15 Nov 2017

Degustabox October Review - Surprise Foodie Box & Discount Code

A quick review of the latest foodie box from Degustabox. These boxes are always packed full of surprises and would make a wonderful gift for the foodie in your life. Once again Degustabox have provided a generous discount code for my readers:

About Degustabox & Discount Code8TL75

Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of specially selected foodie products. There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Each Degustabox costs £12.99, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved - you can cancel at any time. 

The discount code is a massive £7 off, making the first box only £5.99 delivered! Check out the Degustabox website below and enter the new discount code: 8TL75 

Here's a round up of all the products I received in the latest Degustabox:

Hippeas Organic Chickpeas Puffs: I've tried these vegan friendly snacks before and really enjoyed them. The flavour 'In Herbs We Trust' is  a delicious combination of Mediterranean herbs and spices. They're quite garlicky with lots of rosemary and oregano flavour coming through too.

Lee Kum Kee: Two sauce sachets from Lee Kum Kee's wide range of classic Chinese flavours. The Sauce for Tomato Garlic Prawns is made with tomato, chilli peppers, honey and garlic. Other flavours include; Sauce for Kung Pao Chicken, Sauce for Broccoli Beef in Oyster Sauce and Sauce for Honey Garlic Spare Rib.

Lo Salt: A sample size 'free gift' of LoSalt which has 66% less sodium compared to regular table, sea and rock salts.

Heinz No Added Sugar Hoops: I haven't had tinned spaghetti hoops for years! This was fun to try again and my kids enjoyed them too.

Pulsin Kids' Fruity Oat Bars (left): A small orange chocolate chip oat bar made with all natural ingredients and no added sugar. It's rich in fibre and one of your five a day. I had to give this vegan treat a try myself and I'm glad I did because it was very tasty. It's full of chocolate chunks and has a lovely sweet orange flavour.

Pip's Real Hot Chocolate (middle): An orange flavoured hot chocolate chunk. Simply pop into hot milk and stir to create a delicious drink. I made this for my hot chocolate crazy son and he loved it!

Pechkeks Misfortune Cookie (right): Fitting for an October box is this black fortune cookie with a dark humorous fortune inside.

Feel Good Drinks: Two large bottles of Feel Good Drinks that are made from 100% natural ingredients. They're a simple blend of water, fruit and natural flavourings. I received two flavours; Orange, Mango & Water and a Strawberry & Mint Infusion.

Cirio Valfrutta: An microwaveable Bulgar Quinoa Riso Rosso that is ready to eat in 2 minutes. It's a delicious combination of bulgar, quinoa and red rice, flavoured with tomatoes and green olives. There are lots of other flavours in the range; Cous Cous with Mixed Vegetables, Basmati Rice & Lentils, and a Spelt with Black Olives.

Kabuto Noodles - Thai Green Chicken Curry: A gluten-free noodle pot inspired by the green curries of Thailand. It's full of natural ingredients with no additives or preservatives and is ready in minutes.

Nuttvia Breadsticks Snackpack (left): A hazelnut chocolate spread with added dipping breadsticks.  It's even better that the Nuttvia spread is made with zero palm oil and 97% less sugar. The flavour is delicious and is sure to be a hit in lunchboxes.

Michel et Augustin (right): An individual snack pack of two oversized chocolate cookies with a melty hazelnut chocolate centre. Combined with the added chocolate chips this is a decadent sweet treat. These cookies are also made with real fresh butter and free range eggs which makes them extra delicious.

Vimto Millions Gift Jar: A fun combination of the classic Millions sweets with the distinctive flavour of Vimto.

Overall I was delighted with the wide selection of different products in the October Degustabox - there were plenty of sweet treats but also useful groceries for my family too. This month, I was especially pleased with the Cirio Valfrutta, Nuttvia Snackpack, and Pulsin Oat Bar. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this months Degustabox in the comments below.

For more details:
Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com

I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

27 Oct 2017

Review: New Quaker Oats Pumpkin Spice (UK)

Pumpkin Spice seems to be gaining popularity in the UK and I was excited to finally find the new Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice flavoured oats from Quaker Oats. It's a microwaveable porridge with added pumpkin seeds, sugar and natural flavourings.

The pumpkin spice flavour itself is quite subtle and light. It's not heavily spiced at all (I couldn't really taste any cinnamon or nutmeg), but there's a lovely sweet pumpkin flavour coming through that I found delicious. The overall combination with the pumpkin seeds is both creamy and crunchy, and very satisfying. I have to point out that my fellow taste tester, the Pumpkin Spice Super-Fan Mr Grocery Gems, doesn't really agree with me about the flavour here. He thought the pumpkin spice was too weak and he wanted a  much stronger flavour. However, I like the fact that it's not too overpowering and it's obviously made with extra toppings in mind - get sprinkling some extra cinnamon on there!

At the moment these oats are on offer for £1 a box - I'll be stocking up on a few more boxes of this limited edition for myself. If you've tried the new Pumpkin Spice Quaker Oats then I'd love to know what you thought in the comments below!

Also Spotted is a limited edition Quaker Oats Toffee Apple flavour too - perfect for November!

Grocery Gems Review: Quaker Oats So Simple Pumpkin Spice

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy It again?: Yes.
Nutrition (per sachet with semi -skim milk ): 226 calories.
Price: £1.00p for 8 sachets.
Purchased: Asda.

Review: Jordan's Skinny Syrups Pumpkin Spice & Pumpkin Caramel

I've been looking for a decent pumpkin spice flavoured syrup to try to recreate my favourite Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte at home without much luck. So far I've tried the Pumpkin Spice Syrups from Monin and Sweetbirds which were both a total waste of money. The Sweetbirds one especially was so horrid it had to be thrown away. 

