March 2016 – Degustabox Product Review
March offers another great variety of delicious goodies from Degustabox. Here are the brands featured this month:
- Chewits – Strawberry & Blackcurrant
- Good Hemp – Coconut – DB’s Discoveries*
- Kallo – Milk Chocolate Rice Cakes
- Kallo – Quinoa and Seeds Multigrain Cakes
- Kent’s Chicken – Cranberry & Orange Stuffing
- Metcalfe’s – Skinny Popcorn
- Parle – Monaco biscuits
- Parle – Hide & Seek chocolate chip biscuits
- Pipers Crisps – Cheese & Onion flavour
- Karyatis – Meze to Go Mediterranean crackers
- Brioche Pasquier – Pain Au Chocolat
- Weetabix Smoothie – On The Go Protein Breakfast Drink – Blueberry & Blackberry and Strawberry & Raspberry
- Lindt – White Chocolate Bunny
Here is the link to the full background of the Degustabox and the service they offer: April 2014 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 £6.00 discount when signing up for your first Degustabox by inserting discount code BLDEG15
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
One other thing. Degustabox has recently introduced DB Discoveries as a way to keep us in the loop for new, smaller brands that we may not have heard of, but are equally as delicious. We’ll keep you posted on these too, by marking a ‘*’ next to the brand’s name.
So, let’s get started!
Aron (5 years old)
Aidan (4 years old)
What’s in March’s Degustabox?
This month’s Degustabox Recipes
5-ingredient Sweet & Zesty Roast Chicken with all the Trimmings Recipe in under 2 hours! – includes Kent’s Kitchen, Cranberry & Orange Stuffing
“Chewits were one of the first chewy sweets to hit the streets! Like those who chew them, they’re great fun and a little bit cheeky. In the 50 years they’ve been around they’ve had some sweet success and remain an iconic British confectionery brand still loved by the nation today.”
Our Opinion – I’ve literally grown up with Chewits and I’ve always loved the way that they’ve tasted, even though they could potentially rip your teeth right out if they’re not as chewy as the name suggests. Nevertheless, I quietly enjoyed the Blackcurrant and Strawberry flavour Chewits with my husband and I think we can both say they still taste as good as they did when we were children (albeit not the healthiest of snacks to feast on though).
Good Hemp – Coconut Flavoured Alternative to Milk
“Good Hemp is a nutritious dairy free alternative to milk. Made from the natural goodness of hemp seed it is a natural source of Omega 3 and is completely allergen free. Good in every way. Choose from Original, Unsweetened or Coconut. Available in all major supermarkets or online at www.goodhempfood.com.”
Our Opinion – In our house we drink cow’s milk with the blue bottle top. That’s right, we drink the full fat kind. I love a creamy coffee and the boys love a rich cereal, so we never think to buy any other alternatives that may necessarily be better for us. * I have recently switched to Coconut Milk Yoghurt in my cereal, which tastes delicious, so I was eager to try the Coconut Hemp Drink, which is surprisingly free from quite a few ingredients, like Dairy, Soya, Nuts and Gluten. So, pretty much anyone can enjoy this drink without feeling the pain afterwards (I understand that pain). Good Hemp tasted refreshingly light and slightly sweet in flavour. I still experienced that similar aftertaste, likened to other soya-free alternatives that I’ve tried in the past and I didn’t favour this milk in my tea or coffee either, only because I felt that it lightened my coffee too much, which is completely down to my preference for creamy hot beverages. But, either the boys didn’t notice when I replaced their full fat milk with Good Hemp in their cereal, or they really enjoyed it, because neither of them even questioned the replacement. So, it’s great to see that there is an alternative out there for those who suffer from any intolerances. Good Hemp is also enriched in omega 3, calcium and vitamin D, so it makes for a healthy drink too.
KALLO Milk Chocolate Rice Cakes
“At Kallo, we believe smooth Belgian chocolate and puffed wholegrain rice is a combination not to be messed with. So we don’t. Keep snacking simple with our delicious Chocolate Rice Cake rounds, and with 78 calories per cake, they are the perfect sweet treat.”
Our Opinion – The boys and I just love rice cakes so much that we tend to open a packet and finish it together in one sitting. We especially love rice cakes when they’re topped with chocolate and Kallo’s Milk Chocolate Rice Cakes certainly did not disappoint. The chocolate only lightly covers the rice cake, so it’s not an entirely super sweet option, yet it does offer a very milky and delicious chocolate twist, which, no doubt, went down famously in our house.
