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 Free From Festival London

The Free From Festival London is the UK’s first gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free food festival. It is a successful food festival which incorporates free from food and live music and makes for an enjoyable day out. The latest Free From Festival was based at Old Spitalfields Market London. It had a large array of dairy free, gluten free, paleo and vegan foods to try, with the odd tea company thrown in for luck. I have been very lucky to attend the previous festivals in my official capacity as a food and tea blogger. So when I was asked if I would like to have press tickets I of course graciously accepted. It was an amazing day out and I had the opportunity to try a range of fantastic foods and tea. So here is a snap shot of my day at the food festival.

What immediately struck me as I arrived was the size of the festival and how it had grown. I had to wait in a queue to get in. In fact the festival had proved to be that successful that it was old out and people were being turned away. I showed my press pass got my goody bag and tried to plan my day. At this stage I to confess to still being a state of surprise as too much it had expanded. So I took it all in did a bit of people watching and listened to the fab entertainment that was on offer. Here’s a snapshot of what I saw during the day.

My first stop was Eat Safe app to see Matt and his girlfriend. 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 beta testing stages and will hopefully be available for all to try later this year. I’m sure that this app will prove to be very successful. Here’s a link to their website http://www.eatsafeapp.co.uk/ Continue reading

Review of Rice Dream Rice 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 Rice Dream rice milk. Now I’ve never tried rice milk before so I decided to give it a try. I liked the blue and green colour to the packaging with a picture of milk cascading to the bottom.

The ingredients list is on the side of the carton with water, rice (14%), calcium, phosphate, stabilizer: gellan gum, sea salt vitamins D and B12 listed. There is no may contain warning. The milk is labelled as being dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.

On opening the carton I was surprised that there was only a faint and subtle rice 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. It poured easily into a glass and was a light white colour. It was slightly thin and very watery in consistency. On sipping the milk it had a very similar texture to that of water. There was definitely a ricie element which was subtle but not to overpowering. The best way I can describe this is if you don’t quiet drain your rice properly and have a bit of the water on your plate it’s very similar to this with a little sweetness added. 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 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. In fact I needed a higher volume compared to other milks to try to get the Weetabix the way I like them. Sadly, this didn’t happen it was just like I had added water, which I have done previously when I have forgotten to take my milk to work. On tasting the Weetabix it didn’t 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 rice milk? No I wouldn’t its thin consistency and the lack of flavour made it an unappealing milk. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or vegan diet perhaps give this milk a miss. Sorry Rice Dream but this really wasn’t to my liking.

Review of Tyrrell’s Poshcorn Sweet & Salty Popcorn

Now I have to confess to being a popcorn addict. It is often a safe dairy free treat for me to enjoy. One of my work colleagues had a leaving lunch and they kindly made sure that there were a few treats that I could enjoy. One of which was Tyrell’s Poshcorn sweet & salty popcorn. Now I felt very humbled that they had made an effort for me but also a little excited as I couldn’t wait to try it.

I loved the pink packaging of this popcorn. With the popcorn looking like they were popping out of the bottom and two ladies laughing to the top of the packet. On the back of the packaging it is clearly labelled as being gluten free and suitable for vegans. On the ingredients list popped corn, sunflower oil, sugar and sea salt 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 sweet aroma. I did my usual close sniff up test and noted subtle undertones of saltines. 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. This was then intermingled by the savoury slightly salted popcorn. The combinations of flavours complimented each other perfectly. The texture of the popcorn was just right. I experienced a combination of textures, on the sugary pieces it was slightly crunchy followed by the softness of the salty popcorn.


So would I recommend this flavour of popcorn? Gosh yes I would. I liked everything about this popcorn from its girlie pink packaging, through to its flavour and textures. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet why not give this popcorn a try as a treat. So thank you Tyrell’s for producing a nice popcorn that I can enjoy as a treat.

Review of Tesco’s New Free From Chocolate Sponge Pudding

Now I am a girl who likes a naughty pudding as an occasional treat. One pudding I like to indulge in 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 its quiet hard to find this style of pudding that is safe to eat. So when I popped into Tesco’s and saw a new chocolate sponge pudding in the free from aisle I just had to give it a try.

I personally liked the packaging in their usual style of their free from foods with picture of a very inviting pudding covered in a chocolate sauce to the front. It is clearly labelled as being gluten free and milk free. Onto the ingredients list with regards to allergens egg and soya are highlighted. There is a may contain nuts warning.

On opening the packaging I was greeted by the delightful sweet aroma of a rich chocolatey 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 rich 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 light and airy in texture. As for its flavour the sponge itself was pretty nondescript in flavour. However, the chocolate sauce on top of this made up for this. It was thick rich and very chocolatey. In fact I think it would have been too rich if the sponge had a chocolatey flavour.

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.