24 May 2019

Review: Asda Rainbow Hoops Vs Kellogg's Froot Loops

I couldn't resist reviewing the new(ish) Rainbow Hoops from Asda. This blog has seen more than it's fair share of reviews for brightly coloured hoopy cereal. There was the original  US Kellogg's Froot Loops, the launch of a UK Version in 2012 Limited Edition Kellogg's Froot Loops, which were followed in 2017 by a Unicorn themed variety. These last too are no longer available in the UK so I was pleased to find the Asda Rainbow Hoops to fill the gap. 

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The Asda Rainbow Hoops are the first time I've seen a supermarket own-brand join in. And luckily - I just so happened to have a box of Kellogg's Unicorn Froot Loops (from Germany!) and a mini box of the American Kellogg's Froot Loops in the house - so get ready for a lots of comparison photos.

Asda Rainbow Hoops: These are made with natural colours so it's not surprising that they are quite pale in colouring. They are also covered in a visible white sugary glaze which makes them even paler. The overall flavour is fine, although not as fruity as I was expecting, and far too sweet. I know this type of cereal is always going to be sugary but these were pushing it even for me.

Kellogg's Unicorn Froot Loops: I found these in Home Bargains for £1.49. I thought they were a return of the Unicorn Froot Loops from a few years ago, as they look identical, but it seem that these are imported from Germany (and even feature a wordsearch in German on the back). Even though these are also made with natural colours, they are much more colourful than the Asda Unicorn Hoops. The pinks and yellows are especially vibrant. I also preferred the flavour of these Kellogg's Unicorn Froot Loops, they manage to stay on the right side of sweetness and also have a generic fruity flavour in the background.

Kellogg's Froot Loops (US): Lastly, the craziness that is the original American Froot Loops from Kellogg's. These are packed full of colourings and look super bright next to the paler British versions. Personally, I find the bright blues and greens really off-putting in a food but they are fun as a one-off. The flavour is also the fruitiest and most distinctive. 

Overall, my favourites are the Kellogg's Unicorn Froot Loops which have the right combination of colourful fun and sweetness (I know fans of American cereals will disagree!). Sadly they don't seem to be available in the UK anymore, but look out for them in bargain shops as they are available in other European countries.

If you've tried any of these cereals, especially the new Asda Unicorn Hoops, then let me know in the comments below.

I'll be back with some more reviews soon so check back.

Katherine @grocerygems

23 May 2019

Coca-Cola Energy Drink Review

A new release by Coca-Cola is always an exciting prospect, even if it is an energy drink. This new Coca-Cola Energy is available in both regular Coca-Cola and Coke Zero Sugar varieties. The cans are small at 250ml but manage to contain 80mg of caffeine, plus added guarana and vitamins.

I tried the full-fat classic Coca Cola version first. The front of the can states that this is 'The only Energy Drink with a great Coca-Cola Taste' which sets the bar pretty high. The drink itself is much paler in colour than Coca-Cola and the flavour could only, at best, be described as having a hint of cola. 

The main flavour is a generic, fizzy fruity one with vague undertones of melted cola cubes or watered down cola. That said, I didn't find it to be an unpleasant flavour but it's certainly a disappointing one and nothing like Coca-Cola. As someone who has rarely had an energy drink before (perfect for this review I know), I can't compare the chemical aftertaste here to other energy drinks, but I didn't find this one overpowering. I also tried the Coke Zero Energy and that one had an even stronger chemical taste and not enough of a cola taste for me to be able to drink more than a few sips.

It will be interesting to see how popular this new Coca-Cola Energy is with the energy drinking crowd. I can see myself grabbing one of these cans if I really needed a pick-me-up - although I'd probably still go for a regular coffee or even a can of regular Coke first. 

Grocery Gems Review: Coca-Cola Energy Drink

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Maybe.
 105 calories per 250ml (for the regular Coca Cola variety).

Purchased: Sainsbury's Local.
Price: £1.25p per can.

Review: Degustabox Best of British (April)

I do love a themed Degustabox and I was excited to find out what was included in the April 'Best of British' themed box. Inside there was a fab mix of some classic brands such as Heinz and Ty-Phoo, alongside a discovery of interesting new products.

About Degustabox:

Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out 10 to 15 specially selected foodie products per box. 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. 

