Sunday, 28 August 2016

NEW! Mint Oreos (Sainsbury's)

Exactly a week ago I moaned about my difficulty in tracking down the new Strawberry Cheesecake Oreos, but Hereford seems to have been a lot quicker off the mark when it comes to the other new flavour: mint. In all honesty it's the new edition that I was less excited about, but still that didn't stop me doing my little finders jig in Sainsbury's when I spotted the gap where the minty oreos should be. Yep, that's right -and I apologise now to anyone who works in retail- I was that annoying little toad who asked if there was any of the new biscuits secreted out the back. After all, there was the shelf space, and even the ticket... surely they must be hiding somewhere?

If you're an avid Oreo fan or -like me- spend far too much money on imported goodies, you'll appreciate that Mint Oreos are far from a new revelation, and have been a stateside staple for a long time. Despite the fact that the Oreo is the fastest growing biscuit brand in the UK (growth rate of 21.2% and worth >£38.5million for anyone else interested in marketing) we're still lagging a long way behind out American cousins. I'll jump or joy when Oreo decide to launch the more exciting flavours over here; cinnamon bun & red velvet please! 

Anyway, enough of my whinging, hurray for new Oreos of any kind! Well, apart from the non-nutty-peanut butter wasters.. I promise I'll try to stop being so grumpy now. As you might have gathered, I really loved the strawberry cheesecake ones despite being a little dubious about the combination of strawberry & chocolate. Mint chocolate is a much more standard affair, but is equally as difficult to get right. My other half won't go near the pairing because he says it makes it think of brushing his teeth... and it's a thought I now can't shake either. 

"Chocolate flavour sandwich biscuits with a mint filling (28.8%)"

The filling perhaps wasn't quite as lurid as expected, and instead was a pleasant pastel-y green. It was certainly strong in smell however, causing me to worry that the chocolate would be lost against the mint completely.


I can't really tell you much about the Oreo biscuit that you won't already know, but I can explain how well the amalgamation worked. Yes, the softness of the centre did have a sort of toothepastiness about it, but I managed to forget that in its deliciousness. The bitter cocoa complemented the sweet and refreshing creme, resulting in a tastebud sensation that made me imagine a dark chocolate mint aero -now that's a thought! 


The strawberry cheesecake flavour just about pips the mint to the top spot in the UK, but this is a close contender... 

8/10

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

NEW! Milbona Skyr Pots (LIDL)

If you look into our 'drinks fridge' (aka the skanky fridge that we inherited with the house, but worked fine so we couldn't throw it out) you'll find a rather impressive selection of yogurts. My other half and I love the stuff -his shelf contains Muller corners, mine Skyr. I'm a happy girl with a bowl of yogurt so thick I can stand my spoon up in it. The trouble is, my preferred brand -Icelandic Skyr- is so much more expensive than the ARLA big pots, so I end up buying the cheaper version most of the time and then flavour it -at the moment I can swap between: banana, salted caramel, white chocolate, almond and tiramisu. With that in mind you can imagine my animation whens spotting the photo Alex posted onto Instagram of a selection of flavoured small pots he'd found in LIDL this week, and I made a beeline for the discount retailer after work. Everyone else must have seen Alex's pic too, because they had sold out the first day, but thankfully I was in luck the second! Each 150g flavoured tub cost 49p, and the plain 45p. 


Strawberry
So keen was I to try this new Skyr that I even took my first pot to the cinema with me that very afternoon (together with a generous supply of popcorn and sweets). I had assumed that the strawberry flavour would be amalgamated within the yogurt, so I was shocked -and excited- to find that in fact it formed a separate fruity layer at the bottom. The layer was also thick, and even better... it contained whole strawberries. I gleefully informed my fiance of this whilst we were watching the trailers, but I don't think he was as impressed! As for the Skyr, it tasted just like the ARLA stuff to me, and passed the thickness test.


8/10

Raspberry 
Unfortunately the thick layer of compote at the bottom of the raspberry yogurt wasn't quite as successful. It was very runny, and the natural tartness of the fruit didn't do enough to counteract the acidic yogurt on top; resulting in quite a bitter yogurt pot.


4/10

Blueberry
The balance of sweet-sour was better with the blueberry, but again the fruit layer was too watery, meaning that it was more like a sauce. The pot was pleasant though, and certainly much more enjoyable than the raspberry.


6/10

Peach & Passionfruit
The almost tropical flavours worked well with the Skyr in this pot, helped again by the natural sweetness. My only complaint would again be the thickness, but it was better than the blueberry.



7/10

Plain
As expected, I couldn't handle the acidity of the plain Skyr. I can't fault LIDL for that though, seeing as I'm not keen on the taste of any natural yogurt. Not to worry though, my trusty tiramisu syrup came to the rescue!



 7/10

Summary
These little pots from LIDL make a welcome change to ARLA, and are handy to pack in my lunchbox. They're not even close in deliciousness to the premium Iceleandic Skyr -but then I didn't expect them to be either. For anyone interested, the macros for the fruity are roughly: 6.6C/13.4P/0.3F (83Kcal) and the plain: 6.2C/17.7P/0.3F (98kcal).





