Friday, 31 March 2017
It seems ages since Coca Cola UK brought back Vanilla Coca Cola in the full sugar variety. Times are a changing though, and now everyone wants to ditch the sugar (and the carbs while they're at it), so sugar free drinks are all the rage again. Luckily Coca Cola have stepped in with this fantastic Coca Cola Zero Sugar Vanilla to save the day - hurrah!
Whilst I wasn't a huge fan of the new Pepsi Max Ginger, this is a drink I can wholeheartedly get behind - this stuff is amazing! It's a lot more refreshing than full sugar Coca Cola, with the perfect sweet vanilla hinted taste. It doesn't taste weird or chemically like Diet Coke does, it has a more natural flavour. It's perfect chilled and would make the ideal addition to any Summer picnic or barbecue.
I really hope these stick around on shelves and aren't cruelly taken away like Vanilla Diet Coke was in the past. Please, Coca Cola, don't do that to us again!
Available from Morrisons and The Co Op.
Ingredients: carbonated water, colour (caramel E150d), phosphoric acid, seeeteners (aspartame, acesulfame K), natural flavourings including caffeine. Acidity regulator sodium citrate.
Nutrition (per 250ml): 1 calorie, 0g Carbs, 0g Sugars.
9 out of 10.
As well as the Aero Heavenly Chocolate Mousse with Salted Caramel & Hazelnuts I reviewed the other day, there's also this variety; Salted Caramel Mousse. Asda were out of stock when I bought the Milk Chocolate variety, and I can see why - this one is infinitely nicer!
Priced at £1.30 like the Milk Chocolate version, this is described as "Salted caramel mousse with pecan nuts and caramel sauce".
Opening the lid, I was met with a tantalizing sight: salted caramel mousse, complete with caramel sauce swirled in. It looked and smelled delicious.
I dug straight in with a spoon. The salted caramel flavour hits immediately; it reminded me somewhat of a mixture of butterscotch and Caramac, and works brilliantly in mousse form! The swirls of sauce don't taste of much but they do add some nice gooey texture. The bits of pecan nuts add some crunch, but I wouldn't have guessed they were pecans.
The main strength of this dessert is the mousse itself - it's gorgeous; sweet, caramelly and salty, and worth buying for alone!
Overall, I have to say this dessert has surprised me, it's definitely one I would buy again and not a bad price for what you get (170g). I think it would go particularly nice paired with cakes, muffins etc...maybe even on top of a bowl of porridge if that's your thing! ;)
Available from Asda. Not suitable for vegetarians.
Nutrition (per 57g): 114 Calories, 6.3g Fat, 11.7g Carbohydrates (10.3g Sugars), 2.5g Protein.
8.5 out of 10.
Thursday, 30 March 2017
Last year Lucozade brought out some new Zero Sugar varieties, which included Lucozade Zero Pink Lemonade and Lucozade Zero Orange, but oddly no Original variety. I don't know what took them so long, but at last it's here! Currently available from Morrisons and The Co Op in small and large bottles, and probably other supermarkets soon too.
I bought a small bottle for £1.25 in Morrisons. I chilled it in the freezer, but left it in a bit too long so ended up with some Lucozade ice. Oops!
Luckily, the ice didn't spoil it at all - in fact it was the perfect chilled temperature to drink. It tastes pretty much like regular Lucozade, which is quite impressive considering sugar free versions of drinks often taste full of chemicals in comparison. It's actually more refreshing and lighter than regular Lucozade, whilst retaining that lovely citrusy edge that makes Lucozade so distinctive. Impressive! It made for a very refreshing drink, and knowing that it's low calorie and sugar free made it even better. Ladies and gentlemen - what we have here is the holy grail of sugar free drinks!
Ok, maybe I'm going overboard, but for anyone who loves Lucozade and needs to watch their calories and sugar intake, this drink is fantastic. Seek it out immediately!
Ingredients: Carbonated water, acids (citric acid, lactic acid), acidity regulators (sodium citrate, sodium lactate), preservative (potassium sorbate), sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame k), caffeine, antioxidant (ascorbic acid), flavourings, colours (sunset yellow, ponceau 4R).
Nutrition (per 250ml): 5 Calories, 0g Fat, 0g Sugar.