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

Bulls-Eye NY Steakhouse BBQ Sauce: This is a very unique sauce - it's not smooth but has visible onions and peppers. It's essentially a cross between a relish and a sauce. It's also full of flavour and tastes almost homemade with plenty of natural ingredients and spices - it packs a zing at the end with a hint of heat too.

Slim Rice Sushi: This is made using Japanese sushi rice and konjac rice for lower calories. It doesn't need any cooking so can be used straight onto a nori sheet to make sushi. I will probably use it as a replacement for rice the next time I make a stir fry dish.

TyPhoo Tea: Typhoo has been around since 1903 and is a much loved British tea brand. As much as new products are exciting, I also love it when storecupboard essentials are included in the Degustabox - and they don't get much more essential (and British) than teabags!

Robinsons Pressed Pear & Elderflower: This is the perfect combination for a grown-up fruit cordial. My husband especially enjoyed the crisp fruitiness of the pear combined with the refreshing and delicate elderflower. I haven't been a fan of some of the flavours in this range so I was pleased with this discovery.

London Flavours Crisps: These hand-cooked crisps are available in three street food inspired flavours; Pho, Teriyaki & Sticky Ribs - I received the Street Food Pho. All flavours are suitable for vegans. I really enjoyed the texture of these, each chip is thick and crunchy, with a lovely tangy flavour too.

Candy Kittens Wild Strawberry: Ever since I tried these in a previous Degustabox, Candy Kittens have become my favourite brand of sweets. I always treat myself to a bag for movie nights or special occassions. The Wild Strawberry is up there with my favourite flavours, although I also love the Peach and Blueberry varieties too.

Crafted by Cracker Drinks Co: A new brand that I've never tried before. This is a fruit juice drink with no added sugar or sweeteners, packed in an environmentally friendly carton. It's a lovely tasting juice, very a gorgeous tropical flavour and not too sweet. I would definitely buy this again if I was out and about.

Pachamama: These vegan bars are made with a mix of cacao, dates, nuts, grains and seeds. I received two flaovurs; Andean Berries & Raspberry and Cocao & Cashew. The texture is very dense and packed full of ingredients. I preferred the slightly sweeter and fruitier hints of the Andean Berries variety.

Love Corn: These little vegan corn kernals are simply delicious. The barbecue flavour is absolutely delicious and perfectly matched to the natural crunchy corn. This was my favourite snack in the whole Degustabox.

Heinz: I'm sure I don't need to describe either Heinz Baked Beanz or Heinz Tomato Soup as they're both classics. Funnily enough I have never tried the Organic version of the Baked Beanz or the convenient microwavable pot for the Tomato Soup so it was still fun finding these in the Degustabox.

Skinny Food Co - Not Guilty Bites: Interesting little packs of high protein White Chocolate or Milk Chocolate Crispies. These seem to be made with soy flakes and have a similar appearance and texture to traditional rice krispies. Each pack has about six bites and comes in under 99 calories. 

Nestlé Oat Cheerios: Another grocery classic that I buy regularly. Nestlé Cheerios are one of my kids' favourite cereals and we're fans of this Oat variety too.

Once again I enjoyed the selection of surprise groceries in this month's Degustabox - there were plenty of new brands to discover. I was especially happy to find the Love Corn, London Flavours Crisps, and Candy Kittens. 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.

28 Sep 2018

Review: Nespresso Master Origin - Nicaragua & Indonesia

A quick review of two varieties from the new Nespresso Master Origin range - Nicaragua and Indonesia. There are also varieties from Ethiopia, Colombia, India and Mexico available (although the last one only seems to be available for the newer Vertuo machines). 

The Master Origins varieties have replaced the Pure Origins range which included favourites such as Dulsão and Indriya. It's still possible to buy some of the Pure Origins varieties online but they are now listed as *last chance to buy*.

Nicaragua: The Nicaragua Master Origin has an intensity of 5 and is described as possessing a 'smooth honeyed texture with sweet cereal notes'. I found it to have a pleasing initial crema and  a sweet, mild flavour. Disappointingly the flavour seemed to get weaker as I was drinking it and I'm not sure that this packs enough punch for my tastes.

Indonesia: The Indonesian blend on the other hand has a fuller flavour and more distinctive profile. I preferred this stronger blend with it's slight hint of bitterness. It's described as being 'velvety thick, wildly aromatic with notes of cured tobacco'.  The first thought I had when I tried it (and before I read the description) was that it had a slightly smokey undertone. It's certainly unique and, although I enjoyed it, I don't think either of these coffees are going to make it onto my regular Nespresso orders.

