Review of Hartley’s 10 Cal Cranberry & Raspberry Jelly

I have always enjoyed jelly and it was often the only safe dairy free treat I could have at parties. I love the fact that you can easily pick up ready-made jellies from supermarkets. I recently purchased some Hartley’s 10 cal jelly as it was on offer to try.

I liked the simplicity of the packaging with a Purple Heart and circles. The jelly itself comes in a cup style plastic container meaning that you can see the jelly inside. There were no allergens listed on its ingredients label it was therefore suitable for a dairy free diet. It is also labelled as being suitable for a vegetarian diet.

On opening the lid and a very faint aroma of what I would describe as being similar to summer berries. I wouldn’t describe as cranberry and raspberry but it was still very pleasant. This didn’t change on my famous close up sniff test. I placed my spoon into the pot. The jelly had a nice wobble noted. However, it did have the tendency to fall of my spoon back into the pot. As for the flavour of the jelly it was very similar to the aroma. It tasted a bit similar to summer berries I could taste a hint of raspberries but struggled with the cranberry. To be honest I enjoyed the flavour so this didn’t bother me at all.

So would I recommend this jelly? Yes I would. I enjoyed everything about this jelly from the aroma through to its flavour and texture. It’s also a bonus that it is low in calories. So thank you Hartley’s for producing a jelly that I can enjoy.

Review of Valsoia Ice Cream Lollies

I have to confess to being a tad excited about the sudden availability of new vegan ice creams that are becoming readily available. My personal mission is of course to try as many as possible. So when I saw on Ocado that Valsoia did a chocolate coated vegan ice cream lollies I just had to try them.

I liked the pale blue colour of the packaging with the inviting picture of a partially eaten ice cream lolly to the right. As the ice cream lollies are from Italy an English label is placed over the original. They are labelled as being non dairy ice cream with cover. They are clearly labelled as being dairy free, gluten free, and 100% plant based. Onto the ingredients list soya is in bold as an allergen. There is no may contain warning.


On opening the box I was greeted by 3 large sized lollies in the same style packet as the packaging. On removing this I discovered a thick chocolate covered lolly. The initial aroma was a nice chocolately one. This aroma intensified slightly on my famous close up sniff test. On biting into the lolly I got a nice crisp crunch from from a nice thick chocolate coating. This was followed by the what I can only describe as a smooth ice cream centre. Onto the taste the chocolate layer was spot on it was strong but not too rich and overpowering. I certainly got my chocolate hit. This was followed by a neutral flavour from the ice cream. I was expecting a little vanilla element or something similar to this. This may be a tad unfair on reflection as vanilla is not listed on the ingredients list. That said I enjoyed this as it makes for a nice change from artificially flavoured ice creams.

So would I recommend these ice cream lollies? Yes I would. The thickness of the chocolate outside is spot. This combined with the smooth ice cream makes for a nice treat. So thank you Valsoia for producing a delicious ice cream lolly that I can enjoy.

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Review of Tesco’s Free From Garlic Baguette

Now I am bit partial to garlic bread and frequently make my own. It is often impossible to find ready made garlic bread which is dairy free. So when I heard that Tesco’s had just launched a free from garlic baguette as part their new free from range I had to investigate further. To be honest I didn’t hold up much hope as free from generally means gluten free with other food allergens included if you are lucky. To my surprise it was indeed suitable for me.

I liked the packaging as it is the same style as the rest of the products in their new updated free from range. I liked the pictures of the inviting pieces of garlic baguette on the front. I hoped that mine would look like this when cooked. The front of the packaging it is clearly labelled as being egg, gluten, milk and wheat free. On the back it is labelled as being suitable for vegans. Onto the ingredients list, there are no allergens highlighted and there is no may contain warning.