9 out of 10.
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
A week doesn't go by lately without another new product on shelves, and this time it's Nestle's turn with a new type of Aero Mousse. They've just launched this luxury "Heavenly" variety, in a single tub so you can scoff it all yourself without feeling guilty.
I found it in Asda for £1.30, which didn't seem like a bad price for something luxury. It's described as "Milk chocolate mousse with hazelnuts and salted caramel sauce". There's also a Salted Caramel Mousse variety but they were out of stock when I bought this.
Opening the lid, it looked very appetizing, there was a nice amount of salted caramel sauce swirled into the mousse.
I took a spoonful, and found that there were pieces of hazelnut dispersed throughout the mousse. There were more swirls of caramel sauce too, although not as plentiful as those at the top.
The mousse tasted very nice, but the most predominant flavour was of the hazelnuts - they were very strong! I couldn't taste much of the salted caramel sauce to be honest, it came through in vague sweet bursts but wasn't very noticeable. The mousse was light and creamy and the texture went well with the crunchy bits of hazelnut.
Overall, I did enjoy this mousse, but I'm not sure it's quite as luxurious as they're making it out to be. The salted caramel gets a bit lost in everything and apart from that, it's pretty much a regular chocolate mousse with chopped nuts mixed in. Tasty enough, but not groundbreaking.
Not suitable for vegetarians.
Nutrition (per 57g serving): 114 Calories, 6.6g Fat, 10.8g Carbohydrates (9.2g Sugars), 2.4g Protein.
7.5 out of 10.
One minute you're talking about a new mini product you'd like to see, the next minute it's in shops...that seems to be how Cadbury's roll these days, since a mini version of everything they make is inevitable now. Yes, Cadbury's iconic Curly Wurly bar is the latest to get the miniature treatment, although they actually did these in 2007 too.
Looks more like fishing bait than a tasty snack, right?
Not one to let that stop me, I decided to pull the head apart, as helpfully depicted on the wrapper. Hey, I'm just copying Cadbury's example, don't have a go at me!
Trying to forget images of crawling bugs in my mind, I took a bite. And they tasted as you'd expect: chewy toffee coated in Cadbury's milk chocolate. They were kind of addictive, I have to admit, although they didn't have much actual flavour, since Cadbury's chocolate isn't great quality these days. I can't help thinking that an actual Curly Wurly would be infinitely more enjoyable...half of the fun of them is the long chewy bars!
Overall, these aren't too bad, if chewy caramel is your thing you might just love them. I do think Cadbury's need to get a bit more inventive and start creating some genuinely new products rather than miniaturising everything they already make. The Big Taste Peanut Caramel Crisp was a step in the right direction...please continue that way Cadbury!
Available from Tesco.
7.5 out of 10.
Monday, 27 March 2017
I've always got my eye out for healthier versions of snacks, and one that caught my attention recently was this new Sweet Freedom Choc Pot Spread. I've been waiting for something healthier in the spreads department, considering how unhealthy our beloved spreads like Nutella can be (and don't get me wrong, I do love Nutella!)
Where this spread differs is its lower calorie and fat content, whilst being vegan, gluten free and dairy free, and containing only natural fruit sugars. It's also GMO, palm oil and preservative free.
I found a pot for £3 in the Free From section of Asda, and have to say I love the cute bunny face on the label! Let's be honest though, who doesn't love a cute bunny face?!
The spread looked nice and gloopy when I opened the lid. So much so I ended up getting it all over THE Hand. But I won't be showing you that...
It was very runny indeed, perhaps moreso than Nutella. It was almost like caramel sauce in consistency. The taste is interesting. It's chocolatey and almost "earthy" in some way, perhaps due to the fruit sugar. It feels very natural and "clean" which is the only way I can really describe it. I enjoyed it a lot and it went perfectly smothered over a rice cake:
Overall this is a very nice spread for something that's healthier, lower calorie and dairy free. I would buy it again and I can imagine it would go nicely used as a filling in cakes and suchlike. As far as healthier chocolate spreads go, I reckon this is the best there is right now!
Ingredients: Sweet Freedom natural fruit extracts; apples, grapes & carob, water, cocoa, natural flavouring, rapeseed oil, sunflower lecithin.
