July 2014 – Degustabox Product Review

July 2014 – Degustabox Product Review

Continuing from the success of Motherhood Diaries’ debut review of February’s Degustabox, I will now be reviewing the fantastic Degustabox service every month. Can’t wait!

Here is the link to the full background of the Degustabox and the service they offer: https://motherhooddiaries.com/degustabox-review-plus-competitiongiveaway-win-aprils-degustabox/

But, for a quick recap, Degustabox is an online retail service that offers a monthly package full of nutritional goods for a monthly fee of £12.99. But lucky customers like yourself will receive a £3.00 discount when signing up for your first Degustabox by inserting discount code W5UEJ at the checkout.

Products range from condiments to organic food and drink, packed with lots of information on the product and its manufacturer. You can sign up to receive a monthly Degustabox here: http://bit.ly/DBhomepage.

You can stay updated via Degustabox’s social networks too:

Facebook – http://bit.ly/DBUKFacebook

Twitter – http://bit.ly/DBUKTwitter

And, that’s not all! Customers have the opportunity to receive a hefty 40% discount when signing up with their email address.

So, let’s get started!


Tommy (Daddy)

Leyla (Mummy)

Aron (3 years old)

Aidan (2 years old)


This month’s Degustabox Recipes

Maggi Beef & Ale Casserole using Maggi Beef & Ale Casserole Seasoning


Maggi Chicken & Leek Potato Bake using Maggi So Baked Cheesy Chicken & Leek Potato Bake Seasoning


Maggi Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken with Miso, Green Beans and Almonds using Maggi So Juicy Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken Seasoning


Maggi Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken, with Vegetable Rice using Maggi So Juicy Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken Seasoning


Maggi Piri Piri Chicken, Served with Rice using Maggi So Baked Piri Piri Chicken Seasoning


Chocolate Lemon Mousse with a Blackberry and Lavender Twist using Green & Black’s Dark Chocolate Lemon Bar, Dr. Oetker Eton Mess and Dr. Oetker Violet Crystals



ZEO DRINKS – RRP £1.29 for singles and £4.29 for a four pack

After years of innovation and trialling bold flavour formulations, ZEO finally achieved their goal; complex and uniquely flavoured range of soft drinks that are 100% naturally sourced and low in calories. ZEO developed a secret blend from 32 different fruits and botanicals to create their very different formula.

ZEO is unlike any normal soft drink. Surprisingly light fruity flavours come with their unique tingly taste sensations. ZEO is healthier too, every bottle of ZEO contains no more than 45 calories and is free of artificial ingredients.

“Forget the usual sweet and sticky soft drinks; when it comes to refreshing yourself this summer discover ZEO. It’s a crisp, dry soft drink with a tingling taste sensation that comes in three light fruity flavours – peach and grapefruit Burst, citrus Crush and limed Zest.”

Our Opinion – I absolutely loved the shape of the bottles and I washed and kept the bottles for future use.

Peach and Grapefruit BURST

Very refreshing and light, the grapefruit shines through in this drink and gives it a tangy and lightly sweetened flavour. I can imagine this drink can be very refreshing after a workout or a big meal and I thoroughly enjoyed the lovely fruity taste.

Citrus CRUSH

Another lovely citrusy zing and very refreshing after a meal. Although I didn’t experience a tingly sensation whilst drinking this, I really enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t overly sweet and very fizzy, both of which I love after a good workout or a heavy meal.


I didn’t like this drink at all, even though I thought I was going to enjoy the Lime ZEST more than the others. This drink was more lime peel then refreshingly citrusy and the aftertaste almost had me gagging. I couldn’t finish the drink and neither could my husband, so the rest of the bottle went down the drain. Having said that, I think this drink would complement a lovely fruity cocktail or an alcoholic beverage, just not on its own.

