be? I was very excited to find out...

Peeling open the gold wrapper revealed...

...a white chocolate bar!

It had a strong lemony scent so I could safely say it contained lemon...

Taking a bite I found that it was in fact lemon and popping candy - the perfect combination to go with white chocolate!

The white chocolate was very creamy and melt-in-the-mouth, and the inclusion of lemon made it very refreshing and reminiscent of lemon cheesecake. The popping candy was the icing on, giving a nice crackle of excitement in the mouth.

Overall, this is a lovely bar from Creighton's and whilst I initially thought the secret flavour was meant to be lemonade, it turns out that it's Lemon Bonbon! You can buy this in small or large bars from Creighton's Website (£2.50 for a 50g bar or £3.50 for 100g). This is a fun and exciting bar, good quality and delicious - I would highly recommend it!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

*Product sent for an honest review.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Nestlé Aero Bubbles Bubbly White Review

Last year Nestlé UK held a competition on their Aero Facebook page to introduce a new Aero flavour. The winner was white chocolate, which was launched as a limited edition small bar earlier in the year. To see my review of it click HERE.

Since then they've launched it in large block format, as well as these bite-size Aero Bubbles. I don't often buy Aero Bubbles but thought I'd give these a try just in case they tasted any different from the bar version.

The Bubbles are described as "An aerated vanilla flavoured centre with a half milk chocolate flavoured, half vanilla flavoured shell". They don't actually contain "real" white chocolate...just a vanilla flavoured "confection" made up of vegetable fat and whey powder.

The Bubbles had an odd taste - very sweet and powdery with an artificial vanilla flavour. I didn't really enjoy them to be honest, they were neither here nor there - there wasn't a strong vanilla influence nor was there any chocolatey creaminess. For a pound these will satisfy any sweet tooth but if you're looking for a "treat" I would look elsewhere!

RATING: 5.5 out of 10. 

Price: £1 at Sainsbury's
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk.
Nutrition (per 8 bubbles): 129 Calories, 7.1g Fat, 14.9g Carbs, 14.8g Sugar. 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Solero Mojito Ice Lollies with Rum (Adults Only!) Review

Amongst the Summer ice creams in Morrisons recently I spotted these new Mojito Solero's with Rum. I was excited to try them thanks to the promised rum flavour as it's not something you often see in an ice lolly. The box had "Adults Only" written on it which of course meant I had to show ID when buying them (nanny state that we're living in!), but at least I can take comfort in thinking I look younger than my age!

I couldn't wait to try the lollies as it was a hot day, and they looked enticingly refreshing on the box. I was imagining a cool, refreshing lime and rum combination. They're described as "Mojito flavour lemon lime water ice with rum and a mint flavour lemon lime core".

Unfortunately when I opened the wrapper I could tell they wouldn't be as nice as anticipated. They had a rather weak lime aroma and didn't look all that exciting.

Taking a bite, all I could really taste was a slightly tangy, watery lime flavour...with an aftertaste of mint. It was very pleasant and subtle, and if the lollies had been advertised as "Lime and Mint" I suppose I would've been fairly satisfied. But they were supposed to taste of rum, too - yet the rum flavour was completely absent! I asked my friend if he could taste any and he said he couldn't either.

The box lists rum as 0.2% in the ingredients list, which is low but I would've thought it enough to detect in the taste...but no - no rum flavour to be had here! The "mint, lemon & lime core" contained some sort of lime pulp, which wasn't the nicest texture although it did provide a bit of substance to chew on.

Overall these are pleasant enough mint and lime lollies, but don't go expecting to get tipsy on them!

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.  

Price: £1.50 per 3-pack at Morrisons (special offer).
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated.
Alcohol content: 0.298%. For adults only (yes, the pack really says this!)
Nutrition (per lolly): 55 Calories, 0.5g Fat, 12g Carbs, 12g Sugar.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Hotel Chocolat Salted Peanut & Banana Pralines Review

Whilst browsing Hotel Chocolat's Summer range recently I came across these new Peanut & Bananas pralines and thought they sounded quite novel. I'm always a sucker for banana flavoured chocolates as it's such an uncommon combination, although it does seem to be in vogue right now what with Cadbury launching the new "Banana Caramel Crisp" Marvellous Creations bar recently.

The pralines are described as "Banana ganache and salted peanut praline encased in a milk chocolate shell, decorated with naturally coloured white chocolate".

Cutting one in half revealed three layers: banana ganache, peanut praline and a caramel milk chocolate topping...

The pralines were very tasty indeed, the peanut layer had a lovely savoury, salty edge with the banana ganache balancing it out with a more subtle banana flavour. The chocolate layer on top seemed to be Hotel Chocolat's famous caramel-flavoured chocolate and rounded things off perfectly.

