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 Real Good Tomato Ketchup

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.

Review of Marks & Spencer Sweet Chilli Crisps

I quickly popped into marks & Spencer to grab some lunch on the go. Most of their flavoured crisps are not an option for a dairy free diet. I saw that their sweet chilli crisps were part of their meal deal as I was feeling optimistic I decided to pick them up and check their ingredients. Sure enough they were suitable for a dairy free diet so I decided to have them as a little treat as part of my lunch.

I liked the simple red packaging with a picture of a field to the bottom, and chillies to the top right. You knew what you should be getting with these crisps. Onto the ingredients list there are no allergens highlighted on the ingredients list and there is no may contain warning. They are labelled as being suitable for vegetarians.

On opening the packet I was greeted by a fairly strong aroma of chilli. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. The crisps themselves were of a good size and had a good scattering of chilli flavouring on them. On biting into the crisps a nice crunch was noted. As for the flavour well if I am honest this was nicer than I anticipated. There was a subtle kick from the chilli which was spot on. In addition to the nice flavour I wasn’t left with a greasy or powdery residual that I have experienced from other crisps that I have previously tried from Marks & Spencer.

So would I recommend these crisps? Yes, I would. I enjoyed everything about these crisps from their aroma though to their texture and flavour. So thank you Marks & Spencer for producing a nice packet of crisps that I can enjoy.

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 Sainsbury’s bacon crispies

I recently discovered that it is possible to eat frazzle style crisps if you follow a dairy free diet as not all brands contain cows milk or its derivatives. Whilst in Sainsbury’s the other day I found myself in their crisp aisle. My other half really fancied some frazzle crisps so grabbed some of Sainsbury’s bacon crispies. I had my old faithful Pom Bears and didn’t even think about checking to see if they were safe for me to eat. This all changed when we got home and were preparing our lunch and I thought that I should try these crisps to review on my blog.
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I liked the design of the packaging. I liked the pink colour with the crisps cascading down the packet. You knew what to expect inside and just I wanted to just dive and give them a try. Onto the ingredients there are no allergens highlighted in the ingredients list. They are also labelled as being suitable for vegans. So of course I just had to give them a try.
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On opening the crisps there was a slightly artificial aroma of bacon noted. This was not too strong or overpowering, but was a little off putting if I am honest. The aroma remained the same on my famous close up sniff test. On picking up a couple of crisps to try each crisp looked like a frazzle crisp. They were cream in colour with what I would describe as beetroot red coloured stripes. The crisps felt a little greasy to touch and left a light powdery residual on my fingers. On biting into the crisp a nice crunch was noted but this was followed by a slightly powdery texture. After consuming a few crisps I could feel a greasy coating on my tongue, not particularly pleasant. As for the flavouring this was a little hit and miss. Some crisps lacked flavouring whilst others had a strong artificial bacon flavour. It was as if the seasoning had not been distributed eveningly. After eating a few of these crisps I had a greasy and slightly powdery residual on my fingers. I found this in conjunction with the greasy coating on my tongue to be a little off putting if I’m honest.
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So would I recommend these crisps if you follow a dairy free and or vegan diet? Sadly not. I really didn’t enjoy these crisps. They were a bit to greasy for me and I just didn’t enjoy their texture and found the flavouring a little to artificial. Sorry Sainsbury’s but these crisps just were not for me.

Review of Salt Pom-Bear Salt & Vinegar Crisps

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I love my Pom Bears, in fact I have them most days with my packed lunch at work. Until recently the plain variety were the only flavour of Pom Bears suitable for my dairy free diet. That was until the salt and vinegar flavour was introduced, so of course I just had to give them a try. It took me a little while to get some as they were always out of stock, a promising sign I thought, but what did I think? How did they compare to me old faithful plain Pom Bears? Please read on to find out.
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Onto the packaging well I well I just love this, with what I describe as the king bear introducing you to the rest of the Pom Bears who are politely waving back at you. The crisps are clearly labelled and marketed as being gluten free. They are also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Onto the ingredients list barley and soya are highlighted in the ingredients list as allergens and there is no my contain warning. This therefore makes them suitable for my dairy free diet.
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On opening the crisps I noted the salt and vinegar aroma which wasn’t to strong or overpowering. This didn’t change on my close up sniff test. The crisps had an even distribution of flavouring noted on them. On biting into the crisps there was a nice crunch noted followed by a slight airy texture. Onto the flavour it was definitely salt and vinegar. It was pleasant but just not as strong as I had hoped. Perhaps I am being a tad unfair as the crisps are clearly aimed at the children’s market. If I am honest I prefer the plain Pom Bear flavour. These remain a staple in my packed lunch most days. Onto a positive note the crisps have a nice texture and didn’t leave any greasy or powdery residual from the flavouring on my fingers. This is personally a big bonus for me.
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So would I recommend these crisps? Yes I would. The flavour wasn’t as strong as I had hoped but it was pleasant. They were not greasy, had a good crunch and didn’t leave a powdery residual on my fingers. Most of all it was great to have a flavoured packet of Pom Bears that I can enjoy. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free or a vegetarian diet why not give these crisps a try. So thank you Pom Bear for producing another flavoured packet of crisps that I can have.