Review of Sainsbury’s Unsweetened Almond Milk

Well my mission to try some new dairy free milks has not been that successful. So I am trying really hard to find some new dairy free milks to try. One of my favourite milks is almond as I like it’s fairly neutral flavour and that it’s low in calories. So when I saw my regular almond milk was out of stock I decided to try Sainsbury’s own brand almond milk instead. I personally didn’t like the colour or design of the packaging design with the light blue and brown colour scheme with a glass of milk. The only positive is that is clearly labelled as being milk free and suitable for a vegan diet.

The ingredients list is on the back of the carton with 2% almonds noted. The almond is clearly highlighted in bold as an allergen. There is a note that it is not suitable for individuals with an allergy to other nuts due to the manufacturing methods. The milk is labelled as being milk free, and suitable for vegans.

On opening the carton there was a subtle nuttiness aroma to the milk. I’m personally not keen on milks that have a sweet artificial aroma and this didn’t so that was a big positive for me. It poured easily into a glass it was cream/brown in colour. It was slightly runny and wasn’t really creamy in consistency. On sipping the milk it was slightly smooth but not creamy in texture. There was a pleasant subtle nutty flavour to this milk, but if I’m honest I wouldn’t say it tasted of almonds. It didn’t taste artificially sweet compared to other brands that I have previously tried. I also warmed the milk for 90 seconds in the microwave ready for my famous Weetabix test. It microwaved well and did not separate or form a skin to the top of the milk. Its aroma didn’t change. It was absorbed easily by the Weetabix. On tasting the Weetabix it tasted just as a Weetabix should the milk did not impact on its flavour. This may sound a little strange but a couple of milks that I have previously tried have made my Weetabix have an artificially slightly sweet flavour. I personally don’t like this and like to add my own sugar to my Weetabix should I want to.

So would I recommend this almond milk? Yes I would. I liked everything about this milk from its aroma through to its flavour. So if you follow a dairy free or a vegan diet why not give this almond milk a try. So thank you Sainsbury’s for producing an almond milk that I can enjoy.

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Review of Eat Real Sea Salted Hummus Chips

Now I am a creature of habit and I tend to have Pom Bear crisps with my sandwiches for lunch. That said I am always looking for new dairy free crisps try as an alternative. I recently discovered Eat Real quinoa chips and really enjoyed them and may have had several packets since. For some reason I forgot to try their other chips. So whilst in Morrisons this week I picked up their sea salt hummus chips to try.
I liked the simple white packaging with the splashes of purple. The pictures of the chips looked really appealing and I just wanted me dive in. Being in the free from aisle they are gluten free and labelled as suitable for vegans and therefore suitable for dairy free me. No allergens are highlighted on the ingredients list and there is no may contain warning.
On opening the packet I was greeted by a fairly neutral aroma that I associate with a good quality packet of plain crisps. This aroma did not change on my famous close up sniff test. The chips or shells as I like to call them were of a good size and didn’t have an obvious scattering of the sea salt flavourings on them. On biting into the chips was a nice clean crunch was noted. The sea salt flavouring was spot on as it was very subtle and understated. After trying a few chips there was no greasy residual left on my fingers, just perfect.
So would I recommend these hummus chips, yes I would. I liked the shell design of this savoury snack and enjoyed their crunchy texture. The very subtle understated flavouring has to be the best I have tried in a long time in a crisp style snack. These have to be the nicest in the Eat Real range that I have tried and shall I will be buying this as my savoury treat on a regular basis. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or vegan diet give these hummus chips a try. So thank you Eat Real for producing another savoury treat I can have.

