Sunday, 21 May 2017

Aldi Pea Snacks - Chilli with a twist of lime

I'm a big fan of Yushoi crisps,which are a vegan crisp alternative made from peas and it looks like Aldi are trying to copy them with their pea snacks under their Passion deli brand. Like Yushoi these are made peas (marrow fat peas in this case) and are gluten free and from what I can see in the ingredients list also dairy free and vegan.

They offer multipacks of 6 offering a cheaper way of stocking up on these baked not fried crisp alternatives and also offer a flavour twist with this chilli with a twist of lime of flavour.

They're just as good as Yushoi ones in my opinion although I do love the Yushoi brand and would continue to buy them in the future too. They have a nice, light crisp and airy texture , which reminds me of the texture of the salt and vinegar chipsticks even though they're made from peas. You'd never guess they were made from peas and because of this it means the pack also contains 4g protein per pack.

The flavour is really nice, a little bit of mild heat with a lovely zing of lime that I think works really well in savoury snacks. Lime is definitely underused in crisps and snacks. At 88 calories per pack, they're also a guilt free treat. A good little find in Aldi.

Bought at: Aldi
Nutrition per pack: 88 calories, 2.9g fat, 0.2g sat fat, 0.6g sugars, 0.21g salt

Score: 8/10

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Weetabix Additions Raisin and Apple

Weetabix is a staple in my house, it's a really healthy choice: low in sugar, fat and salt and you can customise it with different dairy free milks and toppings or fruit every morning for a brand new take on breakfast each day. I really highly rate the Weetabix Protein from last year, which took everything I love about one of my most eaten cereals and then gave it a protein boost to provide a plant based protein boost at breakfast.

Capitalising on what I assume was the success of Weetabix Protein is these two Additions versions of Weeabix - one with coconut and raisins and one with apple and raisins. Nutribrex already does a coconut wheat free cereal, which I love so thought I'd give the apple and raisin one a go. They're vegan and high in fibre, low in salt and full of wholegrains.

It certainly smelt of apple and raisin with also a noticeable hint of cinnamon giving it that crumble/ autumnal pudding kind of smell and feel. They look like standard Weetabix although you can see a few little raisins studded throughout.

Texturally they're similar to Weetabix to so you can either soak them in milk and let them go soggy or briefly dowse in milk and then eat them whilst they're still solid. Because these are flavoured I decided to go for almond milk as it's quite neutral rather than my preferred coconut milk or cashew milk, which have stronger flavours, which might not work with these. Unfortunately the taste didn't work for me and it just tasted slightly odd, a little too sweet and a bit too artificial. The raisins are quite small and certainly not juicy, although the cinnamon notes are quite warming and pleasant.

It's not awful or inedible but my main problem is they've taken a great, healthy breakfast and added in a load of sugar and syrups and odd sounding ingredients. The original Weetabix is low in sugars whereas these have 15g sugars per 100g or 6.5g per two biscuit serving. It's not horrendously unhealthy but I don't see why you would pick something like these at breakfast over the original although I might eaten these as a healthier dessert/ evening snack.

It also ruins what for me is the key point of Weetabix - its blankness and neutrality. With a strong apple and cinnamon flavour, it makes the product a lot less versatile and stops you adding your own flavour combinations and individual twists, which you can do with the original.

It's a nice idea but not properly executed in my opinion and I'll stick with my low sugar and neutral original Weetabix.

Bought at: Tesco
Nutrition per 2 biscuits: 149 calories, 0.8g fat, 0.2g sat fat, 6.5g sugars, 0.08g salt

Score: 5/10

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Starbucks Vegan Wrap - Kale, Jalapeno and Slaw

Yet another veggie sandwich being tasted again. As soon as I heard about Starbucks' new vegan wrap, I had to try it on my next visit. Starbucks isn't my preferred coffee shop and I tend to go more to the likes of Pret and Leon so it's good to see a mass chain offering healthier options.

