October 2014 – Degustabox Product Review – Lots of surprise food goodies and reader discount code!
Another great month of delicious edible goodies and for the month of October, Degustabox features the following brands:
Solo Marshmallow Crème
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 09AF1 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 (3½ years old)
Aidan (2½ years old)
What’s in October’s Degustabox?
This month’s Degustabox Recipes
Sweet Potato Chips, Tomato and Cheddar Cheese
Using Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce – http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/sweet-potato-chips-tomato-cheddar-cheese-lunch-bites-recipe/
S’Mores Whoopie Pies
Using 7 oz. cup Solo Toasted Marshmallow Crème 7 OZ and Dr. Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder – http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/whoopi-smores-recipe/
Bengal Chicken Curry
Using Kent’s Kitchen Bengal Recipe Kit – http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/bengal-chicken-curry/
Date, Grape, Chocolate Cake
Using 100g Dr. Oetker 90% Premium Extra Dark Chocolate – http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/date-grape-chocolate-cake-recipe/
SPECIAL K CRACKER CHIPS – RRP £1.89
Since its launch in Britain in 1959, Special K has been inspiring people to be the best they can be. With foods and tools to help people stay on track, Special K is the partner in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“Special K Cracker Crisps, the deliciously moreish savoury snack that you can feel good about. Delightfully thin crisps with a distinctive, satisfying crunch, at 60% less fat than the average fat content of most other crisps on sale in the UK & ROI. Available in a tempting range of tantalising flavours, Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, Sour Cream & Onion, Sweet Chilli and Barbecue. Find them in stores in 23g individual packs, 80g sharing packs or 4 x 21g multi packs.”
Our Opinion – As I am already a huge fan of barbecue flavoured crisps, I thoroughly enjoyed these healthy crackers, albeit they were slightly on the salty side. My boys enjoyed the taste too. They were very moreish, so it wasn’t too difficult finishing the packet off in one sitting. These Special K crackers are light and airy, with full of flavour, so you can still enjoy a healthy snack without skimping on the taste.
BLUE DRAGON SWEET CHILLI SAUCE – RRP 2 X £1.39
Blue Dragon is named after the Chinese symbol of good fortune. The company was created over thirty years ago when the founder realised there was hardly anything available in the shops that would help the British people create authentic Chinese dishes at home. When Blue Dragon started out, the range consisted of a very modest five products: soy sauce, chilli sauce, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. A few years later this was followed up with dried egg noodles, three-minute noodles and a range of stir fry sachets. Since then, Blue Dragon has gone truly pan – Asian – and now offers authentic ingredients to help people create dishes from Thailand, Japan and Vietnam, as well as expanding their Chinese range quite considerably.
“Britain’s Best Tasting Sweet Chilli Sauce! Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli is the UK’s best tasting Sweet Chilli Sauce! It’s a quick and easy way to make your everyday food taste great. Available in Sainsbury’s Asda, Tesco, Morrisons & Waitrose.”
Our Opinion – Blue Dragon is, without doubt, the best makers for sweet chilli sauce. So tasty and spicily sweet, I added the sauce to almost everything I ate, including super healthy sweet potato chips, which I made as a lunchtime snack for the boys. You can find the recipe here: http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/sweet-potato-chips-tomato-cheddar-cheese-lunch-bites-recipe/
GET BUZZING – RRP 1 X £1.30
“From my experience as a Personal Trainer I have discovered the importance of healthy food, to sustain and energise. Getbuzzing bars work to maintain blood sugar levels and provide the brain and muscles with long-lasting energy, they are a great way to eat nutritious, healthy food without compromising on taste! Our bars are manufactured in the UK from 100% natural ingredients, are nut free, with no added sugars or hidden extras.” Kate Wallace, Founder of getbuzzing
“Getbuzzing offer a range of 100% natural healthy eating flapjacks that complement a well-balanced diet by providing fast and slow releasing energy that will keep you going for longer. A perfect on the go snack that also tastes great. Visit www.getbuzzing.co.uk to see and purchase our new range and enjoy 100% off your order with discount code ‘newbuzz10’.”
Our Opinion – I tried this very nutty bar after an intense workout and the lovely sweet taste hit the spot and curbed my sugar craving. Ok, so it is a little on the sweet side, but I can see how this bar can definitely provide that hit you need, either after a long night or a gruelling workout. I would happily swap this original nutty bar for my little chocolate bar hits during the day as it is 100% natural and maintains blood sugar levels.
ENHANCE DRINKS – RRP 1 X £2.49
Jill started Enhance in 2012 as a way to help her drink her recommended 8 glasses of water a day. While Jill knew she should be doing this, she just found plain water a little bit boring at times and often found that a glass of water sat untouched on her desk throughout the day. Talking to her co-workers, Jill found she was not alone, Lots of people were struggling to drink enough water even though they know they should. Being an entrepreneur at heart, Jill set about creating a solution to this problem. She had three key things in mind while she was doing it. Whatever she designed had to taste delicious, be healthy and be portable, so people could take it wherever they wanted. It took a lot of time and effort but eventually Jill developed the answer. Everyone who tried it immediately loved it and so Enhance was born – your own portable water enhancer that you can use anywhere, anytime.
