Review of Lidl Bramley Apple Pies

On a recent trip to Lidl I found myself in their cake section. Now, if I’m honest I didn’t expect to find anything suitable for a dairy free diet. I was proved wrong as their own brand apple pies were indeed dairy free. There was only thing for it accidentally place them in my shopping basket to try later on as a sweet treat.

I liked the simplicity the bright green colour packaging. To front of the packaging is a picture of their apple pies, one of which is open with its apple contents cascading out. I just wanted to dive in and give them a try. Onto the ingredients list wheat, sodium metabisulphite and sulphur dioxide are highlighted as allergens in the ingredients list. There is also a may contain warning for nuts.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by an aroma that I associate with apple pies. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. The apple pies are of a good size. To the top you have a slightly crunchy looking short crust pastry topped with a little dusting of sugar. This becomes thinner towards the bottom. On checking underneath a slight soggy bottom was noted. This got an immediate thumbs down from me as I don’t like a soggy bottom.

On biting into the apple pie I got a slight crunch followed by crumbliness then a slight sogginess from the pastry at the bottom of the pie. Onto the filling there was a good quantity of apple pieces coated in what I would describe as a lightly seasoned syrup. The apple was slightly crunchy and worked perfectly with the gluppy syrup. The flavour of the filling was very nice. It was slightly sweet from the syrup but this was nicely complimented by the slight tartness from the apple. I have to admit by being surprised by these apple pies. They were very nice but sadly their slight soggy bottom just let them down just a little.

So would I recommend these Lidl apple pies if you follow a dairy free diet? Yes I would despite the soggy bottom as it is great to be able to have an everyday apple pie. So thank you Lidl for producing an apple pie that I can have.

Our First Family Free From Buffet


Having food allergies can suck sometimes. Growing up I remember having take all of my own food and drinks to parties. I secretly wished that I could try the food everyone else was eating but knew that it would make me poorly. My sister knew exactly how I felt and so when my nephew was recently diagnosed as being coeliac she didn’t want him to feel the same. So at our first family get together since his diagnosis my sister decided to have a totally free from buffet. This meant that everything was gluten free and that my nephew could eat everything. She also made a special effort for me making sure that there was several milk free options for me. To be fair I’m not sure who was more excited me or my nephew. Secretly I think it was me. If you’ve seen the very clever Morrison’s free from advert that was me just like me but as a grown up. My sister did a fantastic job visiting several supermarkets and food halls to get a great range of food that we could all enjoy. In fact there may have been a bit too much food. This was fine as it meant that we spent a lovely lazy afternoon at the dinner table trying a fantastic variety of foods and enjoying each others company. So a big thank you to my sister for a fantastic afternoon. It was a true delight to be able to watch the excitement and see my nephews face light up at the possibly of being able to try everything on the table. Oh and for spoiling me too.

Review of Good Full Stop Bars

Now I’m a girl who likes her mid morning snack. I have tried a few alternatives to my old favourite Nature Valley bars but I still seem to have these by default. So when I was contacted by The Good Full Stop Company and asked if I would like to try some of their snack bars I of course said yes. The snack bars which I received  are suitable for a dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and or vegan diet.

CHERRY SWEET & CHERRY GOOD

Onto the packaging, I liked the simplicity of the packaging with its silver colours scheme and a picture of tempting cherries and an autumn leaf to the left hand corner. It is labelled as being gluten free, and suitable for a vegetarian and vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list, cashew is clearly highlighted as an allergen. There is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet there was the sweet aroma from the dates noted but intermingled with this was a hint of cherry which intensified on my close up sniff test. On biting into the bar I got the softness and slightly smooth texture intermingled with a slight crunchiness from the cashew. If I’m honest I missed the texture from the cherries. Onto the flavour well the dates and cashews were the prominent flavours, but the subtleness of the slight tartness from the cherry made for a nice balance of flavours. I personally liked this as I can find cherries a little to sharp sometimes. overall I enjoyed the aroma, texture and favour of this bar. This surprised me as I’m not the biggest fan of cherries.

