Thursday, 13 August 2020

August 2020 Degustabox review : Back To School & On The Go

When I saw the theme of the August Degustabox, I have to admit, I groaned ! Back to school already ?! Well, I know they've just gone back in Scotland, but August is a time for making the most of the holidays, as far as I'm concerned. Back to school can wait until September, thank you very much !

Nevertheless, we spotted lots of goodies that we couldn't wait to sample in this month's box, so we were soon excitedly rummaging through, saying "bagsy that's mine" ! It's a good mixture for us this month, with lots of sweet treats that the kids can't wait to get their grubby mitts on, a cooking paste for me to try out and some things that I'd never buy without trying them first, such as chia and chai. Which are both totally unrelated, despite having the same four letters in them !

Right, time to discover the contents of this month's box !

First up was Swisse Me Start Me Chia (RRP £1.80), a product that I'll be passing on to my daughter Sophie. It's a Breakfast Blend smoothie, made with apple, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry. It has no added sugar and is also a source of fibre, so it sounds like a healthy and tasty start to the day and just the sort of thing she likes to try out. Other subscribers received Start Me Cocoa or Start Me Quinoa. Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options are on offer. Available exclusively from

Twinings Cold Infuse For Water Bottles Watermelon, Strawberry & Mint (RRP £3.79) is perfect for keeping your fluid levels up over the summer. You get 12 infusers (think posh tea bags !) that you just drop into your bottle of cold water, shake and leave for 5 minutes. You can of course leave it longer, if you're going out on a walk or taking a bottle of water that you'll be drinking all day. You can even get a bit decadent and use it with fizzy water ! The strawberry and watermelon are classic summer flavours and you get just a hint of mint, so it's not overpowering. It's sugar-free so it's better for you than grabbing a can of something cold.

Boundless Activated Snacking Cayenne & Rosemary (RRP £1.50 / £1 at Sainsbury's) are a brand of nuts and seeds that I'd never heard of, so I went to investigate. The nuts and seeds are soaked to activate germination, releasing the enzymes and nutrients that Mother Nature had locked away for the growing process. This also washes away the layer of Phytic acid, which can be bitter and hard to digest. They are then baked, to give them a lighter crunch and a fuller flavour. Various gutsy blends of spices are added - Orange, Ginger & Maple, Turmeric & Smoked Paprika, Tamari & Aleppo, and - the ones we got in the Degustabox - Cayenne & Rosemary. Inside the pack, you get a mixture of almonds, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, along with maple syrup, salt, rosemary and Cayenne pepper. Nothing artificial at all. The Cayenne adds a distinct kick of spice but it's not too overpowering and the rosemary adds some nice flavour. They're surprisingly moreish ! They're vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, high in protein ... what's not to like ?! Available at Sainsbury's, Holland & Barrett, John Lewis, As Nature Intended, Revital & Independents.

I was excited to discover another product from the Capsicana Latin Flavour range. This time, we received the Mexican Chilli & Honey Cooking Paste (RRP £1.50), which is based on the dish "Puerco al horno con salsa de chile y miel", which, as a guess, I would say means roasted pork with a sauce of chilli and honey. Mexican grown chipotle and ancho poblano give a sweet and smoky flavour and it has a medium-mild heat rating (2/5 chillies). It can be used in fajitas and BBQ or as a marinade for chicken, pork, steak, fish or vegetables. Perfect for getting a fab-tasting Latin American-inspired dish on your plate in just fifteen minutes ! Available at Sainsbury's, Ocado and Waitrose.

Drink Me Chai Spiced Chai Latte (gift - RRP £2.30 for a full tub) can be used to create a creamy, frothy chai latte, drunk hot or cold or even used in baking. The unique flavours of cinnamon, ginger and cloves will mentally whisk you away to the markets of Morocco, so it's perfect in these times of coronavirus destroying all our travel plans ! It contains less than 1% caffeine, is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians.

