16 Jan 2017

Review: New Costa Coffee, Oats & Banana Smoothie


A quick review of the new Costa dairy-free breakfast smoothie - the Coffee, Oats & Banana Smoothie. I didn't know this existed until I saw the review on The Excited Eater and I knew I had to try it straight away.

The Costa Coffee, Oats & Banana Smoothie is a blend of coffee, Alpro oat drink, one whole banana, oats, a little ice and some honey (which can be left out to make this drink vegan). The consistency is not as thick or heavy as a traditional smoothie, it's actually quite thin and easy to drink. There were a few oaty 'bits' as I was drinking which added to the texture. I don't know why I've never thought of adding coffee to a banana smoothie but the result is surprisingly delicious. 

Image: Costa Coffee
The mild coffee flavour and creamy oat milk make a delicious combination with the sweet banana. I actually couldn't taste much of the honey itself but I'm sure it added to the sweetness. Despite being a thinner smoothie it's still very filling and kept me going until lunch. I'm definitely going to try to recreate this one at home!

If you've tried this drink then I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Grocery Gems Review: Costa Coffee, Oats & Banana Smoothie

RATING: 9 out of 10
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition: 255 calories
.
Purchased: Costa Coffee.
Price: £3.50p.



14 Jan 2017

Review: Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg 'n' Spoon Oreo


It's the start of a new year so that only means one thing - it's time for Easter! Amongst all the usual Easter products that are now appearing in the supermarkets is this new gem - the Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg 'n' Spoon Oreo. 


Just like previous products in the Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg 'n' Spoon range, there are four mousse-filled chocolate eggs in a purple carton. 



Inside the Oreo egg is a soft vanilla mousse filling with Oreo Biscuit pieces. The mousse has quite a thick texture but it's still soft enough to be spoonable. The biscuit pieces add plenty of crunch to the texture and work perfectly with the sweet and creamy flavour. It's all extremely sugary, especially with the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate outer egg, but the creaminess balances out the flavours and creates a lovely sweet treat. 

As a fan of the Cadbury Dairy Milk with Oreo chocolate bar (which is one of the few Cadbury products I buy anymore), I'll definitely be buying a few more packs of the Egg 'n' Spoon Oreo closer to Easter. I'd take these over a  Cadbury Creme Egg anyday! 

Grocery Gems Review: Cadbury Egg 'n' Spoon Oreo

RATING: 7 out of 10
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition (per egg 34g): 191 calories
.
Vegetarian: Suitable for vegetarians symbol on pack.
Purchased: Co-Op.
Price: £2.00p.



22 Dec 2016

Degustabox December Review - Surprise Foodie Box & £7 Discount Code


Another packed Degustabox arrived this week, just in time for Christmas. The December box is called the 'Winter Box' but it's got a few Christmassy treats inside as well as some healthier products for the New Year.

Discount Code - £7 off!: 8TL75

Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of specially selected foodie products. There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Each Degustabox costs £12.99, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved - you can cancel at any time.

The discount code is a massive £7 off, making the first box only £5.99 delivered! Check out the Degustabox website below and enter the new discount code: 8TL75




Here's a quick round up of all the products I received in the December Degustabox:



Bite+ Multi Grain Flakes: Bite+ is an innovative snack comprising multigrain cereal flakes that are seasoned with savoury flavours. Basically they're a cross between cornflakes and crisps! I received a Sour Cream & Onion flavour but there are also three other flavours available. I'm the type of person who enjoys snacking on dry cereal anyway so this product definitely appeals to me. The combinations of cereal flakes and the savoury sour cream and onion is slightly odd at first but still really tasty.



Nutri-Brex: A gluten free biscuit style cereal made with ancient Sorghum and flavoured with a hint of coconut and cinnamon. I'm not normally a fan of Weetabix type cereals but I've tried this brand before and loved it. The cereal stays crunchier in the milk and has a naturally sweet flavour. I cannot wait to try this flavour as I love both coconut and cinnamon. Full review coming soon!





