Tuesday, 28 June 2016

True Nopal Cactus Water (UK) Review

There's been a big coconut water trend over the last few years, loads of different brands are available now, but I've never been a huge fan of the stuff. It has an odd, earthy taste that isn't that pleasant. I'm always looking for something hydrating though because I don't much like fizzy drinks, so when I spotted this True Nopal Cactus Water in Boots it sounded perfect... it's billed as "100% Natural hydration, low in sugars, refreshing fruit taste". It ticked all my boxes!

As well as being hydrating, this drink supposedly helps lower inflammation, contains antioxidants and is gluten free and vegan.

Basically it has a very light, crisp taste, with a hint of refreshing sweet fruit flavour. It's quite watery and not as earthy as coconut water, so is much easier to drink. I liked it but didn't love it. It's a bit pricey (over £1 for a 330ml carton), so I'm not sure I'd buy it often, but I definitely preferred it to the omnipresent coconut water.

Overall, not a bad way to get some hydration and antioxidants, I'd recommend this to anyone who's not a fan of coconut water. 

8 out of 10.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Tesco Free From Choc Ice Sticks

Since these Free From Choc Sticks are on offer at Tesco for £1.50 for a box of three, I thought it about time I review them. I've tried them a few times now, and as much as I love a Magnum I also often enjoy the lighter taste of dairy free ice cream. Like the Toffee Vanilla Cones I reviewed previously, these contain lupin protein so they aren't suitable for anyone with a legume allergy, but they're free of all other allergens including soya and gluten. 

Theyre basically a dairy free chocolate Magnum, albeit smaller in size. Theyre coated in "chocolate flavoured coating" rather than real chocolate, which consists of a mixture of coconut fat, sugar and cocoa mass. The ice cream filling is a mixture of lupin protein, maltodextron and coconut fat.

They're very yummy. The ice cream is creamy, yet much lighter than dairy ice cream, and feels less heavy on thee stomach. I would go as far to say I prefer them over a Magnum because of the lightness....although, it would depend on my mood since nothing really beats a white chocolate Magnum! 

If you're dairy free and vegan these are a respectable alternative to a Magnum, I'd highly recommend seeking them out! I'd also recommend the new Tesco Free From Vanilla Iced Dessert which is also very yummy (review due soon). 

8 out of 10. 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Nestle Quality Street: New Chocolate (Honeycomb Crunch) & Pack Design

Nestle quality street

I've gone off Quality Street the last few years, they're ironically not very quality chocolates anymore and they're sold all year round so they're not that special either, but one thing I used to like about them was that they'd introduce a new variety every few years. My favorite was the Forest Fruits cream they once did, and since then they've had a few others such as Malt Toffees, Chocolate Toffees etc. Gone are the Coffee Creams and Peanut Cracknells that many used to love, replaced with a Milk Choc Block, and now this new, exciting, exotic variety...Honeycomb Crunch.

As well as this new variety, they've also updated the packaging design, it looks a little more traditional than the previous incarnation.

Nestle quality street

I suppose I can see why they went with such a pedestrian flavour for a new chocolate, after all Quality Street is a traditional brand and I don't think most older people who used to love it would appreciate anything too fancy. Still, I felt a bit disappointed...but I still wanted to give these a try if only to moan about how rubbish they are.

Nestle quality street

My chance came when they were reduced to £1.50 a box in Tesco recently, probably as a special offer to co-incide with Fathers Day. Although it seemed like a good offer, there weren't as many sweets as I remember having in a box of Quality Street a year ago...I suspect some size shrinkage has been quietly going on yet again.

Nestle quality street honeycomb crunch

The Honeycomb Crunch has a golden wrapper which stands out well amongst all the other chocolates.

Nestle quality street honeycomb crunch

It has a sort of barrel design which is quite distinctive...I want to say that it's almost bee-shaped to fit with the Honeycomb theme.

Nestle quality street honeycomb crunch

Taking a bite, I was disappointed to find that this wasn't a whole honeycomb, but rather a truffle with honeycomb pieces mixed in. It tasted very sweet, with extra crunchy sweetness from the honeycomb pieces, but it wasn't anything too exciting, certainly not on the level of Cadbury Crunchie honeycomb. I wasn't surprised to be honest since my expectations were low right from the start.

