Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Drink Me Chai Turmeric Latte Review (#veganuary)

In case you haven’t heard about the health benefits of turmeric yet, allow me to introduce you to this super herb; it's been shown act as an antioxidant, reportedly protecting against Alzheimer's disease and being anti microbial too. It's a staple of many healing diets and is what gives curry powder it's orangey hue. It can be used in supplement form as Curcumin, or a somewhat more tasty and interesting Turmeric Latte. There’s many recipes for how to make these online, but no need to bother with all that now; Drink me Chai have come to the rescue with their new Turnmeric Latte Mix!

Suitable for vegans and gluten free, this mix can be made with any type of milk but it is recommended to use a dairy free milk to get all the anti inflammatory benefits of the turmeric.

The mix consists of Turmeric (50%), Coconut Powder (45%), Cinnamon and ground black pepper.

I made it with a can of coconut milk I'd bought from Waitrose, but unfortunately it wasn’t one of the nicer coconut milks and so didn’t taste that great. Next time I plan to try it with Rude Health Coconut Milk, I'm sure it’ll be a lot nicer! I definitely got a boost from it though; and I’m pretty sure I could feel it working it’s anti-inflammatory magic.

Overall, this is a great product from Drink Me Chai and I am pleased to see a company promoting the health benefits of turmeric. I take the capsule form of Curcumin myself and find it very helpful.

If you’ve tried making this using other types of milk please do let me know in the comments!

8 out of 10.

Friday, 12 January 2018

New Nestle Orange Smarties Mini Eggs Review

I never thought the day would come but at last, Smarties have not only made their mini eggs gluten free for this Easter, they have also launched their much-loved Orange Smarties in mini egg form. Hurrah!!!

I had vowed not to touch any sweets after New Year's but I just couldn't resist the temptation of these, everyone knows the orange Smarties were the best (hence why Nestle did an Orange Smarties Sharing Tube last Christmas).

The eggs are described as "milk chocolate mini eggs in a crisp orange flavoured sugar shell" and the bag weighs in at 90g. I found them for £1 in WH Smiths. Opening the bag, the eggs looked all shiny and glossy with a sweet orangey aroma.

Crunching into one I was met with the orange shell, which was strongly flavoured and very yummy indeed. It seemed more prominent than in regular Orange Smarties, probably because of the different proportions, but I'm sure regular Orange Smarties have orange flavoured chocolate rather than shell? Anyone know? (I can't eat regular Smarties to do a comparison since they contain gluten).

The chocolate is standard milky Nestle chocolate, very sweet and non descript but it goes perfectly with the orange shells and makes for a delicious, if not super sugary, treat.

Overall, as far as Mini Eggs go these are a lot of fun and a great novelty, provided you like orange chocolate of course! I would buy these over Cadbury Mini Eggs any day since those just aren't so great anymore.

Ingredients: Sugar, cocoa butter, skimmed milk powder, cocoa mass, dried whole milk, whey powder, butterfat, glazing agents (gum arabic, carnauba wax), emulsifier soya lecithin, flavourings, colours (curcumin, beta carotene).

Nutrition Information (per 5 mini eggs): 85 calories, 3.1g fat, 13.3g carbohydrates, 12.2g sugars, 0.8g protein.

8.5 out of 10.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Chocolate Tree Coconut Milk Dairy Free Chocolate (#Veganuary)

Chocolate Tree Coconut Milk Non Dairy Chocolate

After the disappointing Loving Earth Coconut Mylk Bar, I thought I'd review something a bit tastier for #veganuary, this time it's Chocolate Tree's Coconut Milk & Sugar 55% cocoa bar. I found this in the same vegan store as Loving Earth Coconut Mylk, and it's priced higher at £4.65 for 80g, but boy is it worth the extra money.

I've tried a few coconut milk chocolate bars now in the search for something tasty, the best one so far being the Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Coconut Dark Chocolate (which isn't really dark chocolate - it's far too creamy!). If you're vegan or dairy free I would recommend seeking that one out for sure.

Chocolate Tree Coconut Milk Non Dairy Chocolate

Back to today's bar, the chocolate is actually split into two plastic foil wrapped bars within the main box, each containing 40g. They have a patterned design and interesting shaped blocks.

Chocolate Tree Coconut Milk Non Dairy Chocolate

The pack description reads "An alternative to milk chocolate made with coconut milk and coconut blossom sugar. The cacao we use for the chocolate is from the community of Chililique in Piura, Northern Peru". The chocolate is made in Scotland.

Chocolate Tree Coconut Milk Non Dairy Chocolate

Snapping the bar in half, it has quite a soft snap which I wasn't expecting. Taking a bite, it's definitely soft and smooth in texture, very melt in the mouth. And I really enjoyed it! It's creamy thanks to the coconut and coconut sugar but with a rich cocoa aftertaste, somewhat acidic and very flavoursome. I really enjoyed this, and am happy to pay the higher price for it. You can tell it's much better quality than cheaper chocolates.

Compared to the Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Coconut Chocolate I wouldn't say this is superior, but it certainly gives it a run for its money. The Waitrose 1 bar will always be my favourite coconutty chocolate; such a shame they are always out of stock!

