Product Reviews

I have found that gluten free products can be quite hit and miss!  I know replicating some items into a gluten free alternative can be hard, believe me, so I’m always open to trying out what people have come up with to see if I like them.  I have found it really useful reading other people’s reviews on products throughout my journey being gluten free, so thought I would start reviewing some products myself!


Product Reviews

 

13/04/2018
Schar Fresh Pasta Range
http://www.schaer.com/en-uk
http://www.instagram.com/scharglutenfreeuk

Schar products are definitely up there for me as to the best around, so when they approached me asking to try their new fresh pasta range products, I jumped at the chance! IMG_6508

I can’t remember the last time I had fresh gluten free pasta at home, so this is pretty revolutionary! I missed how quick it is to make a tasty dinner in moments and so have thoroughly enjoyed making meals with these.

First up to try was the one I was most excited about; the ravioli! Thin pasta sheets stuffed with ricotta and spinach, it’s a classic match made in heaven! I topped my pasta with a creamy red pepper sauce (the recipe is over on my blog posts which I suggest. you try coz it’s delish!).  The pasta itself was amazing; very delicate and delicious, and cooks in about 3 minutes! I will absolutely be buying these again for a mid-week meal. They cost £3.75 for a pack that serves two.
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Next up was the tagliatelle.  I was really interested in trying a tagliatelle, as although I have tried a few dried varieties in the past, I found that they often fell apart into little bits rather than keeping the long recognisable shape of tagliatelle.  I paired the tagliatelle with a creamy rich avocado and spinach pesto sauce which would coat the pasta (recipe also on my blog posts!).  It was amazing.  The pasta stayed in tact when cooked al dente, as it should, and it was utterly delicious.  I will be definitely purchasing these for the future as I found them so much better than the dried varieties out there.  The packet again serves two, and is priced at £3.50.

Last to try was the tortellini, but unfortunately I couldn’t eat it myself as I no longer eat meat; very upsetting!  I used to love a tortellini, but instead of me eating it, I found a very willing participant to review it for me instead!  The tortellini is filled with a prosciutto filling and so I wanted to create a sauce that wasn’t too overpowering so you could still taste the ham inside.  The recipe for my sweet red pepper and tomato sauce is available on the blog (it’s a go-to quick delicious pasta sauce so I’d recommend you give it a go!) and I thought it would compliment the pasta nicely.  I am told that the pasta itself was very good; thin pasta sheets with a delicious filling that you could really taste.  Again, the packet of tortellini serves 2 and is priced at £3.50 per pack.

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Overall I have been really impressed with the Schar fresh pasta range.  I love the ability to be able to cook quick healthy and delicious dishes in minutes, and I have really missed using fresh pasta since following a gluten free diet, so this has been ideal.  The ravioli for me was my absolute favourite, and we’ve already added it onto our shopping list for next week!  If you’re an Italian food lover and on the look-out for some genuinely tasty gluten free products, then I urge you to try these for yourselves!  Currently these are available in Morrisons, but I’m sure will be in other supermarkets soon… if I don’t buy them all off the shelves!

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03/04/2017
Dr Oetker Ristorante Pizza
http://www.oetker.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/droetkerristoranteuk/

Last week I received the best delivery… PIZZA!  Who doesn’t want pizza turning up at their door!?

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Dr Oetker is a well known established pizza company, but I can’t say I’ve ever tried one!  And now the Italian Pizzeria has launched their signature thin and crispy base, but Gluten Free, deliciously topped with creamy mozzarella,  juicy cherry tomatoes and basil… yum!

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As you know if you read my blog or see my Instagram feed, I love a pizza!  I usually make my own, but I’m loving trying these new gluten free products from well-known companies!

I love a Margarita pizza, and the fresh pesto and tomatoes on this really appealed to me.  Some of the other Margarita’s I’ve tried I normally use as a base and then add my own toppings, but this one looked really good and I wanted to keep it just as it is… and it didn’t disappoint!  All I had to do was wait an excruciating 15 – 20 minutes whilst it cooked in the oven, then this bad boy was ready to be tasted!

I loved the thin base, and it was really crispy with a great taste and texture.  The toppings were light but incredibly delicious, but it was the tomatoes that absolutely made it!  Really tangy and tasty which was incredible with the pesto kick.

