Degustabox- The March Edit

Cliche as it sounds, it seems like I’ve barely blinked since I wrote my February Degustabox* post and yet here I am with the March edition. This month’s box looked full of promise with a mix of products I was vaguely aware of as well as some I had no idea existed.
It’s actually Easter Sunday as I write this post, with a belly full of roast dinner I’m still finding the lure of these Smarties and Milkybar mixed mini eggs almost impossible to ignore. In my eyes nothing beats the original mini eggs (recipe change and all) but these come pretty close- the bag claims to be perfect for sharing but I’m finding it hard to be generous with these. By the time you read this the chances of finding these will be slim to none, but if you do see a reduced price bag then grab them- and keep your eyes peeled for next year.
This limited edition flapjack from “Hafervoll” sounded absolutely delightful. Lebkuchen is one of my favourite things ever, and being hand-made without any added sugar, cheap fillers or chemical additives these are undoubtedly better for you. I’ve not been able to try this due to nuts, and I’ve never seen the brand for sale in the shops near to see if they do any other flavours, but if I’d certainly be tempted to try one despite the hefty £1.99 price tag.
As you can see from my photo, these noodles from Mr Lee’s arrived damaged and therefore I didn’t take the risk and try them. I’m absolutely gutted though as I adore noodles and these would have been perfect as a lunch snack. Again, I haven’t seen these in the shops near me- and at £2.99 I’m not sure I’d pick them up if I did- but if I had the chance to try them I’d jump at it.
I’m not, and never have been a big fan of milk based drinks but this one certainly did appeal with it’s fun and fresh packaging. I don’t like the taste of milk, but disguised with chocolate and knowing I could do with a boost of calcium (and the fact it’s free of nasties like refined sugar) I’d pick this up on the go when I needed a snack but didn’t have the chance to actually stop and eat something. I’m a convert.
I’ve pretty much given up energy drinks having found myself relying a bit too heavily on them. Still, it would have been rude not to try Tenzing Natural Energy- it contains just six natural ingredients and has 55 calories per can- definitely better for me than sugar free red bull, and I can stomach liquid calories when I know they come from good, honest ingredients and not a tonne of sugar and additives. It’s not my favourite energy drink ever, but it’s not half bad.
What can one say about a jar of pasta sauce? Well, for starters this is Cirio pasta sauce, and being a big fan of their entire range of products I knew this would be good. This makes for the perfect quick and healthy post-work dinner served piping hot with some wholewheat pasta- at £2.00 per jar it’s more of a luxury than a store cupboard staple but one I’d like to keep around.
I’m all for a bit of nostalgia- it’s a long time since I had a carton of drink like this, but having grown up on a diet of ribena and Roald Dahl how could I resist? I might look a bit odd with one of these at my desk when I’m almost 31 years old, but I don’t care, these are really very tasty little drinks and contain nothing suspicious or artificial- now, where’s my copy of the BFG?
As I mentioned above, I grew up drinking Ribena so I was excited to see a new variant in their no added sugar range. Pineapple and Passionfruit is every bit as fruity as it sounds, deliciously tropical, I finished this bottle in a couple of days and I’m now impatiently awaiting for it to hit shelves locally.
I don’t know if I ever mentioned before, but Bob and I are obsessed with hot sauces, obsessed. We usually buy from independent retailers- at markets and the like and find the bottles you get in supermarkets just don’t live up to the extra hot claims (having survived the experience of the world’s hottest chilli flakes most things now seem a bit tame). We were both impressed by this Encona Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce, it’s not the hottest we’ve had by any means but it certainly packs a punch. At £1.49 it’s a fraction of the price we usually pay too, and so it’s become a new staple to our kitchens. Heat loves rejoice- and those with a more delicate palette, approach with extreme caution!
Another battered box (my delivery driver clearly wasn’t in a great mood when he dropped this month’s box off)- shreddies max granola. I haven’t been able to try this as there are nuts listed in the ingredients which is a shame as it sounds delicious. I love granola and could easily eat half a bag at a time straight up- let me know if you’ve tried this and what you thought.
There was also a coupon in the box to pick up a Cheestrings Snack Mix which I totally failed to do- I used to love Cheesstrings though and these do look tempting so I will do my best to source one and pop up a mini review on Instagram.

For those who don’t yet know, Degustabox* is a monthly food subscription box that gives you the chance to try new and exciting products on the market whilst providing amazing value for money.
On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this as you can see if you do the maths.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £5.00 off of your first box (making it just £7.99!) by entering the code 6HZJ8 at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

Degustabox February 2018

Somewhere in the middle of February I took delivery of the second Degustabox* of the year. I’ve been so busy lately that I did wonder when on earth I’d get a chance to open, let alone photograph the contents and taste, but thankfully now the days are getting longer and the light (a little bit) better I was able to get there in the end.