VERY NUTTY AND NUTTY GOOD

Onto the packaging, I liked the simplicity of the packaging with its silver colours scheme and a picture of hazelnut and almonds to the left hand corner. It is labelled as being gluten free, and suitable for a vegetarian and vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list, mixed nuts and cashews, hazelnuts and almonds is clearly highlighted as allergens. There is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet their was a slight sweet aroma from the dates but this was overtaken by the generalised nuttiness from the variety of nuts within the bar. This did not change on my close up sniff test. On biting into the bar I loved the combination of textures from the softness from the dates intermingled from the nice crunch from the nuts. Onto the flavour I got the sweetness from the dates intermingled with the nuts the prominent flavour being the almonds. This was my favourite bar it was really nutty and slightly less sweet compared to other flavours. A big win with both flavours and textures.

I’M BERRY, BERRY GOOD

Onto the packaging, I liked the simplicity of the packaging with its silver colours scheme and a picture of tempting raspberries to the left hand corner. It is labelled as being gluten free, and suitable for a vegetarian and vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list, cashew is clearly highlighted as an allergen. There is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet there was the sweet aroma from the dates a hint of raspberries which intensified on my close up sniff test. On biting into the bar I got the softness and slightly smooth texture from the dates and raspberries intermingled with a slight crunchiness from the cashew. Onto the flavour well the flavour from the dates and raspberries complimented each other nicely. I personally love raspberries and liked how this flavour complemented the sweetness from the dates. I enjoyed the aroma, texture and flavour of this bar it unusual to have raspberry flavour. I will no doubt be getting this again in the future.


FULL OF BEANS AND SO GOOOD

Onto the packaging, I liked the simplicity of the packaging with its gold colours scheme and a picture of coffee beans and chocolate to the left hand corner. It is labelled as being gluten free, and suitable for a vegetarian and vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list, cashew is clearly highlighted as an allergen. There is a may contain warning for soy in the chocolate.

On opening the packet there was the sweet aroma from the dates and chocolate intermingled with the slight bitter aroma from the coffee and chocolate. This did not change on my close up sniff test. On biting into the bar I got the softness and slightly smooth texture from the dates intermingled with a slight crunchiness from the cashew. If I’m honest I missed the texture from the chocolate. Onto the flavour well the flavour from the dates complimented the bitterness from the coffee nicely. I personally do not like coffee and so would not purchase this in the future, but I think coffees lovers would enjoy this bar.

DEVILISHLY HOT AND GOOD

Onto the packaging, I liked the simplicity of the packaging with its striking black colour scheme and a picture of chills in flames to the left hand corner. It is labelled as being gluten free, and suitable for a vegetarian and vegan diet. Onto the ingredients list, cashew is clearly highlighted as an allergen. There is a may contain warning for soy in the chocolate.

On opening the packet there was the sweet aroma from the dates and chocolate intermingled with the slight fiery aroma from the chilli. This did not change on my close up sniff test. On biting into the bar I got the softness and slightly smooth texture from the dates intermingled with a slight crunchiness from the cashew. If I’m honest I missed the texture from the chocolate. Onto the flavour well the sweet flavour from the dates and chocolate complimented the slight fiery kick from the chilli. The chilli flavouring was pot on as it was clearly present but wasn’t too hot and didn’t spoil the sweetness from the dates and chocolate. I have tried a chilli and chocolate before and loved it sop the fact that you can get it in a snack bar is a bonus.

So would I recommend these snack bars? Yes I would. I enjoyed the aroma, flavour and textures to these bars. I will no doubt be stocking up on these bars in the near future. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and or vegan diet why not give these snack bars a try. So thank you Good Full Stop for producing some nice snack bars that I can enjoy.

Disclaimer I received a free sample of these bars all of opinions in this post are honest and my own.

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 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.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.