Review of Marks & Spencer redbush tea

My mum, who I have inherited my love of tea from enjoys her rooibos tea and drinks goodness knows how many cups a day. So I thought it was about time I made effort and tried some new rooibos as an alternative to my mint, lemon and ginger or camomile infusion teas. I happened to stumble across a box redbush tea whilst I was shopping in Marks & Spencer the other day so I decided to give it a try.

I loved the vibrant black and red packaging with an interesting pattern which I would describe as being like mini space invaders. It is clearly labelled as a caffeine free tea to the front of the packaging. I was intrigued by its description as being sweet and mellow with a bright yellow colour.

Onto the ingredients well interestingly there doesn’t seem to be any. All I could see was 40 redbush teabags. There is no may contain warning with regards to possible allergens.

When I opened the foil packet I was  greeted by a woody aroma that I associate with a rooibos tea. This did not change on the close up sniff test and was still present on smelling an individual teabag.I added the teabag to my teacup and added the hot water and let it infuse as instructed. I was immediately hit by a slight woody and faint grassy aroma which became more apparent as the tea continue to infuse. There wasn’t much difference noted with the aroma on my close up sniff test. I didn’t expect this and was pleasantly surprised. It didn’t seem to take long for the tea to infuse with the hot water. It soon turned a slightly dark cherry like colour not the bright yellow colour described on the packaging. On sipping the tea it tasted like a good quality rooibos, there were undertones of both woodiness and grassiness that I associate with a nice redbush tea. I found the tea to be comforting yet slightly refreshing at the same time. I was pleasantly surprised by this tea as if I am honest it has been a bit hit and miss with the previous teas I have tried from marks & Spencer and didn’t expect it to be a nice as it was.

So would I recommend this redbush tea? Yes I would. I enjoyed everything about this tea from its flavour through to its aroma. It is a nice everyday redbush tea. So thank you Marks & Spencer for producing a nice redbush tea that I can enjoy.

Review of Sainsbury’s bacon crispies

I recently discovered that it is possible to eat frazzle style crisps if you follow a dairy free diet as not all brands contain cows milk or its derivatives. Whilst in Sainsbury’s the other day I found myself in their crisp aisle. My other half really fancied some frazzle crisps so grabbed some of Sainsbury’s bacon crispies. I had my old faithful Pom Bears and didn’t even think about checking to see if they were safe for me to eat. This all changed when we got home and were preparing our lunch and I thought that I should try these crisps to review on my blog.
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I liked the design of the packaging. I liked the pink colour with the crisps cascading down the packet. You knew what to expect inside and just I wanted to just dive and give them a try. Onto the ingredients there are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list. They are also labelled as being suitable for vegans. So of course I just had to give them a try.
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On opening the crisps there was a slightly artificial aroma of bacon noted. This was not too strong or overpowering, but was a little off putting if I am honest. The aroma remained the same on my famous close up sniff test. On picking up a couple of crisps to try each crisp looked like a frazzle crisp. They were cream in colour with what I would describe as beetroot red coloured stripes. The crisps felt a little greasy to touch and left a light powdery residual on my fingers. On biting into the crisp a nice crunch was noted but this was followed by a slightly powdery texture. After consuming a few crisps I could feel a greasy coating on my tongue, not particularly pleasant. As for the flavouring this was a little hit and miss. Some crisps lacked flavouring whilst others had a strong artificial bacon flavour. It was as if the seasoning had not been distributed eveningly. After eating a few of these crisps I had a greasy and slightly powdery residual on my fingers. I found this in conjunction with the greasy coating on my tongue to be a little off putting if I’m honest.
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So would I recommend these crisps if you follow a dairy free and or vegan diet? Sadly not. I really didn’t enjoy these crisps. They were a bit to greasy for me and I just didn’t enjoy their texture and found the flavouring a little to artificial. Sorry Sainsbury’s but these crisps just were not for me.

