Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Chocolate and Love are a new Fairtrade organic brand that have recently been rolled out in Sainsbury's stores. Currently, they're on offer for £2 a bar, so I thought I'd see what they're all about. Being a lover of all things coffee I naturally went for the Coffee 55% cocoa dark chocolate, although their other varieties are very enticing too (they do Mint, Orange, Creamy Dark, Caramel Sea Salt).
This bar is not only fairtrade and organic, but dairy free and Vegan society approved. There's 4% organic coffee incorporated into the chocolate, which is a pretty decent amount compared to some coffee flavoured chocolates on the market.
The chocolate certainly smelled very rich and coffee-like, especially for a 55% cocoa bar. And it tasted just as rich as its aroma; there were some complex cocoa bean flavours, backed up with the the stronger coffee flavour. It was very tasty indeed! More of an espresso than a latte in coffee terms - this is definitely one for coffee purists.
Overall, it's always great to see more organic, ethically sourced vegan chocolates on shelves that cater for all needs. If you're a fan of richer and more flavoursome chocolates, this is one for you!
8 out of 10.
Friday, 24 February 2017
I teased it in my review of Aldi's Foodie Market Macadamia & Coconut Paleo Bars, and here it is finally; my review of the Brazil Nut & Cherry variety. Allow yourselves to get very excited!
Like the Coconut variety, these come in packs of five and cost £1.99 - a bargain when compared to similar bars on the market! They're gluten free, dairy free and suitable for vegans as well as paleos, containing natural cold-pressed ingredients like brazil nuts, dates, cherries, and almond oil.
These are somewhat similar to The Primal Pantry's Brazil Nut & Cherry bars, but actually a lot nicer. The bars are firmer, with a delicious and slightly tart cherry flavour, and a nice fresh earthy nuttiness from the brazils. They felt like a real treat indeed, without being too sugary or sickly sweet. They were also very satisfying and filling.
Overall, out of the two varieties of Foodie Market Paleo Bars Aldi are doing these are a clear winner! Now I just need to try the Cashew Crush variety...
8.5 out of 10.
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Whilst in Waitrose recently and in need of an energy boost, I noticed this new Rebel Kitchen Dairy Free Coffee Mylk was reduced to £1.20. I thought I would give it a try, since I've been experimenting so much with dairy free options recently. This is made with organic coconut milk, spring water, organic date nectar and organic coffee. It's suitable for vegans, and everyone else too!
For a drink made with all clean ingredients, this was pretty tasty indeed...I will even let them off with describing it as "ridiculously tasty" - because it is! I found this a lot more refreshing than a regular dairy coffee milk drink, and not as sickly. The balance of flavours is just right...it's creamy, mildly sweet and with just the right hint of strong coffee flavour. I felt both energized and refreshed after drinking it - double win!
Overall, whether or not you're vegan, dairy free or eating only clean, organic foods...this is a tasty coffee drink that will give you both energy and refreshment. Highly recommend!
Nutrition Information (per 100ml): 46 Calories, 2.2g Fat, 5.8g Carbohydrate, 0.7g Protein.
8.5 out of 10.
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Continuing the theme of healthier products at bargain prices, today's review is for Oko Bay Mango Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert, which usually costs £4.99 in Holland & Barrett for the original and chocolate varieties, but for which I found for a mere 49p in Heron Foods recently! Naturally I snapped up several tubs.
This ice cream or "iced dessert" is special in that it is made predominantly with coconut milk, making it vegan, dairy free and lactose free. It's also GMO free. Opening the lid which said "Taste the Island Life" (very exotic!) it had an orange, sorbet-like appearance. It was rather firm so I allowed it to thaw at room temperature for a while, before spooning into a bowl.
It was still pretty firm so I decided to just dig right in. The texture is different from ice cream, it's more akin to a firm sorbet, but that's not a bad thing because it melts in the mouth as you eat it. It's very tasty and creamy, with the mango bringing a fresh fruity flavour. It felt quite luxurious, especially compared to other dairy free options on the market like Alpro Ice Cream. If I were to eat dairy free ice cream regularly, this is undoubtedly one I would want to have in my freezer! It makes a great base to add your own inclusions like chocolate chips, sauces etc, but it's also tasty and indulgent all by itself.