PORTLEBAY Kracklecorn – RRP £0.79 per pack

From classic Sweet and Salty Kracklecorn through to the kick of Chilli and Lime and the fizzy fun of Lemon Sherbet, all of Portlebay’s eight flavours are equally moreish. Small packs are made for snacking, or dive into a big bag that is perfect for sharing with friends. Kracklecorn is a wholegrain and naturally high in fibre. Portlebay add raw cane sugar into the pot just as the grains are cooking to give a more brittle, crunchy texture. Then they sprinkle a little of sea salt, or their specially developed natural seasonings to bring about the flavours they sell today.

“We are a small crew from Devon who want to make great tasting, fun and interesting food. That’s why we invented Kracklecorn, which is a bit different from your average popcorn. One bite of our sweet and salty artisan treat and the love affair will begin. Available in Tesco and retailers across the UK.”

Our Opinion – Very unique flavours that really liven up the classic popcorn.

Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup

Incredibly genius of Portlebay to marry the smokiness of bacon and the subtle sweetness of maple syrup together, which promised to bring a smile to our faces and, indeed, it did. A perfect amount of both added to the Kracklecorn and you can taste both flavours, but not one overbears the other.

“As happy as a pig in syrup!”

The Classic – Slightly Sweet & Lightly Salted

A firm favourite and a winning combination. Who would have thought adding salt and sugar to popcorn will make it a hugely successful flavour for popcorn lovers. Having said that, I always remember enjoying chocolates with crisps when I was a kid, so the concept is the same. The boys polished this packet within minutes, so I only managed a couple of bites, but Portlebay have definitely not overdone it on flavour, opting for a more subtle approach and, therefore, a much better result all-round.

Chilli & Lime

The Chilli & Lime certainly gave a fiery and tangy kick, which the boys didn’t really appreciate, but I certainly did! I love food that is not too spicy, but have a certain zing to their aftertaste that awaken the taste buds and liven up the snack. The lime subtly comes through after experiencing the initially spicy chilli and the two go so well together that I have made plans to use the combo in future dishes.

“A Lime and Kicking!”


Founded by Swiss entrepreneur Julius Maggi, the Maggi® brand has been the master of flavours, herbs and spices for over 120 years.

The original company was born in 1872 in Switzerland, when Julius Maggi took over his father’s mill. Maggi quickly became a pioneer of industrial food production, aiming at improving the nutritional intake of worker families. Maggi were the first to bring protein-rich and vegetable based meals to the market, followed by ready-made soup in 1886 which was based on the popular vegetable meals.

In the UK today, Maggi’s diverse, culinary expertise means the Maggi® brand has become synonymous with quality amongst leading British and International chefs. Maggi® So Juicy is the latest transformation of fresh ingredients into great-tasting balanced meals and represents the next stage of Julius Maggi’s ambition of making delicious, quality and nutritious food accessible to all.

“Contains no artificial colours, no added MSG and no Hydrogenated vegetable oil. You will find a total of 6 sachets from Maggi in your Degustabox with at least 3 different flavours. Total RRP: £5.44 – 5.54”

Our OpinionI had great fun making a whole variety of dishes with the Maggi range and the boys thoroughly enjoyed their dinners. I was so impressed with how tasty the dishes came out using the Maggi seasoning and the packets saved me so much time during cooking and more time to spend eating with the family.

Cheesy Chicken & Leek Potato Bake

“Each packet contains a mix of delicious herbs and spices to help you make a delicious Cheesy Chicken & Leek Potato Bake. Follow the simple 3 step instructions on pack to create a delicious family meal.”

The boys’ favourite, the Cheesy Chicken & Leek Potato Bake went down really well and we found there wasn’t enough for our 4 hungry tummies. I will definitely buy the seasoning again because the dish came out so well, offering just the right amount of cheesy and milky sauce to complement the chicken and leek.

Please find the Motherhood Diaries’ recipe for Cheesy Chicken & Leek Potato Bake here.

Piri Piri Chicken

“Each packet contains a mix of delicious herbs and spices to help you make delicious Piri Piri Chicken. Simply combine the recipe mix with water, pour over your fresh ingredients and bake in the oven.”