DIY Daddy Blog
Le Coin de Mel

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Review of Kinnerton Dark & Smooth Chocolate Mints

Now I’m a lady who loves her chocolate as a guilty sweet treat. It can however be quiet difficult to get a chocolate fix when you follow a dairy free diet. So many chocolates contain milk. So I always have to a secret supply of chocolate for such occasions. One chocolate that I heard about via social media was Kinnerton dark & smooth chocolate mints. I love mint chocolate so just had to give them a try. They were quiet difficult to find so I was mightily pleased when my other half got me a box as a surprise treat.
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Onto the packaging I liked the simplicity of the design of the box. It’s brown colour with a simple green ribbon to the centre with a circle describing the chocolates inside. I also like the subtle addition of a mint leaf within the circle.
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They are clearly labelled as being dairy free, egg free, gluten free and nut free. They are also suitable for a vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list the only allergen highlighted is soya. To the back of the box the labelling also states that they are suitable for individuals who have a peanut allergy.
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On opening the box I have to admit to being a tad surprised. I was greeted by three separate layers of 9 chocolate discs. Onto the aroma I was greeted by a subtle cocoa that I associate with dark chocolate. This didn’t change of my famous close up sniff test. If I’m honest I was a tad disappointed as I hoped for a combination of cocoa and mint. Maybe this is a little unfair. On biting into the chocolate disc a nice hard crunch was noted followed by a smooth consistency. Onto the flavour my taste buds got hit by the slight bitterness from the chocolate this was preceded by a slight sweetness from mint. The mint wasn’t too strong and overpowering and complimented the cocoa perfectly. They would make a perfect after dinner mint.
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So would I recommend these chocolates? Yes I would. I loved everything about these chocolates from the simplicity of the packaging through to their subtle aroma, textures and flavours. It was well worth the wait. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free, nut free, or vegan diet why not give these chocolates a try. So thank you Kinnerton for producing some mint chocolates that I can enjoy.

DIY Daddy Blog
Le Coin de Mel
My Petit Canard

Review of Salt Pom-Bear Salt & Vinegar Crisps

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I love my Pom Bears, in fact I have them most days with my packed lunch at work. Until recently the plain variety were the only flavour of Pom Bears suitable for my dairy free diet. That was until the salt and vinegar flavour was introduced, so of course I just had to give them a try. It took me a little while to get some as they were always out of stock, a promising sign I thought, but what did I think? How did they compare to me old faithful plain Pom Bears? Please read on to find out.
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Onto the packaging well I well I just love this, with what I describe as the king bear introducing you to the rest of the Pom Bears who are politely waving back at you. The crisps are clearly labelled and marketed as being gluten free. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Onto the ingredients list barley and soya are highlighted in the ingredients list as allergens and there is no my contain warning. This therefore makes them suitable for my dairy free diet.
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On opening the crisps I noted the salt and vinegar aroma which wasn’t to strong or overpowering. This didn’t change on my close up sniff test. The crisps had an even distribution of flavouring noted on them. On biting into the crisps there was a nice crunch noted followed by a slight airy texture. Onto the flavour it was definitely salt and vinegar. It was pleasant but just not as strong as I had hoped. Perhaps I am being a tad unfair as the crisps are clearly aimed at the children’s market. If I am honest I prefer the plain Pom Bear flavour. These remain a staple in my packed lunch most days. Onto a positive note the crisps have a nice texture and didn’t leave any greasy or powdery residual from the flavouring on my fingers. This is personally a big bonus for me.
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So would I recommend these crisps? Yes I would. The flavour wasn’t as strong as I had hoped but it was pleasant. They were not greasy, had a good crunch and didn’t leave a powdery residual on my fingers. Most of all it was great to have a flavoured packet of Pom Bears that I can enjoy. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegetarian diet why not give these crisps a try. So thank you Pom Bear for producing another flavoured packet of crisps that I can have.

Mummascribbles

Review of Newburn Bakehouse Gluten Free Crumpets

It can be very difficult to find a dairy free food to have as a light snack. A snack that I do enjoy as an occasional treat is crumpets. They are a quick and easy warm snack that can have a nice topping to add that little extra to tide you over until dinner. Sadly most crumpets contain milk and are therefore not suitable for dairy free me. So when I popped into a local supermarket I headed straight to the free from section to see if there were any I could try. Sure enough I found crumpets by Newburn Bakehouse which are made by Warburtons. They were both gluten free and milk free. So I decided to give them a try for lunch and save the rest later for a snack.
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I liked the simple clear packaging to the top allowing you to see the crumpets inside. I also liked the bright orange colour scheme with the blue section clearly highlighting that they are gluten free. Onto the ingredients list egg is highlighted as an allergen and there is no may contain warning. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet.
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On opening the packet I wasn’t really greeted by an aroma and this didn’t change on my close up sniff test. If I’m honest it’s hard to describe the aroma of a crumpet. What I was surprised by was the size of the crumpets. They were monsters much bigger than other crumpets that I have previously tried. I would only need one of these for my lunch. Onto the texture of these crumpets they looked slightly stodgy on the top and crunchy and slightly blackened to the bottom. On touching the crumpet they were springy to touch from the top and firm and slightly hard to touch underneath.
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I placed my crumpet in the toaster and toasted it for 2 minutes. The texture of the crumpet hadn’t really changed on touching compared to it untoasted. The aroma hadn’t changed either. I choose to have a little jam on mine as a naughty treat. On biting into the crumpet I initially experienced two different textures. Initially it was light and slightly springy followed by a slight crunch from underneath. On further bites the crumpet was slightly gooey and stodgy in texture. It reminded me of rice that is a little over cooked and goes a little gooey. This wasn’t s negative for me as I quiet like this. On checking the inside of the crumpet the texture was actually quiet similar to this. Onto the flavour it tasted just like a regular crumpet. So that’s a big thumbs up to Newburn Bakehouse.
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So would I recommend these crumpets? Yes I would. The larger size is a big bonus as it meant I only needed to eat one. The combinations of the two textures worked really well together. The fact that they taste like a regular crumpet is a big plus. So if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet why not give these crumpets a try. So thank you Newburn Bakehouse for making a crumpet that I can enjoy.

