There were huge squeals of delight when the latest Degustabox arrived because as soon as we pulled open the flaps on the box, we could see one of the Madhouse kids' favourite products and brands. We excitedly unpacked everything and discovered that the theme of this month's box was picnics.
Here's what was hiding in this month's box :
Coconom Organic Coconut Sugar (£3.25) - Made from 100% Coconut Blossom Sap with nothing at all added, this sugar replacement can be used in exactly the same way and ratio as sugar, which is very handy if you're using it in a recipe. It has a lower glycemic index than refined sugars, is vegan approved, gluten free, GMO free, dairy free & preservative free. It is also ethically sourced from independent farmers in rural Indonesia, which helps to provide families a higher standard of living. This pack is flavoured with Turmeric & Tamarind. It looks kind of like soft brown sugar and tastes more of soft brown sugar than coconut too. The extra flavourings will be interesting to incorporate into my baking. Galina over at Chez Maximka has already made some lovely-looking Coconut Sugar Cookies that I may have to try.
Vybe Juice (£1.89) - Staying on the coconut theme, Vybe Juice is 100% natural coconut water. The electrolytes in coconut water apparently help to hydrate and maintain the body’s PH levels. Vybe’s coconut water is fat free and cholesterol free and is an ideal addition to a daily diet for those who wish to live a healthy life. I wasn't keen on the flavour on its own but if you add something extra - a dash of elderflower cordial or a splash of coconut juice and a sprinkle of cinammon on top for example, as in this picture - it's rather nice. You could have fun making up your own "cococktails" though !
Rekorderlig Strawberry & Lime Cider (£1.49) - Labelled Product of the Month by Degustabox and it's my favourite product from this month's box too. It's sweet, fruity and deliciously refreshing to chill out and cool down after a long summer's day.
Icycl Vodka Icepop (£2.50) - When the Madhouse kids pulled an ice pole out of the box, they all wanted it ... then I looked closer, saw that it was a vodka icepop and sniggered "sorry kids, that's MINE hehehe !" I'd never heard of the brand or the concept before but it's a fun idea for the summer. I could see these being very popular with young twentysomethings at beach barbecues and summer parties - they'd have gone down a storm in my student days ! They have a lovely fruity taste and are deceptively strong - they contain a 6.4% kick of vodka so don't suck and drive ! Make sure you keep them out of the way of the kids too. They're rather pricey so I'm not sure I'd buy them, even though they are lovely as a grown-up summertime treat.
Zeo Peach & Grapefruit and Zesty Lime (2 x £1.29) - I thought these were nice as grown-up fizzy drink options - they're not too fizzy, aren't overly sweet and have a nice fruity flavour - but the kids thought the flavours were too weak. They are made with 98% spring water blended with naturally extracted fruits and botanicals, a tiny amount of South American Stevia and just a touch of beet and cane sugar for sweetness. They need to be drunk chilled or over ice or they could be used as a mixer in a spritzer type drink.
Brioche Pasquier Pitch Chocolate Flavour Filled Brioche and Pitch Choc Chip Brioche - Due to being half French but also sharing the same name, the Madhouse kids get stupidly excited when we eat Brioche Pasquier products and these two are some of their favourites, for breakfast but also snacks. The bread is beautifully soft with a rich buttery taste and the sweetness of the filling makes them very moreish. The individual wrappings make them ideal for popping in handbags or beachbags for snacks on the go. Délicieux ! And there's even an on-pack offer for a free sports session too.
Kallo Sea Salt & Vinegar Corn & Rice Snacks (70p) - Kallo had two products in this month's box, the first of which we've tried before - Sea Salt & Vinegar Corn & Rice Snacks. They look like mini rice cakes but they have a crunchy texture and the kids like nibbling on them straight out of the pack so we treat them as a healthy alternative to crisps. Each bag provides 91 calories and less than 3% fat. Kallo-vely !
Kallo Belgian Milk Chocolate With Caramel Pieces Rice Cake Thins (£1.69) - I didn't realise that Kallo also did chocolatey snacks (as well as breadsticks, gravy, stock cubes, ... they have a much bigger range than I thought) but these are utterly delicious, totally moreish and only 65 calories per rice cake thin so I will definitely be exploring the rest of the range.
Love Chin Chin (£1) - The official blurb said : "Chin Chin is a famous sweet snack popular in West Africa. Love Chin Chin - developed from a family recipe and manufactured in the UK - is the West African sweet snack sensation that ‘crunches like a biscuit, tastes like a cake!’ Made from 100% natural ingredients it’s the tastiest snack you may never have tried." Well, they were OK but we were slightly uderwhelmed. We got the cinnamon ones (they also come in vanilla, lemon and chilli flavours) and we found them a bit bland and a bit dry. Looking on their website, they suggest microwaving them for 5 seconds for a homemade feel - that might bring out the flavour more.
Multigrain Melba Thins (£1.39) - We tried (and loved) the Original Melba Thins in another Degustabox and the Madhouse kids wolfed these down with just as much enthuiasm. They can be topped with sweet or savoury toppings - we tried butter, Nutella and cream cheese, all of which were declared delicious. They're lovely and crunchy and ideal for making canapés that won't go soggy to accompany summer evening cocktails.
This month's recipes are for Strawberry-Lime Perfect Serve (anyone for tennis ?!) and Triple Chocolate Flourless Brownies using Coconom Original Coconut Sugar (not sure how they would work with the Turmeric & Tamarind one though?).
A Degustabox subscription costs £12.99 including delivery per month, with each box having a value of much more than that. This month's totals up to £19.89. I have a discount coupon code for you too, which gives you a £3.00 discount when registering - just enter code 13NC5 at the checkout. (This will be valid until October 2015).
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