Monday, 20 March 2017

Jamesons Raspberry Ruffles

​Who doesn't enjoy a bit (or a lot) of chocolate at the end of the day? Personally it's one of the highlights of my day, you know, other than speaking to my favourite people...
Being a vegan makes you no different, although it can feel that your choices are heavily limited, or blooming expensive!
 
But fear not dear readers, for there are indeed an abundance of options out there, some less expected than others. This brings me to the humble Raspberry Ruffle.
A classic chocolate which doesn't seem to get much love anymore and is often found only in bargain stores. This, albeit good for my pocket, is a bit sad because they are absolutely delicious and really quite unique in a land of boring chocolates.
 
Raspberry Ruffles, as far as I know, are available in little bars, and in these little individually wrapped mouthfuls. They are Raspberry flavoured desiccated Coconut covered in dark chocolate.
The filling reminded me a lot of a Bounty bar in texture and consistency. The dedicated Coconut is actually a bit drier and more crumbly in texture, although I wouldn't have minded a lighter texture, it still was a delight to munch. 
 
The ruffle definitely packed a bigger punch in terms of flavour! The raspberry was a really tasty and interesting twist that added another depth to it all that I absolutely loved! It was a little tart and a little sweet, perfectly balanced.
These flavours worked marvellously with the dark chocolate coating which wasn't overly sweet, but far from bitter. It isn't the best quality dark chocolate, but really that didn't take anything away from the overall flavour, it probably worked to the advantage of the filling as it let that be the main flavour. 
 
 
 
Overall I blooming loved these, but be warned, they are incredibly moreish and you could easily find yourself chomping through a whole bag of these in less than an hour...
 
 
Rating - 8.5/10
 
Vegan - Yes
 
Calories - 135 per 3 Sweets
 
Buy Again? - I already have two more bags

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Trek Protein Chunks

The Natural Balance food company, is easily a vegan's best friend. With their constant innovation of healthy snack foods, it is difficult to beat. They aim to provide a delicious and nutritious alternative to other products on the market. They are immensely popular with both vegans and non-vegans alike because when something tastes this good, how can you not love it?

Okay, I may have gone off on a little bit of a tangent about how much I love this company, but they genuinely do provide some of my favourite products going! They seem to bring out new products and varieties quite often which I absolutely love because I always have something new to review!
This week I am reviewing a brand new product from their Trek branch called, 'Protein Energy Chunks'.

They come in three varieties but so far I have only been able to track down the two that I'm reviewing today. But I am not deterred, I shall find the elusive Cranberry Kick Chunks!
They come in a 60g bag filled with these rather large chunks. They actually reminded me of a souped up bag if Nak'd Nibbles, but much firmer and with crunchy bits in. I was left extremely satisfied and full after eating-I actually got through a seven hour shift thanks to these so they must be pretty decent! There is 12g of protein in each of these bags which provide slow release energy.



Trek Cocoa Peanut Peak Chunks

I really enjoyed this flavour. We all know that cocoa and peanut is a tried and tested flavour combination which cannot be beat. As you can imagine, Trek absolutely smashed this out of the park. The cocoa was delicious, it added a tasty richness, and complimented the naturally nutty peanut flavour. There was just enough sweetness to make it feel like a treat, but not so much that it felt sickly. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed these and can't wait for the next time I munch on these!

Rating - 8.75/10
Vegan - Yes
Calories - 232
Buy Again? - YES!



Trek Toffee Triumph Chunks

I really wasn't expecting just how good that this flavour was going to be. The toffee flavour was incredible, it actually tasted remarkable like actual toffee which is pretty impressive seeing as there was no actual dairy or chemicals involved in the creation of these snacks. The flavour was just fabulous, and the added crunch in the chunks really made it something else. Trek really have outdone themselves this time!