Hoots Snacks: Hoots Snacks are multigrain snacks that are baked not fried, a source of fibre and all flavours are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Each individual snack looks like a mini toast and has visible multigrains that add a crunchy texture. The flavours I received are fairly simple but I enjoyed the fact that they are not overly seasoned. 



a2 Milk: A full size carton of long life a2 Milk. This milk is easier to digest compared to other cows milk as it's naturally free from the A1 protein that can trigger lactose intolerance symptoms. I'd heard of this brand but never tried it before. It's great when Degustabox have such a mix of useful groceries alongside the treats.



Newton's Appl Fizzics: A blend of apple juice and sparkling water with all natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives or added sugar. It's an extremely refreshing drink, a lighter version of apple juice with a delicate fizz, that tastes best when chilled.



What A Melon: Such a great brand name! This carton of watermelon water hydrates like coconut water, with extra anti-oxidants and the muscle loving amino acid citrulline. It's a summery drink with a super fruity flavour - it's just like biting into a juicy watermelon!

Gallo: There were twoGallo products in this months Degustabox; an Expresso Risotto Italian Four Cheese and a Rissotto Box Vegetables & Cheese. Both are quick and easy to make in the microwave. Gallo is my favourite go-to brand for risotto and these are perfect for any fans of cheesy sauces.


Eisberg: A bottle of Sauvignon Blanch from the UK's number one alcohol free wine brand Eisberg. It's fresh and aromatic and contains only 28 calories per 125ml serving.



Oh Fudge!: Another funny brand name! The Oh Fudge branded gift boxes are made by Bristow's and include a range of Oh Fudge I Nearly Forgot... occasions boxes. I received an Apple & Cinnamon flavoured fudge which is just perfect for this time of year. It's creamy and delicious with a lovely hint of fruit and spice.



Bahlsen Lebkuchen & Bahlsen Akora: Two bags of gorgeously festive Bahlsen treats. The Bahlsen Lebkuchen Mischung contains an assortment of gingerbread pieces with sugar glaze and chocolate. They have a delicious soft texture and spiced flavour. The Bahlsen Akora are traditional German heart shaped Lebkuchen with a gingerbread base and spiced jam filling - so delicious!

Overall, I was absolutely delighted with the fabulous selection in this months Degustabox. It's always difficult to choose favourites from such a packed box but this month I was especially pleased with the Hoots Snacks, Nutri-Brex, Oh Fudge! and the Bahlsen assortments.

For more details on Degustabox:

Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com/en

I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

21 Dec 2016

Review: Limited Edition Monin Mocha Syrup


I'm a big fan of Monin syrups and have quite the collection of different flavours at the moment. Currently in my cupboards I have the popular Gingerbread and Vanilla syrups alongside more unusual flavours, such as; Speculoos, Apple Pie and even a Peach Iced Tea syrup. However, the latest limited edition flavour for Monin syrups is a staple for any coffee lover, the classic Mocha. 


At this time of year I often treat myself to a flavoured coffee made at home. We're lucky enough to have a Nespresso machine with a separate gizmo that makes frothy milk. My husband whipped up this layered latte using the Mocha syrup which looked gorgeous. After stirring it all together I could really taste the smooth cocoa flavour. Surprisingly this flavour is not as sweet as other Monin syrups, perhaps because it also enhances the coffee flavour too. 


The previous Monin limited edition flavour, the Chocolate Cookie, is much sweeter in comparison. It gives the coffee a sugary chocolate hit. The Mocha syrup is subtler and provides more balance between the coffee and chocolate flavours.Of course, Monin syrups are not just for coffee, they can also be used in milkshakes. In fact one recipe suggestion given on the back of the bottle is for adding the Mocha syrup to a glass of milk rather than coffee. I'll be giving that a try next!

Grocery Gems Review: Monin Mocha Syrup

RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy it again?: Yes.
Purchased: Available at Sainsbury's.
Price: £3.00p (currently on offer for £2.00p).


PR Sample




13 Dec 2016

Degustabox November Review - Surprise Foodie Box & £7 Discount!