On opening the packet I was immediately hit by a pleasant aroma of garlic with a hint of mixed herbs. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. I placed the baguette in the oven and cooked the baguette as instructed. Once cooked the aroma of the garlic intensified and seemed to mask the smell of the mixed herbs. I tore the baguette into a couple of sections and undertook my close up sniff test. At this point I was able to smell a faint undertone of the mixed herbs intermingled with the garlic. I couldn’t wait to dive into this baguette. It looked liked a regular garlic baguette nice and crunchy to the outside and light and fluffy inside. On biting into the baguette it was indeed crunchy on the outside and had a lighter fluffy texture inside followed by the slight moistness from the margarine. The texture was perfect, it was just like eating a regular garlic baguette. So a massive thumbs up to Tesco’s because I certainly wouldn’t have been able to tell that it was gluten free. Onto the flavour this the garlic element was definitely the prominent flavour without being too strong. This intermingled with a hint of mixed herbs made for a delicious garlic baguette.

So would I recommend this free from baguette? Yes I certainly would. I was especially surprised by the baguettes texture it was just like a regular garlic baguette. As for the flavour this was also spot on. I will no doubt be having many more of these baguettes in the future. So if you follow a dairy free, gluten free, and or a vegan diet give this garlic baguette a try. I’m sure that you will be pleasantly surprised. So thank you Tesco’s for producing a delicious garlic baguette that I can enjoy.

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Review of co-op 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 to make an emergency dash to the co-op to get our regular Heinz ketchup I was a little surprised to see that it was out of stock. The only alternative was co-op own tomato brand ketchup. As we were having fish and chips for tea I just grabbed a packet to have with our dinner.

Onto the packaging. It comes in a 470g sized plastic bottle that I now associate with most tomato ketchups. You can clearly see the sauce inside if I’m honest I didn’t think much to the design of the label on the front of the bottle. There is a picture of a burger with the wording great with a burger. The ketchup is clearly labelled as being vegan. On a positive note the traffic light system is very clear as is the fact that there is an allergen update. Onto the ingredients the ingredients list wheat is clearly highlighted as an allergen. There is a no may contain warning.

On opening the bottle I got a nice aroma of tomatoes, the slightly sweet aroma that I associate with ketchup was less distinct. Instead a slightly more tomatoey aroma was noted. This remained the same on my famous close up sniff test. I squeezed the sauce out of the bottle it was slightly smoother and thicker in consistency than what I expected. Some ketchups that I have tried can separate slightly but this was not the case, so this got a big thumbs up from me. I tried the ketchup as an accompaniment to a variety of meals as a crafty dip. It had a nice tomatoey taste with a slight sweetness noted. I also used the ketchup as addition to tomato based sauces it worked really well and the reduced sweetness added a slightly different flavour to the dishes. I have to admit to being surprised by this tomato ketchup. I really enjoyed it and would happily have it instead of our regular Heinz tomato ketchup.

So would I recommend this tomato ketchup? Yes I would. I enjoyed the aroma, consistency and flavour of this ketchup. It works well as a dip and as part of sauces when cooking. So if follow a dairy free or vegan diet why not give this ketchup a try. So thank you co-op for producing a nice tomato ketchup that I can enjoy.

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Review of Lidl Sweet Popcorn

Popcorn is often a safe dairy free treat for me to enjoy and can make a nice change for a treat to enjoy on the go as a sweet treat. So on a recent trip to Lidl I fancied some popcorn and grabbed a packet of their sweet popcorn to try.

I really didn’t like the packaging of this popcorn. I personally found it too busy with the red cinema movie theme, black film roll and pieces of popcorn. On the back of the packaging it is clearly labelled as being suitable for vegans. Onto the ingredients list to maize, sugar and oleic sunflower oil are listed. No allergens are listed and there is a no may contain warning.

On opening the bag I was greeted by a faint 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 even sized pieces of the popcorn with an intermittent sweet coating. This was a positive to me as I didn’t want my popcorn to be too sweet. On biting into the popcorn I immediately got the taste of plain popcorn this was preceded by a very intermittent sweetness which was  a little disappointing. The texture of the popcorn was also a tad disappointing. I was hoping for a combination of textures with a slight subtle crunch from the sweet coating. This just wasn’t present nor was light airy softness that I expect from popcorn.  Very disappointing if I’m honest.

So would I recommend this popcorn? I’m afraid not. I really didn’t like anything about this popcorn from its busy style packaging, through to its flavour and textures. Sorry Lidl but this popcorn really wasn’t for me.

