17 Feb 2017

Degustabox January Review: Surprise Foodie Box & £7 Discount Code

January's Degustabox arrived full of foodie treats and with plenty of healthier products too. It contained an interesting mix of returning favourites and some new brands that I couldn't wait to try. It's always exciting opening up the Degustabox each month which makes it a wonderful present for the foodie in your life.

Discount Code - £7 off: 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 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

The selection of products can vary but here's a quick round up of all the products I received in the January Degustabox:

Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks: Yushoi snacks are made using green peas and are baked not fried, making them high in fibre and a good source of protein. I reviewed four of the flavours when they were first released - Yushoi Review. I really enjoyed these snacks and I was excited to find the new flavour Coconut & Chilli flavour in the Degustabox. The latest flavour has a creamy coconut taste, with a mild chilli heat that is not too strong.

Popchips: On the other side of the snacking spectrum are these Popchips Ridges Crazy Hot. These new Popchips Ridges are popped not fried, gluten free, vegetarian and under 100 calories per serving. These Popchips certainly live up to their Crazy Hot name with an intense chilli flavour and burning aftertaste. I'm possibly a chilli lightweight because these were not for me at all. In fact I only had half a Popchip before I was done. I think this is a snack that calls for a cold beer at the same time.

Finn Crisp: These Finn Crisp Snacks are much more to my taste! They have all the crunchy flavour of the famous Finn Crisp crispbreads but are shaped like tortilla crisps. The added seeds and a touch of sea salt makes them extra delicious and moreish. I absolutely loved these dipped in humous. Such a delicious, healthier tasting snack, and I'll definitely be looking out for them in the supermarket.

Quinola Mothergrain: A pouch of ready cooked fairtrade Pearl Quinoa with Split Peas that is super easy to heat up in the microwave. It's certified 100% organic and can be enjoyed hot or cold. I'm not the biggest fan of quinoa but I enjoyed this as an accompaniment to a quick salad.

Fruit-tella 30% Less Sugar: These sweets are made with extra fruit juice and have 30% less sugar than standard strawberry Fruit-tella. There is no added artificial sweetener to make up for the reduced sugar just extra fruit juice. I enjoyed just how fruity these tasted. The strawberry flavour is really strong, very sweet at first but with a tart, fruity finish.

Aspire Drinks: Two cans of Aspire health drinks; a Mango Lemonade and a Cranberry. Aspire is a calorie free, sugar free drink that contains green tea and extracts such as ginger, guarana and vitamins. The addition of Green Tea extract apparently contributes to weight loss and body fat reduction and the drinks even have 'Reduce Body Fat' printed on the front. Even though I like the idea of a vitamin enriched drink I didn't enjoy the Mango Lemonade flavour as I found the aftertaste too sour. The Cranberry flavour was more enjoyable and had a lighter, fruity taste.

Crabbie's Scottish Raspberries: A can of the UK's most popular brand of alcoholic ginger beer. Crabbie's Ginger Beer is made with real ginger and spices. The Scottish raspberries gives it a fruity sweetness whilst retaining a hint of warming ginger. 

Protein Boost: There is 20g of protein in this handy little bottle. Mr. Grocery Gems often buys ready made protein drinks and the prices can be quite eyewatering. Protein Boost is one of the better value ones and he especially likes their chocolate flavour. 

Natvia: I've been a fan of Natvia ever since I received it in a previous Degustabox. It's a 100% natural sweetener made from the stevia plant and natural nectar. There are no artificial nasties and it's diabetic friendly. I've used this when baking and it always works well. 

Chosan Hibiscus Drink: I was a bit worried about the 'Fiery Ginger' name of this one but it's actually very refreshing and easy to drink. Chosan drinks use all natural, organic ingredients and are low in calories and sugar.

Little's Coffee: A heavenly vanilla flavoured coffee made with natural extracts. The flavour is spot on, the vanilla is not too strong or overpowering. I've never been a fan of flavoured instant coffee granules (such as Beanies) as I find them too artificial tasting and cloying. This Little's French Vanilla Coffee is different and I was won over by the creamy vanilla flavour. I can't wait to try more from their range, especially the Island Coconut flavour.