Nutrition (per 5g tsp): 13.6 Calories, 0.4g Fat, 2.2g Carbohydrates, 0.2g Protein.
8 out of 10.
Friday, 24 March 2017
I wasn't sure whether to try this new ginger flavour Pepsi Max when it came out - I do love ginger beer but combined with Pepsi it didn't sound like my kind of thing. I'm not a huge fan of Pepsi at the best of times either - I much prefer Vanilla Coke (which, by the way is now available in a Coca Cola Zero Vanilla variation!)
So I tried this expecting something a bit like ginger beer, but it turned out rather different. It's pretty much Pepsi Max with all it's artificial sweetness - something I'm not used to since I stopped drinking drinks with aspartame in some time ago - with a hint of ginger flavour in the background. It's pleasant and warming, but very inoffensive and true ginger beer lovers might be disappointed. If you like milder flavours however this might just be your thing!
Overall, not a bad drink, but would I buy it again? Probably not - I'll stick to ginger beer! (which, incidentally I have a review coming up for Crabbie's Gluten Free Ginger Beer - stay tuned for that!)
7 out of 10.
Thursday, 23 March 2017
Today's review is for a product that's been out a while now...Alpro's Unroasted and Unsweetened Almond Milk. I first purchased this last year when it came out, since I like to try all the new dairy free milks on the market. It promised to have a fresher taste than regular roasted almond milk.
Like all Alpro milks it's vegan certified and gluten free. You can find it in the UHT section of most Tesco stores.
It tastes very different to roasted almond milk - it's like marzipan in milk form, but without the sweetness! That's the main thing it tasted of - a strong flavour that reminded me of Battenberg cake, which was quite novel and certainly made for an interesting cup of tea! I did actually prefer it over roasted almond milk, it's definitely more refreshing and suits hot drinks better.
Overall, this is one nut milk I would highly recommend - especially if you like marzipan!
8.5 out of 10.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
I do love me some Ritter Sport chocolate, and luckily it's becoming more widely available in the UK - everywhere from Poundland, The Co Op, most supermarkets and even WH Smiths now sells it! However the newer flavours available in Germany are slower to find their way here. Luckily though, the Macadamia Nut Perfection and this Honey Salt Almonds have managed to make the trip!
I found this on a local market stall for only £1. It promises milk chocolate with roasted almonds, blended with a touch of honey and salt.
Like all Ritter Sport chocolate bars, the milk chocolate is of high quality - creamy, yet rich tasting, and better than most average UK milk chocolate bars. The almonds might have been a little ordinary by themselves, but with the sweet taste of honey and the savoury lick of salt they really do make this bar truly special. It's the perfect sweet and salty mish-mash, a very moreish bar indeed that is somehow quite satisfying compared to other bars of this size.
Overall, this is a great bar from Ritter Sport and one I hope sticks around. That said I am rooting for the Ritter Sport Einhorn (Unicorn) Limited Edition to be brought to the UK - it contains pink chocolate! And it's unicorn themed! Please do it, Ritter!
8.5 out of 10.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
I've been gradually making my way through Lindt's Excellence Dark range recently - they do some excellent bars, and have recently added a Raspberry Intense to the UK range too.
However for today's review I've chosen something that's been on shelves for a while - Lindt Excellence Caramel with a touch of sea salt. Salted Caramel is still a trendy flavour in confectionery, so how does Lindt's version fare?
Like most of the Excellence range, the chocolate here is semisweet and comes in at 47% cocoa solids. It contains crunchy caramel pieces with a touch of sea salt from France.
The chocolate is very nice; sweet and slightly creamy whilst also tasting rich. The crunchy caramel pieces and sea salt bring a welcome sweet and salty taste that contrasts nicely with the chocolate. This is a very moreish bar indeed - it's very easy to eat one square after another and it's perfect with a cup of coffee!
Overall, this is an "excellent" bar (sorry) from Lindt and one I will happily buy again. In fact, most of Lindt's Excellence range is pretty great - although I do wish they'd bring back the White Chocolate Strawberry Intense!
8.5 out of 10.
