Review of co-op apple puffs

I popped into my local co-op to get some dinner and passed by the bakery section. My other half fancied doughnuts. Sadly, they were sold out. I noticed their apple puffs and as some of their bakery items are vegan I thought that I would grab some on the of chance. As it turns out it was a good call to make as they were indeed suitable for a dairy free diet.

I liked the simplicity of the packaging. You can clearly see the apple puffs inside. There is a simple label to the centre of the front of the packaging. There is only one ingredient listed which is wheat. The co-op also kindly sent me a full list of ingredients.


On opening the packaging I was greeted by a sweet aroma of what I describe as an aroma which I would describe as puff pastry and sugar. The apple puffs are a good size. To the top you have a flaky pastry topped with sprinkles of sugar. This becomes more compact towards the bottom of the pies. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. It appeared dry I mean this in a nice way, and wasn’t greasy. On biting into the apple puff I got an initial crunch from the sugar to the top. This was followed by a nice light flaky pastry. It took a little while to discover the apple filling due to its minimal quantity. However, It was worth the wait, it was nice slightly crunchy apple pieces amongst a slightly syrupy puree.


So would I recommend these apple puffs if you follow a dairy free diet? Yes I would it is great to find an apple puff that isn’t in the free from range. I loved the light flaky pastry and the sugary topping that added that little extra. They could perhaps be even nicer if they had a little more generous apple filling. So thank you co-op for producing a nice apple puff that I can enjoy.

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Review of Sainsbury’s Free From Sticky Toffee Pudding

Now I am a girl who likes a naughty pudding as an occasional treat. One pudding I like to indulge in over the colder months are steamed puddings. Now I have to confess to not making my own and relying on ready made ones that you can ping in the microwave. Now being dairy free it’s quiet hard to find this style of pudding that is safe to eat. So when I saw a sticky toffee sponge pudding in Sainsbury’s free from aisle I just had to give it a try.
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I personally liked the packaging in their usual style of their free from foods with picture of a very inviting pudding to the front. It is clearly labelled as being gluten free and milk free. Onto the ingredients list with regards to allergens egg is highlighted. There is no may contain warning. However, the is a note stating that it is not suitable for nut or peanut allergy sufferers due to manufacturing methods.
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On opening the packaging I was greeted by the delightful sweet aroma of a toffee / sweet caramel sauce aroma. This didn’t change on my famous close up sniff test. I microwaved my pudding and let it rest exactly as per the instructions on the packet. I placed the plastic tub upside down and gently removed the tub. The pudding kept its shape and consistency which was a big plus compared to previous puddings that I have tried. I did have to scoop some of the sauce out of the pot and place on top of the pudding as not all of it made it onto the top of the pudding. Onto the aroma of the pudding this seemed to remain the same as before it was heated, a tad disappointing if I’m honest. I had hoped that smell of would intensify but maybe I’m being a tad picky as it was fairly strong and sweet prior to heating it. The aroma didn’t intensify on my famous close up sniff test. On placing the pudding onto my spoon it kept its structure and consistency. It was slightly light and airy in texture. However, sadly this was spoilt by intermittent small hard lumpy grains. As for its flavour it was ok but nothing special. The sponge itself was pretty non descript in flavour. However, the sauce on top of this made up for this. It was like a very sweet caramel. It was very sickly if eaten alone but jazzed the sponge up somewhat.