Pip's Real Hot Chocolate Co: An added little bonus in my Degustabox was this solid hot chocolate from Pip's. It's easy to make on the hob just by melting the pod in a little milk. I had to give this to my youngest son as he's the main hot chocolate fan in this household. He loved this hot chocolate, it was rich and creamy and super chocolately. No weak chocolate flavour here - unlike most of the instant hot chocolate out there! I would love to know if there's a stockist near me because this is worth buying again as a treat.

Chia Shots: Chia seeds are high in fibre, omega 3 and protein. These handy little sachets are great for sprinkling on oats and yogurt. I've reviewed more from the Chia Co range here - Chia Pod Review.

Overall I was pleased with the selection I received from Degustabox, especially the variety of different snacks and drinks. This month, I was especially pleased with the Yushoi Snacks, Little's Coffe and Finn Crisp Snacks. If you're a subscriber then I'd love to hear your thoughts on this months Degustabox selection in the comments below.

For more details:
Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DegustaboxUK
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DegustaboxUK

PR Samples

16 Feb 2017

Review: Kellogg's Disney Moana Cereal

A quick review of Kellogg's Disney Moana cereal. It's great to see Kellogg's making a cereal for the latest Disney movie Moana - it makes a change from all the Frozen/Star Wars themed products.

This cereal is described as a 'honey flavoured multigrain cereal'. It certainly looks appealing and my kids loved the whirly design. Initially they were quite excited as they thought the cereal looked like little cinnamon whirls and assumed it would be cinnamon flavoured. Unfortunately the flavour here is quite plain. It's quite similar to the flavour in Kellogg's Multigrain shapes but less sweet. The texture is very light and puffy with a light crunch. It's a nice enough cereal, and my kids did enjoy it, but I think the flavour could have been a little more adventurous.

Just like the Kellogg's Star Wars cereal, the Kellogg's Moana box has a great design with a fun double sided box.

Have you tried this cereal yet? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Grocery Gems Review: Kellogg's Disney Moana Cereal

RATING: 7 out of 10,
 113 calories (per 30g serving).
Vegetarian: Yes.
Purchased: Co-Op.
Price: £2.00p (370g box).

PR Sample sent for an honest review but I also bought another box from Co-Op. 

16 Jan 2017

Review: New Costa Coffee, Oats & Banana Smoothie

A quick review of the new Costa dairy-free breakfast smoothie - the Coffee, Oats & Banana Smoothie. I didn't know this existed until I saw the review on The Excited Eater and I knew I had to try it straight away.

The Costa Coffee, Oats & Banana Smoothie is a blend of coffee, Alpro oat drink, one whole banana, oats, a little ice and some honey (which can be left out to make this drink vegan). The consistency is not as thick or heavy as a traditional smoothie, it's actually quite thin and easy to drink. There were a few oaty 'bits' as I was drinking which added to the texture. I don't know why I've never thought of adding coffee to a banana smoothie but the result is surprisingly delicious. 

Image: Costa Coffee
The mild coffee flavour and creamy oat milk make a delicious combination with the sweet banana. I actually couldn't taste much of the honey itself but I'm sure it added to the sweetness. Despite being a thinner smoothie it's still very filling and kept me going until lunch. I'm definitely going to try to recreate this one at home!

If you've tried this drink then I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Grocery Gems Review: Costa Coffee, Oats & Banana Smoothie

RATING: 9 out of 10
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition: 255 calories
Purchased: Costa Coffee.
Price: £3.50p.

14 Jan 2017

Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg 'n' Spoon Oreo

It's the start of a new year so that only means one thing - it's time for Easter! Amongst all the usual Easter products that are now appearing in the supermarkets is this new gem - the Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg 'n' Spoon Oreo. 

Just like previous products in the Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg 'n' Spoon range, there are four mousse-filled chocolate eggs in a purple carton. 

Inside the Oreo egg is a soft vanilla mousse filling with Oreo Biscuit pieces. The mousse has quite a thick texture but it's still soft enough to be spoonable. The biscuit pieces add plenty of crunch to the texture and work perfectly with the sweet and creamy flavour. It's all extremely sugary, especially with the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate outer egg, but the creaminess balances out the flavours and creates a lovely sweet treat. 