The Piri Piri seasoning add a lovely strong flavour to rice dishes and just enough spice for the boys to enjoy without upset tummies. I really enjoyed the Piri Piri addition to our regular rice dishes and they are so versatile that I could add pretty much anything and it would go well with the seasoning.

Please find Motherhood Diaries’ recipe here using Maggi’s Piri Piri Chicken Seasoning

Maggi Beef & Ale Casserole

“Each packet contains a mix of delicious herbs and spices to help you make a classic Beef & Ale Casserole. The result is a sumptuous, rich, hearty casserole.”

A very meaty dish with a full and succulent flavour, the Beef and Ale Casserole dish goes fantastically well with rice and provides just enough for a family of 4. Very easy to make.

You can find Motherhood Diaries’ recipe for Maggi’s Beef and Ale Casserole here.

So Juicy Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken

“This So Juicy packet contains a delicious Oriental Soy & Garlic recipe for Chicken along with a special cooking bag that helps lock in all the juices so there is no need to add oil!”

Such a clever way of cooking chicken in its juices and not creating any extra mess in the kitchen! The packet neatly contains a sachet of sauce and a bag to cook the chicken, with simple step-by-step instructions on how to use the bag. I found it incredibly easy and I am totally sold on using a bag to cook meat from now on. Just makes marinating so quick and simple.

Please find below Motherhood Diaries’ recipes using the Maggi So Juice Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken seasoning:

Maggi Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken with Miso, Green Beans and Almonds

Maggi Oriental Soy & Garlic Chicken, with Vegetable Rice

Dr Oetker – Eton Mess £1.99 / Violet Crystals £1.29

Established over 100 years ago in Germany, Dr. Oetker and the family business have developed into an internationally trusted food brand, with lots of high quality innovative products to meet the ever changing consumer needs.

“Inspired by the latest baking trends, new Dr. Oetker Eton Mess and Violet Crystals Sprinkles are the perfect way to add extra colour and flavour to all your home baking and desserts. Our Edible Decorations can be easiliy added to your home baking to create your own very special look.”

Our Opinion – The sprinkles look great and, although, you can taste a certain sweetness of the Eton Mess, the Violet Crystals don’t taste of anything and are purely there for decoration. I used the sprinkles on my Chocolate Lemon Mousse and they fit the dessert perfectly.

Please find Motherhood Diaries’ recipe for Chocolate Lemon Mousse with a Blackberry and Lavender Twist, using Dr. Oetker Eton Mess and Violet Crystals as a garnish.

Green & Black’s – £2.29

In 1991 Craig Sams, Founder of Whole Earth, the pioneering organic food company, was sent a sample of organic cocoa beans. He had a sample of 70% dark chocolate made up from the beans. When the sample made from the organic cocoa beans arrived he tasted the sample and then left the half-eaten bar on his desk. A little while later his wife, Josephine Fairley, spotted the unguarded bar and helped herself. She’d never tasted anything like it and was sure other confirmed chocoholics would love it as much as she did. And with that, Craig and Jo set about making organic chocolate.

They named their chocolate after the confectionary brands of their childhoods, like Callard & Browser and Barker & Dobson. There is no Mr. Green or Mrs, Black. Green symbolises their strict organic principles and black represents the intensity of the chocolate.

“Green & Black’s Lemon bar infuses our 60% Dark Chocolate with a zesty lemon flavour striking a balance between a fresh citrusy hit and enticing rich dark chocolate. The subtle lemon tang of the bar will transport you back to those long hot summer days of years gone by. Discover more at greenandblacks.co.uk”

Our Opinion – Definitely great quality dark chocolate and I really enjoyed the lemon infusion too, which went perfectly with my Chocolate Lemon Mousse (recipe here). There isn’t an overbearing lemon flavour and the dark chocolate creates a very rich and smooth taste. Perfect for baking (or enjoying by yourself in secret!)