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Review of Marks & Spencer Dark Chocolate With Orange & Sugar Crunch

Ok, so I like a little chocolate as a treat. Grabbing a quick bar to enjoy is never easy when you are dairy free. Even dark chocolates can contain milk. So when I recently popped into Marks & Spencer I just had to get some of their dairy free chocolate bars. They had proved to be very popular as they only had 2 of their orange and sugar crunch bars left. So I had to grab both, needs must.

I liked the simplicity of the packaging with its varying shades of orange and its interlocked pattern. I liked the boldness of the dark chocolate logo. I personally think that the made without dairy should be to the same design as due to its USP, but that’s just my opinion. Onto the ingredients list soya is highlighted as an allergen with a warning that it is not suitable for those with a nut allergy due to the manufacturing process. It is also labelled as being suitable for a vegan diet.

On opening the package I was immediately greeted by a fairly strong aroma of orange. This was stronger than I expected, slightly artificial but nether the less very pleasant. The actual chocolate bar was made up of squares with a nice M&S logo on each. I was personally impressed by this. On breaking of the first square I couldn’t wait to dive in and give it a try. The chocolate was fairly hard to bite into. My taste buds were first hit by the cocoa flavour which was just the right strength. This was proceeded by the strong citrus flavour from the orange and a little sweetness from the sugar crystals. All three flavours worked perfectly together. Oh my goodness I’ve not mentioned the textures. The chocolate melted nicely in the mouth and was slightly smooth in texture, but those little pieces of sugar gave it a little mix up of crunchiness. This was eveningly distributed throughout the bar just perfectly.

So would I recommend this chocolate orange bar, oh my goodness yes. It is a great value chocolate bar with the right balance of flavours and textures. So if you like chocolate and follow a dairy free, and or vegan diet give this bar a try. So thank you Marks & Spencer for producing a chocolate bar that I can enjoy.

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Review of Morrisons Free From Celebration Tray Bake

When I heard via social media that Morrisons had added tray bakes to their free from range I admit to being a little excited. They were not only gluten free but milk free and perfect for dairy free me. So I sent my dad out hunting to grab me one with the plan being that I could share it with my mum and nephew who are both gluten free. My dad popped into Morrisons and they were sold out so were obviously popular. My dad finally managed to get me the chocolate celebration tray bake to try. I couldn’t wait to give it a try and had it all to myself as my mum and nephew had managed to find several gluten free cakes on holiday to enjoy.


Onto the packaging. Well it’s in the same style of all of the other free from ranges in Morrisons with the green style packaging. What I liked about this packaging was that it had a clear film to the top which meant that you could see the tempting treat inside. Onto the ingredients it is clearly labelled as being both gluten free and milk free to the front of the packaging. On the ingredients list egg and soya are clearly in bold as allergens. There is a no may contain warning.

On opening the pack I was greeted by a nice sweet but artificial chocolatey aroma which was pleasant and stronger than I had anticipated. This did not change on my famous close up sniff test. The tray bake consisted of 2 clear layers the chocolate sponge underneath and a top chocolate butter icing style with hundreds and thousands sprinkled on the top. On biting into the cake the it had three textures which complimented each other nicely. On my initial bite I got the smoothness from the chocolate butter style icing intermingled with an intermittent crunch from the hundreds and thousands. This was proceeded by the chocolate flavoured sponge which was light and airy and slightly bouncy in texture. A pleasant surprise if I’m honest. However, the sponge was slightly crumbly which did result in some of the sponge separating from the rest of the cake when the it was cut. The combinations of textures worked really well and the hundreds and thousands added that little extra to the cakes texture. Onto the cakes flavour well the main chocolatey element came from the top layer. The actual sponge was a little bland in flavour if eaten in isolation but worked perfectly with the topping. I personally think that if the sponge had been more chocaoltely the cake would have been too rich. I loved the hundreds and thousands on the top. They were sweet but added a little extra to this tray bake.

So would I recommend this  free from chocolate tray bake? Yes I would I’m not surprised that they are popular. I enjoyed everything about this cake from its aroma through to its flavour and texture. I will definitely be buying this again. So if you follow a dairy free, and or gluten free diet why not give this tray bake a try.

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