Overall, this Mango Oko Bay Ice Cream is pretty good indeed and I do hope it's appearance in Heron Frozen Foods doesn't mean it's being discontinued. We need more variety in dairy free ice creams! If you do spot this anywhere and are vegan or dairy free, I'd recommend picking up a tub.
Ingredients: Coconut milk 42%, water, cane sugar, mango puree 10%, chicory root fibre, coconut oil 2%, stabiliser (guar gum, locust bean gum, xanthan gum), natural flavouring, colouring (anatto, beetrot red). Gluten free, soy free, dairy free, GMO free, vegan.
8 out of 10.
Monday, 20 February 2017
The Paleo Diet has increased in popularity in recent years and with it the range of new Paleo-friendly snacks too. You can now get Protein bars (like The Primal Pantry Paleo Protein Bars), brownies, cookies, nibbles and more. They're usually a bit pricey, but recently I was lucky enough to find these "Caveman Cookies" made by The Caveman Bakery, for only 20p on a market stall. Bargain!
As well as being paleo-friendly they are also gluten and dairy free, and contain no refined sugar. The ingredients consist of "maple syrup, honey, almond meal, pecan meal, dried cranberries, apple juice concentrate, sunflower oil, pumpkin seeds and spices".
These aren't any regular cookies...each one comes individually wrapped and is soft and chewy rather than crunchy. I must admit this disappointed me a bit.
Luckily they tasted delicious...the moist chewiness is actually nice. The maple syrup is very prominent, as are the spices, cranberries and seeds. It's a nice combination that makes for a very moreish snack..I soon found myself reaching for a few more! It didn't take long to finish off the box, which is a shame since there weren't many in the pack.
Overall, these are certainly a very tasty paleo snack, I wouldn't call them a cookie exactly but they're moreish regardless. They're available from a few UK websites so if you're after some Paleo snacks I'd recommend googling them.
8 out of 10.
Friday, 17 February 2017
After my disastrous experience with the abominable Spoon It Out eggs from Poundland recently, why would I subject myself to more chocolatey misery from them I hear you ask? Good question...I don't know what to say other than: curiosity! When I saw these new "Smooth" White Chocolate bars in Poundland, along with Milk and Dark chocolate varieties, my interest perked: I wonder how smooth they really are? £1 is a bargain for good white chocolate!
I didn't notice that the ingredients contain vegetable fats, which is presumably how they can call these "smooth" in the first place since they're not smooth in the sense of being melt in the mouth at all. Maybe they should have labelled them "Greasy"? You can have that idea on me Poundland...
The blocks looked nice and it's a fairly chunky bar, but that's where the positives end. The chocolate tastes very faintly of "real" white chocolate (whatever that is, since many don't consider white chocolate as "real" chocolate anyway) and is very sweet and flavourless. There's not much creaminess or dairy notes to it at all, quite ironic don't you think?! It tasted more like a milky "flavoured" bar. I imagine it would be useful for coating cupcakes or used in baking, but even then I would go for something better quality.
Yes, save your pounds people and go for a Milkybar instead - infinitely more enjoyment will be had by your tastebuds!
4 out of 10.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Does this look familiar, anyone? Did you almost mistake it for a Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg N Spoon box? I nearly did when I passed by it in Poundland recently...
Since Cadbury replaced the original Vanilla Egg N' Spoons with Oreo Egg N' Spoon, there's been a gap in the market for plain vanilla filled eggs, and it seems Poundland are the ones to fill it, quite literally. But are these as good as the Cadbury equivalent? That's the burning question you're all asking I'm sure...
Sadly they're not, in fact they are simply AWFUL! I don't know how they managed to go through a new product development trial to be honest...
Starting off, they at least looked the part - in fact I'd say they look better than Cadbury's version. They come with one little spoon for 4 eggs, so you better eat all these yourself otherwise hygiene may be an issue! (Not that you'll want to...more on that later). The spoon looks like the ones you get with tiny pots of ice cream; cheap but it does the job...