This box was a visual delight in terms of colours of the products and I was pretty excited by pretty much everything that I pulled out of the box. I had to pull in a few testers from elsewhere thanks to dietary restrictions and personal preferences but I’m pretty confident I’ve covered everything by now.

These Haribo Fruitilicious were passed on to my sweetie loving boyfriend for review, he’s having to watch his sugar intake right now but can never resist the lure of Haribo so the fact these contain 30% less sugar than their standard offerings was a real bonus. He rated the highly too, he did mention that they don’t taste quite like standard Haribo, but he’d certainly buy them again and really enjoyed them. Each bag costs £1.29.
My Mum’s eyes lit up when she saw the Tootsie Roll Midgees nestled in the box. These are one of her favourite treats which I often buy her if I see them in the shops over here. I love the retro look of the packaging, and the taste which I can’t quite describe. These didn’t hang around for long at all. RRP £2.50 per bag (I often pick them up for less in discounters such as B&M).
I think the KitKat is highly under-rated as a chocolate bar, it’s one of my all time favourites be it in it’s standard finger format, or the undoubtedly more satisfying chunky style. It’s always good to see brands come out with new flavours, and whilst New York Cheesecake doesn’t add anything hugely unique to the market (when you think it’s essentially vanilla) this is still a delicious and hefty snack. You’ll find these in all good retailers at around 65p each.
I’ve been a fan of fruit crisps for a while now and Emily Crisps is a favourite brand for the range of flavours and the gorgeous packaging. These crunchy red apple snacks are so good, I’ve been buying them constantly since the arrival of this box and they make an ideal snack to keep at my desk for day time energy boosts. They cost 99p a bag, so a bit of an indulgence, but super tasty.
The February product of the month was this raw granola from Primrose’s Kitchen. I passed this straight on to my Grandad as he is a granola enthusiast and a big fan of both beetroot and ginger- and I won’t lie, I just couldn’t get my head around this as a combination. He however clearly could and when I asked what he thought of this he gave two thumbs up. Packed full of nutrients thanks to the lack of cooking and good and wholesome ingredients I have no doubt this makes for a zingy start to the day (with plain yoghurt perhaps) but it’s not something I can yet convince myself to try. If you have tried this, am I being a massive wimp?
Now here was a product I could get my head around- cherry and almond is such a classic flavour combination and these snacks from The Protein Ball Co. look and sound infinitely appealing. Made from raw pitted dates, free-range egg white protein, sultanas and sour cherries these are a must try for anyone put off by artificial tasting protein snacks. Another luxury product at £1.99 each but a wholesome and delicious pick me up on the go.
I’m a serious savoury snacker and regularly graze on crackers and crisp breads during the working day. Dr Karg’s is a brand I’ve tried in the past and highly rate and these Emmental Cheese & Pumpkin Seed Crispbreads are no exception. I like them just on their own, but they’d be a good accompaniment to a winter salad or steaming bowl of soup too. £2.00 is a fairly reasonable price considering these are a cut above most savoury snack brands I’ve tried and they are widely available in supermarkets and health food stores.
These Pretzel Bites from Indie Bay Snacks are totally new on me- rare to find a savoury snack brand I don’t yet know! These are just like regular pretzel snacks but made from more wholesome ingredients such as spelt and quinoa to give a boost of protein and flavour. Sunflower wouldn’t be my first choice in snack flavours but these are moorish and tasty, although I’m a little put off by the £2.49 price point as the bag is pretty much only two servings for me.
Lastly we have True Nopal Cactus Water- I think by now everyone who’s read my Degustabox posts knows I won’t have tried these, being super fussy about what liquids I will consume. I was almost tempted though- it only contains 29 calories per 330ml serving (less than half that of coconut water) and comes from the juice of the Prickly Pear that grows on the Nopol Cactus. I may well come back to this product and pop a review up on Instagram as I am quite curious as to how this will taste- has anyone tried Nopol Cactus water and wants to give me some insight?
For those who don’t yet know, Degustabox* is a monthly food subscription box that gives you the chance to try new and exciting products on the market whilst providing amazing value for money.
On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this as you can see if you do the maths.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £5.00 off of your first box (making it just £7.99!) by entering the code 6HZJ8 at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

Food- Get Buzzing*

One of the most liberating things, for me, in recovery from an eating disorder is the new found freedom to try things that previously just wouldn’t have been “allowed”. I love food (there, I said it) and I’m a serial snacker to any excuse to try something different and broaden those horizons is welcome. Therefore, a box jam packed full of snack bars from Get Buzzing was INCREDIBLY welcome.

Get Buzzing is a company who makes 100% natural, nut free flapjacks which includes a protein range and a gluten free range. They are all about real food and real taste and with a wide range of exciting flavours available I was desperate to get stuck in despite flapjacks being one of my few remaining feared foods.