8 out of 10. 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Loving Earth Creamy Coconut Mylk Chocolate (Vegan)

Loving Earth Creamy Coconut Mylk Chocolate

Today's review in honour of #veganuary is for something I hoped would be a bit of a treat for someone avoiding dairy. This bar, or rather heart is made in Australia by Loving Earth with coconut "mylk" as well as coconut nectar to make it somewhat of a vegan milk chocolate. I reviewed the Loving Earth Salted Caramel last year and enjoyed it, so was curious how this would compare to that bar.

Coconut nectar is the first ingredient, followed by virgin cacao butter, coconut, and finally raw cacao beans. The bar cost me £1.75 from a local vegan store. The ingredients are certified organic and fairtrade.

Loving Earth Creamy Coconut Mylk Chocolate

Opening the wrapper, I have to say I wasn't too excited by the dusty looking chocolate. I don't know if it's a "blooming" effect or caused by being transported from the other side of the world but it didn't look great. Still, the heart shape is a nice touch so I'll let them off.

Sadly, I can't say I enjoyed the taste. The texture is rather greasy and fatty, probably because cacao butter is so high in the ingredients list, which would usually be a good thing but it's just too overwhelming. The coconut nectar isn't sweet enough to compete with it, and the overall flavour leaves something to be desired. Compared to the delicious Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Coconut Dark Chocolate this is nowhere near as good.

Overall, I have to say this was a disappointment for me, but hopefully it's an anomaly in Loving Earth's range because I do like that they use high quality ingredients, and they do some interesting varieties such as Turkish Delight.

6 out of 10. 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Marks & Spencer Stoneless Cocktail Avocados

Marks & Spencer Stoneless Cocktail Avocadoes

Now that the Christmas festivities are over with and everyone will (hopefully) be focusing on healthier ways of eating for 2018, I thought I should review these Marks and Spencer cocktail Avocados, which are available for a limited period I believe. They are stoneless, so if you're one of those unfortunate people to sustain injuries cutting into the regular variety (I know people this has actually happened to!) these may be the avocadoes for you. The skin is also edible (apparently - I haven't tried!) and they look somewhat like large gherkins. You get around five or six per pack and they cost £2.

Marks & Spencer Stoneless Cocktail Avocadoes

I chose not to eat the skin, it just seems wrong. Just because you "can" doesn't mean you should! So I used a potato peeler and peeled it all off.

Marks & Spencer Stoneless Cocktail Avocadoes

They tasted pretty nice; creamy and comforting, although there isn't quite as much of the creamy flesh part as in a regular avocado so it's more of a firmer chewy texture for most of the eat. They're still nice though and make for a handy healthy snack.

Overall, I have to say I would actually buy and eat these again thanks to how convenient they are, plus they're reasonably priced too. Definitely worth looking out for in this healthier snacking season - and perfect for #veganuary!

8 out of 10. 

Friday, 29 December 2017

Nakd Blueberry Muffin Review

Nakd Blueberry Muffin

My first post-Christmas review...hurrah! And in typical fashion it's for something healthy, which is just what the doctor ordered after all the rich food and sweets over the festive season.

This new Blueberry Muffin flavour Nakd bar caught my eye in a local Sainsbury's Express only a few days after Christmas, and being a huge fan of their other varieties it went straight into my basket. How would it compare to previous editions like Lemon Drizzle and Carrot Cake?

Nakd Blueberry Muffin

The bar cost 85p and consists of a mixture of dates, cashews, raisins, almonds, blueberries and a hint of natural flavouring. Opening the wrapper it had a super strong blueberry aroma - wow it smelled like a blueberry muffin alright!

Nakd Blueberry Muffin

Taking a bite, it tasted even more of blueberry muffin than I'd expected. I mean yeah I expected blueberry, but the cashews and almonds actually gave it a muffin-like taste and texture. This was a real treat indeed, and better than some of the previous limited editions, in my opinion, including the Lemon Drizzle. 

Nakd Blueberry Muffin

Overall, a very tasty bar indeed that feels like a genuine treat, perfect for any healthier eating new years resolutions, as well as the upcoming #veganuary season! 

8.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Asda Free From Mince Pies Improved Recipe Review

asda free from mince pies

I reviewed Asda's Free From Mince Pies last year, but this year they have only gone and bloomin' improved them (again), so here I am reviewing the new and improved versions. The things I do for food research haha!

It's always nice to have more gluten free varieties, and thankfully all the supermarkets are expanding their options all the time - with even Aldi currently doing Gluten Free Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings. It's a step in the right direction for us gluten free folk for sure. I do enjoy Asda's offering, in fact I'd say they're the best budget gluten free mince pies around.

Asda Free From Mince Pies

Free from Dairy and Gluten, but sadly not egg these aren't suitable for vegans. And despite the lack of butter, the pastry on these still tastes lovely and buttery, melt in the mouth and has just the right thickness.

Asda Free From Mince Pies

The filling is moist and gooey, with the right balance of fruits and spice, never tasting too syrupy or sugary. In fact it's rather authentic for a cheaper mince pie.

Asda Free From Mince Pies

I really loved these, and I would say they have in fact improved since last year, it's hard to say how exactly but perhaps the pastry is a little more buttery tasting and the filling is more plentiful? I'm not sure exactly, but for a bargain gluten free treat this festive season these are an absolute must - that's if they don't go out of stock, as always tends to happen with gluten free festive products! Snap these up while you can!

8.7 out of 10.