...even though it had no job to do, because the filling is so firm it's practically un-scoopable!
Where the filling in Cadburys Egg 'N Spoons is soft and smooth, the filling here is like a block of hard vanilla icing sugar. For real! Scooping, or rather "scraping" a bit of it out made it crumble apart. There was no way I could get much more of it out without actually snapping the spoon. So I just shoved the egg in my mouth!
I wish I hadn't because these are awful. The filling tastes ridiculously sweet and has a weird stale milk flavour, presumably from the cheap whey powder in the ingredients. It's seriously like eating icing sugar but even that would have been more enjoyable than these! The chocolate tastes like cheap calendar chocolate, although I was expecting that anyway.
Well what can I say about these abominations that must have been laid by a diabetic chicken? They're dreadful and Poundland should be ashamed of them. Save your £1 and go for *The real thing instead...you'll thank me for it!
1 out of 10.
*These out-crap Cadbury's in terms of crapness. Now that's crap!
Monday, 13 February 2017
The day of luuurve is upon us tomorrow, and for a change I'm shunning the more conventional sugar and truffle filled chocolates in favour of this; an organic, raw, dairy free and vegan white chocolate.
I found this bar, or rather "heart" in a local health food store for £1.75. It's made with virgin cacao butter, coconut nectar, raw cashew nuts, coconut and pink lake salt.
I do love the heart shape of it, it felt uber special when I unwrapped it and was rather unexpected. The colour reminded me somewhat of Caramac, and it had a strong cacao butter caramel aroma.
The first thing I noticed after biting into it was the texture; it's almost fudge-like, very melt-in-the-mouth and sort of greasy. It felt a bit unusual to eat something so soft! The taste is lovely; it has a strong natural salted caramel flavour, with the cacao butter coming through very prominently.
Being honest though I can't say I loved this chocolate, the main thing that lets it down is the texture...it's just a little "too" fudgey, which I put down to the high percentage of cacao butter. This is of course a good thing and makes it far healthier than chocolates that rely on sugar as the main ingredient, and it's a raw bar so I wasn't expecting anything conventional. However when compared to Solkiki's Toasted White which I bought on the same day, Solkiki is the clear winner.
Nevertheless, if you're dairy free or vegan and looking for something a bit different...this is most certainly worth a try! They do other varieties including Dark Chocolate and Creamy Coconut Mylk; I would beinterested in trying those...
7.5 out of 10.
Sunday, 12 February 2017
I do love anything with coconut added to it, so when I spied these Kallo Milk Chocolate & Coconut Rice Cakes for only 39p in Heron Foods I bought them immediately. They're currently on a 3 packs for £1 deal so it seems like they have a lot they need to get rid of.
They're simply just plain rice cakes with a thin layer of milk chocolate and some dessicated coconut sprinkled over the top. They tasted nice enough, they're a great snack and the coconut definitely makes them less boring than a regular chocolate rice cake. But they could've been better...they really needed more coconut!
Overall, not a bad snack at all and they definitely make a nice change from regular chocolate rice cakes, but hopefully they'll add more coconut to the recipe in future!
7.5 out of 10.
Friday, 10 February 2017
The day of luuuurve is just around the corner, so let's take a look at some of the Valentines goodies from Cupid gracing the shops right now. If you need any last minute sweet ideas then this post is for you!
Maltesers Teasers Gifting Pack:
The Maltesers Teasers chocolates from Celebrations have finally been given their own box, currently available from Tesco stores for £3!
Celebrations For You Gift Box:
Or if your other half likes a bit more variety there's always the original pack!
Emoji Be My Valentine Cake:
If your other half is a Social Media addict maybe they'll love this emoji cake. Rumour has it there's also a poo edition...Available in Tesco.
Morrions Be My Valentine Freshly Baked Giant Cookie:
If your other half prefers cookies, what better treat than this giant cookie from Morrisons bakery.
Reese's Giant Peanut Butter Hearts:
Not forgetting the peanut butter Kings and Queens, there's these huuuuge Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts, which I've seen in TK Maxx.