I'm still keen to try the other varieties in this range, especially India, which has an intensity rating of 11. Let me know what you thought of the Master Origins range and whether you'll be missing any of the Pure Origins coffees in the comments below.

Grocery Gems Review: Nespresso Master Origins:

Rating: Nicaragua - 5 out of 10; Indonesia - 6 out of 10.
Buy AgainProbably not.
Purchased: Nespresso.
Price: £3.90p (10 capsules).

25 May 2018

Degustabox Review - April Foodie Box & Discount Code

A quick look at all the goodies that arrived in the April Degustabox. It was a packed one! Keep reading for all the details and also a fab money off code for your first box.

Discount Code - 8TL75

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 gives you £5 off your first box, making it only £7.99 delivered. Check out the Degustabox website below and enter the new discount code: 8TL75

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

a2 Milk: A full size bottle of easy to digest a2 Milk. This long life milk is naturally free from the A1 protein found in regular cow's milk so it's easier to digest. I always like to keep a bottle of long life milk in the cupboard so this will come in very useful.

Mutti Passata & Finely Chopped Tomatoes: This expensive looking brand is the winner of a Great Taste Award and uses only the finest Italian tomatoes. I use a lot of tinned tomatoes and passata at home in my cooking so I couldn't wait to give these a try. I was pleased to find that both had lovely thick textures with a wonderful depth of flavour to the tomatoes.

Juicy Fuel Cola: Two cans of an energy drink with a difference. The all natural Juicy Fuel Cola is available in two flavours; Blueberry and Cherry. It's made with no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners and no preservatives and somehow also manages to be one of your five a day! I loved both of these - the flavours are deliciously fruity but also have that distinctive cola flavour.

Happy Down Sparkling Cocktail: For subscribers to the alcohol option only. This is an intriguing drink flavoured with fresh lychee, guava, and a dash of chilli to create a refreshing cocktail.

Lucozade Energy Orange: A bottle of Lucozade Energy - one of my husbands favourite drinks so he quickly called dibs on this one!

Milkybar Wowsomes: Little bars of Milkybar white chocolate made with 30% less sugar compared to similar chocolate bars. There are two varieties; white chocolate fill and milk chocolate with a crispy oat cereal. My kids loved these!

Mindful Bites: A premium brand of unique nut butters blended with superfoods and unique flavours. I received four innovative 'squeeze sachets' which are meant to be eaten on the go. I loved the  flavours of these, especially the Hazelnut & Blueberry Nut Butter - the fruity blueberry was a surprisingly good match for the creamy hazelnut butter.

Idahoan's Perfect Mash: This easy to make instant mash is super convenient and tasty. The whole family loved the creamy, fluffy texture and delicious garlic flavour. It's perfect with veggie sausages!

The Food Doctor: Two little packs of tasty snacks from The Food Doctor - a Smokin' Edamame Mix and a Full of Beans Protein Mix. The snacks are high in fibre and a good source of protein.

Haribo Giant Strawbs: Funnily enough this is one variety of Haribo that I've never tried. They're suitable for vegetarians and are now available in this sharing size pack and smaller pocket size packs. The flavour is super fruity with a sour edge and they also have a soft but slightly sticky-to-eat texture.

Trek Protein Energy Chunks: Two bags of these Protein Energy Chunks in Cocoa Peanut Peak and Toffee Triumph from Trek. These are tasty cold-pressed nibbles made with natural wholefood ingredients. I enjoyed both flavours but I think the super sweet Toffee Triumph was my favourite.

Nick's Kexbar: A chocolate wafer bar with no added sugar (it's sweetened with Steviol). It's a tasty enough wafer bar with a nice vanilla sweetness. 

LioBites Strawberry & Banana Smoothie Bites: These are 100% fruit crisps made with freshly frozen fruit smoothies that are freeze dried. They're also 1 of 5 a day and vegan with no added sugar. My kids really enjoyed the fruity flavour and fun crunchy texture.

Once again I enjoyed the selection of surprise groceries in this month's Degustabox - there were plenty of new brands to discover. I was especially happy to find the Mutti Italian products, Juicy Fuel Cola and Idahoan Roasted Garlic Mash. 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.

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