Overall, these pralines are another excellent addition to Hotel Chocolat's range and a must-try if you like banana or peanut chocolates!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: £3.85.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, peanuts & soya. May contain traces of other nuts.
Nutrition (3 chocolates): 201 Calories, 14g Fat, 16g Carbs, 15g Sugar.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Ombar Strawberries & Cream - Raw Chocolate Bar with Bio Cultures Review

Whilst in my local organic store recently I fancied something a bit different and decided to give this "Ombar strawberries & cream" a try. It's an organic raw chocolate bar, sweetened with coconut sugar and enriched with strawberry powder and coconut cream, as well as containing live bio cultures. It's also suitable for vegans. It cost me £2.20 for a small 35g bar so I was expecting something amazing...and it didn't disappoint!

The bar is split into fairly thick sections, and on opening the wrapper I was met with a delightful fruity strawberry aroma as well as some very rich cocoa scents.

Popping a piece in my mouth I was met with the delightful taste of fresh strawberry and rich cocoa. The chocolate was a lot stronger than the average bar thanks to the addition of raw cacao, with a more complex flavour. The coconut sugar wasn't as overly sweet as regular sugar and was much better for it, whilst the strawberry powder added a fantastic fruitiness. The addition of coconut cream in place of milk powder made the chocolate very creamy and smooth, without tasting sickly. Of course, this also makes the bar vegan and suitable for those with dairy allergies which is a great bonus!

I thoroughly enjoyed every piece of this little bar and would happily pay the high price for it again. It satisfied me a lot more than most mainstream chocolates and in fact it's one of the nicest bars I've tasted this year! The Cadbury Dairy Milk Strawberries and Creme bar is nothing compared to this.

Overall, a fantastic chocolate bar that is extremely satisfying and worth every expensive penny. I can't wait to try more from the Ombar range...if my wallet will allow me!

RATING: 9.5 out of 10.  

Price: £2.20.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes, and vegans.
Allergy Information: Ombar is gluten-free and dairy-free. May contain traces of nuts & soy.
Nutrition (per bar): 174 Calories, 14.7g Carbs, 11.6g Sugar, 13.3g Fat.

More info: Ombar's Website.
To purchase Ombar online: The Raw Chocolate Shop.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Nestlé Joe Hot Choco (Romania) Review

Another one from the snacks archive, this one is Nestlé Joe Hot Choco which I found in B&M Bargains. When I first bought this I naively thought that maybe...just might include a chocolate mug, because it shows one on the box. I know, silly right?! I was disappointed when I found out that it didn't and felt very foolish indeed!

Misleading advertising!
What it did contain were 12 sachets of hot chocolate...a bargain for a pound!

The hot chocolate tasted very nice indeed, very milky and frothy although perhaps not quite as nice as the likes of Cadbury's Hot Chocolate... but who can grumble for a pound?!
Joe is a Romanian Nestlé brand, so I can't determine much more about the actual product unfortunately. I gather the brand is quite popular in Romania and I've reviewed a few of their wafer products before - see here:

Nestlé Joe Hazelnut Wafers
Nestlé Joe Apple & Cinnamon Wafers

RATING: 7 out of 10. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Hotel Chocolat Nuts About Coconut Review

Whilst visiting Hotel Chocolat recently I was very excited to discover these "Nuts about Coconut" truffles from their new Summer range. I was told that the pineapple and coconut white chocolate was particularly good, which turned out to be very true indeed!

The three varieties shown above are cherry and coconut in milk chocolate, lime and coconut in dark chocolate and pineapple and coconut in white chocolate. Each truffle has a subtle creamy filling with the fruit and coconut elements in separate layers, and finished off with a dusting of dessicated coconut.

Cherry & coconut
The cherry variety had a lovely sour cherry tang, balanced out with the creaminess of coconut. It was very moreish indeed!

Lime & coconut
The lime and coconut variety was also very good, the filling had a subtle citrusy tang balanced with the creaminess of the coconut. I think it would've worked better with white chocolate though as the dark chocolate overpowered the flavour a little.

Pineapple & coconut
The pineapple and coconut was the best of the three - creamy, fruity and light, with the perfect blend of sweet pineapple and creamy coconut. Pineapple works surprisingly well with white chocolate (I had expected it to be rather sickly) and the coconut gives it a tropical pina colada like flavour. I was disappointed there were only two...I would happily buy a pack containing just these!

Overall, a superb selection of truffles; the quality is exceptional as always with Hotel Chocolat and the flavours are unique and very complimentary. Perfect for Summer!