Review of co-op puff pastry mince pies

I know that it’s a tad early for a Christmas review but I decided to start very early this year. I popped into my local co-op to get some dinner and passed by the bakery section. My other half fancied doughnuts. Sadly, they were sold out. I noticed their puffed mince pies and as some of their bakery items are dairy free I thought that I would grab some on the of chance. As it turns out it was a good call to make.
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I liked the simplicity of the packaging. You can clearly see the mince pies inside. There is a simple red label to the centre of the front of the packaging. There are two allergens highlighted on the ingredients list wheat and sulphites. They are also labelled as containing gluten. There is no may contain warning.
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On opening the packaging I was greeted by a sweet aroma of what I describe as sweet pastry and sweet mince meat. The mince pies are a good size. To the top you have a flaky pastry topped with sprinkles of sugar. This becomes more compact towards the bottom of the pies. On checking underneath no soggy bottom was noted. It appeared dry I mean this in a nice way, and wasn’t greasy. On biting into the mince pie I got an initial crunch from the sugar to the top. This was followed by a nice light flaky pastry. It took a little while to discover the filling. It was worth the wait. It was slightly juicy and moist. There was a good quantity of fruit and I personally liked the subtle flavour from the spice that hit my taste buds. This helped break down the richness from the fruit and brandy. I felt that the quantity of the filling was just right otherwise it would have been to rich and impacted on the lightness of the pastry.
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So would I recommend these mince pies if you follow a dairy free diet? Yes I would it is great to find a mince pie that isn’t in the free from range. I loved the light flaky pastry and the sugary topping that added that little extra. So thank you co-op for producing a nice mince pie that I can enjoy. I am sure that I will be having a few more in the next couple of months.

Review of KIND Snacks Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond Bar

Now those of you that follow my blog know that I must have my mid morning snack. Nature Valley cereal bars are still my favourite and I took a couple of packets with me on my recent trip to America. I had hoped to find some new cereal bars to try whilst I was out there. I popped into Whole Foods whilst we were in San Francisco and discovered a new selection of KIND snacks. All were gluten free but I only found two that were dairy free. One of which was their dark chocolate mocha almond. So of course I had to give this a try.
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I personally like the clear packaging design of KIND Snacks with the stripes to the side. The packaging entices you to want to eat the snack. Onto the ingredients it is clearly labelled as being dairy free and gluten free at the front of the packaging. No allergens are highlighted in the ingredients list. Underneath by allergy information it states that it contains almonds and soy. It also highlights that it is produced in a factory that produces peanuts, tree nuts and sesame seeds.
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On opening the packet I was surprised as the bar looked quiet sticky. What struck me was the aroma of the mocha. Now I don’t like coffee but it wasn’t to strong and I found it quiet inviting. This aroma remained the same and did not intensify on my close up sniff test. On biting into the bar I was struck by its different textures. It was sticky a bit like toffee in texture followed by the hard crunch noted from the almonds. I didn’t really notice the different texture from the small rice puffs intermingled in the bar. As for the flavour of this bar I really enjoyed it and much preferred it to the other Kind snack bars that I have tried. As I mentioned earlier I am not a coffee fan but the slight bitter flavour from the mocha worked perfectly with the chocolate. I was pleasantly surprised. If I am honest I would not have normally have tried this bar if it wasn’t for the fact that there was little other choice. I am glad that I did.
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So would I recommend this flavour of KIND Snack bars if you follow a dairy free and or gluten free diet? Yes I would. I liked everything about this snack bar from its aroma through to its flavour and texture. So thank you Kind for producing a nice snack. Please bring it to the UK.

Review of Swedish Glace dairy free strawberry ice cream lollies

I have to confess to being a tad excited about the sudden availability of new dairy free ice creams that are becoming readily available. My personal mission is of course to try all of these and review them on my little humble blog. I recently tried and fell in love with Tesco’s choc sticks, oh my goodness is all I will say. So when I finally managed to get my hands on these Swedish Glace lollies I couldn’t wait to dive in.
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I liked the simple blue packaging with the picture of the chocolate covered strawberry lolly. I knew what to expect and couldn’t wait to open that box.
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The allergens are clearly highlighted in the ingredients list with soya in bold. To the front of the box it is clearly highlighted that the lollies are made with soy. They are clearly labelled as being dairy, gluten and lactose free whilst being suitable for vegetarians.
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On opening the box I was greeted by 5 medium sized lollies in a simple white packaging with gold hearts. I personally liked the design. On removing this I discovered my chocolate covered lolly. I initially took a step back as it looked like milk chocolate and I found myself re-checking the ingredients even though they were safe. I expected a dark chocolate coating. On biting into the lolly I got a faint crunch from the chocolate coating followed by the soft ice cream centre. The chocolate layer was a lot thinner than I had hoped and I therefore I didn’t get the chocolate fix that I had hoped. The ice cream itself underneath was a pretty pale pink colour. It was slightly light in consistency with a faint strawberry flavour. The subtle strawberry flavour worked well in combination with the chocolate outer coating. The combination of textures from the slight crunchiness of the outside chocolate layer and the smooth ice cream worked really well together.
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So would I recommend these lollies if you follow a dairy free, gluten free, lactose free or a vegetarian diet yes I would. It’s great to have a chocolate coated lolly that is readily available. If I am honest I would have liked a thicker chocolate layer to the outside. Maybe that is me just being picky. So thank you Swedish Glacé for producing these lollies. I am sure that these lollies will make both adults and children alike very happy.