KALLO Quinoa and Seeds Multigrain Cakes
“We don’t think eating sensibly has to mean saying no to the things you love. We’ve developed these delicious Multigrain cakes with sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds perfect for snacking on their own or top with your favourite ingredients for a lovely light lunch.”
Our Opinion – If you think that the milk chocolate rice cakes might not be as healthy as you hoped, Kallo brings out a Quinoa & Seeds alternative to banish any remorse from your mind. The multigrain rice cakes are packed with sunflower, sesame & pumpkin seeds and you can really taste the hummus coming through. These are full of flavour and, looking at the numbers, a lot healthier for you.
Kent’s Kitchen – Cranberry & Orange Stuffing
“Kent’s Kitchen stuffings are a tasty addition to a roast dinner. Made with all natural ingredients and chunky pieces of fruit, herbs and spices, these easy to make stuffings will complete your meal. Just add water, stir, bake and serve the delicious stuffing for an added taste explosion. Each pot serves four people.”
Our Opinion – I’m one of those people who love sweet in savoury dishes. Anything that provides me with a balance of sweet and salty is a winner in my eyes (and my palate!) So, when I added Kent’s Kitchen’s Cranberry & Orange Stuffing to my zesty chicken, to make it a sweet and zesty roast dinner, I wasn’t expecting the overwhelming sweet taste of the stuffing balls overpowering pretty much all of the other ingredients in the meal. Perhaps a little too sweet for some people’s taste, however, I really enjoyed the cranberry and orange infusion in my roast. But, then I’m a person who likes Marmite and Banana sandwiches, apple and feta cheese snacks and coconut yoghurt in my curry. For my husband, orange in anything that is not a dessert is made by the devil and so he wouldn’t touch it. He even hates chocolate orange and Jaffa cakes! (sick…) Split opinion in our household, but, then again, sweet stuffing balls are an acquired taste.
Kent’s Kitchen Cranberry & Orange Stuffing in 5-ingredient Sweet & Zesty Roast Chicken Recipe
Metcalfe’s Skinny Popcorn
“Metcalfe’s skinny’s newest addition to the popcorn family, Cinema Sweet! Sweetened with natural stevia leaf extract, Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn are the first to introduce this delicious and unique popcorn, which has 67% less sugar than all other sweet varieties on the market. With only 93 calories per serving, say hello to guilt free munching!”
Our Opinion – Another long standing staple in our house is popcorn. I grew up with mum making us kids popcorn as an afterschool snack, sat in front of the TV or when we complained that we were hungry. But, as mum didn’t have a sweet tooth, our popcorn was always salty. I then experienced the world of sweet popcorn during my very first trip alone with friends to the cinema – and I was hooked! The downside of this was that my sugar intake undoubtedly increased and popcorn was no longer becoming a healthy snack before dinner. So, I was eagerly excited to try out a popcorn brand that contained naturally sweet popcorn and much less sugar. I absolutely loved Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn. It is still sweet, but not enough to make you gag. It has that subtleness that takes the blandness out of original popcorn and infuses it with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Be warned, buy multiple packs because they’re dangerously moreish!
Parle Monaco Biscuits
“The light, crispy biscuit sprinkled with salt, is the perfect savoury twist you can add to your ordinary boring moments.”
Our Opinion – For fear of fattening up my kids and giving them diabetes, I’ve removed chocolate biscuits from the grocery list. The problem with chocolate digestives, for example, is that you can’t just stop at one. Well, I defy you to stop at one when you try Parle’s salty Monaco biscuits. They are so delicious that they were burning a hole in my food cupboard. Every time I walked into the kitchen, I took two and gave the boys some too. They also have a slight buttery taste, which makes them rich and very easy to enjoy.
Parle Hide & Seek Chocolate Chip Biscuits
“Indulge in the mouth-watering delight of India’s best moulded chocolate chip biscuits.”
Our Opinion – Just as Parle brings out a very deliciously tasting salty biscuit, they bring out an equally delicious sweet biscuit, which is just as moreish and easy to finish off. Again, these were finished almost in one sitting!
Pipers Crisp Co – Cheese & Onion Crisps
“Pipers Crisps endeavours to make Britain’s tastiest potato crisps. They have won 23 Gold Great Taste Awards and have been voted “Best Snack Brand” by the readers of Fine Food Digest 4 times. Pipers cook locally sourced potatoes in sunflower oil and seasoned with flavours sourced from passionate regional suppliers.