The rest of the chocolates were the standard Quality Street ones...I liked the strawberry and orange creams and caramels, but the toffees were too hard as always, and the Milk Choc blocks were plain boring.

Overall, I'm really not very surprised by this new addition to Quality Street, it's very safe and pedestrian and won't bother grannies too much...but I won't be buying Quality Street again, probably.

6.5 out of 10. 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Muller Light Turkish Delight Limited Edition Yogurt

Muller light Turkish delight

I'm not usually one to eat Yogurt, but when I saw this Limited Edition Turkish Delight Flavour Muller Light in Tesco the other day I was intrigued enough to give it a try. It cost 55p and is described as "Turkish delight flavour fat free yogurt sprinkled with dark chocolate with sugars and sweeteners". Quite why it needs both sugar AND sweeteners is a mystery to me...

Muller light Turkish delight

Unfortunately this isn't suitable for vegetarians as it contains gelatin, but if you're following a slimming world plan it apparently contains zero syns.

Muller light Turkish delight

Opening the lid, it certainly had a strong Rose-scented Turkish Delight aroma. There were little specks of dark chocolate dotted through the yogurt, although once I dug in with a spoon I couldn't really taste them at all. I was initially quite taken aback by just how sweet this yogurt was, I haven't really eaten yogurt in years so this may be partly why, and I don't eat many products with artificial sweeteners either. It was just far too sweet. The Turkish delight flavour is nice although a bit synthetic, but what disappointed me the most was the lack of any dark chocolate flavour whatsoever. The flecks of dark chocolate may as well not have been there, they added no flavour at all.

Overall, I suppose if you're on a slimming world style diet then this might be a novel treat, but it's a pretty horrible yogurt in my eyes. The artificial sweetener just spoils it. Needless to say, I will not be buying any Muller Light yogurts again...

5 out of 10. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

The Co-Operative Cappuccino Luxuries Ice Creams

The co op cappuccino luxuries

Recently, the Co Op introduced some interesting new varieties into their own-brand ice cream range, there's a few I want to try such as the Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream, but I decided to first try these Cappuccino Ice Creams, or "Luxuries" instead. I just looove coffee and am yet to find a good coffee ice cream so I had high hopes for them!

They cost £1.69 for 3 ice creams and are described as "coffee ice cream swirled with Colombian coffee sauce, encased in Belgian white chocolate with cocoa nibs". They're suitable for vegetarians and gluten free, but may contain nuts.

The co op cappuccino luxuries

Taking a bite I could first taste the sweet white chocolate, it's pleasant enough but not as outstanding as the white chocolate on a Magnum. The cocoa nibs added a nice cocoa crunch, whilst the ice cream has a pleasant coffee flavour, it's not particularly strong but it's nice. The coffee sauce added a further coffee kick, but I do wish there was more of it.

The co op cappuccino luxuries

Overall, these are some ok ice creams but I do feel they could have had a stronger coffee flavour, and also a stronger white chocolate flavour to balance it out. They're nowhere near as good as a Magnum of course, and just made me wish that Magnum would do their own version. They already do an Espresso ice cream, but a white chocolate variety would be so much better! Maybe one day they will...?

7.5 out of 10.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Alpro Cashew Original Fresh Nut Milk

Alpro cashew original fresh milk

When I posted a pic this new Alpro Cashew Milk on Instagram the other day it caused quite a stir...so much so that my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a try. It cost £1.80 in Tesco which isn't all that cheap, but I'm sure it'll be on a £1 offer in the near future.

This milk is of course dairy free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike, as well as gluten and soya free. It contains 3.1% cashew nut, as well as sugar, stabilisers and emulsifiers, which is typical for most nut milks. It has 2g sugars and 23 calories per 100ml, and contains vitamins B12, B2, E and calcium.

