11 Jun 2019

Review: Degustabox May (Brunch & Afternoon Tea)


The latest Degustabox arrived and the theme of the month is 'Brunch & Afternoon Tea'. Inside the surprise foodie box was another great mix of tasty snacks and sweet treats.

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:


Koko Dairy Free: This Super Milk is enriched with 9 key vitamins and minerals. It's a great replacement for regular milk.  I only use dairy free milk for cereals and hot drinks so this was a very welcome surprise in the Degustabox.



Oteas: I love flavoured black teas so I was excited to try this new (to me) brand. The biodegradable teabags look lovely and smell amazing too! The tea itself is fragrant with a subtle sweetness from the fruity apricot.



Indie Bay: Tasty pretzel bites made with spelt flour and seasoned with rock salt. I enjoyed these as a snack and it's great to know that they are vegan and have less than 100 calories per pack.




Daelmans Stroopwafels: A single pack of Daelmans Stroopwafels which contains two waffles with a caramel filling. My son loved these so much that we've added them to our next shopping list.

Splenda: A mini pack of Splenda sucralose with 100 calorie free sweeteners. The Degustabox leaflet also includes a recipe for a Cinnamon Latte made with Splenda that I will have to give a try.

Fruity Beauties: A fun and nutricious fruity bar that is perfect for kids. This had a soft, chewy texture with a sweet and tangy flavour.



Free From Fellows - Midget Gems: As the name would suggest, these Midget Gems are made without sugar, gluten, gelatine and dairy. They're suitable for vegans and are also free from artificial colours and flavourings. I'm really glad that Degustabox introduced me to this brand as it's definitely one I'll be looking out for from now on. They also make Gummy Bear and Cola Bottles which I hope to find soon.


Hellman's Vegan Mayo: The iconic mayo brand is now vegan! I've been meaning to try this one so thank you Degustabox. The flavour is just as creamy and delicious as the Hellman's Real Mayonnaise and is perfect for sandwiches and veggie burgers.


Kuhne Gin Cornichons: Extra crunchy guerkins refined with a Gin to give them a refreshing, fruity edge. There is also a Whiskey Cornichhons variety available that adds sweeter, vanilla notes.


Firefly: A refreshing blend of Lemon, Lime & Ginger with botanticals such as nettle and dandelion. It's lovely over ice with a reviving citrus flavour.



Shore Seaweed Puffs: These are available in four different flavours - I received the Lime, Chilli & Coconut. They're full of flavour, with each of the three elements coming through. The chilli provides a bit of a kick but is balanced by the creaminess of the coconut.


MilkyBar Mix Ups: I've already bought these a few times since they've been released as my kids really enjoy them. The mix of white and milk chocolate makes these a winner.

Overall, 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 Hellman's Vegan Mayo, Firefly Drinks and Oteas. 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.

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. 

Add caption
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.
Nutrition
 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.


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