I would definitely recommend trying Dr Oetker Ristorante Gluten Free if you’re in need of a quick scrumptious meal.  Head to the freezer section in any of the usual supermarket chains and pick one up for £2.50-£3 dependant on the chain.  They also offer a Pepperoni option too, but since I have been pescetarian since the new year, I can’t tell you what it’s like, but I’m sure it’s just as good!

14/08/2016
Nutri-Brex
http://www.nutribrex.co.uk
http://www.instagram.com/nutribrex

On 23rd July I made my way down to The Hoxton Hotel as I was invited to the new product launch by Nutri-Brex to go and have brunch with fellow gluten free foodie bloggers!  AMAZING!
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Nutri-Brex are a new gluten free and coeliac friendly cereal range, based in the UK with a mission of revolutionising breakfast!  They are the first company in the UK that has developed a gluten free ‘wheat’ cereal, without the wheat!  Made with sorghum (an ancient grain that is grown in Africa), and packed full of nutrients, fibre, protein, vitamins AND is low in fat!  They launched their original flavour Nutri-Brex previously in the year and it is now stocked in all the major supermarkets in the UK.  For the brunch I went to, they were just about to launch their new flavour – Coconut and Crispy Rice!  The same sorghum recipe, but with added coconut, cinnamon and crispy rice to add a great taste and texture.

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The brunch itself was incredible.  They showed us how many different ways  you could incorporate their cereal into other things, other than just serving with milk or yoghurt and fruit (which was still delicious!).  They somehow managed to create smoothies with the nutribrex blitzed into it, 2 different flavoured energy balls, banana bread, a savoury bread with smashed avocado and the piece de resistance…pancakes! ALL made with their cereal!

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The whole morning was super tasty, and it was SO nice to meet fellow foodbloggers…a lot of whom I already followed, and a lot more I managed to find out about and am now stalking on Instagram and their food blogs!  Love a bit of networking! Haha.  Honestly though, the cereal itself was really tasty, and I’ve been managing to get through my boxes in the mornings for breakfast.  It’s super delicious with cold milk (although they’re quite thirsty so you do need a lot of liquid!) sprinkled with banana and some berries, but I am 100% going to recreate those pancakes, as they were insane!  Nutri-Brex is a great option for breakfast in the morning, and still manages to be low in fat, low in sugar, high in fibre, but above all naturally gluten free and tasty with it!
IMG_0515Definitely recommended for you gluten free foodies out there, so pick up a box the next time you see it on your supermarket shelf!

 

13/02/2016
Halo Wholefoods
http://www.halowholefoods.co.uk
http://www.instagram.com/halo_wholefoods/

This week I received a package from Halo Wholefoods who were kind enough to send me a sample of some of their goods to see what I thought!  Lucky me!  Halo Wholefoods are a little company only established last year in 2015, based in the Lake District.   Their ethos is about creating nutritious and delicious food, all of which is 100% vegan, refined sugar-free, lactose and gluten-free with no added flavourings, colourings or preservatives and no goodness taken away.  What’s not to love about that!?

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I was sent a packet of Raspberry and Coconut Superfood Sprinkle, and a packet Salted Caramel Bliss Balls…both of which looked amazing!

First I tried out the Salted Caramel Bliss Ball.  I love having healthy snacks I can give myself a little boost with, and that’s why things like Bliss Balls are such great options!  These balls are made purely from medjool dates, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, maca powder, coconut oil, maple syrup and pink Himalayan Pink Salt.  No nasties, just whole foods!  If I’m completely honest, I’m not the biggest fan of salted sweet things so I was a bit cautious of whether I’d like these.  I know most people love salted caramel, but I just can’t get my head around it…I like my sweet things sweet!!! So, my review of this particular flavour of Bliss Ball is completely down to personal taste, but I wasn’t in love with these.  Halo Wholefoods make two other flavours of Bliss Balls in a Coconut and a Cacao and I know I would have loved those, but I just found this particular flavour of Salted Caramel a little too salty for my own personal taste.  My sister loves the flavour of salted caramel, so I will be giving her some to try and I’m sure they’ll go down a treat!  If you love this flavour in other things, I’m sure you will love these too!

