Monday, 2 March 2015

Degustabox February: Surprise Foodie Box & Discount Code!


February's Degustabox arrived a few days ago and this month a few chocolate treats whilst still including quite a few healthier products too. It's an interesting mix of new brands with some returning favourites aswell. Degustabox is a subscription service that sends out a surprise selection of foodie products each month. It's always exciting opening up the Degustabox each month and it makes a wonderful present for the foodie in your life. If you're looking for a Mother's Day gift idea then Degustabox is definitely worth keeping in mind as a unique and useful present.

Discount Code: MTAFQ 

Each Degustabox costs £12.99 a month, which includes delivery. There is no fixed contract involved and you can cancel at any time. Degustabox have kindly provided my readers with the following Discount Code for £3.00 off your next Degustabox, bringing the cost to £9.99 delivered. Simply enter the code - MTAFQ.


Here's a quick round up of all the products I received in the February Degustabox:


American Muffin Company Chocolate Brownie Bites: The American Muffin Company produces a range of gluten free and wheat free, muffins, cakes, brownies and cookies. They also have egg free and lactose free products on their website too.These Chocolate Brownie Bites are just delicious with a super moist texture and a lovely chocolate flavour. 


Whole Earth Peanut Butter with Sunflower, Peanut and Flaxseed: Whole Earth is my favourite brand of peanut butter as I prefer pure peanut butter spreads without any added sugar. I've been wanting to give this seeded version a try for a while now so I was pleased to find this jar in the Degustabox. If you've tried this Whole Earth Peanut Butter with seeds then I've love to know what you thought of it in the comments below.


Peanut Hottie: Another peanut butter product in the Degustabox is a jar of Peanut Hottie - the worlds first peanut butter flavoured hot drink. I reviewed Peanut Hottie when it first came out and I initially enjoyed it as an unusual but smoothly delicious hot drink. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the latest chocolate version of this drink but I still like this original one.



Laimon Fresh: A sparkling soft drink made with 100% natural ingredients and juices. The flavour sounds lovely with a blend of lemon, lime and mint. It can be enjoyed on it's own or used as a base to create Mojito cocktails. This is another product I've wanted to try for some time so I'm looking forward to reviewing it.


Lily O'Brien's Cocoa Cookie Crunch: It's always great to have a chocolate treat included in the Degustabox, but especially so when it's one I haven't tried before. Lily O'Brien's, Ireland's best-loved chocolatier, have launched a range of luxury snacking pouches. The Cocoa Cookie Crunch are disc shaped chunks of solid chocolate filled with Oreo-style cookie pieces. These are so good! 


Schwartz Flavour Shots: Degustabox have featured these Schwartz Flavour Shots before (see here) and ever since then I've become a real fan of these useful recipe mixes. I always have a few in my store cupboard, especially the Schwartz Flavour Shots Spanish Paella, which is one of our favourites. I haven't tried the Indian Mild Masala Curry flavour shot before but I'll be giving it a go this week for a quick midweek dinner.


Beet It Sport: These are oat flapjacks made with added beetroot concentrate. They are high in dietary nitrate and are used for lowering blood pressure and improving sports performance. Mr. Grocery Gems will be trying these out as a pre-running snack - he likes the fact that they don't contain raisins!


Jack Link's Beef Snack: Jack Link's is the world's best selling meat snacks company and use the best quality meats to create their convenient easy-to-eat range. I've never actually tried any kind of dried meat snack (not even beef jerky!) so I'm really curious to give these a try. I'll have a full review soon. The Jack Link's Beef Snack bar is now available at Tesco Express stores.


Melba Thins: A box of 10 individually sealed portions of Melba Thins. The packaging emphasises the versatility of Melba Thins with snacking options for Night Owls (as an evening snack with cheese, meats, salads...) or for Early Birds (for breakfast or brunch with cheese, jam, eggs or ham...). I haven't bought Melba Thins for ages but they're really useful in these individual packs, especially for the kids lunch boxes and as a quick snacking option.

Overall I was pleased with the selection I received from Degustabox, they are all products that will be useful to have in my store cupboard and I'm looking forward to trying some of the new products too. This month, I was especially pleased with the Lily O'Brien's Cocoa Cookie Crunch, the America Muffin Company Chocolate Brownies, and the Whole Earth peanut butter spread. If you're a subscriber then I'd love to hear your thoughts on this months Degustabox selection in the comments below.

For more details:
Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com
I received a Degustabox in order to provide an honest review.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Review: Limited Edition Fab Tropical Ice Lollies


Fab Tropical is a new limited edition flavour for the classic ice lolly brand. It's a great idea and, even though we enjoyed their last new flavour, the Apple & Blackcurrant, this Tropical flavour is much more appealing. The Fab Tropical is described as a mixed tropical fruit flavour ice lolly with a chocolate flavour coating and sugar strands. From the ingredients there are natural fruit juices from pineapples, oranges and passion fruit, with a small amount banana puree too. The ice lollies are also free from aritifical colours, flavours or preservatives.