Wot, No Dairy? Dessert

Now I am a girl who likes to enjoy a yogurt most days mainly as part of my lunch. There are certainly more yogurts which are readily available that are dairy free. One yogurt that I have been meaning to try for some time is Wot, No Dairy? It is not readily available in supermarkets but can often be found in health stores. I finally managed to pick up some whilst shopping in Holland and Barrett the other day. The Wot, No Dairy? Dessert / yogurt is UHT which a tad unusual for a yogurt. I opted for their raspberry flavour. The packaging is a simple white pot with a deep red section with a few raspberries cascading down.
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The dessert / yogurt is clearly labelled as being a raspberry dessert. It is suitable for vegans and is dairy and soya free. No allergens are highlighted in the ingredients and there is a note stating refer to ingredients list for allergens.
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On opening the pot there was a faint aroma noted which I would describe as slightly appley but not in a nice way. I tried not to let this not me put me of. The colour of this dessert / yogurt was and greyish purple. Not particularly appetising if I am honest. On placing the dessert onto my spoon the first thing I noted was its runnier consistency compared to other yogurts / desserts I have tried. There were small pieces of raspberries intermingled in this dessert. On taking some from the spoon it was not what I expected. I couldn’t really taste the raspberries more of a feint apple intermingled amongst what I guess is pea but I could be wrong. It didn’t taste like peas that I have had. I didn’t like the runny consistency it fell of my spoon back into the pot. To me the raspberries broke this up a little but they were scarce.
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So would I recommend this dessert / yogurt no I wouldn’t. It just wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the aroma, it lacked any real texture or consistency and was far to runny for me. Maybe a few more raspberries may of helped with this, who knows. I won’t be buying this dessert / yogurt again, sorry VBites.

Review of Ananda’s Original Madagascan Vanilla Vegan Marshmallows

Every now and then I go through a phase of liking marshmallows. I particularly like them as a topping to a hot chocolate. So when my mother-in-law got me these as part of my dairy free Christmas hamper I couldn’t wait to dive in and give them a try. The marshmallows come in a couple of flavours and I had the Madagascan vanilla. They came in a clear plastic punnet with a clear label with purple writing and pink stars. Slightly girlie but I liked the design. Inside you can clearly see the square marshmallows. To the back of the packaging is the ingredients list and no allergens are highlighted or listed. They are clearly labelled as vegan, which generally good news for dairy free me. Oh and they are also suitable for coeliacs.
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On opening the packet I was greeted by a faint but subtle sweet aroma which was interesting. If I’m honest I thought it smelt slightly of cinnamon rather than vanilla. I love cinnamon so this was not a problem. On picking up a marshmallow what I noticed was that they felt slightly different to the usual marshmallows I have they weren’t so springy. They had a neutral cream / beige colour. This was good because they weren’t full of lots of artificial ingredients. This being proved by the fact that you had to eat them within 5 days of opening the packet.

On biting into the marshmallow the texture was slightly different to other marshmallows that I have tried which surprised me. They were nice and soft but they did not have the chewy texture that I normally associate with marshmallows. As for the flavour I’m not sure I would describe it as vanilla but it was certainly pleasant. By this I mean subtle and not to sweet and overpowering. I really enjoyed trying these. As for the hot chocolate test, well they worked well. I made my usual dairy free hot chocolate with Sweet Freedom choc shot and Alpro unsweetened almond milk. The marshmallows floated on the top nicely and went slightly gooey from the hot chocolate.
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So would I recommend these marshmallows, definitely. I liked their texture and subtle flavour. I also liked the fact that they are not full of rubbish. I can’t wait to try their version of wagon wheels. If you wish to buy them you can get them directly from Ananda’s website http://www.anandafoods.co.uk.