June 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: http://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 EQGMS 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!
Aron (3 ½ years old)
Aidan (2 years old)
This month’s Degustabox Recipes
Summer Berries Crunch Cake using the Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder. I did intend to use the Elizabeth Shaw Amaretto Flutes, but somebody’s fingers got to them first!
Chicken Stir Fry using the Veetee Basmati & Wild Microwavable Rice.
ESTRELLA DAMM Spanish Lager – £4.00/each
In the spring of 1872, August Kuentzmann Damm and his wife Melanie left their native Alsace because of the Franco-Prussian War and settled in Barcelona. In 1876, August founded his beer company in order to continue doing what he had always done: produce beer, which is exactly what his children and grandchildren after him continued to do. Right up to the present day, there are eleven generations of Master Brewers.
“Estrella Damm is an authentic imported, award-winning premium pale Spanish lager known internationally as the ‘Beer of Barcelona’. Estrella is stylish, vibrant and passionate, the beer for those who want to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean and the perfect complement to any dish, but of course especially Tapas.”
Our Opinion – Tommy reviewed the Spanish beer and he found it to be very refreshing. He is a fan of Estrella already, so he knew exactly what he was getting. However, he would have preferred it if the can would have been slightly larger, as in Britain we are used to the ‘pint’. And, at £4.00 a can, it is slightly on the dear side.
ELIZABETH SHAW – £2.59
From an early age, Elizabeth Shaw loved making chocolate treats for the whole family. She married an employee of Page & Shaw in the 1930s, which was a large confectionary company, and she got to work making her chocolate treats professionally. One of Elizabeth’s favourite treats was a combination of the mint and honeycomb crisp, developed from an American friend’s recipe. It was so good, that in 1937 she decided to put her Mint Crisp chocolates on sale in her brother-in-law’s shop in Middlesex. The venture was a great success and soon her brand grew through combining her name with part of her husband’s old employer’s, and the much-loved name Elizabeth Shaw was born.
Elizabeth Shaw is one of Britain’s best-loved luxury chocolate makers and they source their very specific blend of cocoa from the Côte d’Ivoire. It is then refined for 24 hours, creating a smooth chocolate with an unforgettable texture and taste.
“Elizabeth Shaw’s new Flutes range are delectable batons of chocolate, with a tempting selection of filling flavours. Luxurious smooth milk chocolate with the sweet Italian taste of Amaretto – the perfect synergy between these smooth flavours brings you a gorgeous texture and taste delight. These divine batons of chocolate may have a taste similar to marzipan or almond liqueurs, but they don’t contain nuts or alcohol.”
Our Opinion – Very, very tasty dark chocolate/liqueur flavoured chocolates that literally disappeared before my eyes thanks to my three boys (and mum who loves anything with liqueur in it!). It’s a shame because these flutes would have complemented my Summer Berry Crunch Cake perfectly, so I will have to go out and buy a packet especially for this recipe. The dark chocolate screams high quality and the Amaretto gives it a lovely almond flavour. Definitely very moreish and evidently one packet isn’t enough in this household!
URBAN FRUIT – £1.09/each
Urban Fruit’s founder, Hayley, who is just 5 months, goes everywhere with her ‘happy apple’ and her love for fruit inspired Urban Fruit to be born. Urban Fruit picks only pure fruit and bakes them fresh in season. There is no sugar, no sulphites and no shortcuts, just 100% fruit without the mess, peel or prickles, so it’s much easier to munch on the move.
“Urban Fruit is just delicious fruit that’s been gently baked so that it’s easier to munch when you’re out and about. These snack-size packs make for the perfect sweet and healthy treat, and come in strawberry, mango and pineapple variants.”
Our Opinion – I’m not a big fan of dried fruit at all, but I do love pineapple, so I was only slightly keen to try these out. My boys wouldn’t even look at the packet, normally opting for the original kind, and even then, my eldest won’t eat it! So, unfortunately, these were an epic fail with my kids, but I did enjoy the zingy taste of pineapple, even though the texture was a little too tough for my liking.
BEAR – £2.69+
BEAR’s story starts from a simple need to make being healthy a little bit easier and a whole lot tastier. As a personal trainer, Hayley was constantly confronted with people growling about punishing diets and hard exercise regimes. She searched the world for a healthy alternative and named her company BEAR, after she saw an article published in January 2009 about bears in the wild. The story sounded so familiar to the people she kept on meeting. The article studied bears that had grown up in the wilderness and bears that had drifted into cities to forage. The city slickers got most of their food from bins behind fast food joints and the like. This made them 30% fatter than their wild bear friends. They were also 30% less active and sadly all the city bears were also dead by the age of 10, whilst over 60% of the wild bears made it past this age.
“BEAR Alphabites are crunchy cereal letters that contain no refined sugar, no salt and no added nonsense. Instead of adding refined sugars, we use coconut blossom nectar, to make them naturally sweet and crunchy. Being both grrreat tasting and super healthy, they are the perfect start to the day.”
Our Opinion – I did not like these cereal letters at all. I didn’t like the ‘malt’ like aftertaste, which you could taste as the obvious substitute to sugar. However, these Alphabites were not intended for my taste pallet and the boys thoroughly enjoyed them. They refused to add milk to their cereal, instead opting to call out all the letters they had in their bowl before munching away at them. So, points made for them being ‘Alphabites’ and that kids can learn their letters and making words whilst enjoying their breakfast.