“Small, fabulous and packed with natural flavour, enhance is designed especially for an adult palate. One quick squeeze transforms your water into a delicious, light fruity drink helping you stay hydrated anywhere, anytime. Made with real fruit juice and with no added sugar, enhance is only 1 calorie a drink. Available from Asda and Ocado.”
Our Opinion – Although I don’t know whether I agree that water needs to be enhanced – rather surprisingly, neither do my boys – I do agree that the Orange & Passion Fruit Water Enhancer tastes quite nice. The little portable bottle was handy for enhancing water when I wanted to drink something sweet, but I did find myself getting used to drinking juice, which I think is dangerous. I think that there is an indirect message being sent to people out there that water is boring and that it should be enhanced. I think that Enhance is a clever and innovative bottle, but it should only be used as a nice little change to drinking water normally and not as an alternative to drinking 8 glasses of water a day. 😉
KENT’S KITCHEN – RRP 1 X £2.50
Kent’s Kitchen was started after the company spotted a gap in the food market and wanted to create a way for people – from busy professionals to time-poor family cooks, foodies to novices – to eat delicious, authentic food without the stress of long shopping lists, prep time and complicated cooking. The meal kits were the driving force behind getting the company started but along the way other tasty, time-saving products were added to enhance meals quickly and easily,
“The meal kits are a one, two, three step to an authentic, delicious meal in just 20 minutes. Use the three clever pots and add a few fresh ingredients to create a restaurant quality meal. All natural ingredients and perfect to keep in the store cupboard for when you need meal inspiration.”
Our Opinion – I really like the idea of three pots in one kit to make a nice authentic curry and, after trying out the Bengal version on my chicken, I was pleasantly surprised at the finished result. However, I could really taste the salt and the chicken was quite dry because there wasn’t enough sauce in the pot for the amount of chicken the recipe card calls for. I think it would have benefited from slightly more sauce. But, apart from that, everything else, including the spices, tasted just lovely! Recipe here: http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/bengal-chicken-curry/
SOLO MARSHMALLOW CRÈME – RRP 1 X £1.99
In 1889, Sokol and Company founder, John A. Sokol, immigrated to Chicago from the city of Pilsen, Bohemia, Czech Republic and started his career as a grocery delivery boy at the age of 14. Having learned the ins and outs of the business, he opened his first grocery store in 1895. By 1902, he added three more stores. In the 1920’s, Sokol launched the Solo line of food and baking products, which primarily consisted of cake and pastry fillings made from prunes and European imported poppy seeds. Today, Sokol and Company, commonly known as Solo Foods, manufactures a variety of food and baking products under the Solo, Baker, Borden, Chun’s and Simon Fischer brands, some of which were obtained through acquisitions.
“Solo Marshmallow Crème is a delicious, spreadable sweet marshmallow treat that offers amazing versatility as a baking ingredient and tastes just as good straight from the tub. Available at americansoda.co.uk and selected other outlets. Solo Marshmallow Crème comes in original and toasted flavours, perfect for all kinds of uses.”
Our Opinion – Super, super sweet, but tastes very much like toffee marshmallows, I found the consistency of the crème to be hard to work with and too rich for me. The S’Mores I made came out very, very sweet, but it was a nice change to work with something so texturally different and I would like to make actual marshmallows next time. I can definitely see the novelty in these tubs. Recipe here: http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/whoopi-smores-recipe/
DR. OETKER PREMIUM 90% EXTRA DARK CHOCOLATE – RRP £2.49
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.
“NEW! Dr. Oetker Premium 90% Extra Dark Chocolate contains 90% cocoa solids and is made from single origin Ghanaian cocoa beans which delivers an intensely indulgent chocolate taste to all your baking. This is ideal for melting and using in your favourite chocolate recipes, for more chocolate indulgence visit oetker.co.uk/chocolate.”
– Super dark and super gorgeous, I love, love, love dark chocolate, especially chocolate that is 90% cocoa! Very rich and easy to use as a vital ingredient to my Date, Grape Chocolate Cake recipe: http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/date-grape-chocolate-cake-recipe/
BEAR PAWS – RRP £0.55
“BEAR PAWS are a delicious pure fruit snack with no added sugar, concentrates or any other nonsense. Gently baked into playful paw prints, they whisk kids off for a walk on the wild side, with 5 paw prints to find in each bag. Find us all in the supermarkets, in the baby and toddler aisle.”
Our Opinion – The boys already love sweet fruit snacks and they certainly liked these Bear Paws. They do not contain any added sugars or concentrates, so they’d be a great snack for when I’m out and about with the kids.