The wrap promises crushed corn, kale and jalapeno bites with a California inspired slaw with spinach and a hot chilli jam, surrounded by a plain tortilla wrap. It looks pretty impressive with lots of colour and things going on in there and it's always a pretty hefty wrap - it's an absolute beast of a sandwich.

I had mine with an almond milk latte (keeping it fully dairy free!) and I think it's probably the best sandwich I've had in a mass chain. It's not quite as fresh and natural tasting as the likes of Pret, which are made from scratch each day but for a prepackaged option, this is very good and miles better than the generic falafel option that vegans typically get offered.

I've said it already but this is a big wrap and I thought this was going to be a very messy affair. In some ways it was just because Starbucks have jam packed this with filling and veg but amazingly the tortilla holds together and it all held together perfectly during the entire eat. The bottom didn't collapse and whilst I did get a few bits on me, that was due to my clumsiness and this wrap really is bit to burst with filling. There is no skimping on ingredients here.

And the filling is delicious. The kale and jalapeno bites are a more interesting twist of falafel that are nice and moist and paired well with the crunchy slaw with cooling cabbage and carrot and some spinach. The chilli jam helps bring it all together with a nice sweet flavour, that has a nice mild bit of heat in it making for a deliciously sticky, spicy taste.

I'm really impressed with this offering from Starbucks and it would be great to see them trying to do more healthy Pret-style options.

Bought at: Starbucks
Score: 8/10

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Waitrose Good to Go Veggie Rueben Sandwich Review

Moving on from Marks and Spencer's veggie butternut squash and tabbouleh wrap to another veggie sandwich, this time from Waitrose. New and exclusive to Waitrose is this veggie take on a rueben sandwich. Now I've never had a rueben before so can't do a fair comparison and I've also had to look up what a reuben sandwich is - apparently it's an American sandwich of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing sandwiched in rye bread.

The Waitrose veggie rueben appears fairly authentic with dark rye bread encompassing Emmental cheese, pickled slaw with American mustard dressing and a Russian dressing. The veggie twist is provided by switching the corned beef for roasted chesnut mushrooms, which I could see working as mushrooms have a nice meaty, umami, savoury flavour.

I love dense Scandinavian bread so the rye bread is a much welcome change to your standard pre packaged sandwich. It's dark and nutty and gives a strong flavour that holds its own against some even stronger fillings. This sandwich has a very hard hitting flavour punch due to some real hard hitting flavours. Particularly strong is the slaw and Russian dressing, which have a very strong, salty taste with a real flavour of gherkins. Gherkin haters avoid as this comes through strongly but I really liked it.

Emmental cheese provides a nice Swiss creamy cheese with a nutty tone that works well with the nuttiness of the bread and a nice creamy contrast to the crunchy slaw. The mushrooms aren't particularly identifiable against the other strong flavours but they are in there and give a nice bit of moisture and bulk to the sandwich and in my mind doing a good job as a veggie alternative to corned beef,

Whilst not as jam packed with textures and flavours as the M&S butternut squash, it's another winner of a veggie sandwich - so much more interesting than a bog standard egg and cress or cheese and tomato. It's very Scandinavian tasting and for all its bold , salty tones, it's quite a light eat so you don't feel too bogged down after eating it.

Price: £3.20
Bought at: Waitrose
Nutrition per pack: 374 calories, 14.4g fat, 3.9g sat fat, 7.8g sugars, 1.74g salt

Score: 8/10

Marks and Spencer Vegan Butternut Squash and Tabbouleh Wrap

M&S seem to be really trying to make some moves in plant based this year. After the launch of the vegan sandwiches at the beginning of the year and some of the plant based snack pots, they've launched what I believe is their first vegan wrap for the summer and it sounds pretty good.

I've said before I've always found plant based sandwiches more interesting, it makes the flavour combos and textural contrasts work harder and makes for some really interesting and tasty combinations. This starts off with a red pepper and chilli wrap so even the base is more interesting than your usual wrap or sandwich. Packed with butternut squash, a vegetable slaw, a butternut salad, butternout houmous (lots of butternut here) and a sumac dressing it's a fantastic mix of flavours and textures.