Rating - 9.5/10
Vegan - Yes
Calories - 213
Buy Again? - YESSS!!!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Aunt Bessie's Accidentaly Vegan Crumble

I used to absolutely love apple crumble. Tangy yet sweet stewed fruit, soft to the bite, covered in the syrupy fruit sauce that almost sticks to your teeth. Then the crumble. The buttery, moreish crumble which can warm even the hardest of hearts.

This my friends, is the food of the Gods. But a vegan alternative is hard to come by, and because I am frightfully lazy, I cannot be bothered making my own. I have a habit of checking the ingredients of almost everything new that I see in the shops in some vain hope of finding something accidentally vegan. More often than not this is a fruitless action, yielding absolutely no results. But, brace yourself my dear readers, because I have discovered something quite magical. 

AN ACCIDENTALLY VEGAN AUNT BESSIE'S APPLE CRUMBLE



 It comes in at almost 400 calories, which I'm going to be honest, did make me nearly keel over considering it is only a small pot. But I decided that I owed it to myself and my readers to try it. It was ready in less than two minutes which is was very impressed with, but in those two short minutes, the house was filled with the smell of baked apples and sweet buttery crumble. It was as though I had spent the day slaving over this dessert. I removed the crumble from the little black pot and left to cool for a bit and then tucked in. 

Reader, it was everything that you would want in an apple crumble and so much more. It was simply a delicious experience and tasted even better than I remembered it to be. Perhaps there is a degree of nostalgia playing into this, but I'm going to ignore that possibility, because that would detract from the puddings deliciousness. 


Rating - 9/10

Vegan - Yes! 

Calories - 393 per pot 

Buy Again? - Yes!

Friday, 17 February 2017

Nak'd Lemon Drizzle Bar

Lemon is often a tricky flavour to play with. So many times have I eaten something lemon flavoured, for the word flavour to be an exaggeration! Instead, your tongue is left assaulted by citric acid so strong it could burn a hole through steel. If by some miracle this is not the case, then you are probably left wondering where exactly this lemon is. 

So, as I read about Nak'd Lemon Drizzle bar, you can obviously understand this feeling of cautious excitement and hope that I had building within me. Lemon Drizzle, when done well, can be a thing of beauty with its tangy sweetness, perfectly balanced to create a pure flavour sensation. But how well would this translate into a Nak'd bar? I was about to find out. 

As I opened the cheerful and rather snazzy yellow packaging, I was unsurprised to see the typical looking Nak'd bar. It was the incredibly fresh and zesty smell that surprised me--An enticing aroma to say the least! I bit into the bar with an unrivalled enthusiasm and was certainly not disappointed. The bar was fresh and moist and squidgy, just as a Nak'd bar should be. And the flavour was pretty darn good aswell, it tasted like an actual lemon drizzle cake. 

To say I was blown away, would be a good description of how overjoyed and shocked I was at this taste sensation. The citrus worked nicely with the subtle nuttiness of the base part of the bar, I really wasn't expecting this to work so well and compliment eachother like this, but they certainly did! The nuttiness was very subtle and created an almost cakey flavour. I don't know how Nak'd do it, some sort of sorcery I can only assume!



So it is safe to say, that once again, Nak'd have absolutely outdone themselves in terms of flavour innovation! I look forward to all future endeavours. 


 Rating - 9.5/10 

Calories - 133 per Bar 

Vegan - Yes 

Buy Again? - Yes! Yes! YES!!!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Perkier Cacao Cashew Bar

I am quite familiar with the Perkier brand, with its wide range of gluten free foods. I've always admired the way that they make gluten free products more accessible in supermarkets whilst not limiting themselves to this market. 
They manage to provide a wide variety of products ranging from porridge oats, to cereal bars, and much more. Most of their products are also vegan which always makes me happy, so I thought I would finally get round to reviewing this interesting little bar. T

his is similar in style to a cereal bar, probably because it is basically a cereal bar... Anyway, what makes it different from your Frosties cereal bar, is that it is loaded with vitamin E and antioxidants-- which we could all benefit from I'm sure! 
Thankfully, Perkier have also realised the important of having things tasting great whilst being nutritious. They have packed their bar full of flavour so that it doesn't feel like a chore eating it like health products have a tendency to do. 