In terms of flavour, the top half of the ice lolly is dominated by the chocolate and sprinkles coating, so there was only a light tropical fruity flavour coming through. Underneath this top layer, I initially found the combination of pineapple and passion fruit created a mango-like flavour in the main ice lolly. This sweeter tropical flavour then gives way to a stronger passion fruit taste with a pleasingly tangy edge. It definitely feels strange eating an ice lolly when it's still winter, but once the days start getting warmer, I'm sure these will be fab (sorry couldn't resist!). 

Overall, it's lovely to see an updated twist on a favourite classic ice lolly. I hope they release these in a Mini version aswell, like they did with the previous Fab Apple & Blackcurrant edition.

Grocery Gems Review: Fab Tropical

RATING: 8 out of 10 (for both).
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition
: 83 calories per 58ml ice lolly.
Purchased: Sainsburys.
Price: £2.00p for a box of 6.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Review: Magnum Pink Raspberry & Black Espresso

I finally managed to track down the new Magnum Pink & Black ice creams to review and I was especially pleased to find them in this multipack Mini format. There are three mini ice creams of each variety, Magnum Pink Raspberry and Magnum Black Espresso, in the pack. It's always exciting when Magnum releases new flavours but even better when they're both so delicious sounding. Even the packaging is interesting with it's visually appealing constract of bright and dark colours.



I much prefer the Mini Magnum size as I sometimes find the bigger versions a bit too heavy. They are also lower in calories - there are 166 calories in the Mini Magnum Pink and 159 calories in the Mini Magnum Black, which I don't think is too bad for this type of ice cream. 



The Magnum Pink Raspberry is described as a raspberry ice cream with raspberry sauce (9%), coated in milk chocolate (28%) and an outer pink coating (6%). Whilst the Magnum Black Espresso has a vanilla flavoured ice cream, swirled with a coffee sauce (9%), and coated in dark chocolate (32%).



Magnum Pink Raspberry: I was most interested in trying this delicate perlescent pink ice cream as I have quite a sweet tooth when it comes to ice cream flavours. The inner ice cream here has a deliciously creamy and sweet raspberry flavour, with the swirls of raspberry sauce adding an extra hit of the fruity raspberry. It's covered in the distinctive Magnum milk chocolate, with it's strong cocoa flavour. The chocolate is slightly sweetened by the outer pink coating but there isn't any additional raspberry flavour here. 

I really enjoyed the combination of the raspberry (which is fast becoming one of my new favourite flavours) and delicious milk chocolate. It's much tastier than the disappointing Magnum Yogurt Fresh Raspberry from a few years ago, and also the far-too-sweet Magnum Strawberry & White which I've had on holiday in Portugal.



Magnum Black Espresso: Even though I love my coffee, I'm always a bit wary of coffee flavoured ice creams and chocolates - they always have the possibility of going hideously wrong, with either a cheap tasting coffee flavour or just being overly strong. Luckily the Magnum Black Espresso manages to strike the perfect balance between that first rush of espresso flavour, from within the inner swirls, and the creamy vanilla ice cream itself. It all combines to create a milkier and sweeter coffee flavour, but one that can still pack a punch with a great-tasting espresso hit. The overall flavour is not as intense as I was expecting and even the dark outer chocolate (which I thought would be very dark) tastes quite sweet against the lovely espresso flavour inside. 

I wasn't expecting to enjoy the Magnum Black Espresso as much as the Magnum Pink Raspberry but I'm actually finding it hard to choose a favourite between the two of them! 

If you've tried either of these new Magnum varieties then I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. 

Grocery Gems Review: Magnum Mini Pink & Black

RATING: 9 out of 10 (for both).
Buy them again?: Yes.
Nutrition
: Magnum Pink: 166 calories; Magnum Black: 159 calories.
Purchased: Sainsburys.
Price: £2.00p for a box of 6 mini ice creams (special offer).


New Instore: Walkers MixUps


A quick post with this great new Walker's Mix-Ups range of snacks and crisps. These are all sharing bag size and were all spotted by Aaron R. in Asda. Thank you Aaron for the great photos!


Walkers MixUps Cheese & Bacon Crisps Mix: A mix of cheese and bacon flavoured crisps - it's quite a safe combination but I still want to try these! £0.97p at Asda.

Walkers MixUps Spicy Snacks Mix (on bottom shelf):  This combines lots of different Walkers snacks into one bag; Wotsits, Doritos, Monster Munch and French Fries. It's also available in a Cheese Snacks Mix variety. £0.97p at Asda.



Walkers MixUps Cheese & Worcester Sauce Crisp Mix: I'm not really a fan of the Worcestershire Sauce crisps but I do like melted cheese toasties with Worcestershire sauce on top... so I guess this could be a winning combination. £0.97p at Asda.