The November Degustabox is always my favourite of the year as it's the Christmas Box! This month it was so packed with surprise foodie treats that I couldn't even fit all the products into the photo above.


It's always exciting opening up the Degustabox but even more so when the box is so festive looking! if you're thinking of treating yourself or a loved one to a Degustabox gift then don't forget to use the discount code below for £7 off your first box.

Discount Code - £7 off!: 8TL75

Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of specially selected foodie products. There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Each Degustabox costs £12.99, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved - you can cancel at any time.

The discount code is a massive £7 off, making the first box only £5.99 delivered! Check out the Degustabox website below and enter the new discount code: 8TL75




Here's a quick round up of all the products I received in the November Degustabox:


Ahmad Tea Citrus Mint Sorbet Green Tea: This innovative flavour is part of the Ahmad Tea Dessert Collection which also includes; Pear & Cinnamon Struedel, Strawberry Velvet Cake and more. The Citrus & Mint Sorbet is a refreshing palate cleanser with a lovely mint flavour. 


Pipers Crisps: The latest flavour from Pipers Crisps is hand cooked potato crisps with a wild thyme and rosemary gathered from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. This classic flavour combination is absolutely delicious here with the plentiful seasoning and fresh tasting herbs. 


The Good Cider: Two bottles of craft cider in fruity flavours. The Wild Berries is made using the freshest blackcurrants and cranberries whilst the Strawberry Lime has sweet strawberries and a squeeze of tangy lime. 


J20 Glitterberry: The festive limited edition is back. J20 Glitterberry is a unique grape, cherry and spice flavour drink with edible glitter that sparkles when the bottle is shaken. I reviewed it a few year ago fully here - J20 Glitterberry Review


Butterkist: I was pleased to find two bags of Butterkist in the November Degustabox - a large sharing bag of the last Choc Mallow flavour and a small bag of the Sweet Cinema Style. 


The Choc Mallow popcorn is described as popcorn with a chocolate marshmallow flavoured toffee coating. There aren't any marshmallow pieces as such but surprisingly there is plenty of marshmallow flavour coming through. The chocolate flavour is more subtle but I still enjoyed this popcorn overall. 


Michel et Augustin: Four cookie squares made with dark chocolate and a pinch of sea salt. The cookie base is deliciously buttery and is enriched by the rich dark chocolate. As a fan of sweet and salty combinations, I loved the little hint of salt that came through at the end of every bite.

Ryvita Crackers: A box of four packs of individually sealed crackers. These are very useful at this time of year! I received the Cracked Black Pepper flavour but there's also a Golden Rye and Green & Black Olive flavour available. 


Broderick's Crunchy Slam Dunk Peanut Chunk: This funky named offering is an award winning combination of peanuts, crunchy rice krispies, Belgian chocolate, all topped with a thick layer of chunky peanut butter and marbled chocolate. It's a must for any peanut butter fan with it's super sweet flavour and crispy texture.


The Gruffalo Golden Apple Fruit Drink: A fruit juice made with golden apple juice and natural Stevia sweeteners. There are no added sugars so apparently this fruit juice is school approved. My kids are not really fans of apple juice so I've been enjoying this myself.


Christian Potier Sauce: This box contains three single serve pouches of Hollandaise sauce. The Christian Potier range is made with natural ingredients and no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. It's very conveniently portioned and is quick and easy to prepare in the microwave.

Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps: Gorgeously buttery biscuits made with simple ingredients such as butter, sugar, eggs and flour. I've reviewed them previously here - Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps Review


Hartley's Glitter Jelly: Continuing the sparkly theme of this months Degustabox there are also two packs of Hartley's Glitter Jelly. This is such a fun and easy treat for the kids. Take a look at my previous review here - Hartley's Glitter Jelly Review.  


Overall, I was pleased with the selection in this months Degustabox. From the cute Christmas themed box to the delicious treats inside, it was a thoroughly enjoyable box. It's difficult to choose from such a packed box but my favourites this month were the Butterkist Popcorn, the Pipers Crisps and the Michel et Augustin Cookie Squares.

For more details on Degustabox:

Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com/en

I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

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