I have to confess to being a lady who enjoys my tomato ketchup. It is one of my guilty pleasures in fact I have it with most of my meals. It is a safe dairy free food that I use a dip or as part my tomato based sauces. So when I had the opportunity to try Real Good Ketchup how could I say no. The fact that it contains 70% less sugar and salt is nut free, and is suitable for a vegan diet is a bonus.
Onto the packaging. It comes in a small sized clear plastic bottle that I would associate with most tomato ketchups. I was immediately drawn to the clever marketing that it has 70% less sugar as I have been trying unsuccessfully to reduce this recently. I also liked the juicy looking tomatoes I was immediately thinking of the taste of fresh tomatoes and wanted to dive in and give it a try. Onto the ingredients they are completely plant based no allergens are highlighted and there are no is no may contain warning. In fact is clearly labelled as being made in a nut free factory.
On opening the bottle I got a nice aroma of tomatoes, the slightly sweet aroma that I associate with ketchup was absent. Instead a slightly more mature tomato aroma was noted. This remained the same on my famous close up sniff test. I squeezed the sauce out of the bottle it was smooth but slightly runnier in consistency than what I expected. Oh, and yes I did give the bottle a good shake before giving a little squeeze. Perhaps I am being a little unfair I just expected to be a little thicker than the average ketchup because of its ingredients. I tried the ketchup as an accompanist to a variety of meals as a crafty dip. It had a rich tomato taste with a slight twang noted. The sweetness that I associate with ketchup was missing. I much preferred this to my regular ketchup. I also used the ketchup as addition to tomato based sauces. The stronger tomato flavour added a little extra to my sauces. In fact I didn’t need to use my tomato purée to my spaghetti bolognese or chilli.
So would I recommend this tomato ketchup? Yes I would. I really enjoyed the aroma and flavour of this ketchup. It works well as a dip and adds a nice tomato flavour to sauces when cooking. My only constructive criticism is the size of the product. It’s too small, when you are a bit of a ketchup monster like me it just doesn’t last long enough. So please can I put in a request for a larger size, I’m sure I wont be the only one with this request. So if you food food allergies, follow a vegan diet why not give this ketchup a try.
Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product all the opinions in this post are honest and my own.
I enjoy a yogurt most days as part of my packed lunch or as an extra addition to fresh fruit. The choices of yogurts seems to be rapidly expanding, especially coconut based yogurts. You can now easily pick them up from your local supermarket. KoKo are one of the growing bands to produce their own brand of dairy free coconut yogurts. It took me a little while to get my hands on some as they always seemed to be out of stock. In the meantime I had read great reviews about these yogurts but put these aside so that I could construct my own personal review about these new coconut yogurts. They come in five flavours, including plain. I opted for lemon as I had yet been able to find a lemon yogurt that I can have.
I immediately fell for the packaging. The design transported me to an imaginary desert island very briefly. I know this may sound a tad silly but I’m just being honest. You get two yogurt pots per pack which are slightly larger than most yogurts that I have tried. The yogurt is clearly labelled as being dairy, gluten, nut and soya free. There are no allergens highlighted on the ingredients list oh and they are also suitable for a vegan diet.
On removing the cardboard packaging you get two yogurt pots sealed next to each other. The individual pot continues with the KoKo theme of that desert island. I liked the subtleness of the scattering of the lemons and the free flowing milk from the coconut. I just wanted to dive in and give it a try.
On opening the yogurt pot I have to admit to be being a tad surprised. I was greeted by a thick creamy looking yogurt. There was a nice coconut aroma with a subtle undertone of lemon noted. Onto the yogurt itself it was a pleasant a neutral cream / white colour with flecks of coconut intermingled in it. On placing my spoon into the yogurt it was the perfect creamy consistency for my personal taste. It didn’t run of my spoon like other yogurts I have tried, so this was real a bonus. On tasting the yogurt I found its flavour to be perfectly balanced. It was slightly sweet in flavour from the coconut with a subtle sourness noted from the lemon. I really liked its consistency and texture. It was slightly thinner and smoother compared to other coconut yogurt I have tried aka Co-Yo, but I preferred this. I’m going slightly of tangent now as it is also a more affordable choice. I tend to have Co-Yo as my weekend treat.
So would I recommend this yogurt oh my goodness yes. It exceeded my expectations and believe me this can be difficult. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free, but free, soya free or vegan diet, I highly recommend that you give these yogurts a try. So thank you KoKo for producing a delicious coconut yogurt that I can enjoy. I look forward to trying your other flavours.