Walkers Popcorn Mix Sweet & Salty: I love sweet and salty popcorn combinations so I'm sure I'll be buying this in the future. Great for movie nights! These are also available in a Sweet & Spicy Popcorn Mix. £0.97p at Asda.

Thanks again to Aaron for the great photos. If you spot any new products instore then I'd love to hear from you - grocerygems@gmail.com

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

New Instore: Ben & Jerry's Speculoos Ice Cream, Easter Cakes & More!


A round up of new products spotted instore - let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these!

Ben & Jerry's Speculoos? Specu-love Cookie Core: Any regular readers will know how much I love Speculoos as a flavour. I'm barely over the excitement of the Krispy Kreme Biscoff doughnut and along comes another awesome speculoos biscuit inspired product. There are two other new varieties available in this Cookie Core range; What-a-Lotta Chocolate Cookie Core and Utter Peanut Butter Clutter Cookie Core. I'm sure I'll try those last two eventually but look out for my review of the Speculoos variety soon! £3.00p at Sainsbury's.


Limited Edition Fab Tropical: I didn't get the best picture of the box - it shows lots of tropical fruits along the bottom. I'm a fan of the Fab range, especially during the summer, as it's a relatively low calorie choice for an ice cream/lolly and I'm looking forward to trying this new Tropical variety.  Review coming soon! £2.00p at Sainsbury's.


Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Ice Creams: For some reason I'm not that excited about these ice creams from Cadbury, and I wasn't really tempted to buy them at £4.00p a tub. The flavours above are; Zingy Raspberry Choc Brownie and Jelly Popping Candy. The first one doesn't sound too bad but I think I'll pass on the second one. £4.00p each at Sainsbury's.


Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Ice Creams: There was also this yellow tub which is a bizarre Salted Caramel & Sour Cherry concoction. I was disappointed that this wasn't a banana ice cream instead! If you try any of these varieties then I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. £4.00p at Sainsbury's.


Magnum Pink Raspberry: I've posted about the new Magnum Pink and Magnum Black before. I had heard that they were available at Tesco but I haven't been able to find them in a Tesco near me. I finally spotted them today in Sainsbury's at £3.40p.


Magnum Mini Pink & Black: I was hoping that the new Magnum Pink & Black would be available as Mini version but I didn't expect to find them both in a Multipack too. I much prefer the mini sized Magnums, as I find the large ones a bit too much to eat in one go, but the smaller sizes are perfect. I picked up a pack of these too - my freezer is now well stocked with ice creams! £2.00p at Sainsbury's.


Walls After School Family Favourites: Not new, but an interesting new rebranding as "after school" snacks for this selection of classic Walls ice creams. £3.00p at Sainsbury's.


Walls Push Up with Haribo Gold Bears; I think these have been available individually in freezer cabinets and from ice cream vans but I don't remember seeing them for sale in a multipack before. I wonder if they are replacing the Walls Haribo Dino Candy Ice Lollies? £2.50p at Sainsbury's.


Walker's Limited Edition Linda's Chicken & Chorizo: I can't find any information about these but they don't seem to be part of any new Walker's flavour competition. I tried these today and they're very tasty with a distinctive smoky chorizo flavour, I'll have a full review soon. £1.50 at Sainsbury's.


Bahlsen Choco Leibniz White: These are white chocolate covered cocoa biscuits. I've tried the Choco Liebniz Milk Chocolate and Caramel varieties before but never this White chocolate version. I picked up a pack while they're on special offer. £1.00p at Sainsbury's.


McVities Marie Biscuits: I was quite surprised to see McVities branded Marie biscuits in the UK. Marie Biscuits (also known as Maria in Spain/Portugal) are the European version of Rich  Tea biscuits. They have a slightly different taste and I always used to pick up a few packs on holiday. At least McVities didn't release their Finger Marie version here in the UK! £1.20 at Sainsbury's.


Mr Kipling Lemon Fancies: Once again there are lots of lemon and orange flavoured cakes for Easter. I'll refer you my post last year "New Instore: Easter Cakes" as I spotted most of the same products - just with different packaging. Also back are the Mr. Kipling Lemon Whirls and Mr Kipling St. Clements Slices. £1.00p at Sainsbury's.



Shape Pineapple & Coconut Special Edition: A tropical inspired 0% fat yogurt with 63 calories per pot. £1.00p at Sainsbury's. 


Müller Light Inspired by Barbados Piña Coloda: This is quite similar to the Müller Light Inspired by Bali yogurt from last year, except with added Rum flavour! £0.70p each at Sainsbury's.


Lidl Jolly Choc Spreads: I'm not sure if these are exactly new but it's certainly the first time I've seen them. These are chocolate spreads with added chocolate drops - basically mini Smarties - in either Chocolate Spread or Milk Spread. They're available this week as part of the Lidl "Taste of the USA" promotion. £1.29 at Lidl. £0.99p each at Lidl.

Don't forget if you spot any new products in store please let me know via email - grocerygems@gmail.com. Thank you!
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