The Skinny Syrups brand is one that I've found a few times before in TK Maxx. I like their sugar free Vanilla and Gingerbread syrups and prefer them now to the full-on sugary kind. My husband bought me their Pumpkin Spice and Pumpkin Caramel varieties as a gift recently (I think he paid a fortune on Amazon) and thankfully I enjoyed both varieties for making lattes at home.

The Skinny Syrups Pumpkin Spice has a nice amount of spices coming through with the sweet pumpkin. It's similar to the sugar free Gingerbread syrup I already have but with a distinctive hint of pumpkin. The Skinny Syrups Pumpkin Caramel variety is slightly sweeter and has a creamy undertone. As they're both sugar free they do have a bit of an artificial aftertaste, which might ruin the flavour for some - I found it especially noticeable in the Pumpkin Caramel variety.

Even though neither of these flavours is a patch on a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice (why don't they just sell Pumpkin Spice syrups instore already?), I'm glad that I tried both these flavours. I would definitely buy the Skinny Syrups Pumpkin Spice variety again next year.

Grocery Gems Review: Skinny Syrups Pumpkin Spice

RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy It again?: Yes.
Nutrition0 calories.
Purchased: Amazon.

15 Oct 2017

New York Bakery Co Maple Mini Bagels & Easy Halloween Bagel Ideas!

The new Maple Mini Bagels from the New York Bakery Co. are perfect for this time of year. These mini sized bagels can be popped into the toaster whole and used to 'rip and dip'! I could honestly get through a whole bag of these by myself because they're just so delicious.

I was delighted to be sent these bagels by New York Bakery Co. and asked to create some fun  (and in  my case easy!) Halloween treats with them. More about that after a quick review!

Firstly I have to review the actual bagel itself and show you the lovely golden colouring. There are actually little pockets of maple syrup but the flavour is surprisingly not too sweet. These bagels could definitely be used for sweet or savoury meals. My kids enjoyed them with peanut butter or chocolate fillings but I loved them just lightly toasted and buttered or for dipping in a pumpkin soup.

Anyway, onto my super easy peasy fun Halloween ideas!

Spooky Critters Halloween Bagel Ideas:

Cute Monster Bagel - okay so this one is more smiley than spooky. Simply cut out jagged teeth shapes into an apple slice and prop open a peanut butter filled Maple Mini Bagel. You could also cut out two fangs on the apple slice to make it a vampire bagel! I used Wilton candy eyes which look great (I got these on Ebay) but dark chocolate chips or simple white icing are also good. 

Spooky Spider Bagel - our spider bagel is simply made with chocolate spread and Matchmaker legs (you could also use chocolate dipped pretzel sticks). This one was my kids' favourite!

Petrified Mummy Bagel - I used cream cheese frosting (just cream cheese with icing sugar and a little vanilla) to pipe on a simple mummy design. Then I just added two dark chocolate chips for eyes. 

Gruesome Toothsome Duo - my son had the idea to use mini marshmallows for teeth and it's such a simple and cute idea. These two are definitely the goofballs of the bunch. We also had some teeth shaped sweets (which you can just see in the background) which would also be fun to use.

Batty Bagel - a bat bagel (or is it an owl?) made with chocolate spread and Oreo cookie wings - just separate the biscuit and cut each side in half to make the wings. Couldn't be easier! 

We had lots of fun creating these easy Halloween bagel ideas - imagine what you could do for Bonfire Night too!

Grocery Gems Review: New York Bakery Co Maple Mini Bagels

RATING: 10 out of 10.
Buy It again?: Yes - I'll be stocking up.
Nutrition (per mini bagel): 96 calories.
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians.
Price: £1.30p

PR Samples.

Review: Nakd Breakfast Bars including Apple Danish flavour

I was recently sent the delicious looking range from Nakd featuring four of their Breakfast Bars. The flavours are; Cocoa Twist, Berry Bliss, Banana Bread and Apple Danish. I was especially excited about the Apple Danish flavour! These Nakd Breakfast Bars are suitable for vegans and contain oats, dates, raisins, and cashews as the base ingredients. The addition of oats makes these really filling and delicious as a morning snack.

Nakd Apple Danish: This was my favourite flavour and is the most delicious Nakd bar I've ever had. As a cinnamon fan I appreciated just how gorgeously flavoured this bar is. The tart apple is delicious with the sweet cinnamon and nutmeg spices coming through perfectly. It tastes like an indulgent apple danish but all for under 100 calories. 

Nakd Banana Bread: This banana flavour is the classic Nakd bar flavour but I don't think I've ever reviewed it on the blog before. This is one flavour I always go for - it has such a strong banana flavour that I keep coming back to it.

Nakd Berry Bliss: The Berry Blast is another favourite flavour. It has a tangier taste that is delicious as a morning snack. It really does taste like it's packed full of raspberries and provides a real fruity hit.

Nakd Cocoa Twist: The Cocoa Twist flavour is not really for me but funnily enough it's one of my husband's faves. It has a very strong cocoa flavour but I just prefer the sweeter and tarter fruity flavours!

Overall I love the textures of all these Nakd bars, they're so soft and chewy without being cloying or crumbly. The Apple Danish flavour is definitely one I'll be buying again. Each of these bars is now under 100 calories, which I prefer, but they're also slightly smaller than their previous 35g bars. 

Grocery Gems Verdict: Nakd Breakfast Bars

RATING: 9 out of 10 for the Apple Danish!
Buy It again?: Yes.
Nutrition (per 30g bar): Banana - 94cal, Berry Blast - 99cal, Cocoa - 99cal, Apple - 98cal.
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegans.

PR Samples. 

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