Review of Hovis Seeds Sensations Bread

It is often difficult to dash into a shop and pick up a loaf of bread when you follow a dairy free diet. I have to spend time checking the labels to make sure that the bread is indeed milk free. I recently discovered that Hovis seed sensations large loaf of bread is dairy free. I personally prefer a granary or a wholemeal loaf and the fact that you got seed thrown in made this the perfect bread for me to try.
I liked the simple packaging with the purple theme to the bottom and the clear see through element to the top allowing you to see the bread with its scattering of seeds to the top inside. Onto the ingredients list the allergens highlighted were wheat and soya and barley. There is no may contain warning. It was therefore suitable for my dairy free diet. It is also labelled as being suitable for a vegan diet.
On opening the packet there was a faint aroma of what I describe as a familiar smell you get with granary bread. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. The slices of bread themselves were of a good size and had a good quantity of a scattering of seeds. The bread was slightly bouncy to touch and my finger didn’t sink into the bread which can often happen with processed bread. The seeds to the top of the bread remained in place, I was worried that they might fall of. The bread itself remained fresh over a couple of days and didn’t start to dry out. I had the bread as part of a sandwich for my lunch and as toast with some Pure dairy free sunflower spread. On biting into the bread I experienced a combination of textures, an initial crunch from the seeds followed by the light airy texture of the main part of the loaf. The bread kept its consistency when made as part of sandwich and didn’t get soggy or gooey in texture even when left in a fridge for a couple of hours. It also toasted well with the seed toppings texture remaining the same.
So would I recommend this bread if you follow a dairy free or vegan diet? Yes I would. I was impressed by its combination of textures. I really liked the initial crunch from the seed topped crusts. This makes it stand out from your average loaf of bread. So thank you Hovis for making bread that I can enjoy.

Review of Eat Real Chilli & Lime Quinoa Chips

Whilst doing a recent online shop with Ocado I felt I should recheck their free from section just in case I had missed any new dairy free treats to try. I stumbled across Eat Real quinoa chips in a larger size. In addition to this there were a couple of flavours that I had yet to try. I fancied something different so opted for their chilli and lime flavour.
I liked the simple brown packaging with the splashes of vibrant green to co-inside with their lime flavour. The picture of a scattering of the chips with amongst a chilli and lime made me want to dive straight in. Onto the ingredients list they are clearly labelled as being gluten free and labelled as suitable for vegans and therefore suitable for dairy free me. No allergens were highlighted on the ingredients list and there is no may contain warning.
On opening the packet I was greeted by a fairly strong aroma of chilli, I was unable to distinguish the lime element to these chips. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. The chips themselves were of a good size and had a good scattering of flavouring on them. On picking the chips up they looked light and airy and left no residual on my fingers. On biting into the chips there was an initial crunch this was followed by a light slightly airy texture unlike eating a typical crisp. As for the flavour well if I am honest all I could taste was the kick from the chilli, which a little stronger than I anticipated. Sadly, this simply seemed to drown out the lime element to these chips. Which is a real shame, because they probably would have become my chilli flavoured savoury snack of choice.
So would I recommend these quinoa chips? Yes I would. I really enjoyed their light fluffy texture and the kick from the chilli gave my taste buds. It’s just a shame that the lime element was simply lacking. I will certainly be buying these chips again. So thank you Eat Real for producing a savoury snack that I can enjoy. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or vegan diet give these savoury snacks a try.

Review of Skinny Pop Popcorn

Popcorn is often a safe dairy free treat for me to enjoy and can make a nice change for a treat to enjoy on the go as an alternative to a packet of crisps. So on my recent adventure across America I popped into Whole Foods and found the aisle with the popcorn in the hope that I could find some that was safe to me to eat. Surprisingly, it was quiet hard to find some that were safe for me to eat. Luckily, I found a multipack of Skinny Pop popcorn that was safe to eat. So I grabbed to have as my savoury snack to enjoy on my travels.
I loved the simplicity of the packaging of this popcorn with the mini packets of popcorn looking like coming towards you to be eaten. On the front of the packaging it is clearly labelled as being gluten free, and suitable for vegans. On the ingredients list to the popcorn popped maize, sugar and sunflower oil are listed. As I got this popcorn in America the regulations on food labelling is slightly different. The popcorn is labelled to the back of the packaging as being dairy free, peanut free, tree nut free.
On opening the bag I was greeted by a faint subtle salty aroma. I did my usual close sniff up test and this didn’t change. On closer inspection inside the bag the popcorn looked like even sized pieces of the popcorn which looked plain. This was a positive to me as I didn’t want my popcorn to be too salty. On biting into the popcorn I immediately got the taste of plain popcorn this was preceded by a subtle taste of salt the strength of which was spot on. The texture of the popcorn was just right. I experienced a combination of textures initially it was slightly crunchy followed by a light airy softness of the popcorn. This popcorn was a great safe savoury treat for me to enjoy whilst on my travels. In fact the large multipack didn’t last long. Luckily, I was able to stock up at local convenience stores. I even took some home with me to enjoy on the plane on the way home.
So would I recommend this flavour of popcorn? Gosh yes I would. I liked everything about this popcorn from its simple packaging, through to its flavour and textures. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet why not give this popcorn a try as a savoury treat. So thank you Skinny Pop for producing a nice popcorn I can enjoy as a treat. I shall be buying some more of your popcorn on my next visit to America.