Frank – £0.85

Frank are all about natural, honest ingredients and they create real, healthy snacks without compromising taste. The Frank Food Company was founded in 2012 by former Everton footballer Neil Robinson. Neil Robinson is passionate about fitness and healthy living and was frustrated that many snacks marked as “healthy” are actually weasel worded imposters! The Frank bar was developed from Neil’s own handcrafted recipe, using only natural ingredients. It has a cakey, fudge-like texture, the richness of a Brownie and is available in five flavours; oat, double chocolate, chocolate & strawberry, chocolate & blueberry and chocolate orange. Frank sources its ingredients from around the world to make snack bars that are nutritious, healthy and most importantly delicious! Frank are confident that their bar tastes as good as it did when it was first made by hand in Neil’s kitchen, and it still contains no additives or chemicals.

“A snack bar made with 100% natural ingredients which is honestly good for you and honestly tastes delicious. Available in 5 flavours: Blueberry, Strawberry, Orange, Oat and Double Chocolate. Free from gluten, nuts, dairy and refined sugar – also suitable for vegans. Try it for yourself!”

Our Opinion – Very surprisingly unsweetened and rich, the Blueberry & Chocolate Snack Bar is perfect for those that do not have a sweet tooth. The fudge-like bar tastes very much like cocoa and I could hardly taste the blueberry, but I could certaintly tell that this bar is very healthy and protein-rich and I would feel very comfortable and reassured that I would be having a good honest snack bar after a good workout. In fact, it’s the perfect bar to have before you have a workout too, as it gives you that added energy, with a fraction of the fat and sugars from a normal bar. I don’t have a sweet tooth, so this is perfect for me, but for my husband, who is not a fan of dark chocolate at all, I would not advise this because he may think it is too bitter tasting and not sweet enough. Doesn’t bother me at all!

The Berry Company

The Berry Company brought out a fruit juice range made from all natural berries with no “yucky” bits! Whether they’re blue, black, red, pink, orange or purple, from North America, Eastern Europe, South America, or the Far East, The Berry Company promise their juice blends will deliver on taste, quality and total satisfaction. Their drinks are gluten and dairy free and have no artificial colourings, additives, sweeteners or preservatives, as well as no GMO’s.

“The Berry Company produces a range of delicious and nutritious juices and fruit flavoured teas. We are one of Europe’s fastest growing drinks brands with a special commitment to sourcing the finest super fruits and teas from around the World. Available from Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Wholefoods and Ocado.com.”

Our Opinion – A very light and refreshing White Tea, which the boys and I really loved. There is a lovely peach aftertaste and the only negative point was that there wasn’t enough in one bottle! It tastes a lot like iced tea.

Hornsby’s Blueberry Cider – £1.25 each

The top hat clad British gent George Hornsby immigrated to California many moons ago – in search of a new life and an inspiring adventure. After setting up shop in the United States, George loved everything American but missed the crisp taste of his favourite – British brewed ciders. George decided to bring the best of Britain to America, whipping up batch after batch of crisp apple cider – much to the delight of his new American friends. Soon enough, everyone state side grew to love the quality and flavour of this quintessentially British cider. Today, Hornsby’s is one of the leading ciders in the USA and is now available in the UK.

“Stateside, they use blueberries in pancakes, but here we’ve packed their juicy flavour into this fruity cider. Best enjoyed straight from a chilled bottle, the American Way. Try squeezing fresh lemon peel in for a zesty finish. Follow us on facebook.com/hornsbys.”

Our Opinion – I am not a fan of cider at all, so I passed these bottles onto hubby and a friend who told me that they loved the fresh blueberry flavour and faint blueberry aftertaste. They believed that the cider had a very fruity taste and they would buy it again. Thanks guys!

What did I like most about July’s Degustabox?

The Maggi seasonings as I managed to get full use out of them and the dishes went down so well with the whole family.

What to watch out for:

ZEO’s lime Zest – it’s very… zesty…

Other points to note:

Other ways you can use the products is to add ZEO drinks into alcoholic beverages, which, I believe, would add a really nice citrusy flavour.


4 out of 5 – Still a great Degustabox with very useful products, especially the Maggi packets. And Green & Black’s Lemon Bar went down a treat!

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Leyla Preston (603 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked!You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/