Monday, 20 March 2017
Whilst in need of refreshment recently, I fancied something fruity yet not overly sugar laden, and spotted this Firefly Drinks Lemon, Lime & Ginger in Sainsbury's Express. The ingredients are pretty clean and consist of still water, fruit extracts, grape juice, lemon, lime, dandelion and nettle extracts, natural ginger flavouring and even natural rosemary flavouring.
It tasted very refreshing indeed; very zingy and fruity - the citrus flavour was very prominent. It was just what I needed to perk me up and I didn't feel the need to drink it all at once (a rarity for me!) The herbal extracts give a subtle flavour that compliments the citrus, and the ginger provides a light warming kick.
Overall, I would highly recommend this drink from Firefly! If you need some fruity refreshment it's ideal.
Suitable for vegans.
8.5 out of 10.
Friday, 17 March 2017
Whilst visiting the cinema recently, and in need of a cheap Easter-themed snacks fix, I decided to try these Poundland Mini Chocolate Eggs, their answer to the ubiquitous Cadbury Mini Eggs. I should've known better considering their Chocolate Choccers were abysmal, but curiosity got the better of me...
Surpringly, they weren't quite as bad as Choccers, but they were no Cadbury Mini Eggs either. They tasted cheap and sugar laden - the chocolate was of course like calendar chocolate, whilst the shells were just super sweet and pure sugar. They were kind of addictive to munch on mindlessly whilst watching a film, but I could feel my teeth decaying with every bite.
Overall, I would recommend just getting a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs instead. They're not great these days but they're certainly better than these sugar bombs.
5 out of 10.
Thursday, 16 March 2017
I never thought the day would come - I have resisted it with all my snacking might - but finally, Snackaggedon is here and I'm reviewing...water! Not just any old water though, this is NuVa Spring Water with a kiss of Watermelon and Melon. It contains zero sweeteners, sugar or preservatives, just natural melon flavours and jasmine extract.
I spotted this whilst searching for something refreshing in Sainsbury's Express, and thought it fitted the bill. This is legally defined as a zero calories drink, however small traces may be present in the natural flavourings.
It tastes okay, pretty much what you'd expect from slightly flavoured spring water. The watermelon is literally just a "hint" of flavour, not very strong at all, but it's enough to make the water more interesting. It's refreshing and light, and definitely more enjoyable than plain water.
If you're on a low calorie, zero sugar or low carb diet then this is probably perfect for you. It adds some interest to otherwise plain spring water and doesn't cost a whole lot more in price.
Also available in Tangerine & Mango, Raspberry & Blueberry, Ginger & Lemon and Cucumber & Garden Mint flavours.
8 out of 10.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
As well as the new Ape Crunchy Coconut Bites, I decided to try these new Ape Salted Chocolate Crispy Coconut Curls whilst in Holland & Barrett this week. They sounded potentially quite exciting for a coconut snack!
I've tried Nudie Snacks Chocolate Coconut Chips before, which were delicious, so I had high hopes for these. The ingredients are simply coconut, coconut nectar, cocoa and sea salt. They're gluten free, vegan, high fibre and 96 calories per bag.
Pouring the bag onto a plate, I was a bit disappointed in the amount - just 20g of coconut chips for £1.49 (although no doubt this is down to Holland and Barrett's pricing rather than Ape Snacks themselves).
They tasted okay, although not quite as chocolatey as I would have liked. The salt muddles up the flavour a little bit and masks the small amount of cocoa there is. They're simply just not chocolatey enough.
Overall, I have to say for a chocolate variation of coconut chips these are a bit of a letdown. My advice - go for Nudie Snacks Chocolate Coconut Chips instead!
Nutrition (per 20g): 96 Calories, 7.2g Fat, 6.4g Carbohydrates, 3.2g Sugars, 4.2g Fibre, 1.4g Protein.
6.5 out of 10.
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
It's been a while since I've tried Ape Snacks Coconut Curls now, and when I saw this new snack from them I just had to give it a try. These Crunchy Coconut Bites are gluten free and high fibre, and made with a mixture of coconut, tapioca and sea salt. They're also suitable for vegans and under 150 calories a bag. I found these in Holland and Barrett.
They look like mini rice cakes. There didn't seem to be a lot in the bag, which was disappointing since it cost £1.99.