Happy New Year

Just a quick post to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. I hope that you have a fun packed and reaction free 2017. I am very lucky that I had an amazing 2016. I had a trip of a lifetime travelling from the east to west coast of America via train. In addition to this my blog also got nominated in two categories in the Allergy Blog Award UK. So I’m not really how sure how 2017 can top this. Of course I had to set myself some goals for the year ahead. My new year’s resolutions for 2017 are to meet fellow bloggers at the Allergy & Free From Show as I missed this last year. To attend the Free From Festival as sadly I was unable to make it at the last minute due to stupid allergic reactions. To start saving up for my next big adventure. I have also decided to change my blog post schedules. I will now try to publish a new food/eating out review on a Thursday and continue with Tuesdays new tea review. Sadly, I just can’t fit the time in at the moment to publish three posts a week. If I can squeeze any extra in I will. So thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. I really appreciate it. Oh and good luck with those New Year resolutions, C.

Dairy free dinner at the Bellagio

I consider myself very lucky in the fact that I have been able to visit Las Vegas on several occasions. This year we decided that it would be the perfect end to our mini adventure across America. We have stayed in a couple of different hotels in Las Vegas and choose this year to stay at the Bellagio. Each time we have visited Las Vegas we always make sure that we treat ourselves to a nice meal at a special restaurant. We have enjoyed some wonderful meals and my milk allergy has never been a problem. This year we decided to dinner at the Todd English’s Olives in the Bellagio. It was always busy whenever we walked past and decided it would be the perfect way to complete our holiday. We were exceedingly lucky as we were able to have a table outside. This is special because you are right by the famous fountain displays.
We sat down and I explained to the waiter that I had a milk allergy. I had learned to not to say dairy / lactose free as this also seemed to mean egg free. I didn’t get any advice on what dishes were suitable a tad disappointing. I had already seen the menu in advance so opted for what I thought would be possible to adapt.
For starters I had the watermelon salad. Mine came minus the cheese. It was a simple green lettuce salad with speciality tomatoes, watermelon and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar dressing. Simple is often best for me. The sweeteners from the melon worked really well with the balsamic vinegar. As for the tomatoes these lacked any flavour and were slightly mushy. Oh and the green salad was as expected, but fresh. Overall, a disappointing starter for me. Our party hadn’t even finished our starters when our main courses arrived. In fact one of us was still savouring his starter when our mains were placed on the table.
Onto the main I opted for the Colorado lamb. The chef was indeed able to adapt this to make it dairy free. On its arrival I had hoped that the waiter would explain what I had got but this not the case. Disappointing to say the least. What I got was sautéed new potatoes halved and sautéed onions topped with 4 lamb cutlets in a jus. The sautéed potatoes didn’t seem to be freshly cooked and were only luke warm. The same could be said about the onions which were also a bit to oily or greasy for my liking. What about the lamb cutlets. The jus covering them was ok it tasted a bit like a rich gravy, but I was unable to really distinguish its flavours. My lamb cutlets well these were more well done rather than the medium to well done that I had hoped for. They were crunchy on the outside and slightly more tender towards the centre. They were ok but nothing special and I have eaten much nicer lamb cutlets. So overall a disappointing main meal. The best part for me was the nice cup of earl grey tea at the end.
So would I recommend this restaurant if you have a food allergy or intolerance? Sorry it’s a no from me. The waiters seemed to lack knowledge with regards to food allergies. On top of that it felt like we were being rushed. I’ve never been anywhere where they start serving the mains before the staters have been finished. It just spoilt the dining experience a little. I know that tables with a special view like we had must be at a premium, but surely you should be able to enjoy each course. Ironically, we weren’t rushed after this.