DR. OETKER FINE DARK COCOA POWDER – RRP £1.89
“NEW! Dr. Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder is made from the finest quality cocoa beans and is specifically created for home baking to give a rich dark chocolate colour and flavour. Perfect for convenience and freshness, each multipack contains three premeasured 25g sachets and comes with a free recipe card.”
Our Opinion – Another great product from Dr. Oetker, with 3 handy sachets to use for any baking needs. I was certainly excited to try them out for my S’Mores recipe. Here is the recipe link: http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/whoopi-smores-recipe/
BRIOCHE PASQUIER SLICED BRIOCHE LOAF – RRP £1.69
When Gabriel Pasquier first opened in his small village bakery in 1936, he used levain in his dough. The same technique was passed onto his sons that decided to continue using traditional levain to bake Brioche Pasquier products. Raising the dough this way is a more time consuming process compared to using modern yeast, but it provides a unique sourdough flavour and the products are then carefully baked using a similar process to the one used in 1936.
Despite the years that have passed, Brioche Pasquier continue this tradition of using their unique raising agent. Levain is the most natural way to raise dough and does not require any added sugar. It brings acidity to the dough that enables conservation without using preservatives.
“The brioche loaf is made using the same traditional methods as our rolls. Delightful at any time of the day and versatile as a snack, meal or ingredients, this loaf is sliced for your convenience and ready to go!”
Our Opinion – We are huge Pasquier fans and I always make room for at least one of their products in our weekly shop. However, I’ve never tried the Sliced Brioche Loaf before, always opting for their Pains au Lait or Chocolate Chip Brioche. But, I really, really liked them. Ok, so they’re sweet and probably not as healthy as brown bread. But, they’re perfect for when you’re on-the-go with the kids and they feel peckish. The sweet taste allows for the brioche loaf to be enjoyed without any additional ingredients needed and versatile enough to be eaten with almost any ingredient in mind. The boys finished the entire loaf in one day!
JELLY BELLY – RRP £2.50
“There are over 100 true-to-life Jelly Belly jelly bean flavours. With their intensely juicy taste, made from the finest ingredients available, every single bean can take up to 21 days to create. It’s true! Jelly Belly is the ultimate flavour adventure and every foodie’s worst kept secret.”
Our Opinion – Ok, so I have a confession to make. I may have eaten the whole pack of Jelly Beans by myself… in 2 days… They’re very moreish! And the flavours are so spot on that it’s easy to tell which flavour you’re eating without looking at the jelly bean. I feel guilty that I didn’t save any of the jelly beans for anyone else, so I’ll go out and buy another packet and I won’t touch a bean!
BRIOCHE PASQUIER PAIN AU LAIT WITH CHOC CHIPS – RRP £1.60
“We used the same traditional recipe and baking expertise as the Pain au Lait and added some delicious dark chocolate chips. These rolls are soft and tasty, and ideal for a sweet snack or for breakfast.”
Our Opinion – Few words are needed to describe how tasty Pasquier’s Pains au Lait with Chocolate Chips are. We buy them every week, so it felt like a great bonus when we received a free pack in this month’s Degustabox. They’re the perfect snack for when the boys and I need something sweet and they’re great to have at breakfast too – especially with a cup of coffee!
DEGUSTBOX FRIDGE – BENECOL GREEK STYLE YOGHURTS
“Benecol Greek Style: New Benecol Greek-Style Yogurts contain Plant Stanols; a unique cholesterol lowering ingredient which is proven to significantly lower cholesterol in just 3 weeks. The yogurts come in a 4 pack with 2 x strawberry and 2 x vanilla yogurts, all yogurts are thick & cream, low in fat and cholesterol-lowering!”
Our Opinion – I haven’t had the chance to try these yet, but I do love Greek-Style Yogurts, especially those that significantly lower cholesterol, as cholesterol runs high in my family. So, I’ll be looking forward to tasting these yoghurts very soon.
SAMPLE PRESENT: BEAR ALPHABITE
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.
“New BEAR Alphabites are crunchy cereal letters with no added nonsense. Made with 5 tasty grains, and delicious coconut blossom nectar, they contain no refined sugar, no salt, are low GI and are naturally high in calcium.”
– We received a large box of the Alpha Bites in a previous month’s Degustabox (June’s Degustabox link here: http://www.motherhooddiaries.com/june-2014-degustabox-product-review/) and I mentioned that I didn’t like the taste of the malty cereal at all. I still feel the same way, but I love the fact that they are healthy alternatives to my boys’ breakfast cereal, as well as a very fun way of learning how to spell. We had another go at spelling out the word, ‘Degustabox’.
What did I like most about October’s Degustabox?
I loved trying out the new dessert recipes with Dr. Oetker’s 90% Premium Dark Chocolate and sachets of cocoa powder, but the winners for us were the beloved Pasquier products, which never fail in our household.
– Another top box of great quality products. It’s hard to be critical because the boys loved everything (well, except for the Jelly Beans, which I thoroughly enjoyed myself) and the fact that you receive such a wide array of products that add so much value to everyday recipes.
5 out of 5
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