The Great British Porridge Co (RRP £1.50) is another brand that we have previously sampled in Degustaboxes and I'll be passing this on to Sophie as it's another dairy-free breakfast option that she can enjoy when she goes back to college. The Blueberry & Banana sachet can be used to make porridge or chilled overnight oats - I'd even add flapjacks to that list ! Everything is 100% natural, plant-based and gluten-free with no added sugar. 

Master CafĂ© Iced Coffee Latte (others received Mocha or Classico - RRP £1.50) is perfect for coffee-lovers trying to beat the summer heat ! Unlike the overly-sweet, milk-heavy brands out there, this one plans to shake things up with seriously tasty, lower-calorie and low-dairy authentic iced coffees. Choose between Classico (strong and punchy, expertly blended), Latte (indulgent and creamy, rich yet refreshing) and Mocha (aromatic and rich, tantalising chocolatey notes). We're not coffee-lovers, so I'll pass this on to a friend to try out. Available on, amazon, selected Budgens, Londis and convenience stores.

Rxbar (RRP £2.50) has some serious, grown-up looking packaging and, as expected, this brand targets health-conscious, discerning adults, which is reflected in the price. The real food protein bars are made with a few simple ingredients: as is clearly explained on the packaging, egg whites for protein, dates to bind, nuts for texture (and everything else for taste). They each contain 12 grams of clean protein and no gluten, dairy or soy. As well as the Peanut Butter Chocolate bar that we received, it is available as Chocolate Sea Salt, Peanut Butter, Blueberry and Coconut Chocolate. Available at Ocado, Sainsbury's, amazon and on

The kids were desperate to get their hands on the trio of Pick Up bars (RRP 40p per bar / £1.69 for a pack of five), as they know they love them ! We got three flavours - milk chocolate, choco & milk, choco hazelnut - and they were all declared delicious. You get a thick slab of real chocolate sandwiched between two biscuits. Sometimes, that's all you need. Hmmm !

Simpleas Pea Powered Curls (RRP £1.09) are a tasty snack that we have already tried before, quite probably in a previous Degustabox. They are made from 100% Great British yellow peas, but I made the kids blind-test them without showing them the bag and they wouldn't believe me ! This time, we tried the Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar flavour and the whole bag was swiftly gobbled up ! They're baked not fried, vegan friendly and gluten-free. They're also rich in protein, high fibre and only contain 88 calories per bag. A unanimous thumbs-up from us ! Available from WHSmiths, Skinny Food Company, farm shops across the UK and on

Sunny Fruit Mix-Ups (RRP £2) are made of real fruit pieces with no added sugar. As soon as I saw the Whitworth's brand, I knew they'd be good - half of our baking cupboard is full of their products ! Strawberries and sultanas are not actually two fruits that I'd have put together but it does work very well and the kids loved them. You get six packs in a bag so they're ideal for popping into packed lunches when (if ?!) the kids end up back at school. 

Swizzels Great British Puds Chew Bars (RRP £1) were the product that most excited the kids in this month's box. They couldn't wait to try the new flavours, all dreamed up by competition winner Tracy-Jane. Apple Pie & Custard, Lemon Meringue, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Rhubarb Crumble ... all were devoured and declared delicious ! The bars are vegan and have natural flavours. Available at selected Asda, Morrisons, Co-op, One Stop, B&M, Home Bargains, McColl's, Premier, and Spar stores. 

The final product was a 3 bar pack of Trek Protein Flapjacks (RRP £2.50). We've tried these before and loved them, but this is a brand new flavour : Salted Caramel. Very tasty too ! These gluten-free flapjacks are packed with 9g of plant-based protein, making them the perfect slow-release snack to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Also great for a quick breakfast if you're in a rush. They're vegan, a source of fibre and, above all, taste great ! Available at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon. 

This was a great box, with loads of things to nibble on and to share out with the kids. I would like to get back into receiving some cooking ingredients in the coming months though, as my cupboard could do with a refill ! 

  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 means you'll get the first box for just £9.99 - enter code PKUFE 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.


  1. Lots ofgoodies love the great porridge co - so tasty

  2. Ohh! What a lot of tasty treats. The iced coffee caught my eye and the Swizzels chew bars. They're new. I will have to keep a look out for those. x


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