Friday, 24 October 2014

New Covent Garden Soup Co - Pumpkin Ghoulash

A quick review of this new soup of the month, Pumpkin Ghoulash, from New Covent Garden Soup Co. It's made up of a medley of vegetables; tomatoes (11%), carrots, potatoes, pumpkin (8%), onions, cabbage and mixed green and red peppers, along with other ingredients such as vegetable stock, salt, garlic and spices. 

The main flavours here are from the tomatoes and peppers combined with an added depth from the addition of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. It reminded me of a tomato soup mixed with a traditional root vegetable soup. I couldn't really detect much of the pumpkin flavour, which was slightly disappointing, but the overall flavour was pleasant enough, even though it's nothing special. I would have preferred much more of the pumpkin, especially considering the name of the soup. 

Grocery Gems Verdict: Gingerbread Sandwich Ice Cream

RATING: 6.5 out of 10.
Buy them again?: No - there are lots of other new flavours to try in the range.
Nutrition: 87 calories per half carton.
Purchased: Sainsbury's.
Price: £1.50p (special offer).

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Chocomosa - Chocolate Samosas with Peanut Butter

Happy Diwali to anyone celebrating today! Last month, on a visit to Westfield Stratford, I was lucky enough to come across a stall selling these unique chocolate samosas - Chocomosa. They are sold in really cool triangular shaped boxes and can be found in the frozen section of some Morrisons supermarkets and at various food events across the country too. There are three varieties available at the moment; the original Chocolate Samosas, Chocolate Samosas with Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Samosas with Coconut. It's not hard to guess which two varieties I bought! 

Photo: London Insider
As these are frozen, for best results they need to be deep fried straight from the freezer. They can also be made in the oven by sprinkling them with a little oil and baked until golden but I've only tried them fried. Of course they taste indulgently delicious - the idea of making a chocolate samosa is so simple but complete genius at the same time. Imagine the filo pasty filled with peanutty chocolate or coconut chocolate, all gooey and hot, but crispy too. There are also plans afoot to create other flavours, such as Italian inspired samosas with a cheesy pizza filling, I can't wait to try those too! 

For more information about Chocomosa check out this article HERE.

Grocery Gems Verdict: Chocomosa - Chocolate Samosas

RATING: 9 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Great idea - can't wait to see what other flavours they do.
Purchased: Available at Morrisons and online HERE.
Price: £2.99.

Note: apologies for the lack of photos - I'll be updating with more soon!

Monday, 20 October 2014

New Walls Gingerbread Sandwich Ice Cream

Thank you to all the lovely readers who informed me that the Gingerbread Sandwich ice creams could be found at Waitrose. I was able to rush out last week and pick up a box... okay I'll 'fess up, it was actually two boxes. Also thanks to Nicky, who commented on this post and let me know that the Gingerbread Sandwich ice cream has been sold in Sweden for a few years now in the months before Christmas. The rest of the year they have a chocolate Sandwich ice cream (you can see how similar they are to this UK version in this picture HERE). Both are made by the Swedish version of Walls (called GB Glace) which are both owned by Unilever. Anyway, I thought that was all very interesting and I'm really pleased that this product has now been released in the UK too!

The first thing I noticed about the Gingerbread Sandwich is just how big each one is. For reference, the Oreo cookie ice creams are about half the size of these. The second most noticeable feature is just how white and smooth the inner ice cream looks, everyone was just *wow* when they saw it, it's so inviting. 

When it comes to flavour, I'm going to cut straight to the point and say that I loved these Gingerbread Sandwich ice creams. The outer biscuit has a soft texture, which is usually the case with these types of biscuits and makes it ideal for taking easy bites without smooshing the ice cream out (sorry I know smooshing is not a real word but you know what I mean!). When it comes to the gingerbread flavour, the makers have not wimped and given us a bland barely spiced biscuit, they've kept it authentic with a deliciously spiced gingerbread with lots of warmth and depth. It also has a little salty edge to it which I really enjoyed. The ice cream inside is completely plain, it doesn't even taste of vanilla, but it just has a perfectly smooth texture and super sweetness that is sublime in cooling down the warmth of the outer gingerbread layers. 

So far I've been cutting these in half and sharing one with Mr. Grocery Gems, but even doing that, we're going to have to buy a few more boxes if we want to have any left for Christmas!