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: £3.85.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, coconut, soya. May contain nut traces. 
Nutrition (per 3 chocolates): 222 Calories, 14g Fat, 23g Carbs, 22g Sugar.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Haagen Dazs Salted Caramel Ice Cream Review

Whilst buying D'aim Ice Cream in Morrisons recently I also saw this new Salted Caramel Haagen Dazs for the same price of £3. In the name of research (and my belly!) I decided to splash out and give it a try. It's described as "Caramel ice cream with salted caramel swirl (10%) and salted caramel brittle (8%)" and is made with fresh cream and eggs. Opening the lid it smelled and looked mouth-wateringly delicious...

I scooped some into a bowl and promptly tucked in...

This ice cream is, quite simply, AMAZING! It's a simple combination of caramel and salty butterscotch flavours that work together so beautifully I could sing its praises all day. A lick of salt gives the runny caramel a ridiculously moreish edge, whilst the salted caramel chunks are lovely and chewy, adding a nice texture...and all this combined with the soft creamy caramel ice cream.

This is by far one of nicest ice creams I've had in a long time, and for £3 I would recommend everyone stock up while you can!

RATING: 9.5 out of 10.

Price: £3 at Morrisons.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, eggs. May contain soy and nuts.
Nutrition (per 100ml): 254 Calories, 25.1g Carbs, 20.2g Sugars, 15.5g Fat. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Food Doctor Wholesome Bars - Review

Many thanks to the people from The Food Doctor for sending me some stuff from their healthy food range to review recently. They sent porridge as well as some snack bars, and me being a snackaholic I went for the snack bars over the "proper food" first!

The bars are based on fruit, cereal and seeds and only contain naturally occuring sugars. In practice this means fructooligosacharides (say what?!). These are supposed to be healthier than sugar and the bars certainly tasted a lot less sugary than a chocolate bar.

Pineapple & Banana Wholesome Bar:

This bar contains a mixture of pineapple, banana, linseeds, sunflower seeds, rice protein, papaya, amaranth and millet seeds. There's 8.4g fruit sugar and 107 calories per 35g bar.

I enjoyed the taste of this bar and it gave me a nice energy boost, but I wasn't keen on the bitty texture from the seeds. Still I reminded myself that it's full of healthy stuff! I think a bit of coconut might have improved the flavour and went nicely with the pineapple and banana to give it a tropical feel.

Fig & Mango Wholesome bar:

This bar contains 103 Calories and 5.9g fruit sugar and is made of the same ingredients as the previous bar but with figs and mango as the fruit. The bar was very nice but the flavour was less fruity than the pineapple variety. It did give me a nice energy boost though.

Apricot & Almond Wholesome bar:

This bar was rather nice indeed. The apricots lended a nice fruitiness to the more satisfying almonds, making the bar pleasantly sweet and densely nutty. The bar contains 111 Calories and 4.7g fruit sugar.

While the flavours could do with a little improvement, I thought these Food Doctor Wholesome Bars were pretty good as far as healthy snacks go. They're high in protein (over 3g per bar) and fibre (around 3g per bar) and the sugar in them is natural, so it's hard to complain. I've tried other "healthy" cereal bars before that are loaded with sugar and made me high as a kite but these seemed more balancing on my blood sugar. I also like the fact they don't contain wheat or gluten, although they're made in a factory that handles gluten so aren't suitable for coeliacs unfortunately. I do think they've missed a trick by not making a coconut based that would really get my attention!

RATING: 7.5 out of 10. 

You can purchase The Food Doctor snacks from their website HERE or from Holland & Barrett stores.

*Products sent for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Philadelphia Almondy Lemon Layered Cheesecake (Gluten Free) - Review

philadelphia almondy lemon cheesecake

I love Almondy cakes, especially the Daim version. The fact they are gluten-free is a fantastic bonus since I am gluten sensitive, and they always feel lighter than the average torte-based desserts. So when Almondy launched this new Philadelhpia cheesecake as well as a Cadbury Mousse variety I was very excited to try it!

philadelphia almondy lemon cheesecake

The description reads "Philadelphia Almond Layered Lemon Cheesecake combines naturally tasty almond bases with layers of deliciously creamy Philadelphia, covered in fresh lemon frosting". I let the cake defrost at room temperature for an hour as suggested, before cutting off a slice.

philadelphia almondy lemon cheesecake

It tasted very creamy and fresh; the cream layers had a nice tang of Philadelphia and went well with the stodgy almond layers. However the frosting was a little too sweet and there wasn't enough cream cheese to make it like a true cheesecake. It was tasty enough, and certainly a great alternative to cheesecake for anyone avoiding gluten, but I think it could have been pimped up a bit more. Some thicker cream cheese layers, or perhaps some lemon sauce on top instead of frosting would've been nice.

philadelphia almondy lemon cheesecake

Overall, this is a nice effort from Almondy and I think it's great they are diversifying their range because quite frankly there needs to be more choice in the gluten-free market. However I think this cake could be much better with just a few tweaks. It's not bad at all, just not as good as a true cheesecake. I'm curious about trying the Cadbury Chocolate Mousse and Almond Cake next...