Veetee – £1.49/each
Veetee’s primary passion is rice. Through their knowledge of the rice market and global procurement network, they are able to produce dry rice products of any variety in any pack size effectively through buying efficiencies and their lean business structures. With offices and milling facilities strategically placed, they are able to service the needs of their customers including retail, food service and manufacturing clients in more than 70 countries worldwide.
“You’re never short of mealtime possibilities with Veetee, a deliciously convenient range of microwaveable rice products. Perfect in your stir-fry, as a side dish or even enjoyed as a snack. Simply heat in the microwave or wok for 2 minutes and enjoy! Available in ASDA, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.”
Our Opinion – Veetee claims that their microwaveable rice is perfect in stir fries, so I thought I’d try them out and see how they tasted in a stir fry. The result? Absolutely gorgeous! Here is the link to the chicken stir fry recipe, using Veetee’s Basmati & Wild Rice: http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/chicken-stir-fry-recipe/.
The rice was very easy to heat up, simply pull back the lid halfway and microwave for 2 minutes. The rice came out hot and fluffy and went perfectly with the chicken stir fry I made for the boys. I would definitely buy this again, especially when it’s only £1.49.
Please note, though, that one portion of this rice would not even scratch the surface for an appetite like mine, so you’d need to buy in bulk.
DR. OETKER – £4.99
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.
“Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder contains Madagascan Vanilla Pods, in an easy to use mill with fine or coarse grinding options. Simply grind into your cake or dessert mixes, or use as a topping to enhance the flavour of sweet treats, hot drinks and ice cream to give the delicate flavour of whole Vanilla Pods.”
Our Opinion – I’m a huge fan of Dr. Oetker products, largely due to their unique products that help baking fans like me enjoy making fantastic desserts with more ease. I used the Madagascan Vanilla Grinder in my buttercream/chocolate biscuit/nutty topping for my Summer Berries Crunch Cake, as well as as an overall garnish on the berries and it added such a lovely vanilla flavour to the whole cake. I love vanilla and the simplicity of this product will allow me to decorate my desserts with vanilla from this point forward. Instead of grating/chopping whole Vanilla Pods, I can now bring out my trusty Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder and add a little garnish to anything and everything I want. Fantastic product and well worth the £4.99 because it lasts for ages!
LAMBRINI – £3.29
Lambrini was launched in the UK way back in 1994 and the Brits have loved it ever since. Lambrini’s flavours are always fun and fruity or light and bubbly and they are made from natural ingredients.
“Fresh new summer flavour from the UK’s number one Wine-Style Drink. Lambrini has introduced a fresh new summer flavour to its iconic fruits range, Lambrini Strawberry. Bursting with delicious light fruity flavour and perfect for summer barbecues.”
Our Opinion – I’m not a huge sparkling wine drinker, normally opting for a deep red wine when I do drink alcohol (which is not often at all). So, I was hesitant to try the Lambrini. I am also not a fan of the original Lambrini, which tastes quite cheap, but this Strawberry flavoured Lambrini was delicious! It’s very difficult to taste alcohol in this drink and it’s quite easy to drink the whole bottle in one sitting. I managed the whole bottle in two sittings and didn’t feel remotely tipsy (it’s only 5% alcohol), but you can really taste the strawberry and it is a very refreshing drink. My husband took a sip and found it to be too sweet and, yes it is a touch on the sweet side, but I can imagine drinking this on a hot summer’s day and I would feel very refreshed.
BE FAST – £1.00/each, total = £2.00
Be Fast is a convenient breakfast product, which you can have literally anywhere, doing anything, without any preparation. There are no spoons, no hot water and no mess.
“Be Fast – your ideal breakfast on the go product. For those mornings where you need something nutritious and filling without sitting down at home! High in Fibre, a source of protein and also low in fat, ideal to keep you going until lunchtime! Expect to find two of their great flavours in your Degustabox!”
Our Opinion – These Be Fast breakfast shakes taste exactly like normal banana milkshakes, but there is a strange aftertaste to it, which I can only describe as fibre flavoured. They taste better ice cold and a whole bottle can go down within minutes because the banana is so inviting. If it wasn’t for the odd aftertaste, I would say these milkshakes taste exactly like the McDonalds banana shakes, but with much less fat and chemicals put in. I tried one and the boys tried the other and they couldn’t get enough of it. We all were definitely full of life until lunchtime that day.
What did I like most about June’s Degustabox?
The Elizabeth Shaw Amaretto Flutes and the Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Grinder were clear favourites in this box, and I would happily buy these again because of their versatility and great taste.
What to watch out for:
Don’t drink the whole Lambrini bottle in one go (or in two sittings) because you might just feel a little sick afterwards (take it from me…)
Other points to note:
Don’t forget that you can try other flavours in the Urban Fruit, Veetee, Elizabeth Shaw and Be Fast range.
4 out of 5 – There are a couple of products in the Degustabox that let me down, but the boys loved them. And, there were some that I liked and the boys despised them, so not a true winner all around, but still some lovely yummy products to definitely try out.
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