The wrap is soft and pliable and adds a nice Mediterranean undertone to a more middle Eastern filling. The butternut squash is soft and sweet, the slaw is a lovely mix of all sorts of crunchy veg with carrot and cabbage for a nice bit of bite against the softer elements.

The salad provides a light crispness and the houmous adds moisture and rich creaminess. All topped off with the sumac dressing - a fantastic lightly spiced flavour punch of cumin, coriander, lemon, orange and chilli for a lovely summery taste. It all works well together and makes for a more interesting wrap than your standard one.

It's a really tasty wrap and once again there's no reason not to buy this even if you're not vegan. It's just a fresh tasting lunch with lots of crunch and contrast and it feels like quite a light eat too so perfect for the summer.

Bought at: Marks and Spencer
Nutrition per pack: 434 calories

Score: 8/10

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Hotel Chocolat 100% Cocoa Easter Egg

Okay we are really past Easter now but I've always been one to hoard my Easter eggs and eke them out over a longer period rather than demolish them over the Easter weekend. I was really lucky to receive one of the new 100% cocoa Easter eggs from Hotel Chocolat. This is a pretty unique offering being the only Easter egg I've ever seen that is sugar and sweetener free plus it's pure 100% cocoa status. Those who don't like dark chocolate look away now.

I don't eat milk chocolate these days and 70% dark chocolate is my minimum with 85% being my preferred. I've enjoyed Lindt's 90% bar before but never ventured beyond that. Is a completely unsweetened dark chocolate going to be too much.

Like all Hotel Chocolat products, it looks premium, beautifully packaged and very sleek. Inside you get the 100% cocoa egg which is studded on the inside with raisins and roasted almonds and you also get a little tray of hazelnuts panned in 100% St Lucian cocoa as well. This egg picked up a lot of press attention as its dairy free, sugar free and suitable for vegans but does it taste any good.

Like I said those who don't like dark chocolate will in all honesty not like this at all and even 70% aficiandos might find it difficult to stomach. It's really quite earthy and the lack of sweetness is really noticeable. It's a raw intense deep and slightly dry taste from the St Lucian chocolate. It's very pure but also quite a complex flavour. I could get hints of slight earthy fruitiness within it and I can understand how chocolate experts can really compare and notice the subtleties like a fine wine. It's got a hint of maltiness and taste utterly different to any chocolate I've had before.

However, as said the lack of sweetness is very noticeable. When you eat it with the studded raisins in that natural sweetness for me is enough to elevate it but the bites without although very tasty don't feel as much of pleasure as 70-90% chocolate. I still enjoyed it however and I think it is all about how you train your palate and reliance on sugar. As I've eaten this more over a few days I've liked it more. The roasted almonds add crunch and the raisins sweet chewiness. I remember when I found 70% chocolate just right and 90% too earthy but now I find 70% a little sweet so it's all taste perception.

No, I don't quite like this as much as 85% and 90% chocolate but I did like it and would like to have one of these again next year. However I'll stick to dark chocolate with a little sugar.

Price: £15
Bought at: Hotel Chocolat

Monday, 1 May 2017

Marks and Spencer Spiced Carrot Muffins

I've been interested in these since I saw them reviewed at Amy Seeks New Treats and as it's a bank holiday weekend I thought I deserved a treat. I'm also looking to do a half marathon in 2 weeks time so if there's any time I can justify treats it's when I'm running a lot!

Promising all the taste of carrot cake in muffin format, they are beautifully attractive little muffins with a rustic topping of granola and pumpkin seeds. I must admit I don't normally like muffins and find them overly sweet, dry and a bit sickly but M&S tend to be good with flavours and if they could get that lovely spicing of carrot cake right they would be on to a winner.

It started off well as I spelt the cinnamon and nutmeg as I opened the pack and the muffins didn't feel overly aerated, puffy or dry but were rather smaller without the big puffy tops you get in those monstrosities in coffee shops. Look how tasty it looks with all those oats and seeds all over the top and remarkably they don't fall off too much.