Chupa Chups Lolly Flower Bouquet:
If your lover loves a lolly (what a mouthful!) this Chupa Chups Flower Bouquet is perfect. Available in Wilkinsons.
Hershey's Kisses Deluxe with Hazelnut Centres:
A bit like a Hershey version of a Ferrero Rocher, these Hershey's Kisses Deluxe with hazelnut centres are available in Poundworld. Unlike Ferrero Rocher however they contain gluten free rice crisps!
Swizzell's Mini Love Hearts:
Swizzells Love Hearts are the classic sweets that will bring a smile to any lovers face, no matter what age. Now in minis! Available from Wilko & Tesco.
Creighton's Bunch of Roses Chocolate:
Combining rose flavoured white chocolate and edible rose petals, this romantic bar from Creighton's sounds a bit different! Available online or from Fenwicks.
Creighton's Violets Are Blue Chocolate:
This variety combines dark chocolate with violet, for those with a less sweet tooth.
M&S Love Gift Cake with Hidden Red Heart:
This red iced cake from M&S contains a hidden red heart...just be careful you don't accidentally break it!
Tesco Chocolate Melt Sponge Pudding:
This rose-shaped all butter sponge contains belgian chocolate pieces, a rich ganache sauce centre and is finished off with a ruby lustre. Ooh la la!
Tesco Write On Me Cake:
Tesco are also doing this cake complete with an icing pen to write your own special luuurve message.
M&S Be My Valentine Love Letter:
This chocolate slab from M&S contains a space so you can personalize it with your own message. Nice idea!
M&S True Love Chocolates Box:
M&S are also doing these snazzy looking heart shaped chocolates. True love indeed!
M&S Chocolate Raspberry & Prosecco Cupcakes:
Raspberry and Prosecco Chocolate Cupcakes...what better way to show your love than cake and alcohol?!
Ferrero Rocher Heart Shaped Gift Box:
What's better than Ferrero Rocher in a heart shaped box? (Available in Tesco & Wilko)
Ferrero Raffaello Heart Shaped Gift Box:
Well, maybe Ferrero Raffaello in a heart-shaped box if you're a coconut lover! (Also available in Tesco & Wilko)
Mr Kipling You're The Apple of My Pie:
My Kipling are doing some Valentines special editions of their cakes featuring various love messages. Such a nice touch! Available from all supermarkets.
Nomnom Chocolate Salted Caramel Love Bar:
I've never heard of Nomnom Chocolates before, but this "Love" bar slounds intriguing: Super Salted Caramel with Oak Smoked Halen Mon sea salt, organic butter and 44% cocoa milk chocolate. Available from Fenwicks.
Gnaw Chocolates The Love Bar:
Last but not least, this milk chocolate bar from Gnaw Chocolates features chewy red heart gummies - so cute! Available online, Fenwicks & various department stores.
Well, that's all for this year's Day of Luuurve, do let me know if you bought or received any of the featured snacks for your loved one! What did you think of them?
I've been trying a lot of dairy free chocolates lately, it's always nice to find more vegan and dairy free options in shops. One brand I've been buying quite a bit of is Seed and Bean, who make a variety of Organic Vegan chocolates in many different flavours. This particular variety contains 70% cocoa solids, and smoked cornish sea salt. It costs around £2.49 in various health food stores as well as some WH Smiths stores, where I bought this one.
I do like the blocks on Seed and Bean bars, they're a lot more interesting than your average bar and the cocoa pods are a nice touch.
The chocolate is very rich and flavoursome, with a nice melt in the mouth texture. The smoked sea salt gave it a tasty edge, lifting it from average dark chocolate to something a bit more special. I was skeptical initially that the combination would work, but it's actually really nice! I soon demolished a hefty portion of the bar.
Overall, if you're vegan, dairy free or just looking for a different flavour of dark chocolate, you can't go wrong with this! Do also look out for some of Seed and Beans other bars...they do a Coffee Espresso Dark Chocolate, Lemon & Cardamom Dark Chocolate (review due shortly!) and the more out there Lavender Dark Chocolate!
8 out of 10.