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 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.
I’ve linked this post to #freefrom Fridays

Le Coin de Mel

Review of Well & Truly Tortilla Chips

Every now and again I fancy tortilla chips as a savoury treat. Sadly many are not dairy free so it can be a difficult finding ones to try. On my recent visit to The Allergy and Free From Show in London I popped along to well & Truly’s stand. I was suitably impressed so I decided to buy a packet of their tortilla chips to take on holiday to share with my mum.
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I liked the simplicity of the of the packaging with its simple triangular designs in blue, yellow and grey. There is a label to the top of the packet with their logo with the clear wording underneath that they are gluten free. The chips are made from corn flour, corn oil and salt. There are no allergens highlighted on the ingredients list and they are labelled as being gluten free and suitable for vegans.
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On opening the packet I got a fairly non descript aroma of a plain tortilla chip which reminds me of maize. This was just what I had hoped for. This got a big thumbs up from me as other plain tortilla crisps I have tried have emitted a salty aroma, which I personally find a tad off putting. I checked the bottom of the bag as I now do with all tortilla chips that I try and no greasy residual was noted. On biting into the crisps there was one consistent texture apparent. This was slightly crunchy. It was like I was eating an everyday tortilla chip. Some gluten free brands that I have tied have been a bit powdery in texture. These definitely didn’t taste like they were gluten free. Onto the flavour this was spot on it was plain and non descript perfect for a plain tortilla chip. My taste buds didn’t get hit by that unwanted saltines. After consuming a few I checked my fingers and no greasy residual had been left on my fingers. We had these tortilla chips as part of a buffet lunch. We found them to be highly moorish and I was personally disappointed that everyone else enjoyed them because I had to share.
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So would I recommend these tortilla chips yes I would. I really enjoyed them as a savoury treat. It was nice to be able to have a plain tortilla crisp that was neutral in taste and I mean this a positive way and not overloaded with salt. So if you are dairy free like me or follow a gluten free or vegan diet why not give these a try. Thank you Well & Truly for producing a nice packet of plain tortilla chips that both my mum and I can enjoy as a treat.

Review of KoKo Lemon & Coconut Yogurt

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

Review of Chika’s Chickpea Lightly Spiced Crisps

Every now and again I fancy tortilla chips as a savoury treat. Sadly many are not dairy free so it can be a difficult finding ones to try. On my recent visit to the Free From Festival in London I came across Chika’s Stand and sampled some of their nuts. I was suitably impressed so I decided to buy a couple of their crisps to take home and try.
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I liked the simplicity of the of the mainly white packaging with a subtle gold band to the top and bottom of the packet. There is a clear logo in the centre and just a sneak preview of the crisps or tortilla crisps as I like to call them underneath this. The crisps are made from chick pea, their flavouring comes from cumin seeds and black pepper. There are no allergens highlighted on the ingredients list and they are labelled as being gluten free and suitable for vegans.
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On opening the packet I got an aroma of mixed spices it was subtle and not to overpowering. I personally felt that I could smell the chilli, onion and tomato rather than the cumin. They smelt a little stronger than I had anticipated. I was expecting them to smell more like a plain tortilla chip with a subtle hint of spices. I did not let this put me of as I like a savoury snack with a subtle kick. As for the flavouring it was evenly distributed across the crisps. I checked the bottom of the bag as I now do with all tortilla chips or crisps and no greasy residual was noted. On biting into the crisps there were two textures apparent. The initial nice crunch followed by a slightly powdery texture, which to be honest I was not expecting. Onto the flavour this was spot on I liked the subtle kick of the spices. The cumin gave a subtle warm yet slightly bitter taste but this worked well intermingled within the tomato and chilli flavours. I liked that these crisps left no flavouring or greasy residual on my fingers. I found them to be highly moorish and I ate them over two days. I had them as part of my lunch and they worked well as an alternative to crisps. I also ate them dipped into salsa dip as a snack the two flavours complimented each other nicely.
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So would I recommend these crisps or tortilla crisps as I like to call them, yes I would. I really enjoyed them as a savoury treat. It is great to be able to have a flavoured tortilla style crisps that I can enjoy. So if you are dairy free like me or follow a gluten free or vegan diet why not give these a try. Thank you Chika’s for producing a nice packet of lightly spiced crisps that I can enjoy as a treat.

The Free From Food Festival 2016

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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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/
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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.

Review of Tesco’s Free From Toffee & Vanilla Ice Cream Cones

I’m sure like many others who suffer from a food allergy or intolerance I have been excited by the new ice creams that are now becoming available. Tesco’s recently updated their free from range which included ice creams. So when I saw their new free from toffee & vanilla cones I just had to give them a try.
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I liked the packaging of Tesco’s free from range. This particular packaging has a picture of two cornetto style ice creams. I couldn’t wait to get home and dive in. The ice creams are clearly labelled as being a free from product and as being milk, gluten, and wheat free. On the back of the box lupin, soya and hazelnuts are highlighted as allergens in the ingredients list. They are also labelled as being suitable for vegans.
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On opening the box each cone has a lid clearly labelled as being gluten and dairy free, so well done Tesco’s no confusion there. On removing the lid as I call it and some of the foil packaging encasing the ice cream my eyes immediately lit up. It was like I had a cornetto in my hand. I was holding a waffle style cone filled with dairy free ice cream , a caramel sauce and a topping of caramel pieces. The toffee aroma of this ice cream and the chocolate edging to this ice cream cone just said go on enjoy me.
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On biting into the ice cream the first thing I became aware was the creamy soft ice cream. This was intermingled with the sweet rich caramel sauce oh and the odd crunchy toffee pieces. The initial combination of flavours and textures were spot on. As I continued eating the ice cream these flavours and textures just continued. I got a little surprise as the caramel sauce continued towards the bottom of the cone and became slightly runny in texture, just wonderful. It didn’t end there. At the very bottom of the cone was a piece of thick chocolate, just delightful. Oh and I missed the cone itself this was fresh crunchy and reminded me slightly of Lotus biscuits.
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So would I recommend these free from toffee & caramel ice cream cones, oh my goodness yes. I never thought I could enjoy an ice cream like this. They are spot on from the flavour through to the textures. So thank you Tesco’s for making this dairy free blogger very happy.