Cutting it in half there's also a pleasing cream cheese filling to really replicate the carrot cake experience. And it really does taste quite like carrot cake in flavour, if not texture. The texture is a good muffin, through and through, surprisingly moist but very airy and light and not too heavy and there's lots of juicy currants throughout for bursts of sweetness and texture. Combined with a slightly crunchy topping it's a good balance of textures. I must admit the pumpkin seeds were unnecessary in my opinion - a bit too dry and plain tasting and they jar with the soft, sweet taste of the sponge a bit.

The sponge is where it's at. It's got an authentic carrot taste with a decent hint of spiciness and the cream cheese filling adds an extra spot of sweet, creamy indulgence that complements rather than makes it sickly.

Very yummy muffins indeed and just right with a cup of tea.

Price: £1.50
Bought at: Marks and Spencer

Score: 8/10

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Nakd Lemon Drizzle Review

Always a fan of Nakd bars and they're pure wholefoods clean ingredients, I'm always excited to see a new flavour on the shelves. Now on the plus side lemon drizzle cake sounds delicious and it's good to see a more zesty flavour hit the shelves instead of more cocoa, berry or nutty versions but on the down side it replaces the previous limited edition carrot cake Nakd bar, which I loved. So it has a high bar to hit if it is to make me let go of one of my favourite flavours.

We all know the benefits of Nakd bars - no refined sugar, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, clean ingredients and this is no different, made up of 53% dates, 19% raisins, 11% almonds, 10% coconut, 6% cashews, 1% lemon and a hint of natural flavourings.

Opening it up, you instantly get a lovely fragrant zesty smell. I wouldn't say it was lemony and actually it reminded me more of vanilla sponge cake - especially those sharing ones for birthdays that come in big slabs cut into squares.

Initially biting in, it was lemony and sweet and very delicious but I wouldn't say it was lemon drizzle cake. It was just their usual nice soft texture with a lovely lemony twist that works well but the more I ate the more and more it morphed into lemon drizzle cake. It's scarily similar to the real deal, even texture wise. By the end I really couldn't tell the difference between this and the real deal. It's lovely and sweet and zesty and somehow for something made up of dates and raisins and nuts really feels and tastes like lemony sponge in texture. I swear I could even taste the icing of lemon drizzle cake.

Nakd have done it again, another fantastic healthier treat. I'm still really, really sad to see carrot cake (please Nakd bring this back too!) but this is another winner.

My only criticism is I think Nakd are starting to cut costs and bulking up their bars with more dates/raisins, instead of costly nuts. This means the sugar content of this is one of the higher bars with just under 18g (albeit natural sugars). However, considering their gingerbread bar is 11.6g sugars with 50% nut content and their are lots of new players like Squirrel Sisters, Bounce and Deliciously Ella with lower sugar content, I hope they don't keep reducing the nut content.

Price: £0.74
Bought at: Asda
Nutrition per bar: 133 calories, 5.4g fat, 2.3g sat fat, 17.7g sugars, <0.1g salt

Score: 9/10

Friday, 28 April 2017

Arla Protein Greens Mango, Kale and Lime Yogurt Review

I've long been a fan of the Arla Protein yogurts of which I've reviewed several (passion fruit, raspberry, vanilla, ginger) so was delighted to see a new variant on the shelf, intriguingly subtitled Protein Greens that is mango and kale flavoured.

Like all the rest of the range, its super high in protein with 20g per pot and for only 155 calories and its low fat. I've no problem with greens or veg in my yogurt after enjoying some of the new Waitrose vegetable yogurts but I love the thick clagginess of the Arla range and its high protein content so was very keen to try this.

The first thing I noticed is that the texture seemed a little looser than the standard raspberry, blueberry and strawberry ones. This might be because the product has no sugar in it but is instead sweetened with fruit juice like the vanilla and ginger yogurts. I'm not sure if the juice adds a bit of liquid that makes the thickness of the quark slightly diluted. It is still super thick and creamy though, more than any other yogurt , just not as quite as much as the standard Arla Protein products.