Alpro cashew original fresh

I poured some into a glass to find it had a rather heavy, creamy texture, almost like full fat cows milk. I wasn't expecting this since other dairy free milks are often thin and watery. Taking a sip, I found it to be pleasantly sweet and quite silky, with a distinctive cashew flavour. It's probably the only nut milk I've tried that tastes similar to cows milk in texture and sweetness. This really surprised me and I found myself enjoying it quite a lot! I haven't tried it in tea or coffee yet but I will be very soon...maybe I'll do an update on that later :)

Overall, this new Alpro Cashew Milk really surprised me, I wasn't expecting to like it at all but it's actually one of the best dairy free milks I've tasted so far; much better than Almond or Rice Milk. If you're dairy free, vegan or just trying to be healthier in general and miss the creaminess of dairy, this is a must-try.

8 out of 10.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Cadbury Marvellous Ice Creams Jelly Popping Candy Stick

Cadbury dairy milk marvellous ice creams jelly popping candy

Cadbury have extended their "Marvellous Creations" brand into everything now from pot desserts to ice cream, so it was only a matter of time before they did an ice cream stick too. The first (and only) variety in the range is this Jelly Popping Candy stick, and so far it only seems to be available in The Co Op. I paid £1.60 for it recently and it's described as a "Vanilla flavoured ice cream swirled with raspberry sauce, candy coated milk chocolate pieces and strawberry jelly pieces, covered in milk chocolate with popping candy". Phew, what a mouthful!

Cadbury dairy milk marvellous ice creams jelly popping candy

It looks like a nobbly Magnum gone wrong...

Cadbury dairy milk marvellous ice creams jelly popping candy

Biting into it I could taste the popping candy, it's nice and crackly, not tame like some popping candy chocolates can be. The sauce, jelly pieces and candy pieces add some interesting flavones and textures, although because the ice cream was still quite solid they lost their flavour a little. Still, it's an interesting and fun combination regardless.

Cadbury marvellous ice creams jelly popping candy

Overall, this ice cream isn't going to be challenging the Magnum crown in terms of yumminess anytime soon, but it's certainly a nice change if you like to live a bit more dangerously. I imagine kids will enjoy this more than the adults, and it'll be nice to see some other varients in the range. Please can you do a peanut butter ice cream, Cadbury?!

8 out of 10.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Galaxy Double Chocolate Indulgence Ice Cream

Galaxy double chocolate indulgence ice cream

I love Jack Fultons Frozen Food stores, they always have import products you're not likely to see in any other UK shops; I've had a lot of interesting stuff from there over the years! One such product I found there recently was this Galaxy Double Chocolate Indulgence icecream, which comes in small pots that were 4 for £1. 

Galaxy double chocolate indulgence

The pots come with a small plastic spoon beneath the lid, which is very handy! The ice cream is a basic chocolate flavour ice cream with swirls of chocolate sauce through it. It looked very inviting!

Galaxy double chocolate indulgence

It tasted okay, but it wasn't particularly chocolatey and certainly didn't taste of Galaxy chocolate. I was a bit disappointed to be honest, after all you expect Galaxy to be in there somewhere! It tasted like a regular basic supermarket chocolate icecream, it's the sort of thing Asda would sell in large tubs for a low price.

Overall, as novel as it is to see Galaxy in ice cream form, don't be fooled by this, it's very disappointing. It's just as well that it's not widely available really! 

5 out of 10. 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Nestle Rolo Crack It Desserts

Rolo crack it dessert

After finding the new Yorkie Crack It desserts the other day, it didn't take me very long to find this Rolo variety...they were just in a different Tesco! They cost £1.30 for two 90g pots, and I'm sure they'll be on special offer at some point.

Rolo crack it

Like the Yorkie Crack It pots, these contain a layer of solid chocolate, but unlike those they contain a rather more inviting caramel dessert beneath.

When I opened the lid, the caramel was actually oozing out from underneath the chocolate topping. I promptly cracked through it with a spoon...

Nestle Rolo crack it dessert

It wasn't quite as fun this time around since I'd already experienced the same thing with the Yorkie desserts, but the thought of the caramel dessert beneath was exciting...

Nestle Rolo crack it

I'm pleased to say this dessert was a lot tastier than the Yorkie version, the caramel is the perfect gooey consistency, sweet and buttery, and the texture contrasts nicely with the "cracked" chocolate. However, it became obvious how poor quality the actual chocolate was with this dessert...it really doesn't taste very good at all. I'm guessing it's because it's some kind of special compound chocolate mixture to make it suitable for chilling. It just tasted a bit bland and not very creamy.