As a fan of the Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo chocolate bar (which is one of the few Cadbury products I buy anymore), I'll definitely be buying a few more packs of the Egg 'n' Spoon Oreo closer to Easter. I'd take these over a  Cadbury Creme Egg anyday! 

Grocery Gems Review: Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon Oreo

RATING: 7 out of 10
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition (per egg 34g): 191 calories
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians symbol on pack.
Purchased: Co-Op.
Price: £2.00p.

22 Dec 2016

Degustabox December Review - Surprise Foodie Box & £7 Discount Code

Another packed Degustabox arrived this week, just in time for Christmas. The December box is called the 'Winter Box' but it's got a few Christmassy treats inside as well as some healthier products for the New Year.

Discount Code - £7 off!: 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 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 quick round up of all the products I received in the December Degustabox:

Bite+ Multi Grain Flakes: Bite+ is an innovative snack comprising multigrain cereal flakes that are seasoned with savoury flavours. Basically they're a cross between cornflakes and crisps! I received a Sour Cream & Onion flavour but there are also three other flavours available. I'm the type of person who enjoys snacking on dry cereal anyway so this product definitely appeals to me. The combinations of cereal flakes and the savoury sour cream and onion is slightly odd at first but still really tasty.

Nutri-Brex: A gluten free biscuit style cereal made with ancient Sorghum and flavoured with a hint of coconut and cinnamon. I'm not normally a fan of Weetabix type cereals but I've tried this brand before and loved it. The cereal stays crunchier in the milk and has a naturally sweet flavour. I cannot wait to try this flavour as I love both coconut and cinnamon. Full review coming soon!

Hoots Snacks: Hoots Snacks are multigrain snacks that are baked not fried, a source of fibre and all flavours are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Each individual snack looks like a mini toast and has visible multigrains that add a crunchy texture. The flavours I received are fairly simple but I enjoyed the fact that they are not overly seasoned. 

a2 Milk: A full size carton of long life a2 Milk. This milk is easier to digest compared to other cows milk as it's naturally free from the A1 protein that can trigger lactose intolerance symptoms. I'd heard of this brand but never tried it before. It's great when Degustabox have such a mix of useful groceries alongside the treats.

Newton's Appl Fizzics: A blend of apple juice and sparkling water with all natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives or added sugar. It's an extremely refreshing drink, a lighter version of apple juice with a delicate fizz, that tastes best when chilled.

What A Melon: Such a great brand name! This carton of watermelon water hydrates like coconut water, with extra anti-oxidants and the muscle loving amino acid citrulline. It's a summery drink with a super fruity flavour - it's just like biting into a juicy watermelon!

Gallo: There were twoGallo products in this months Degustabox; an Expresso Risotto Italian Four Cheese and a Rissotto Box Vegetables & Cheese. Both are quick and easy to make in the microwave. Gallo is my favourite go-to brand for risotto and these are perfect for any fans of cheesy sauces.

Eisberg: A bottle of Sauvignon Blanch from the UK's number one alcohol free wine brand Eisberg. It's fresh and aromatic and contains only 28 calories per 125ml serving.

Oh Fudge!: Another funny brand name! The Oh Fudge branded gift boxes are made by Bristow's and include a range of Oh Fudge I Nearly Forgot... occasions boxes. I received an Apple & Cinnamon flavoured fudge which is just perfect for this time of year. It's creamy and delicious with a lovely hint of fruit and spice.

Bahlsen Lebkuchen & Bahlsen Akora: Two bags of gorgeously festive Bahlsen treats. The Bahlsen Lebkuchen Mischung contains an assortment of gingerbread pieces with sugar glaze and chocolate. They have a delicious soft texture and spiced flavour. The Bahlsen Akora are traditional German heart shaped Lebkuchen with a gingerbread base and spiced jam filling - so delicious!

Overall, I was absolutely delighted with the fabulous selection in this months Degustabox. It's always difficult to choose favourites from such a packed box but this month I was especially pleased with the Hoots Snacks, Nutri-Brex, Oh Fudge! and the Bahlsen assortments.

For more details on Degustabox:

Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com/en

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

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