Flavour wise, any veg haters will have no problem with this. It's just a sweet fruity mango flavour, that comes through. It's delicious but a bit of shame not too get a bit of kale bitterness in. I was hoping for a green smoothie type of flavour (yes I'm weird).

The kale is a bit misleading really. It's way down the ingredients list so really doesn't add anything. It's a another delicious and high protein product but it's really just a mango variant. As the texture is slightly less thick than the other flavours I'll probably buy more of them but I would still get this again.

For those interested in macros, this version is slightly higher in sugars with 15g per pot vs 12g in some of the other flavours but with the same 20g protein.

Price: £1.25
Bought at: Asda
Nutrition per pot: 155 calories, 1.1g fat, 1.0g sat fat, 15 sugars, 20.2g protein, 0.16g salt

Score: 8/10

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Pastella Protein Pasta

Pasta = carbs = bad right? Well firstly I completely disagree carbs are bad and would never want to rule them out of my life. However, I do acknowledge that a big bowl of pasta isn't necessarily the most nutritionally rounded meal you could have. So how about some protein pasta to up the protein content of your meal, leave you fuller for longer and all from plant based sources?

This little gem I stumbled across accidentally in Waitrose and I'm really impressed by it. Packing a whopping 21g of protein in each 125g it all comes from the added pea protein so a great way to up your non animal protein and perfect for vegans and vegetarians. In addition the ingredients list is uper clean with just durum wheat flour, pea protein and wheat flour. There's no added salt or sugar.

It only takes 2-3 minutes in boiling water to cook and I had mine with some beetroot pesto and salad to up the veggie credentials further and it's really nice. The texture is a little different to normal pasta, a little softer, a little less chewy but not enough to question it much. There is no taste whatsoever from the pea protein and because of the 21g protein it just seems a lot more filling and healthier for you.

I'm completely sold on this product and definitely intend to use regularly in the future.

Price: £1.25
Bought at: Waitrose
Score: 9/10

Saturday, 22 April 2017

New treats at Marks and Spencer - Spirit of Summer Cakes and Biscuits

Sadly Easter and all its chocolatiness goodness is over but the good news is that Marks and Spencer is now making way for lots of summery filled delights. I only popped into it today to get some nice dips and hummus but ended up salivating at all these new treats. I'm sure there will be lots of new Spirit of Summer products coming out over the coming months but there's already lots of new M&S biscuits and cakes to tantalise you.

New Marks and Spencer dark chocolate lemon and lime jaffa cakes. Lemon and lime jaffa cakes by McVities are pretty nice but dark chocolate is even better and I love the less dry sponge and more dainty feel of M&S jaffa cakes,
 New Marks and Spencer Spirit of Summer All Butter Cinnamon Sugar Palmiers - M&S tends to use all butter in their biscuits which always makes them extra crumbly and delicious and cinnamon is underused in biscuits,
 Also available as plain Marks and Spencer All Butter Palmiers
 I'm not normally a shortbread fan but I do love coconut so these Marks and Spencer coconut and raspberry homebake style shortbread fingers sound delicious.
 Everyone knows M&S do the best cookies so these M&S white chocolate and sicilian lemon cookies sound nice for the summer. I'm not a white chocolate fan but the lemon might help offset its sweetness.
 There are some delicious new cakes in too - this Marks and Spencer Spirit of Summer Apricot, honey and pine kernel cake sounds really nice,
 And the Marks and Spencer black cherry and almond cake sounds even nicer! I love cherries and almonds and the fact you can try this hot too makes this sound like a delicious pudding,