Mummascribbles

Cuddle Fairy

New dairy free finds in Morrisions free from range

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When I heard that Morrisons had upped their game with regards to their free from products I have to admit to being a tad sceptical. I had never found their free from section inspiring and it seemed to have very little dairy free or should I say milk free options. Like most free from sections it was aimed mainly at the gluten free market. As I was passing a store and needed a few groceries I decided to pop in and investigate to see if indeed their expanded free from section could impress me. Well, I have to admit to be taken by surprise. There was indeed a larger free from section not only filled with well-known free from brands but new Morrisons products. Not only that a lot were also milk free in the sweet treats section as I like to call it. I had to take a double take as I really didn’t expect it. After letting out a little yelp and doing a mini gig on the spot it was time to investigate this section of the supermarket in more detail. I’ve included a snap shot of some of my finds. I have focussed mainly on sweet treats as this is what I personally find more difficult to buy. They are all gluten free, wheat free and milk free.
Jam Tarts
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Pecan Tarts
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Cherry Bakewell Tarts
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Flapjack Slices
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Fruit Cake Slices
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Ginger Cake Slices
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Raspberry Macaroon Slices
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Coffee Cake Slices
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Fruit & Nut Bars
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Oh and yes I may have taken a few treats home with me for my mum and I to try. On packaging my treats the lady at the till explained very proudly that Morrisons now had a larger free from section than Sainsbury’s. So I’m giving a big thumbs up to Morrisons for providing a more extensive free from range that is milk free and suitable for dairy free me. I’m sure it won’t be long before I return to try some more treats.

Mummascribbles

Review of Tesco’s Value Garlic Baguette

Now I am bit partial to garlic bread and make my own as it can be quiet difficult to find ready made garlic bread that is dairy free. So when someone at work suggested that I look at supermarket own brand value bread as these can be dairy free I thought I should take a look. So when I popped in Tesco’s I checked their value garlic bread in the chilled cabinet and sure enough I could have it. After emitting out a little excited yelp I placed it into my shopping basket to give it a try.
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I liked the packaging as it is simple like the rest of their value range, with a hint of green noted. You can clearly see the bread inside which I have to say looked very tempting. Onto the ingredients list, wheat is highlighted and there is no may contain warning. It is also labelled as being suitable for a vegan diet, although I personally think that this is not that obvious.
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On opening the packet I was immediately hit by a pleasant aroma of garlic with a hint of mixed herbs. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. I placed the baguette in the oven and cooked the dough it as instructed. Once cooked the aroma of the garlic to intensify slightly and seemed to mask the smell of the mixed herbs. I tore the baguette into a couple of sections and undertook my close up sniff test. At this point I was able to smell a faint undertone of the mixed herbs intermingled with the garlic.
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I couldn’t wait to dive into this baguette. It looked nice and crunchy to the outside and light and fluffy inside. On biting into the baguette it was indeed crunchy on the outside (but not too much) and had a lighter fluffy texture inside followed by the slight moistness from the margarine. The texture was perfect, it must have been the way I cooked it. Onto the flavour this the garlic element was definitely the prominent flavour but it was a subtle flavour and wasn’t’ too strong. This was intermingled with a hint of mixed herbs.
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So would I recommend this value garlic baguette? Yes I certainly would. I was surprised by its textures and its flavour. They were both spot on. I will no doubt be having many more of these baguettes in the future. So if you follow a dairy free and or vegan diet give this garlic baguette a try I’m sure that you will be pleasantly surprised. So thank you Tesco’s for producing a delicious garlic baguette that I can enjoy.