Review of Plenish Organic Hazelnut Milk

Well my mission to try some new dairy free milks has not been that successful. So I have been trying to make a real effort lately and try some new varieties of dairy free milk. So I headed onto Ocado and searched for dairy free milk. One milk that seemed to grab my attention was Plenish organic hazelnut milk. Now I’ve never tried hazelnut milk before so I decided to give it a try. I personally liked the simplicity to the design of packaging with 3 hazelnuts to the right bottom of the carton.

The ingredients list is on the back of the carton with water, hazelnuts 5% and sea salt noted. So I was a little disappointed by this. The hazelnut is clearly highlighted in bold as an allergen. There is no may contain warning. The milk is labelled as being dairy free and suitable for vegans. My only concern with this milk alternative is the lack of calcium. As someone who has been on a dairy free diet for a many years it is fair to say that this important factor for me when choosing a milk.

On opening the carton I was surprised that there was only a faint and subtle nuttiness aroma to the milk. In fact it smelt pretty neutral and did not change on my famous close up sniff test. This was a little disappointing if I am honest as I expected this to be much stronger being that it was a nut based milk. It poured easily into a glass it was a cross between a light brown and a dark cream in colour but. It was slightly thin and slightly watery in consistency. On sipping the milk it was slightly smooth but not creamy in texture. There was definitely a nutty element that tasted of hazelnuts to this milk, which was subtle but not to overpowering. 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 seemed remained the same I had hoped that the aroma may intensify slightly, but this may be a tad unfair. The milk was absorbed easily by the Weetabix. On tasting the Weetabix it only had a faint hint of hazelnut and didn’t really impact on its flavour. I viewed this as a positive 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 my Weetabix to be as plain as possible.

So would I recommend this hazelnut milk? Yes I would. Its subtle nutty flavour was spot on and made a pleasant change to the other milks that I have tried. It wasn’t artificially sweet and wasn’t too creamy. So if you follow a dairy free, or a vegan diet why not give this milk a try. So thank you Plenish for producing a hazelnut milk that I can enjoy.

My Petit Canard

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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.
Marvellous Monday’s

My Petit Canard

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Le Coin de Mel

Review of Ace Tea London Royal Mint Green Tea

As a lady who enjoys her cups of tea on a daily basis I am always on the lookout for new teas to try. Yet for some unknown reason I tend to drink very little green tea. This is strange as it is a great tea to be enjoyed milk free so it is therefore perfect for dairy free me. I have tried a couple of brands of green tea of varying qualities. So when Ace Tea London contacted me and asked if I would like to try and review their royal mint green tea I of course said yes.
I liked the packaging of this tea from its light green theme with an ace to centre of the front of the box. I liked the touch of the ace cut out to the side of the box and allowing you to see the tea stockings inside. Onto the ingredients list mint leaf and green tea are listed. No allergens are highlighted and there is no may contain warning.
On opening the box it emitted a strong but very pleasant mint aroma. I had yet to open the plastic packaging in which the tea was stored. On opening this the aroma of mint intensified slightly. It was a lot stronger compared to many other mint teas that I have previously tried. This didn’t intensify on my close up sniff test however I was able to smell the grassy undertones from the green tea. On smelling an individual tea stocking both aromas weakened but were still quiet noticeable.
I placed my tea stocking into my teacup and added the freshly boiled hot water. The water soon changed to the light brown / greenish colour. I expected to be hit immediately with a strong mint aroma but this wasn’t the case. Perhaps I am being a tad unfair here as I had high expectations from this tea after initially opening the box. I infused the tea for the recommended steeping time what was noticeable was a grassier slightly woody aroma that I associate with green tea. However, on my close up sniff test the mint became the predominant aroma. On sipping the tea I expected my taste buds to get hint with mint due to the initial strong aroma that I experienced. Instead I initially experienced a subtle grassiness that I associate with green tea followed by strong refreshing mint. I personally have found some green teas to be slightly too bitter, but the subtleness of this was spot on and didn’t impact on the strength of the mint flavour.
So would I recommend this mint tea? Definitely. I liked the subtle aroma to this tea. The mint flavour perfectly balances with the slight bitterness from the green tea resulting in a nice refreshing tea. So if you are either a green or mint tea fan why not give this tea a try. So thank you Ace Tea London Tea for producing a nice mint tea that I can enjoy.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this tea to try. All the opinions in this post are honest and my own.