 This is M&S banana and blueberry loaf cake with spelt and quinoa flour is definitely something I want to try as I love healthier flours.
 And there's Marks and Spencer Chocolate and Date Brownie made with chesnut flour - again this can be served warm as a pudding.
 There's also a vanilla and blackcurrant cake which sounds nice as I love blackcurrant,
 And if you want normal naughty cake instead of these alternative flour ones, there's the new Marks and Spencer Spirit of summer passion fruit cake. Passion fruit might offer a lighter sweetness perfect for summer.
 I love tiramisu but for some reason I think I'd be disappointed by the Marks and Spencer Spirit of summer tiramisu cake - anything tiramisu flavoured always tends to let me down.,

There's also new Marks and Spencer Spirit of Summer tiramisu cupcakes and some M&S valencia orange and almond cupcakes for those who like their cakes under a heavy pile of icing!

So lots of interesting new cakes and biscuits for the summer in M&S - so much for healthier summer eating!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Hotel Chocolat Vegan Gianduja Egglets

I have to say the sheer amount of vegan Easter options this year has been phenomenal. It’s not in any way niche, obscure, difficult to find or more expensive with every supermarket having a good choice of diary free eggs. Hotel Chocolat always excel in dark chocolate so these gianduja dairy free vegan egglets had high expectations.

Priced at a fairly hefty £8.50 for 8 egglets they are presented very nice well in a high quality and attractive tube. These are described as super smooth pralines sealed in dark chocolate and dusted in cocoa powder. They’re fairly substantial feeling, bigger than a mini egg with a bit weight behind them. You probably could eat it in one but this is more of a two/three bite hob.

As soon as you bite in you just taste pure high end chocolate. The praline is properly hazelnut flavoured, really nutty, rich and roasted and creamy. The dark chocolate casing is your usual high end Hotel Chocolat affair,  rich, dense and very dark. I just think dark chocolate is so much nicer nowadays, it’s just so more interesting.
These are super rich and creamy and sinfully indulgent. I ate two and that was pushing it, there was no way I could have a third but the two I had were just pure bliss. Rich, nutty and super chocolatey, these are real high end chocolate treats. You would never guess they were dairy free or vegan and they are also much lower in sugar than other chocolates. Utterly divine, it just shows how delicious vegan options can be.
Price: £8.50
Bought at: Hotel Chocolat
Score: 9/10

Monday, 17 April 2017

Marks and Spencer All Butter Easter Cookies

Another M&S Easter related review as we sadly get to the end of the Easter bank holiday weekend. Still a good M&S biscuit makes the thought of work tomorrow a little more bearable and it is only a four day week.

M&S cookies are always pretty good although seasonally themed biscuits can be a little disappointing. These are easter cookies in the sense they are spice flavoured with currants and dried cranberries and lemon peel and then dusted with sugar for that artisan feel. Opening the packet p they smell fruity and you get that little hint of spice. They're good size cookies with a firm, chunky texture and are the shortbread kind of hard cookie rather than the flapjack sort.

M&S don't skimp on quality of ingredients and the all butter feature really pays off. The cookie's texture is delightfully short with a lovely shortbread taste - really crumbly and the perfect bake. It's a fairly understated biscuit and I think M&S did well to just generically call them easter cookies with spice rather than label them as hot cross buns flavoured for example.

Although fairly simple and plain, there's a delicate hint of spice throughout and I got some lovely afternotes of almond. Coupled with plenty of currants and cranberries means yo get a good fruity burst in each mouthful which complements rather than dominates the gorgeous buttery base.

They're maybe not the most exciting or indulgent cookies M&S have ever made but they are tasty, very high quality and sometimes simple works well. With all that chocolate over Easter, sometimes a bit of simplicity is all you need.

Price: £2.00
Bought at: Marks and Spencer
Score: 7.5/10

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Marks and Spencer Easter Chocolate Muffin

Happy Easter eve! I have to admit I've really not embraced it that much year, I haven't bought or eaten a single egg (though expect a couple tomorrow), haven't had a creme egg or even mini eggs. I didn't have my first hot cross bun until last week even though I love them and it's all kind of passed me by a bit this year.