Our Opinion – Upon trying one single small crisp in the packet, I was immediately overwhelmed by its intense cheesy flavour, which made them just a little bit too salty for me. Having said that, I didn’t stop at one. I offered the boys some and they thoroughly enjoyed it too. My little one is a huge fan of anything super salty, so he really wanted to polish this packet off. But, I am a little wary of the salt content and had to give the rest to my husband, who is in love with cheese. Perhaps one for the adults to enjoy.
Karyatis – Meze to Go Mediterranean Crackers
“Karyatis Meze to Go brings a taste of the Mediterranean to your everyday snacking. A delicious sweet & smokey roasted red peppers and tangy feta dip, perfectly complimented by crunchy rosemary crackers, all packed in an easy-to-carry box. Ideal for a quick treat bursting with succulent Mediterranean flavours, our Karyatis Meze to Go is everything you need for a tasty, easy to eat snack, conveniently packed in a handy little box so you can enjoy it everywhere.”
Our Opinion – These Karyatis Meze crackers definitely had a Mediterranean red flavour to them. But, I’m not sure I really enjoyed the weird taste. The boys wouldn’t eat them and I prefer my crackers bland, so that I can add the red pepper, feta cheese and rosemary on top. Perhaps, if they had left out the rosemary, the flavour wouldn’t have tasted so odd. But, I suppose this is what makes them unique. I’m sure most Mediterraneans would like these crackers, but I’m a Mediterranean that didn’t I’m afraid.
Brioche Pasquier – Pain Au Chocolat
“These NEW Pains au Chocolat contain a generous helping of delicious crème pâtissière. Individually wrapped, they are ideal for breakfast on the go or as a snack. Free from preservatives, hydrogenated fats and artificial colours. Can be enjoyed warm. Pre-heat your oven to 200 C and warm product for 2-3 minutes.”
Our Opinion – Oh, Pasquier, you and your extremely delicious and decadent snacks that we can’t get enough of! You are not helping me with my diet by bringing out yet another super amazing breakfast or on-the-go snack like the new Pains au Chocolat. I knew they were going to taste dangerously good, all of Pasquier’s food products do. Thankfully there were only four, so we all had one each. Otherwise, I would have finished off these creamy patisseries by myself!
Weetabix On the Go Breakfast Drink
“Weetabix On the Go Breakfast Drink with extra Protein delivers a proper breakfast that fits your morning routine because it contains all the energy and fibre of a Weetabix cereal with milk in an ultra-convenient, smooth and tasty drink. Plus, its packed with an extra 20g of Protein per serve to keep you feeling full, energised and ready for the day ahead. It also contains 4 vitamins, iron and calcium and absolutely no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.”
Our Opinion – These on-the-go Weetabix breakfast drinks tasted really rich and creamy. I found them to be sweet, which could only mean that there was too much sugar for the kids to enjoy. But, I halved the Strawberry & Raspberry version for my kids to drink and my husband and I enjoyed the Blueberry & Blackberry flavour. They are both quite tasty and very filling and I am a fan of protein-based drinks anyway, as I believe they provide quite a lot of energy. Whether they are extremely healthy for you in the long run is debatable though.
Lindt White Chocolate Bunny
“Discover the delicious Lindt White Chocolate Gold Bunny 100g, made by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers this Easter. Using the highest quality ingredients to create the smoothest chocolate available; you will want to savour every mouthful of this delicious Lindt White Chocolate Gold Bunny. See the full range at www.goldbunny.co.uk with Easter Activities and Events for all the family.”
Our Opinion – Lindt chocolate has always been way too sweet for me and white chocolate is my least favourite (I prefer the real 70% dark chocolate variety). So, I only sampled a little bit of this and divided the rest between my three boys (including my husband). They both thoroughly enjoyed the richness of the white chocolate and, I have to admit, the chocolate is good quality. Just too sweet…
*You may be interested to read about an article I found over at time.com that suggests going full fat may help keep obesity levels down
What did I like most about March’s Degustabox?
Pasquier, you always win for me hands down! Actually, the only item I didn’t really like were the Karyatis Red Pepper, Feta Cheese and Rosemary Crackers. I still ate them though. A good box this month
What to watch out for:
I’ve noticed of late the amount of sugar in each of the items in recent Degustaboxes, I’d really like to see super healthy versions of some of the items in the box. Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn is more like it!
3.5 out of 5 – I’m going to be pedantic and mention the sugar content in this month’s Degustabox – it’s just a little too high for my liking. Paradoxically, Piper’s Cheddar & Onion Crisps were too salty. That’s not to say the items in this month’s box were not delicious, they were. I would like to see more whole earth and organic products, which contain a very balanced amount of sugar and salt.
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