… little yummy snippets
I’ve been experimenting with adding both acai and spirulina powders from Bioglan recently. Both have been added to my morning smoothies, notably the acai & mixed berries (packed with antioxidants) has an intensely fruity taste and certainly transforms otherwise dull smoothies into delicious delights. You can also mix a spoonful into overnight oats or porridge and use in muffins and other bakes. Spirulina, a nutritional powerhouse, is certainly more of an acquired taste – more savoury, intense and almost earthy and certainly very green – has been added to smoothies, bliss balls and salad dressings. As I drink a green smoothie most days, usually with added chia seeds and wheatgrass or barley greens it is hard to say if the introduction of both acai and spirulina has made a difference to who I feel – but both are a very easy way to get a high does of vitamins and nutrients into your diet. A 100g packet will last you at least a month. Spirulina £14.99/100g, Acai & berry powder £22.99 Twitter @bioglanuk #superpoweredyou
Now that summer is here and we are eating more cold food I am a fan of really good single estate olive oils for drizzling and using in simple dressings. We’ve been enjoying characterful oils from Pomora, a Sicilian oil (farmed by Carmelo) and a Campanian oil(farmed by Antonio). Both are excellent and very different. The oils are from small farmers who farm, harvest and press using the traditional way. You can buy the oil directly from Pomora, or you can adopt an olive tree and receive regualar deliveries of premium olive oil throughout the year. It is a lovely story and a great way to support small producers like Antonio and Carmelo. Twitter @PomoraGoodFood
With Ed back at University and taking packed lunch most days I was delighted to receive a selection of bars from The Fabulous Bakers (formerly the The Fabulous Bakin’ Boys) who have a new range of popcorn bars, cereal bars, muffins, flapjacks, cupcakes and minis made with natural, honest ingredients, real fruit and no artificial nonsense. We tried a selection and enjoyed them, but found all the bars very soft. From Asda (Ocado and Sainsbury’s coming soon) £1.50- £1.79 a packet of 4. Twitter @fabbakers
Coconut water is a staple ingredient here, usually in my morning smoothie or added to dal and I usually have a large carton on the go. These 210ml single serving sized bottles from Dcoco are incredibly useful to keep in the fridge when you want to grab a bottle to go, or not open a large carton. Packed in recyclable glass bottles Dcoco is made from young coconut water and has a quite different taste to regualar coconut water – the Dcoco is far fresher, greener and less coconutty,as well as being delightfully refreshing. The company is proud of its eco and sustainable credentials, paying farmers a fair price and supporting underprivileges children at the Sri Sai Public School, Lucknow, allowing many of them to attend school for the first time. Twitter @DCOCOwater
I am a huge fan of Clearspring, and genuinely love all their products. New to the excellent range are these seaveg crispies, crunchy pieces of seaweed perfectly seasoned. If you like seaweed you will love these, and at only 28cal per packet they are the perfect guilt free snack. Twitter @clearspringfood
My preferred whiskys are always Speyside, gentle, mellow and rounded. The latest addition to the drinks cupboard is the Glen Moray classic. It has all those wonder Speyside characteristics and gentleness, but another dimension too from the bourbon barrels it is aged in, with notes of butterscotch and toffee. It is still a Speyside, but the flavour profile is a step up too. Also from Glen Moray is the new peated – peat smoke is used to dry the barley before distillation, as well as whiskeys aged in port casks. RRP for the classic is £20 / 70cl, £25 for the peated. Twitter @GlenMorayDist
Lizi’s Granola have launched a gluten free version of their original granola. Using oats that have been sourced to ensure that they haven’t been contaminated with other crops, it’s an ideal breakfast for those avoiding gluten, and it’s also suitable for vegans and is GMO free. Unlike many granolas, the oat flakes remain separate and don’t come in clusters. We liked the crunch, and the ample nuts, but did think that the 50g suggested portion serving was a little small. We also tried their Mango Macadamia. Again, suitable for vegans and without GMO, this is a more traditional looking granola, with the oats in larger clusters. An innovative flavour combination which met our approval. There are other flavours available in their range – low sugar, organic, original, passionfruit pistachio, trecle pecan, Belgian chocolate, and pink apple & cinnamon – available from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Tescos. Twitter @lizisgranola
We’ve tried four offerings from Foods of Athenry; two sweet & two savoury. The sweet were Cookie shots – Bite size Blondie Biscuits. These are mini vanilla biscuits that are gluten, wheat and dairy free, and suitable for vegans. Very moreish, delightfully short, crispy little biscuitty treats. Secondly, Flapjacks “The Works”. Like the biscuits, these are gluten and wheat free, these little flapjacks are soft but not squidgy, small (5cm x 2cm x 2cm) with generous dried fruit and nuts. Both of the above make an excellent little treat with coffee, or are perfectly sized for children. The savoury were two variations on sodabread toasts: multiseed, and honeyed almond & rosemary. These thin and crunchy toasts – very similar in texture to melba toast – can be served with cheese, as something different from the more common biscuit, or would be an excellent base for a canapé. The flavourings add interest; we particularly liked the almond and rosemary, with an easily discernible herby flavour, and thought that it went particularly well with a soft cheese. Again, gluten, wheat and dairy free and suitable for vegans. Twitter @foodsofathenry
Breakfast is widely said to be the most important meal of the day, but the same old breakfasts can get boring. The TMRBX (Tomorrow Box) is for those who like to mixup their breakfasts each morning. Each slimline box contains 5 different muesli, cereal or porridge mixes from a selection of 40 so you will certainly not get bored. Great for those who habitually breakfast at the office or forget to take their breakfast in. Ed found the 50g portions on the small side, so we’d recommend supplementing with a piece of fruit. £3.99 a week. Twitter @tmr_box.
Many thanks for all the brands for samples this month. All opinions our own.