Friday, 11 November 2016

Arla Skyr Rhubarb and Beetroot

Skyr is maybe my favourite brand of yogurt (although I do like a lot of yogurts) and the fact it's lower in sugar than most other yogurts, really high in protein and super thick means it's a staple in my fridge. But they've just upped their game yet again with two new yogurts with vegetables in!

Now this sounds slightly odd but in reality it's no different to the mixed veg and fruit smoothies you can get which are predominantly more sweet and the veg they've used is sweeter types you find in juices as well. There's an apple, carrot and ginger one and this rhubarb and beetroot one. In addition to being high in protein and with some veg, these ones have no added sugar with sweetness only coming from grape juice, the fruit and natural sugars in the yogurt.

Texture wise, I might have imagined it but this seemed slightly looser and not as thick as other skyr (particularly the plain one) although the protein content is similar. This might be the fact it uses grape juice rather than sugar to sweeten so the liquid might make it seem a bit runnier. But don't get me wrong, this is still miles thicker than most other yogurts and definitely wouldn't be seen as runny.

Flavour wise, if I ate this with granola, it just tastes like a nice rhubarb yogurt with a slightly sweet flavour that isn't sugary or overly sweet but slightly tart and quite refreshing. If you eat it on its own, the beetroot becomes noticeable with a definite beetroot aftertaste with its earthiness. I really liked it but then I like things like smoothies with beetroot in. Overall despite being a veg yogurt you couldn't call it bitter and it is still a nice sweet yogurt - albeit one with a more unusual and polarising taste that I really enjoyed.

Price: £1.80
Bought at: Tesco

Score: 8/10

Monday, 31 October 2016

Morrisons Infused Cucumber Lime and Mint Water

I was grabbing lunch in Morrisons the other day when I spotted this infused water on the shelf that is made fresh in store on market street. It's nothing complicated - just a bottle of water that real fresh lime,cucumber and mint have been added in.

It's a simple idea but makes a bottle of water that bit more interesting and I like it's made from fresh ingredients rather than being flavoured. The flavour is quite nice with a nice subtle lime zinginess and the freshness of mint. I guess one problem might be if you had wilted less fresh or pure quality produce added into your water (I bought a lime last week from Morrisons that was the worst one I've ever bought with not a single drop of juice in it, just a dry husk) but if they were always to this quality I'd buy it again.

Price: £1
Bought at: Morrisons

Score: 7/10

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Starbucks Nespresso Pods - Guatemala Antigua Espresso

I absolutely love my Nespresso machine and its definitely one of my best purchases and gets a lot of use. I'm a bit of a coffee snob and nowadays only drink coffee shop coffee or pod coffee - definitely no instant coffee or those horrible instant cappuccino sachets. I pretty much only buy the Nespresso branded pods for my machine as any others I've tried that are compatible have never been as good. However, Starbucks have recently launched a range of Nespresso compatible pods and whilst I'm not saying Starbucks is the best coffee ever, I do like Starbucks and don't think it deserves the criticism it gets as I always enjoy any drink I get from there.

The box looks really smart with nice Starbucks branding on and opening it up, you get 10 attractively arranged pods. I was a little worried about how well the coffee would come out as I have found anything non-Nespresso doesn't flow quite as well in the machine. Even these did not flow out quite as well as the branded Nespresso pods but certainly wasn't a major issue with a lovely aroma and dark, rich colour as the coffee came out.

This is a medium roast with hints of cocoa and spice and it made a really gorgeous drink when I made as a latte, It's fairly strong with a deep and rich flavour that cuts through the latte's milk for a powerful, warm taste with the soft spice notes adding a delicious roasted taste. In all honesty it really did taste a bit like a real Starbucks latte.

I was really impressed with these pods and actually preferred them to a lot of the authentic Nespresso variants and I would definitely buy this one again as it's currently my favourite pod for my Nespresso machine.

Price; £3.00
Bought at: Tesco

Score: 8.5/10

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Aunt Bessie's Jam Roly Poly and Custard Ice Cream

Whilst Aunt Bessie's is fine for yorkshires, I've never been keen on any of her desserts - they're just a little too cheap, too sweet and no where near as good as homemade with a very long list of ingredients. So for her to move into ice cream seemed a bit odd to me and it's definitely not something I would pick over Haagen Daaz or Ben and Jerrys. However, what she has bought new to the table is a range of dessert inspired ice creams - rhubarb crumble with pastry pieces, lemon meringue pie with meringue bits and this jam roly one with sponge inclusions.

First up this is never going to be premium quality ice cream - whereas Haagen Daaz for example uses quite simple ingredients with lots of real cream and whole milk, the contents of this are

Partially Reconstituted Buttermilk, Sugar, Palm Oil, Sponge Cake Pieces (6%) [Sugar, Wheat Flour (Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Thiamin, Niacin), Sweetcream Butter (Milk, Salt), Water, Free Range Whole Egg Powder, Skimmed Sweetened Condensed Milk, (Skimmed Milk, Sugar), Cornflour, Salt, Raising Agent: Bicarbonate of Soda], Dextrose, Raspberry Ripple (3%) [Sugar, Raspberry Puree (42%), Water, Cornflour, Raspberry Concentrate, Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid, Antioxidant: Tri Sodium Citrate, Colour: Anthocyanins, Natural Flavouring], Emulsifier: Mono & Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Stabilisers [Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum], Colours [Annatto, Curcumin], Natural Flavour


However, it did look appetising when I opened with it - with a (very!) yellow colour and lots of swirls of raspberry sauce. It scooped out very easily which means it's pretty airy rather than the creamy density of Ben and Jerrys.