Obviously there are a lot of bars to get through here so this post is mostly brief notes on each flavour and variety…

Mint chocolate high protein bars: This was a flavour I was quite unsure about. I love mint and I love chocolate but how does it translate to flapjack? Very well as it turns out, this was a really unique snack and is both nut free and gluten free. Not my favourite of the bunch, but really rather good.

Wow butter nut free flapjacks: This claims to have the flavour of peanut butter minus the peanuts and really, it does. I really enjoyed this flapjack- I generally love anything peanut butter flavoured anyway and this really hit the spot.

Date and seed bars: This was one of my favourites despite not generally liking seeds. The dates give this a deliciously rich sweetness and the seeds add a great texture contrast.

Mixed berry flapjacks: Berry flavoured anything is never my first choice and as a rule I avoid it. Whilst not my top pick of the Get Buzzing bunch I really enjoyed these flapjacks and would definitely purchase them if I saw them in a shop.

Protein and cherry flapjack: Another protein bar and a real winner! This was hands down my favourite out of the bunch with a good, strong cherry flavour and no strange protein after taste. Each bar packs a decent 14.7g protein, perfect for anyone looking for a boost.

Banana nut free flapjack: I had expected this to be my favourite bar but it actually fell somewhere in the middle. It’s not bad, really it isn’t…but I didn’t find the banana quite to my liking and I can’t put my finger on why. I’d still buy these and will happily eat my way through my samples but I do feel like it’s missing something, somewhere.

If you’re interested in trying Get Buzzing bars for yourself then you can purchase them through their website as well as selected other stockists.

Flapjacks are never going to be the healthiest snack option in the world but with ingredients such as rolled oats and dried fruit as well as their nut free, gluten free and high protein credentials I certainly feel like you could do worse. I think it’s safe to say I’ve conquered my flapjack fear!

Which flavour takes your fancy the most? I love that you can buy a little sampling pack to help you make up your mind. Let me know if you try any and what you think.

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Products sent to me for blog consideration, I was under no obligation to post.

The June 2017 (BBQ) Degustabox

I honestly don’t know where time is going lately. Life has become incredibly busy and whilst I usually try to do a thorough review of each Degustabox* this month it’s more of an over-view and summary as I’ve literally run out of time to try everything included in the box!

This month the box had a BBQ theme, perfectly fitting for June even if it is currently pouring with rain and really quite chilly. I’m not 100% sure how everything in this box fits in with the theme to be honest but as ever there was a good selection and I’ll never not enjoy this monthly delivery.

So first up is an interesting sounding Brazilian chilli and coconut quick cook sauce from Capsicana which retails at £1.99. This is one of the products that I haven’t had a chance to try yet but the flavour combination sounds delicious and I’m looking forward to trying this out with chicken, peppers and onions as the brand suggests.
As is probably common knowledge by now I’m not a soft drinks girl but these energy juices from ENRJ do look appealing. The flavours sound great- Mango & Passionfruit and Apple & Berries. I’m definitely going to give these a go ASAP- at £1.75 they aren’t cheap but made from real ingredients (nothing artificial), no added sugar, under 100 calories per bottom and one of your five a day I think they’ll make a great occasional splurge.
Haribo! Here’s a product I immediately found time to try! These Summer Frenzy editions of classic favourites Starmix and Tangfastics are both delicious in my eyes. The Tangfastics have the edge for me with their ice cream flavours, the Starmix are berry flavoured which are also good but I’m a sucker for the sour. RRP £1 per pack.
Another product I haven’t tried is these light bites which I’ve seen for sale in my local Superdrug. I’ve been hesitant to try these because these are clearly marketed as a diet product but they do sound tempting and I think I will tuck in soon (solution- eat twice as many!) The mango and vanilla yoghurt fruit chips sound great, and at 46 calories per bag are great for anyone watching their weight. The superfood fruit bar is packed with goji berries, chia seeds, strawberries, blueberries and pumpkin seeds- all for under 100 calories. The fruit chips cost £1.49 per bag and the bar is £1.25. Expensive, but great for dieters needing convenience.
This month’s product of the month is these Original O’s savoury cumin and sesame nibbles. These are ridiculously addictive, I didn’t think I liked cumin until I tried these. These are great for sharing, if you can bring yourself to…at £2.99 probably best reserved for special occasions only but worth the splurge.
Cider is a staple at any summer BBQ around these parts so these Westons Ciders are bound to go down a treat. Here we have Rosie’s Pig flat tyre- a cloudy cider with rhubarb and Rosie’s Pig handbrake is a cloudy cider with damson. I haven’t tried these, I’m not a cider fan at all- although as soon as someone cracks open the Rhubarb one I’m sneaking a swig.
Schwartz packets are a staple in our cupboards and these new Authentic American Flavours are very exciting to me. There are five products in the range and here we have BBQ pulled chicken and Spicy Buffalo Wings. I haven’t had time to make them yet but as soon as the weather improves enough to get the grill out I’m there.
Eisberg alcohol free wine has popped up a few times in Degustabox and always goes down well at gatherings for the designated drivers and dieters. Made in the same way as your favourite wine but minus the alcohol this has only 28 calories per 125ml glass and is really quite excellent served with ice.