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Next I tried the Raspberry and Coconut Superfood Sprinkle…WOW!!! I absolutely LOVED this stuff, so much so I tried to hide the packet from my boyfriend so he didn’t have any of it!  I still have a pot of yoghurt I keep meaning to eat this with, but I can’t keep my hand out of the packet…seriously, it’s nearly all gone!  As you’re probably aware of by now if you read my recipes or follow my Instagram page, I am obsessed with anything that has coconut in.  This also had my favourite berry in it too, so I just knew this would be an absolute winner for me.  This sprinkle is sort of like a granola, but packed full of even more goodies.  The ingredients are just oats, flaked almonds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, agave nectar, freeze fried raspberries, toasted coconut and vanilla extract…again, no nasties and all full of goodness! I will 100% be getting this again, although I may have to restrict myself as to how often, as I think I could go through a packet in a week very easily!

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Halo Wholefoods have really impressed me with the flavours and goodness in their products, and I would definitely recommend them.  I love their philosophy for food and it is definitely something I strive to do within my own recipes and gluten free creations! Go and check out their website and treat yourself to something delicious!

 

01/02/2016
The Foods of Athenry
http://www.foodsofathenry.ie
https://www.instagram.com/foodsofathenry/

The lovely people from The Foods of Athenry approached me on my Instagram account recently and offered to send me some of their products to try out…and who was I to deny them!?  The Foods of Athenry is the Lawless Family Bakery based in County Galway, Ireland.  They have many products on offer including bars, cereals, cakes, cookies and breads, and have won awards and recognition from the Great Taste Awards, Free From Food Awards and Good Food Ireland, amongst many others!  They are stocked in many places in Ireland, and in the UK they are stocked in some health food shops, as well as Waitrose.

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I was sent two boxes of Irish Soda Bread Toasts; one box of Honeyed Almond and Rosemary, and one box of Cranberry and Hazelnut.  I asked what was best to eat these delicious looking toasts with, and was told they’re great with a plain or herby cream-cheese, or a jam or chutney….so of course I needed to wait to try it with that!

I was also sent a bag of their Cookie Shots, which are bite-size brownie bites, and a bag of their Flapjacks The Works.  I can tell you as soon as I opened the box, both of these packets were opened!

The Cookie Shots are not only wheat and gluten free, but also dairy free so are vegan friendly.  More importantly, they taste delicious! They’re quite small and are just 18 calories, under 1 gram of fat, and just 1 gram of sugar per cookie… so all the more reason to eat more!  They’re not filled with any rubbish, so have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, which is another winner for me!  I thought these were delicious and struggled to re-seal the packet before I ate them all!  My boyfriend, who doesn’t need to follow a gluten-free diet, found these were his favourite product and I had to grab the bag off of him, so they were a winner all round!!!

The Flapjacks smelt amazing.  They’re all-butter (so not vegan!) and are loaded with dried fruit, honey, seeds, chocolate chips and coconut.  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything special when I popped one of these into my mouth, but oh how wrong I was!  These are soooo delicious!!!! As they’re a bit more indulgent than the Cookie Shots with the butter in the recipe, they’re 81 calories per flapjack and 4g of fat, but you can’t make a proper flapjack without butter, right!?! I absolutely loved these and really struggled too offer one to my boyfriend to try too!  The kick of cinnamon is delicious, but what won if for me was the coconut.  If you know me, you’ll know that coconut is my FAVOURITE ingredient (in anything!) so these were definitely my favourite out of the sweet treats!

Later on that evening I tried the Soda Bread Toasts.  These are both super crunchy and have a great texture.  Both crackers are very low in calories, fat and sugar, and the almond ones are a great source of protein too.  I’ve not yet really found a cracker-type snack I like, and these are superb.  My favourite was definitely the Honeyed Almond and Rosemary flavour.  They are strong in rosemary, which I loved, and were perfectly paired with a strong cheese.  I will 100% be buying these again so I hope my local Waitrose stock them!  The Cranberry and Hazelnut flavour were also delicious and these were the ones that had won the Great Taste Award.  I really liked them but didn’t really think they had a very strong flavour.  My boyfriend actually preferred them because of that, as they don’t take over from whatever topping or dip you would have with them.  The chewy cranberries in them were delicious, and I loved just eating them on their own, but think they’d be great with a cream cheese and chutney too (which I unfortunately didn’t have in the fridge!).  I think these are both an amazing alternative to any gluten cracker you may have been missing since following a gluten free diet, and would highly recommend either!

All in all, I was thoroughly impressed with The Foods of Athenry products.  I think they have done well in recreating some gluten free products without any grainy textures or funny after tastes.  If I manage to spot these in any shops nearby, I’ll definitely be picking up some of their other items to try out too!  Go and visit their website and see what delights you can pick up too!


 

 

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