Overall, I did enjoy these Rolo Crack It desserts, but I'm not sure if I'd buy them again or if I can see them lasting on shelves. They're a bit of fun but I can see the novelty wearing off pretty quickly. I actually prefer the somewhat similar After Eight Mousses that have bits of crackly chocolate mixed in...the combination works very well there.

7.5 out of 10 

Nestle Yorkie Crack It Desserts

Nestle Yorkie crack it dessert

Nestle have recently launched more of their chocolate bars into dessert form, this time with a layer of chunky chocolate above the dessert so you can "get stuck in to the delicious chocolate dessert beneath". Sounds fun doesn't it?!

Yorkie crack it dessert

There's two varieties so far, Rolo and Yorkie, but strangely my local Tesco only had the Yorkie variety in the other day. Hopefully the Rolo one is coming soon. They cost £1.30 for two pots of 90g of dessert, although I'm sure they will be on special offer at some point.

Nestle Yorkie crack it dessert

It's basically chocolate dessert with a layer of set chocolate above it...there were a few grooves in it so I stuck my spoon into them. I must admit it was somewhat fun smashing through the chocolate.

Nestle Yorkie crack it

Unfortunately, that was where the fun ended. The actual chocolate dessert is quite bland, it's not particularly creamy or chocolatey, just a standard chocolate dessert. I couldn't help but wish I had the Rolo variety instead!

Overall, these desserts are an interesting and novel idea, they are quite fun and I'm sure kids will enjoy cracking into them, it's just a shame the quality isn't better. I'm still going to look out for the Rolo version as I imagine it'll be a lot more tasty...

7 out of 10. 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Bounty Coconut Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Pieces Review

Putting chocolate bars into hot chocolate form is standard practice these days...and rarely do they taste like what they're supposed to, so I don't often buy them. However one that did catch my eye was this Bounty Coconut Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Pieces. I wasn't expecting it to taste of an actual Bounty bar of course, but coconut and hot chocolate sounded like a lovely pairing!

I found this in Poundland of all places, which is just as well because this stuff usually costs around £1.99 in other shops. You can make the hot chocolate with hot milk or water, milk is of course more indulgent, but I'm not a big milk drinker so I made it with hot water. I used about 5 teaspoons so it was nice and rich. There's milk chocolate button pieces in with the powder, which I don't see the point of since they just melted with the rest of the powder anyway.

This is a very nice hot chocolate, it definitely has a slightly tropical coconut flavour which is quite novel and makes for a nice change with hot chocolate. It was a tad artificial but I didn't mind. The hot chocolate is decent quality, nothing amazing but I imagine it'd be a lot nicer if made with hot milk rather than water. 

Overall, this is a rather nice hot chocolate, if you fancy a coconutty hot drink to relax with you can't really go wrong with it. I'd advise using hot milk rather than water though to make it worthwhile. 

8 out of 10. 

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Marks & Spencer The Crazy One Chocolate Bar

Amongst the recent glut of clearance stuff in M&S I spotted this "The Crazy One" chocolate bar, reduced to 35p. It's one I've wanted to try for a while now, but not at the usual M&S prices (70p or so). It's described as "A milk chocolate bar bursting with butterscotch pieces, toffee popcorn and popping candy". Sounds like a "crazy" combination, right?

Like all the bars in M&S singles chocolate range it was s bit on the smallish side...but that doesn't matter if it's tasty!

The inner filling was truffle-like in consistency, with pieces of popcorn, butterscotch and popping candy dispersed throughout. I think the outer chocolate had butterscotch pieces embedded in it too. It was hard to tell what was what to be honest because this bar was very sweet and crunchy, but I couldn't really detect the individual flavours. The popping candy was more of a gentle fizzing aftertaste, nice but not too obvious. 

Overall, this is a decent bar of chocolate and will satisfy any chocolate craving, but does it live up to its name? Not really, the flavours on offer here are pretty much just sugar, not that that's a bad thing, but I think some other flavour combination might have been a bit more "crazy". 