Berrywhite Organic Drinks have also turned up in Degustabox before and here we have an organic lemon and lime variant. Another expensive beverage at £1.39 each but 10% of the profit goes to the Berrywhite Foundation and they have no added sugar or artificial ingredients AND contain one of your five a day (oh, and it tastes really rather good!)

I’m not sure what granola has to do with BBQs but I am a fiend for granola so I was excited to see this in the box until I realised it has peanuts in which I can’t eat. Still, it sounds delicious and I’ve passed this on to my equally addicted Grandfather- I’m awaiting his verdict and will report back.
I’m also not sure what shortbread has to do with BBQ but who doesn’t love a biscuit? I’m a long term fan of Walkers shortbread and these Scottie Dogs are adorable- almost too good to eat. I could eat these all day every day if nutrition wasn’t a concern…shortbread fans seek these out!
For those who don’t know Degustabox is a monthly subscription box filled with 10-15 food/drink products, most of which are brand new to the market so it’s a great way to try things out. On a month by month basis the box costs £12.99 (with a discount for longer subscriptions) but the contents are generally worth far more than this.
If you’re persuaded to give Degustabox a go (and really, you should) you can claim a brilliant £7.00 off of your first box (making it just £5.99!) by entering the code 6HZJ8 at the checkout. It’s been a pleasure to work with the brand regularly over the last couple of years and it’s without a doubt something that I will continue to purchase long after our partnership ends. I love the monthly surprise and excitement as well as the chance to discover products I’d otherwise pass up on the supermarket shelves.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them.

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Snacking with Dr Zak

I might not be your typical gym-going, exercise mad protein filled snack consumer but I am a serial grazer and on a mission to pack as much protein in to my diet as possible right now to help me re-build some strength. I also have a notorious sweet tooth and do have to keep an eye on how much sugar I let myself inhale in lieu of healthier options (I was that child who filled their boots on Haribo then couldn’t manage their dinner!). Therefore I was very interested when I got an e-mail from Dr Zak’s about their new range of high protein, low sugar cookies which boast an impressive 15g of protein per 60g cookie whilst keeping sugar content minimal. They very kindly sent over the range of cookies for me to try as well as some high protein clusters and I thought I’d pop up some thoughts here in case anyone else is in the same boat- or is in need of something to munch post workout.
All products c/o Dr Zak’s for blog consideration.
Kicking off with the protein clusters which I found made the perfect little snack to pack in my bag for work. These come in three flavours- chipotle chilli, fruit & yoghurt and chocolate. These 30g packs contain up to 12g of protein, are free from palm oil, made with high quality pea protein isolate and have under 130 calories per bag.

I’ll start off by saying the fruit & yoghurt variety wasn’t my cup of tea. They weren’t bad but did have that distinct “protein” taste about them and I had expected them to be much sweeter. I happily ate the pack and they certainly made for a filling snack for something so small but I wouldn’t go out of my way to have these again.

The chipotle and chocolate fared better. The chocolate were my favourite for sure, a good strong flavour and less after taste. The chipotle were also pretty good although I had hoped for a bit more heat. Again the stronger flavour of these took away the protein taste and I would pick up both of these flavours again if I saw them for sale.

The cookies also come in three flavours- salted caramel, chocolate chip and triple chocolate. These are made with high quality milk proteins and have a soft bake texture which reminded me more of a cake than a cookie. Again these are free from palm oil and contain no more than 3% of your daily sugar allowance. The 60g cookies are dense and filling but are fairly low calorie for a protein filled snack- each contains less than 220 calories for the whole cookie.

My favourite flavour was the salted caramel, hands down. This surprised me as I’m not usually a fan of this flavour at all but here it was a winner. The chocolate chip (sugar free) was a close second though and not far behind was the triple chocolate.

In short, I really enjoyed these. I gave some to my boyfriend to try and he wasn’t convinced at first but later said this is because he went in to it expecting a typical cookie- I mentioned before these have a more cake like texture and won’t compare to say, a cookie from Millie’s cookies or a bakery but in their own right they are really very good.

There are a whole host of items from Dr Zak’s I’d like to try- the peanut spread with it’s range of flavours looks especially intriguing!

Check out the website to find out your nearest stockists and if you are already familiar with the brand then please tell me which products I should be looking to try next!

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