Dairy free breakfast in New York

On our first full day in New York my body clock was all out of synch I was starving at 5am. I checked on Google and nowhere local was open. I was surprised we were staying on Wall Street, maybe this was why. There was a local bagel shop that did vegan options but it wasn’t open for another 2 hours. So it was breakfast buffet in the hotel for $30! I explained that I had a milk allergy and asked what I could have. The staff were very helpful and knowledgable. It was a no go for all pastries, toast, scrambled eggs and certain cereals. They offered me freshly cooked eggs which I accepted. I asked if I could have fried eggs, which was no problem. I was unable to have the bread and asked instead if I could get my own bread which they were happy for me to do. Thank goodness for my Tesco’s free from bread. They also offered me almond milk as well as the regular soya milk to have in my tea. Of course I politely said no thank you. I ended up with melon and bacon to start. Bread and egg followed by corn flakes and locally made honey. This was of course accompanied by the obligatory earl grey tea. This was a typical holiday breakfast for me that filled me up nicely for the morning. I was just glad that I took my emergency Tesco’s free from bread.

Review of co-op loved by us sweet popcorn

Now I have to confess to being a popcorn addict. It is often a safe dairy free treat for me to enjoy. I have had a bit of a sweet tooth lately. Whilst queueing at my local co-op I saw their loved by us sweet popcorn. So I grabbed a packet on the of chance that I could have it. This may sound bonkers but I knew that my other half would eat it if it was not safe for me.
I loved the pink packaging of this popcorn with the popcorn looking like they were popping out of top of a box. On the front of the packaging it is clearly labelled as being suitable for vegans. On the ingredients list to the popcorn popped maize, sugar and sunflower oil are listed. There are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list and there is no may contain warning.
On opening the bag I was greeted by a slightly artificially sweet aroma. I did my usual close sniff up test and this didn’t change. On closer inspection inside the bag the popcorn looked like random pieces of the popcorn had a coating of sugar. On biting into the popcorn I immediately got a subtle taste of sugar the strength of this was spot on. It gave the popcorn a pleasant taste which wasn’t too sweet as not all the popcorn had a sweet coating. I personally think that if all of the popcorn had been coated it would have been to sickly. The texture of the popcorn was just right. I experienced a combination of textures, on the sugary pieces it was slightly hard and crunchy followed by the softness of the popcorn. This was intermingled with the slightly crunchy then soft texture that I expect to get from popcorn. This popcorn was a great to treat to eat whilst enjoying a film at home.
So would I recommend this flavour of popcorn? Gosh yes I would. It may not be the healthiest popcorn I have had, but who cares it was nice to have a sweet treat to enjoy. I liked everything about this popcorn from its girlie pink packaging, through to its flavour and textures. So if you follow a dairy free or vegan diet why not give this popcorn a try as a sweet treat. So thank you co-op for producing a nice popcorn I can enjoy as a treat.

Eating out in New York and being dairy free

The first stop of our American adventure was New York. After checking into our hotel we went straight to a local Irish pub whose name escapes me, sorry. I got a menu no allergen listings noted. I had forgotten how much easier it now is to eat out in the UK. I opted for a simple green salad with no dressing and a mini steak. I hoped that this would be OK. I explained to the waitress that I had a milk allergy so could I have the salad just plain and a well done steak. This was no problem. The salad soon arrived. It was indeed green salad with tomato cucumber and a fair bit of onion. The steak was well done yet tender and had a simple herb and spice topping. It was a simple safe dinner to start our wee little adventure.
On our second night out we found ourselves at yet another Irish pub. This time it was MCGees it’s the bar which they based How I met Your Mother on. Again no allergens marked on the menu. I explained to the server that I had a milk allergy and needed something from the menu that was dairy free. I asked to check that the fish and chips would be OK. Sadly not. She explained that a simple burger and chips was safe. So that is what I had. The burger was simple beef burger in a bun with some fries.
The burger was nice beef patty that had a simple seasoning that tasted a tad of black pepper. The bun was nice and bouncy and soft inside. The fries were not as crispy or as fluffy as I had hoped but we’re fine. To be honest I was expecting a larger burger as I was starving as it had been a long time since breakfast. So if I’m honest I was still a bit hungry, but better to be that than be ill. We then headed to Times Square before returning to the hotel where I had a cup of tea and some bourbon biscuits. If I’m honest I was a tad disappointed by my food I think it is where we ate. I have been lucky to visit before and found it a lot easier. Maybe I need to return just check that I was unlucky this time.

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.
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.
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.
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.