7.5 out of 10. 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Marks & Spencer Caramel Filled Milk Chocolate

This Caramel Filled Milk Chocolate bar has been around for a while now in M&S, since they brought out the Milk, Dark & White Chocolate bar in fact, but I've never had a chance to give it a try. However last week it was reduced to 75p on a clearance offer so I couldn't not buy a bar! I'm not sure why so much M&S stuff is on clearance right now...maybe people are only buying their Spirit of Summer range (it wouldn't surprise me since it's all they seem to sell now!)

Like the other bars in this range it comes with an interesting block design, with grooves as well as blocks.

I don't know if it's because it was close to the sell by date, but I didn't I didn't much like this bar at all. The caramel was very grainy, almost as though the sugar in it had crystallized. It didn't taste like normal gooey caramel at all. The milk chocolate was ok, it's the standard milky stuff M&S use on their own label chocolates (which I'm convinced is produced by Thorntons - the taste is very similar!)

Overall, as much as I had high expectations for this bar I can't say it's one I'd buy again. It just seemed a bit lacklustre, even compared to mainstream caramel bars like Galaxy Caramel & Dairy Milk Caramel. 

6 out of 10. 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Jim Jams 83% Less Sugar Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Jim jams hazelnut chocolate spread

I've been eating a lot of chocolate spread recently, which is unusual for me, but I guess I got sucked in by the craze started with the newly launched Cadbury Caramel & Crunchie Chocolate Spreads. After posting about the Cadbury spreads I was contacted by Jim Jams, a company producing spreads with no added sugars, and was asked if I'd like to review their No Added Sugar Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. I'm notoriously moaning about quitting or reducing sugar, so I couldn't refuse to give it a try!

Rather than sugar this is instead sweetened with maltitol, which is a type of sugar alcohol that can have "unintended effects" if consumed in excess (and those who've tried it know what I mean!) This may be a blessing in disguise, as it's a further reason not to over-indulge. As well as maltitol, the spread contains 13% hazelnuts, cocoa, milk powder, whey powder and a mixture of palm and rapeseed oil. It's gluten free and contains 494 calories per 100g.

Jim jams hazelnut chocolate spread

Opening the lid, it had a kind of swirly appearance with what looked like small chocoloate nibs in it.

Jim jams hazelnut chocolate spread

I'm not sure what they are exactly, I thought maybe hazelnut bits, but they didn't taste any more hazelnutty than the actual spread.

Jim jams hazelnut chocolate spread

This is a very tasty spread indeed, but very different from your regular chocolate spread. The sweetness is of course milder which means the flavours of cocoa and hazelnut can shine through a bit more, and the texture is a bit different from the likes of Nutella, it's firmer. I really enjoyed it, it's smooth and nutty and not throat-burningly sweet. However this meant that it was a little too easy to overdo it and eat more than a few spoonfulls...oops! I did indeed suffer the consequences from that!

Overall, is this better than Nutella? To be honest no, nothing will ever beat Nutella in terms of pure yumminess, but for something that's healthier and makes you feel virtuous while eating it this is a great option. It's rare to find a sugar free chocolate spread, so kudos to Jim Jams for catering for this increasing dietary need...I hope to see more flavours and varieties in the future!

8 out of 10. 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Walkers Bugles Sour Cream & Black Pepper Review

walkers bugles sour cream and black pepper

Bugles have been around for a while now, sold by different companies in different countries, it seems. They used to be sold by Golden Wonder in the UK in the early 2000's, but disappeared off shelves when the company went bust. However it seems that Walkers now have rights to the brand and have re-launched them with flavours such as Cheese, BBQ and Sour Cream & Black Pepper. I found a large bag of the latter in Asda for £1 recently, and they also had the Cheese variety, plus a multipack of the BBQ ones in a smaller pack format.

walkers bugles sour cream and black pepper

These are basically horn shaped crunchy corn snacks with a sour cream and pepper coating, and they're verrrrrrry moreish! When I opened the pack I wasn't expecting a lot, but once I started eating I found I couldn't stop, they're so addictive. They're light, crunchy, and with just the right amount of sour cream and pepper flavouring to make them tasty, but without the usual nasty additives like yeast extract or MSG, that corn snacks so often have in.

Overall, these are some seriously moreish snacks/crisps, perfect for any occasion really, but be warned: share them out with friends or you'll probably end up eating the whole bag to yourself!

8.5 out of 10.