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.

Review of Lidl Unsweetened Soya Milk

Well my mission to try some new dairy free milks has not been that successful. One of my favourite milks is soya only mainly because I personally find it easier to cook with. So when I saw that Lidl had their own unsweetened soya milk with their regular fresh milk I just had to give it a try.

I personally liked the packaging design with the red colouring to the top with the picture of milk being poured into a glass. The ingredients list is on the back of the carton with water, hulled soya beans, calcium phosphates, maltodextrin, stabilizer, gellan gum, natural flavouring noted. I’m intrigued to know what the natural flavouring is. The soya 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.

On opening the carton I noted a slight nuttiness aroma to the milk. It poured easily into a glass and was the typical cream colour you get with soya milk. It was slightly thick in consistency but not creamy. On sipping the milk it was smooth in texture and tasted a little nutty very similar to other brands of soya milk I have previously tried. I 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. It was absorbed easily by the weetabix. On tasting the Weetabix it tasted just as a Weetabix should the milk did not impact on its flavour. For me personally this is a big plus because a couple of milks that I have previously tried have made my Weetabix have a slight artificial sweet flavour.

So would I recommend this soya milk? Yes I would. The slightly nutty aroma and flavour was spot on. It wasn’t artificially sweet in flavour and had a nice consistency. So if you follow a dairy free or a vegan diet why not give this soya milk a try. So thank you Lidl for producing a soya milk that I can enjoy.

Review of Alpro Go On Strawberry & Raspberry Yogurt

When I heard that Alpro were adding some new flavours to their Go On yogurts I have to confess to being a tad excited. So of course I had to buy a pot of the new strawberry and raspberry Go On yogurt to try.

I liked the style of the packaging. It is a simple round pot with the Go On logo on the side . On the lid there is a small simple illustration of the summer berries underneath a very tempting picture of the yogurt. Onto the ingredients list. The yogurt is clearly labelled as being suitable for a dairy free, gluten free and vegan diet. The only allergen listed is soya. There is a may contain warning for nuts.

On opening the yogurt I was greeted by a thick creamy yogurt. I was a little disappointed by the lack of aroma I was expecting to smell summer fruits. Instead I got a neutral aroma one would expect from a plain yogurt. The yogurt clearly consists of two layers the thick cream layer to the top and a compote style layer underneath consisting of strawberries and raspberries. On diving into the yogurt top layer is thick yet slightly creamy in texture. It has a nice neutral or what may be described as plain flavour. Underneath you get what I would describe as a fruit compote. This slightly sticky in consistency. The flavour of the compote was sweet with a slight tart undertone noted and the flavour reminded me of a summer pudding. The two layers mixed perfectly well together to produce a perfect pink creamy yogurt. The two flavours and texture of this yogurt work really well together. It sounds strange but it reminded me of eating the top two layers of a cheesecake. A bonus as it has a lot fewer calories. If I’m being picky I would perhaps liked just a little more of the berries.

So would I recommend this yogurt? Yes I would. In summary it’s nice to have a nice thicker and creamier yogurt that is dairy free. So if you are dairy free, gluten free or a vegan diet why not give this yogurt a try. So thank you Alpro for producing a new yogurt that I can enjoy.

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 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 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.