The cocoa flavour is rather subtle so if you were expecting a chocolate bar then you will be in for a bit of a shock. Personally I prefer this as it gives me a feeling of health, like I am a zen goddess who drinks kale smoothies twice a day, when in reality I sit there eating two bars of chocolate a night with a vegan cornetto, but I digress. 

The bar is quite earthy and nutty in flavour, this works well with the crunchy chewyness of quinoa. This bar is surprisingly filling considering it looks quite small so I am quite impressed overall! 


Rating - 7/10 
Vegan - Yes 
Calories - 144 per Bar
Buy Again - Yes

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Marks & Spencer's Vegan List - Part 2



Smokey Bacon Lentil Tubes



Lightly Salted Popped Potato Chips



Coconut Rice



Garlic Roast Spiced Cauliflower



Quick Roast Onions and Butternut Squash



Mexican Rice, Quinoa & Avocado



Plain Soya Pot



Coconut Cream Frozen Dessert



Watermelon & Dragon Fruit Lollies



Fruit Fritters with Coconut Caramel Sauce



Mixed Vegetable Masala


Super Rice & Quinoa

 

 

Super Grains & Beetroot

 

 

Mediteranean Orzo & Buckwheat 

 

 

Vegetable Couscous

 

 

Lentils & Wild Rice

 

 

 

Various Dairy Free Milks

 

 

Tinned Vegetable Curry

 

 

Dairy Free Chocolate Box

 

 

Iced & Spiced Buns

 

 

Belgian Chocolate Mini Corn & Rice Cakes

 

 

Fizzy Orange Popcorn

 

 

Dairy Free Chocolate Easter Eggs

 

 

Dark Chocolate with Clementine



The Dark One Chocolate Bar



Rose & Violet Dark Chocolate



Dark Chocolate with Liquorice & Blackcurrant



Intense Dark Chocolate 85%



Dark Chocolate with Chilli



Dark Chocolate with Raspberry



Kentish Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns



Sea Salt and Black Pepper Crisps


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Good Hemp Milk

There are so many dairy free milks currently available that it can be a little difficult to know which is the right one for you. Whenever I go to the shops, I find myself overwhelmed for choice, but ultimately going back to my favourite which I've religiously drank for almost a year.
But it is time for change. We are in a new year, Britain is leave the EU. America has a new president, and once again, we have a female Prime Minister. So I thought, why not try a different milk in my coffee?
 
Was that not perhaps the most inspirational and life changing thing that you have ever read about milk? Anyway, it was rather a coincidence when I was contacted by the kind people at, "Good Hemp" , asking if I would like to do a blog post on them. I jumped at the chance for it simply had to be serendipity. I myself didn't know much about Good Hemp, so I thought that I had best do a little bit of investigation! 



Good Hemp is a nutritious dairy free alternative to milk. Made from the natural goodness of hemp seed it can be used on cereals, in tea, coffee, natural protein, porridge, cooking or simply as a refreshing drink on its own.
Just one 250ml glass provides 50% of your recommended daily intake of Omega 3, which many experts believe can help support good heart and brain health and circulation.
There are currently 3 varieties in our range all of which are naturally high in Omega 3 and are fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D2.
 
  • 100% Natural Ingredients
  • Free from Dairy
  • Free from Lactose
  • Free from Soya
  • Free from Nuts
  • Free from Gluten
  • Enriched with Calcium & Vitamin D2
  • Natural source of Omega-3 & 6….just one 250ml glass provides 50% of your recommended daily intake of Omega 3
  • Suitable for Vegetarians & Vegans

 
But then I was a little stumped, shall I create a recipe? Or shall I simply see how well Hemp milk works in place of dairy milk or another milk? I decided on combing the two somewhat creating the ultimate weekend breakfast! 
 