They tasted quite nice, very coconutty and fibrous and very crunchy. If you're on a lower carb diet these might be a better option than the likes of rice cakes. They're very filling.
Personally although I thought they were good I don't think I'd buy them again, as the price is a bit much for what they are.
Nutrition (per 30g): 148 calories, 11g Fat, 9.3g carbohydrates, 3.6g sugars, 6.3g fibre, 2g protein.
Also available in sesame seed and chia seed varieties.
7 out of 10.
Sunday, 12 March 2017
I'm always experimenting with new varieties of dairy free milks; there's quite a few options on the market now, mostly nut-based, although there's a few coconut ones too like Koko Dairy Free Milk. However most are lacking the creaminess of regular cows milk. Luckily, this new Coconut Milk Alternative from Vita Coco seems to buck that trend.
This can be found in the fresh section of Sainsburys for £2.50, with a voucher for £1 off your next purchase. It contains coconut water, coconut cream, added zinc, calcium, Vitamin A and magnesium as well as stabilisers. It's dairy free, gluten free, soya free and only contains naturally occurring sugars.
Pouring it into a glass, it had a similar consistency to semi-skimmed milk. It tasted very nice; pleasantly coconutty, creamy and sweet in equal measure. I blended some up with cocoa powder to make a refreshing dairy free milkshake - and it was lovely!
Overall, this is one of the best dairy free milk alternatives I have found yet! And it seems to be the cleanest in terms of ingredients too. I will probably buy this regularly from now on and use it to make milkshakes or hot chocolates. If you're vegan or lactose intolerant, this is definitely one to try!
9 out of 10.
Friday, 10 March 2017
I've been waiting for the Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Bars range to go on special offer for a while now, and at last, Tesco are the first ones to do it! They're currently on a £2 deal (they're usually £3.50), so I snapped up a box of this Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate variety this week.
They're described as "caramel ice cream with Belgian chocolate, salted caramel swirl and salted caramel brittle". I'd heard this was the best flavour out of the new range so was very excited to try it, even despite my experience with the slightly disappointing Haagen Dazs Mango Raspberry Bars.
There's three sticks per pack, each individually wrapped. They're somewhat smaller than a Magnum in size.
They tasted pretty amazing! The Milk Chocolate is rich and creamy, with the ice cream tasting luxurious as Haagen Dazs always tends to. The pockets of salted caramel bring some welcome salty sweetness, whilst the salted caramel brittle is what really makes the bars extra special. It's chewy, sweet and slightly salty, and makes the bars just that extra bit luxurious! The combination of elements combined makes these some seriously tasty ice cream bars indeed.
As nice as these are, would I pay full price for them? Probably not to be honest. The smaller size does let them down a bit as it practically forces you to eat another one after the first! I don't consider myself greedy, I just have a normal appetite ;)
Nutrition (per 70g bar): 257 Calories, 18.3g Fat, 19.7g Carbohydrates, 17.6g Sugars, 3g Protein.
Gluten free, contains egg & dairy, may contain nuts.
8 out of 10.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
When these Hershey Kisses Deluxe with Whole Hazelnut Center chocolates appeared in Poundworld stores recently I was very excited...at last, my chance to try a gluten free version of Ferrero Rocher!
The chocolates are wrapped in a special-looking gold foil, with 4 Kisses per pack in a plastic holder. Like traditional Hershey Kisses, you're meant to twist open the wrapper with the paper at the top.
The Kisses are dome-shaped, and the perfect size for popping in your mouth whole, but for review purposes I felt I had to see it from the side:
The chocolate is very sweet, sweeter than most standard UK milk chocolate is in fact, so immediately I wasn't too impressed. This is definitely nowhere near as good as a Ferrero Rocher. The creamy filling, rice crisps and whole hazelnut do add some crunch and make it a bit more interesting, but overall it is a pretty sweet and sickly chocolate that isn't that amazing to be honest.
In conclusion, I have to say I'm rather disappointed indeed with these Hershey Kisses Deluxe. It's great that they're gluten free but other than that, the quality lets them down. If you're going to copy Ferrero Rocher at least make it equal in quality!
If you've tried these I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments...what did you think of them?
6 out of 10.