In an attempt to get a bit of seasonal treatiness into my life, I found these Easter chocolate muffins at the in store bakery in Marks and Spencer for the pretty reasonable price of £1. They really do look something special and I love mini eggs so anything adorned with a colourful candy shell always looks pretty appealing to me.

I don't think I've ever had anything bad from an instore bakery in M&S and the muffins looked plump and perfect with a generous splodge of chocolate ganache on top and crowned with an egg. Muffins can be disappointing sometimes but M&S have nailed this. It's so moist, ridiculously so with a gorgeous dense, rich cocoa flavour and infused with more chocolate filling so you get a delicious rich, creamy burst of extra chocolatiness in every bite.

It's everything a good muffin should be, utterly delectable, not crumbly or overly airy bur rather gooey and creamy with a deep cocoa flavour rather than just being overly sweet. The chocolate egg on the top is a nice touch. These were reviewed on Kev's Snack Reviews and although I only got to try the one on top of my muffin, I completely agree they are nicer than Cadbury mini eggs and I will try and get a whole bag of these if there are any left after Easter!

Price: £1.00
Bought at: Marks and Spencer
Nutriton per serving: 572 calories

Score: 9.5/10

Sunday, 9 April 2017

SCI MX Pro2Go Protein Cookie Oatmeal and Raisin

I'm not normally one for proper protein bars and cookies. I do look for protein in my snacks but prefer it to feel more natural. This kind of protein product always feels a bit steriody bodybuilder for my liking. I've bought things like Quest bars in the past, which everyone raves about but I just find them so artificial.

This promises a whopping 23g protein and promises to deliver it in cookie form. Sounds too good to be true. I wasn't sure what to expect and when opened up, initially I thought it didn't have that proper cookie with a kind of anaemic colour and texture and odd slightly artificial milky smell (from the protein). It's also very soft - soft enough to smush with your thumb but it also holds together - it's not a dry, crumbly cookie but instead quite like a dough.

However, it actually taste pretty decent for a protein cookie and a million times nicer than the likes of Quest bar. It's not as good as a real cookie but it doesn't taste overly sweet or artificial and it's not chalky or hard going to eat.

It's a nice soft eat with a mild sweetness and generic oat taste. The raisins are nice and sweet and juicy and with a good mix of spices (cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and caraway), it's actually fairly tasty. I guess my only concern is the use of artificial sweetness sucralose but having said that it's lower in sugars than a cookie and the ingredients list is quite short for this kind of product.With the whopping 23g protein (albeit at a hefty 300 calories) it's got to be better than a standard biscuit. Not necessarily my kind of thing but one for weightlifters for sure

Nutrition per cookie: 300 calories, 9.2g fat, 3.3g sat fat, 5.3g sugars, 23g protein, 0.53g salt

Friday, 7 April 2017

Leon The Ruby Red Porridge Review

Pret is always my go to when grabbing a breakfast on the go but on my latest venture through Birmingham New St, I decided to give Leon a while purely on the base of this new ruby red porridge they've introduced. It's dairy free and made with cashew milk instead along with organic oats. Cashew milk is one of my favourite nut milk and I've made porridge with it myself and it's delicious so thought this was onto a winner.

In addition it comes a strawberry, blackcurrant and raspberry compote and a splodge of almond butter for even more nutty goodness. Mine didn't come out anywhere near as pretty as the store photo but it smelt yummy and looked good. I also bought an americano and was pleased to see Leon offer cute glass bottles of almond milk you can add to it for a dairy free option.

My goodness, this porridge is amazing! Something about the thick, stickiness of almond butter in conjunction with a sweet compote that is so fruity works amazingly. It feels so naughty and indulgent yet it's all wholefoods. The porridge itself is creamy and warming and just all comes together for a really filling and nourishing breakfast.

This coupled with a lovely lady who served me means this will be something I will definitely be going back for,

Price: £4.25 for a breakfast deal of porridge and a hot drink
Bought at: Leoon
Nutrition per serving: 294 calories, 8g protein, 9g sugars, 11g fat, 2g sat fat, 0.6g salt