We shall start with the healthy sustenance which has been a staple part of many diets for hundreds of years. A bowl of porridge. Yes this may not be the most difficult or convoluted of recipes that you could show off on Masterchef, but really, unless you are being judged by Greg and John, who can be bothered with all that drama? So I decided to keep it simple yet full of flavour! 
 
Erin's Hemptastic Porridge
 
50g Oats
250ml Hemp Milk
Agave or Maple Syrup
Seasonal Berries
Toasted Coconut Flakes
Flaked Almonds
 
1. Throw the oats and the Hemp milk into the pan and simmer.
2. When it is the desired consistency, add in some coconut flakes, but leaving some for garnish.
3. Remove from heat and pour into your favourite bowl.
4. Drizzle your preferred syrup to suit your taste.
5. Toss on the rest of the flaked almonds and toasted coconut and berries!
6. Enjoy! 


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Graze Pick a Punnet



The idea of a Graze box was quite a revolution when it came out all those years ago-to have healthy snacks delivered to your home when you choose. Each box tailored to fit your lifestyle. The addition of frivolity involved in not knowing what you are going to get created a unique selling point for the brand.
I always found it to be somewhat annoying though. You would finally found a punnet of flavour goodness, and you would have to wait another six months before you would get it again! Yes, that may have been all part of the Graze fun to open the box and be surprised at what little delights awaited you, but when you had a craving for a specific punnet. That sense of excitement tended to fade when you got something you were only okay with.
But alas that problem has been somewhat rectified with these individual Graze boxes which you can buy. There are only a limited selection of flavours currently available, but this is still pretty brilliant.
As you all probably know by now, I have a ridiculously sweet tooth, so it’s unsurprising that I decided to go with the sweeter boxes over the savoury ones. The two that I’ve tried so far is the, ‘Cocoa and Vanilla Protein Flapjack’, and the, ‘Chocolate Cherry Tart’.

Cocoa & Vanilla Protein Flapjack
 
I found myself checking the ingredients of the flapjack repeatedly. Worried in case I had missed some vital non-vegan ingredient to ruin my excitement, but to my intense surprise, there was none! So I allowed myself to get excited about this Cocoa and Vanilla Flapjack!
The packaging is rather lovely, it comes in the classic Graze style with natural looking sturdy brown cardboard. The decoration on it is nice and quite snazzy with the various fonts. The flapjack came sealed in a little plastic container that you could easily open and see the three little slices of flapjack in.
The serving size does look a little lacking, but do not be fooled, it is incredibly filling. Presumably due to the high protein content. I enjoyed them with a cup of coffee, it made quite a pleasant addition to my morning ritual. They were fresh and soft with a nice chewy texture. The flavour of the oats was good and worked well with the sweet vanilla and smooth cocoa taste. It had an indulgence about it without being sickly or cloying. A problem I often find with flapjacks!
Overall I really liked these Cocoa and Vanilla Flapjacks and was impressed by the flavour!



Dark Chocolate Cherry Tart

The Dark Chocolate Cherry Tart was an interesting box of treats. As with all Graze products, the packaging was a delight to look at and recyclable, so all is good on that front. The punnet contained a selection of whole pecan nuts, dried sweet cherries, and dark chocolate buttons. This made for a taste sensation, which although not quite like a Dark Chocolate Cherry Tart, it was still very nice.
I never thought that I would be such a big fan of pecan nuts, but they were actually delicious! They have a unique flavour which lends itself to desserts, so it is unsurprising that Graze decided to utilise them here. The dark chocolate was of a high quality and must have had a decent cocoa content. Lastly the dried cherries. These were sweet with a strong flavour, I did have concerns that these may have been sour, but thankfully they were delicious!
Overall I enjoyed this punnet, and can imagine that it would make for a tasty topping to a bowl of porridge! Or just a little snack on its own.