Almondy cakes are made in Sweden, certified gluten-free, kosher and halal.

RATING: 7.5 out of 10. 

Price: Currently £2 at Sainsbury's (RRP £3).
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains almonds, egg, milk, soya. May contain traces of other nuts.
Nutrition (per 100g): 370 Calories, 26g Fat, 24g Carbs, 10g Sugars.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Lindt Excellence Cherry Intense Dark Review

There seems to be a trend going on recently with chocolate bars combined with sweets. Cadbury were at the forefront with Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy, but smaller companies have gotten in on the act too - see my review here of the recent Fizzy Bubblegum Bottles Bar.

What I didn't expect was for Lindt to produce a bar that tasted of sweets, but somehow that's how this "Cherry Intense" from their Excellence Range ended up.

Peeling back the foil revealed a typically glossy and clean looking bar with the Lindt logo on each piece. It had a vague smell of cherry drops...

The chocolate is a lower end 48% cocoa solids, meaning not truly dark - just semisweet. It contains almond slivers as well as cherry pieces, which are made up of pineapple fibre as well as cherry.

Taste-wise the chocolate was very nice - rich and sweet as you would expect from a 48% cocoa chocolate. It was a bit too sweet in fact and I think a richer chocolate might have worked better with the cherry. Taste-wise the cherry pieces made me think of cherry drops and I really felt like I was eating a chocolate bar with sweets in. It was quite odd to say the least, but strangely moreish. This isn't the sort of thing you would expect from a Lindt chocolate bar and I think they missed a trick by not marketing it differently, considering the recent trend for sweets combined with chocolate!

Overall, this is an interesting bar but I'm not sure I'd buy it regularly. I love cherries but I much prefer the sour variety with darker chocolate. If cherry drops with semisweet chocolate sounds like your thing...then you might want to give this a try.

RATING: 7 out of 10. 

Price: £1.85 at Sainsbury's (currently on offer 3 for 2)
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated.
Allergy Information: Contains nuts, milk, soya.
Nutrition (per 100g): 32g Fat, 49g Carbs, 42g Sugar.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Thorntons Cream Scone & Jam Fabulous Fudge (Limited Edition) Review

Whilst in Thorntons the other day I spotted this new limited edition flavour in their "Fabulous Fudge" range and couldn't resist giving it a try. I was so eager to taste it that I took some pictures outside the store before wolfing it down! The description reads "Fudge cubes with clotted cream, crumble pieces and strawberry flavoured jelly pieces". Not exactly scones and jam... but we'll go with it!

The crumble pieces were decently sized and some were in quite big chunks as you can see in the pic above. They went well together with the fudge - it was nice having a crunchy texture to break up the chewy softness. Combined with the strawberry pieces they were very moreish and made for a fruity and interesting fudge. It didn't take me long to wolf down most of the bag!

Overall, these are an interesting Summer limited edition and make a lovely change from regular fudge. Highly recommended.

RATING: 8 out of 10. 

Price: £1.60.
Suitable for vegetarians?: Yes.
Allergy Information: Contains egg, milk, wheat, soya. May contain nuts.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Daim Ice Cream Tub (UK) Review

I've been eyeing up this D'aim Ice Cream for quite a while now, and finally decided to give it a whirl when I spotted it for £3 in Morrisons. It's described as "D'aim flavour ice cream with D'aim pieces" which basically means caramel flavour ice cream with bits of D'aim mixed in.

Opening the lid it didn't have a particularly strong caramel aroma, but it looked pleasant enough with plenty of D'aim pieces.

It tasted pretty good, the ice cream was creamy and sweet and with a nice burnt sugar caramel flavour. It wasn't quite as great as the likes of Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Dazs caramel ice creams but it was good enough. The D'aim pieces added a much welcome crunch and went with it really well. I wasn't particularly blown away by it, though; but that's because I'm used to buying Haagen Dazs when it's on offer, so this inevitably seemed sub-par in comparison. As it is it's a nice enough ice cream, just nothing groundbreaking.

Overall I wouldn't particularly recommend this D'aim ice cream, nor would I say to avoid it. It's just..nice. But if you're gonna spend three quid and there's Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Dazs on offer, go for those instead!

RATING: 7.5 out of 10. 

Price: £3 at Morrisons, Tesco, Asda etc (standard price).
Suitable for vegetarians?: Not stated.
Allergy Information: Contains milk, soya, almonds. May contain other nuts.
Nutrition (per 100ml): 10.9g Fat, 25.1g Carbs, 20.5g Sugar, 210 Calories.