Overall I thought it was pretty good but there were a few niggles. Firstly for all its promises of jam roly poly it was more raspberry ripple - however a very good raspberry ripple indeed. There was loads raspberry sauce which had a nice fruitiness and wasn't too sweet and the ice cream itself was vanillaey with a slight custard edge. However, sometimes I found the texture a bit icy rather than smooth and creamy and the sponge pieces weren't really that noticeable and even when you did notice them, they are small and not soft and spngey but just little frozen pieces.

It's nice enough and I'd maybe buy it again but as a decent raspberry ripple. Once again I've been duped by something promising to be a dessert flavour that can't quite delver it

Bought at: Morrisons
Nutrition per scoop: 92 calories, 4.2g fat, 2.2g sat fat, 11g sugars, 0.10g salt

Friday, 28 October 2016

Ambrosia Deluxe Custard Vanilla with Salted Caramel

The new luxury custard range from Ambrosia came out a lot earlier this year but I've only just got round to trying them. In theory I liked the idea and I love custard but couldn't see this being as versatile due to the flavouring of each one. Plain custard is quite neutral and complements anything from crumble to jam roly poly but this salted caramel one I feared might be too overpowering to have with desserts.

However, I spied individual 150g cartons which I thought would be an ideal way to try it and it makes a nice handy sweet treat on a weeknight when you want something a little treatier than a yogurt but not a full on dessert.

Opening it up, it looked wonderfully creamy and looks thick and luxurious with a beautiful yellow colour and a slightly sweet caramel scent coming from it. I dug in and found the texture sublime - it's only 1% cream but the texture is much creamier, thicker and more naughty than standard Ambrosia custard by a long way and feels really special.

The salted caramel also came through well and works very well with a rich, sweet flavour with a very faint hint of salt. It just about stayed on the right level of sweetness without getting sickly although I don't think I'd want any more than the 150g pot. What I was really surprised about was just how warming and comforting this and actually I think it would be more versatile than you think it is.

Whilst it is salted caramel flavoured and you can taste this, it is still a custard and you get that faint vanilla taste as well. I actually think this would go well with a lot of desserts as well as being great straight from the pot. This on top of a sticky toffee pudding or even apple crumble would be fantastic and I'd love to see these desserts mingle their flavour into the custard for added complexity. Whilst it probably wouldn't work as well with say a blackcurrant sponge as normal custard, there's loads I do think it would work with.

||Definitely a lot more interesting than you think it might be and definite a luxury upgrade on normal custard.

Price: 75p
Bought at: Morrisons
Nutrition per pot: 180 calories, 6.8g fat, 4.1g sat fat, 19.1g sugars, 0.38g salt

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Kelloggs Ancient Legends Coconut and Chia Porridge

Kelloggs launched their Ancient Legends range earlier this year but I never got round to trying any of the mueslis, granolas or cereals. They've expanded this Autumn in time for winter with 3 new porridge flavours - a plain no added sugar one, a date one and this coconut one. Each of the range is not just your usual satchet of oats but a mix of oats and ancient grains spelt and barley and on trend chia seeds.

First thing is these are ridiculously expensive at £1.99 for 6x30g satchets considering a box of oats is around the same price even if yo buy a premium brand and they're 1kg. Secondly is these portions are miniscule , like ridiculous mouse portion small. I know it's probably aimed at dieting women who ate special K but still...123 calories for breakfast really isn't sufficient.

I made mine with unsweetened almond milk in the microwave and added some chopped nuts to a bit of a crunchy topping. It was actually quite nice and more interesting than the Quaker Oats So Simple I think, It had subtle coconut flavour although was a little sweet as there is added sugar in the coconut version at 12g per 100g but around 3.6g of sugars per serving which for Kelloggs and their need to add sugar to everything isn't too bad. The ancient grains make the texture a bit more interesting.

For a satchet porridge it's okay, But I wouldn't buy it again as it's cheaper and healthier to just make your own porridge plus you can customise it and make it your own and most importantly get a decent portion!

Price: £1.99
Bought at: Tesco
Nutrition per 30g without milk: 123 calories, 3.3g fat, 1.2g sat fat, 3.6g sugars, 3g protein, 3g fibre,

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sainsburys On the Go Chocolate Hazelnut Pretzel Pouch

Sainsburys recently revamped their food to go/lunchtime offering and seemed to have outraged a lot of customers by taking out a lot of their products from the meal deal. However, the good news is they've launched lots of new products as well with some of them looking pretty good. One thing that caught my eye on the checkout were these little dried fruit/ nut type pouches. There were lots of different varieties at 50p which seemed pretty reasonable and it looks like Sainsburys are trying to copy Graze.

I picked up one of the more treaty options with this chocolate hazelnut pretzel pouch. It's a mix of raisins, little chocolate pellets, caramelised hazelnut pieces and broken bits of salty pretzel. Pouring it out there was a decent distribution of the elements although the raisins didn't really work with the other elements for me and kind of felt like they were cheap filler.

Individually all the pieces are nice but it's better when you mix and match the elements - the chocolate working well with either the saltiness of the pretzel, which is a combination I love and also good with the caramelised hazelnut for a contrast in texture. These three elements also work well as a trio,

Overall it's a nice mix and good to see supermarket healthy snacks at an affordable price but it's not as good as Graze. Whilst it's a delicious mix, Graze do way more innovative and delicious combos and there's two minor things which didn't work for me. 1. The raisins didn't really go with the rest of the elements even though they were nice. 2. The hazelnut pieces were way too small and often didn't really get noticed. I would have preferred half hazelnuts at the very least.

I would buy this range again but Graze would be my preferred option.

Price: 50p
Bought at: Sainsburys
Nutrition per pouch: 114 calories, 4.8g fat, 1.8g sat fat, 11.4g sugars, 0.13g salt

Score: 7/10