We always love receiving a new Degustabox in the post, seeing which brands and products we already know and which ones are totally unknown to us. There are always lots of delicious new products to try, as well as a few wild cards that are a bit hit and miss - unusual things (for us) that we would never usually buy that either turn out to be unexpectedly lovely or, as we suspected, not to our tastes. For the first time ever, I think, there was absolutely nothing in this box that we didn't totally love.
So, without further ado, here are the contents of this month's extremely family-friendly box.
The first big squeal from the kids was for the Brioche Pasquier Pitch Choco Bars (£1.40) - these are made with the usual deliciously soft brioche but this time filled with a mini bar of milk chocolate. Individually wrapped, they're perfect for snacks on the go. The only bad thing was the fact that there are only four in a pack so, with they didn't last long.
Another huge thumbs up from the kids for the next two products, both of which we've tried before and already loved.
Robinsons Squashed (£2.49) - It's hard to believe that such a small bottle can contain as much fully-made squash as a big bottle but you literally only need a tiny squeeze - just a few drops in the bottom of a glass is plenty - so it lasts for ages. It has a lovely, fresh, fruity taste despite being sugar free and only 3 calories per glass.
Jim Jams Milk Chocolate Spread (£2.59) - We tried this in a previous Degustabox and it's just as delicious and moreish as Nutella while containing 83% less sugar. It is available in Milk Chocolate or Chocolate Hazelnut varieties, and now that we've tried both, I can confirm that they are both equally tasty. I made these simple 2-ingredient Palmier biscuits by spreading a sheet of ready made puff pastry with the spread, rolling both sides in towards the centre, chopping into 1cm pieces then baking them for 10 minutes until golden brown and puffed up. Absolutely delicious and they're deceptively simple so the kids can make them by themselves, apart from the oven. (See the step-by-step instructions here.)
Maggi Fusian Noodles (2 x £1.39) - in both Fiery Sweet Chilli and Aromatic Spiced Curry flavours. These are great as a quick lunch as they only take four minutes to prepare. They contain dried noodles (obviously !), along with spices, infused oil and veggies, so they can be used as an instant meal or added to fresh meat, fish or prawns and fresh vegetables for a more substantial meal. They could also be added to chicken broth as an Asian-inspired soup.
Speaking of soup, we discovered a new soup brand, IAM Souper High Protein (£1.49 - as a Degustabox blogger, I got to try two of the four varieties, but subscribers only received one). We received Supergreens and, my favourite, Pulled Pork and Jalapenos (you might want to add a splash of cream if it's too spicy for your tastebuds !). Low in fat but high in protein which keeps you fuller for longer, they're tasty, with a pleasing chunky texture and a fresh taste (they contain no artificial flavours or preservatives).
Pierre got stupidly excited over the next two products because they feature some of his favourite characters, the Minions ! Heinz Kids Smooth Tomato Pasta Sauce (£1.55) is a kid-oriented product made with 0% added salt or sugar and no artificial colours or preservatives. We personally prefer a chunky sauce so I added chopped onions, mushrooms, carrots and bacon lardons.
The Heinz Kids Dry Pasta Shapes (£1.19) feature all of your favourite Minions - Dave, Jerry, Stuart, Kevin and Carl. The kids love the shapes while the parents love the fact that it contains 50% whole wheat. We'll definitely be buying these again, especially as I prefer the dried pasta to the tinned version, which is usually the only way that the kids get the cartoon character shapes.
Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks (£1.99) are made with green peas and baked, so they're healthier than most similar snacks. They're suitable for vegans and vegetarians and are nut free. They're very tasty with a satisfying crunch but the price tag is a little on the hefty side.
Levi Roots Smokey BBQ Coat 'n' Cook Sauce (£1) is an instant marinade that works well with barbecued or oven baked meats, including chicken, ribs and fish. It has a medium spice rating, but this is Levi Roots, so hang on to your tastebuds !
Beloved Date Fruit Hearts (2 x 75p - subscribers got two, we got four) are made from 100% squished up dates, cold pressed to retain all the goodness of the fruit, with a hint of natural flavouring added. They come in four flavours - cocoa & berry, zesty orange, simply divine and rich cocoa. The kids loved the heart shapes and the soft, chewy texture and would happily eat these in place of sweets. They're great as a lunchbox-approved sweet treat - our unanimous favourite was zesty orange.
You can't get more all-American than Hershey's so this Hershey's Cookies'n' Creme bar (£1) left the Madhouse girls suitably wowed. It contains smooth cream (sorry, creme) and crunchy cookies and is nice enough, but I must admit, I don't think American chocolate is a patch on Belgian or even British chocolate. Give me a bar of Galaxy any day ! The kids don't get as excited about the homegrown brands though, so I'm sure they'd ask for this again !
This month's recipe card offered two recipes for warming autumnal soups - cream of mushroom and butternut squash soup with chilli & crème fraîche. They both sound tasty but neither of them use any ingredients from the box.
A subscription to Degustabox costs £12.99 per month including delivery, with each box having a value of much more than that, but the great news is, I have a discount coupon code for you which now gives you a whopping £7 off the price of your first box, so you'll get it for just £5.99 - just enter code 0BS6T at the checkout.
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Disclosure : We received the box in order to write an honest review. As a Degustabox blogger, I receive all of the products that go into the monthly boxes, but subscribers may not get exactly the same selection.