Tuesday 8 September 2015

The August Degustabox (review)

Getting back home from an extended holiday (two weeks in Turkey followed by visits to both sets of grandparents), the Madhouse food cupboards were pretty much bare so it was great to get two Degustaboxes back to back to fill up the larder again ! It was only a few hours after I posted my review for the July Degustabox that an email pinged into my inbox to say that the August one would be delivered the next day ! 

As soon as I unpacked it, I could see that this was my kind of box - lots of tasty treats for the kids, some healthier products for us all to try out and, in this month's box, lots of kid-friendly baking products - fabulous !

So here's the rundown of this month's products :

Dr Oetker Mug Cakes (£2.37) - When you get a sudden cake craving , you can't beat a mug cake and these sachets will allow you to create a delicious treat just by adding milk and zapping it in the microwave for 70 seconds. I've put these aside to warm us all up when we get in after a rainy, blustery school run. They come in Rich Chocolate, Chocolate Chip and Lemon varieties which all happen to be my favourites !

Staying on the sweet treat theme, all four Walkers Shortbread (£2) varieties - Gluten-Free All Butter Shortbread, Gingery Cookie, Chocolatey Cookie and Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread - got a warm reception and disappeared in record time ! They're only small but the individual wrappers made them ideal for snacks on the go and the crumbly, buttery texture is really satisfying. Yum !

Bahlsen provided two biscuit options that were equally well received. Pick Up! Dark Chocolate offer a thick slab of chocolate between two plain biscuits - very nice but the dark chocolate was a bit too bitter for our tastes, so we much prefer the milk chocolate ones. Choco Leibnis White got a unanimous thumbs-up though - the creamy white chocolate perfectly complements the cocoa biscuit. (£3.48 for both)

Williamson Ginger Grove Tea (£4) is not something that appealed to me as I'm not a lover of tea (or any other hot drinks, come to that !) but I passed it on to a friend at work who thought it had a lovely flavour and gave her a nice boost in the middle of the day. It's made with real ginger pieces and is pesticide free.

This month's product of the month was from Barilla - a box of Penne Rigate (£2) and a jar of Arrabbiata sauce (£1.50). I pulled these straight out of the box for lunch and was impressed with the texture of the cooked pasta - it held its shape nicely, didn't go soggy and didn't all stick together in one congealed lump when it cooled !

I decided against the jar of sauce though, when I noticed that it was a spicy chilli and tomato sauce, which would probably be too hot for the kids. I opted instead for a tin of Cirio tomato fillets from a previous Degustabox, stirring them into some bacon bits, onions and mushrooms. This went really well with the pasta.

Life Tonics (£1.49) is a blend of coconut water, natural fruit extracts, 5 vitamins and 4 minerals but also no refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. We got Coconut & Mint, which has a nice delicate, refreshing favour, but it is also available in Dalandan Orange and Elderberry & Juniper flavours.

This month's DB's Discoveries product was also my favourite - this Delicious Alchemy Oaty Cookie Mix (£1.99) was quick and simple to use and made beautifully chewy cookies. You can read our full review and check out our Mini Smarties Oaty Cookies here.

Ryvita is a brand that I know well and we've already tried their Cracked Black Pepper Crispbread and Sesame Crispbread (£2.88). They're really versatile, going with everything from cream cheese and cucumber, smoked salmon, figs and goat's cheese drizzled with honey, even sweet options for the sesame ones ... the only limit is your imagination ! They're great for a light lunch or a healthy snack in front of the telly.

Dr Scheckter Organic Energy Lite is a lightly cabornated blend of spring water with organic pomegranate, elderberry and lemon juice, with natural energy that comes from raw green coffee beans, green tea, guarana and ginseng. It tastes great and gave me a much needed mental and physical energy boost on my first day back at work. It's great to find a lite version of an energy drink too.

I also received a few products that seem to be extras, as they don't appear on the insert that lists all the contents of the box. They are from brands that have been featured before :

Little Miracles is a blend of organic tea and fruit juice with ginseng and açaí for a natural boost. Sophie begged to have this because she loves the flavours and, as it's healthier than fizzy drinks, who am I to say no ?! It is sweetened with agave so contains less than 90 calories and it's free from artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.

Who'd have thought freeze-dried fruit would be so popular with the kids ?! The Fru Peach & Yogurt Melts were equally delicious as the Fig/Cherry and Strawberry/Raspberry ones that we discovered in last month's box. Sorry for the lack of photo - the kids munched them all before I got back with the camera !

Nothing very inspiring on this month's recipe sheet - just Gluten Free Oaty Cookies using the cookie mix and Ryvita serving suggestions. The great selection of products in this month's box makes up for that though !

A Degustabox subscription costs £12.99 including delivery per month, with each box having a value of much more than that. 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).

for more information :

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.


  1. Loving the look of those mug cakes, ideal for work!

  2. Ooooh I had never heard of Barilla prior to this, looks my type of box too, am off to further investigate xxx

  3. Good selection, though the mug cakes are of no use for me, since we don't have a microwave. Passing them on to a friend to try.

    1. ooh now there's something I didn't know about you !! xx

  4. The mug cakes look interesting - I have never seen them before :D

    1. From my experience in the past, you don't get the same light texture as cake - it's more like a sponge pudding kind of texture. I'll do another blogpost when I've tried them so watch this space :)

  5. My first box came through - thought the mug cakes tasted disgusting but the kids loved them! Pretty much liked everything else especially the pasta & tomato sauce.


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