Grocery Gems Verdict: Gingerbread Sandwich Ice Cream

RATING: 9 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes - my kids really enjoyed them too.
Nutrition (per Sandwich): 173 calories.
Purchased: Waitrose
Price: £2.00 (special offer).

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Little Miracles Organic Drinks (Degustabox)

Little Miracles Organic drinks are blends of organic tea and fruit juices, full of antioxidant ingredients, that are sweetened with organic agave and free from artificial colours flavours and sweeteners. I was sent two of their drinks in this months Degustabox (see post HERE) and was keen to give them a try. I do like tea based cold drinks, like iced tea, but they're often full of nasty ingredients, and it's great that Little Miracles offer this all-natural alternative.

I received two varieties: Lemongrass Green Tea with Orange Juice, Ginger, Ginseng and Agave, and also a Green Tea with Ginseng, Pomegranate, Açai, and Agave. Both varieties surprised me with just how refreshing they are - very thirst quenching and light but still with a lovely flavour. I wasn't sure if I would like the lemongrass drink as I'm not fond of that particular ingredient, but here is provides a mild hit of citrus that is very pleasant. The flavours in the green tea with pomegranate are also quite delicate, and I like the fact that the fruity flavours are more prominent than the actual green tea. I would definitely choose these drinks again if I was out and about, I felt like they gave a real boost of hydration and energy.

Little Miracles bottles are sold in some supermarkets (they're in my local Tesco), convenience stores, gyms, delis and many other locations. You can find your local stockist here:

Grocery Gems Verdict: Little Miracles Organic Drinks

Rating: 9 out of 10.
But it again?: Yes.

Friday, 17 October 2014

New Instore: Lidl Halloween Range & Lidl Nespresso Compatible Coffee Capsules

A few interesting Halloween items that I spotted in Lidl today. I haven't tried any of their Halloween range before and I was really impressed with the products available. I ended up buying quite a few different Halloween treats, much more than I have from any of the main supermarkets, and they were all great value too!

Lidl Halloween Snacks: This was the first product to catch my eye. It's a large sized bag of sour cream flavoured corn snacks - in spooky spider and cobweb shapes. I can't wait to serve these up on Halloween! Great value at £0.89p for a 100g bag.

Lidl Halloween Iced Cake Bites: This looked like a biscuit decorating kit with the icing mix and pumpkin decorations included. £1.49 each.

Lidl Halloween Cupcakes - Bubble Gum Flavour: This was the one my kids were most excited about so I had to buy a set. It's a mix for chocolate flavour cupcakes with bubblegum flavour icing and includes sugar coated cereal balls to decorate. I'm not sure how tasty these will actually be, but it will certainly be a fun activity to do during the half-term in the run up to Halloween. £1.49 - makes approx. 12 cupcakes.

Cake Angels Halloween Sprinkles: If you prefer to do your own baking then these decorative sprinkles are great value. Each tub has four different Halloween themed sprinkles; green sugar pieces, orange sugar pearls, bat and ghost sugar shapes, and black and orange sprinkles. £1.49p for 81g tub.

Lidl Halloween Milk Chocolate Balls: Large nets filled with Halloween foil wrapped solid milk chocolates. There is a generous 200g in each net (over 20 balls) so these would be good for kids Halloween parties. It's hard to tell from the photo but the wrappings look really good - either scary pumpkins or a dark blue sky with a witch on her broomstick. £0.99p for 200g.

Trolli Magic Horror: Apologies I forgot to make a note of the price for this (if anyone know please leave a comment below!). It's a large 1000g tub of Halloween shaped sweets. The individual sweets in this tub looked really big - there are some massive shapes in there! It even had full Frankenstein figures and large spiders. I've never heard of the Trolli brand but I really regret not buying one of these tubs! £2.99 for 1000g.

Lidl Halloween Tricolore Pasta: If you'd prefer to keep things a little bit healthier this Halloween, then these Halloween Tricolore Pasta shapes are ideal. I love the mix of black and orange pasta with all the different Halloween shapes; bats, spiders and pumpkins. I did buy these! £0.99p for 500g.

Lidl Espresso Coffee Capsules (Nespresso Compatible): Also a quick heads up about the Lidl Nespresso pods which are half price this weekend - only £0.89p for a box of 10 capsules. I bought these a few weeks ago and honestly, I didn't expect them to be any good. Well, they are fantastic (the Ristretto ones at least), making a smooth strong cup with a lovely robust flavour. My husband couldn't believe they were from Lidl. Stock up! 

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