The Free From Festival London is the UK’s first gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free food festival. It is based at the Festival Hall in Brick Lane. There is a large array of dairy free, gluten free, paleo and vegan foods to try, with odd tea company thrown if for luck. Last year I was very lucky to attend the festival in my official capacity as a food and tea blogger. I had an amazing day out and had the opportunity to try a range of fantastic foods. As soon as I became aware that free From Events were holding another event this year I blocked the date out in my diary and told my mum to do the same. So when the Free From Festival contacted me and asked if I would like to have 2 press tickets to the event again I let out a little Yelp of excitement. Oh and of course I graciously accepted. So here is a snap shot of our day at the food festival.
We had to wait in a queue to get in. I didn’t mind this obviously meant that the festival had proved to be very popular. What it did mean was that we had hunt down our food fast before it had all went. Before doing this we headed straight to the bar to get our goody bags and a cup of tea. We grabbed our tea and went straight towards Les Deux Aimes who specialise in sweet and savoury pancakes. We headed here first as they had sold out of many of their ingredients last year. They had two hot plates one for gluten free and one for dairy free pancakes. My mum had a gluten free pancake last year and loved it. So she was jolly well going to have another one. After a bit of pondering, she opted for the banana and Nutella again. The pancake looked delicious and had a very generous filling of both the Nutella and bananas. My mum soon polished of her pancake and said it was well worth the wait and made the perfect accompaniment to her cup of tea. They can be found at: http://www.lesdeuxaimes.co.uk
I headed of to straight to Giancarlo’s stand, The Vegan Sweet Tooth. I visited his stall last year and fell in love with his cakes. All of course are vegan but not are gluten free. My regret last year was that I didn’t try any of his savoury treats. The stall proved to be very popular gain. I choose my pizza focacciata and opted for a vanilla mini animal muffin for later because they looked very cute. I ate my focacciata outside before exploring the rest of the festival. Oh my goodness I was not disappointed the dough was light and springy in texture. The topping was delicious the herbs complimented the tomato sauce perfectly. It was well worth the wait. Giancarlo can be found at: http://www.giancarloroncato.co.uk
One stand that I also couldn’t wait to visit was Fravocado. They make their ice cream from coconut milk and avocado. It is free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar and suitable for vegans. I sampled all three of their flavours but my favourite had to be the raspberry and basil. The flavours just complemented each other perfectly, as for the texture it was nice and creamy and perfect in consistency. Fravocado can be found at: http://www.fravocado.co.uk
Another stand I came across was Fodify. It is a company that was set up by two dietitians Hannah and Janet to cater for the needs of individuals who follow the Fodmap diet. They sell specialist packages of herbs, spices and jars of sauces that are Fodmap friendly. Let me tell the herbs and spices smelt amazing. Fodify can be found at: http://www.fodify.co.uk
My mum was interested in Rana’s artisan bread. Rana is a coeliac who set up the company last year in a quest to have artisan bread. The company has six different bread mixes which you can simply add water to and bake, you can extras if desired. I sampled all breads at the show, my favourite was the Italian my mums was the sour dough. I would not have been able to tell that they were gluten free in a blind testing environment. I had hoped to buy the Italian but they were sold out so I got the sour dough and instead. Rana’s artisan bread can be found at: http://www.ranasbakery.com
I then popped over to see Matt and his girlfriend at Eat Safe. She is soya intolerant and has found this to be highly restrictive when eating out. So Matt helped devise the Eat Safe app as part of his masters degree. It is in its early stages and will initially cover eating out in London but hopes to extend this in the future. More details can be found at: http://www.eatsafeapp.co.uk
The next stop was Nutkin. This is a vegan cheese company set up by Kate all cheeses are dairy and gluten free. There are currently five cheeses available which use fermented macadamia and cashew nuts as their base. I really enjoyed all of the cheeses that I tried and was unable to choose a favourite. They were creamy, soft light in texture and full of flavour. I have to say it was one of the nicest cheeses that I have tried. Nutkin can be found at: http://www.wearenutkin.com
Finally, no trip to the Free From Food Festival would be complete without some form of chocolate. This year I stumbled across nookie, which is a family run business who make raw chocolate bars. They are dairy, gluten and refined sugar free. I sampled all of their bars but my favourite had to be just their plain chocolate samples. It was light, airy and delicate in flavour, whilst being smooth in texture. Sadly, they do not normally sell this and it was just done for the show nookie http://www.nookiebar.com/
In summary I had another fantastic day at the Free From Food Festival and would recommend it to everyone. So thank you Free From Events for my press tickets I really appreciate it.