Monday, 22 August 2016

NEW! Nutri-Bombz (Online)

I was very lucky to recently receive a sample box of goodies from Nutri-Bombz, a company that you might have heard of if you regularly use instagram -they seem to be everywhere at the moment! But who are they and what do they do? 


"Nutri-bombz contain no added sugars, additives or preservatives; just really healthy snacks that we deliver to your desk or door."

The box handily fit through my postbox, which means no nasty "we've got a parcel waiting for you" note to deal with. Inside there were 12 bombz in total -4 different flavoured packs containing 3 bombz- which all sounded delicious! The containers are designed so that you can open just one segment at a time, but I was too greedy for that and ate each pack in one sitting. 




Goji Fruit'N'Nut Breakfast Bombz
The healthiest sounding of the bunch. As ever I tried it first expecting to like it the least. This flavour is simply made from nuts, fruits, seeds, cacao and vanilla powder which means it is gluten & dairy free and also suitable for vegans.



The balls (oo-er) had a slightly irregular homemade quality to them, which I rather liked. Texturally they were soft, and moister than expected -much more so than Nak'd's products for example. I loved the additional crunch that came from the pumpkin seeds, and found that I really enjoyed them! 

7/10

Choccy Hazelnut Nutri-Bombz
I had heard brilliant things from other Instagrammers about the deliciousness of this flavour. The combination of chocolate and hazelnut always makes me think of Nutella, so my hopes were heightened before the pack was even open. As with the goji flavour, these bombz are gluten & dairy free, as well as being vegan friendly. 



The bombz were generously coated with a smattering of chopped hazelnuts. Unfortunately they just weren't chocolatey enough for my liking -I'll stick to Nutella for my choccy hazelnut fix in future. 

6/10

Coconut Nutri-Bombz 
Also suitable for vegans and the above allergies; would -and could- this taste like a healthy bounty?



The coconut, dates and cacao worked well together, but again I felt it wasn't chocolatey enough for me. I found that the cacao and dates fought for dominance and I'm afraid that the dates won. The coconut was punchy though, and I liked the tropical element. The coconut nutri-bombz are a good, healthy snack choice for warm summery afternoons. 

7/10

Salted Caramel Protein Bombz
The protein-bombz pack an impressive 4g of protein each (12g per pack!). The protein comes from milk however, so they're not suitable for vegans or those with a lactose intolerance. This flavour was another one that came highly recommended on Instagram, so would I feel as disappointed as I was with the hazelnut bombz?



Not at all, I really loved the fudgy, slightly indulgent taste to these bombz! They were really tasty and I would happily have them again.

8/10

Conclusion
Nutri-Bombz offer a great product, and I'm suitably intrigued by most of their other flavours -especially banana pie, cappuccino, peanut butter and rhubarb and custard! 

So how does it work? Well, you head over to their website where you let them know which bombz appeal to you, where then hand-select four flavours and post them out to you... all for £4.99 per box! Marvellous. 

Thank you to Nutri-Bombz for sending me the sample box.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

NEW! Strawberry Cheesecake Oreos (Sainsburys)

Once again, my local ASDA fails me. For weeks now I have been enviously eyeing up the packs of strawberry cheesecake Oreos that have been popping up all over instagram. So bad has my jealousy become that I am making (almost) daily trips to ASDA, just to check whether they've had them in yet. I could have cried yesterday when I saw a big 'New Oreo' advert in the store's entrance, to still find none on the shelves. Surely the mega supermarket chain couldn't be so cruel? I double checked and asked the staff members if Hereford had received them and not put them out yet.. but alas, no, there was none to be found. Later that very same day I visited Sainsbury's to stock up on Skyr, and popped my head round their biscuit section. Well, I'll be damned, what was staring back at me? The holy cheesecakey grail! At £1.20 per pack it was 2.4x more than what everyone else is paying for them in ASDA... but I'd been searching so hard for them that I couldn't let my inner scrimper win. 


The strawberry flavour was really quite overwhelming, reminding me nostalgically of Nesquik -I'll always choose banana though! From an aesthetics viewpoint I was also fond of the contrast between baby pink centre and characteristically dark cookie. 



Well, I'm not sure I could agree upon their cheesecakeyness, but the strawberry flavour was every bit as milky and sweet as it smelt. Chocolate & strawberry is often a match made in heaven -chocolate dunked fresh strawberries, yes please!- but it can also be downright disgusting if the combination ticks over into the sickly realm (if you want the strawberry creams from my Roses tin at Christmas, please help yourself). Fortunately, despite the aforementioned sweetness of the strawberry centre in these Oreos, the almost bitter darkness of the cookie pulled the balance of flavours back into harmony. 


The new strawberry cheesecake Oreos are undeniably delicious and utterly moreish. I would even go as far as to say that they're my second favourite flavour ever (the top spot remains with the American Reese's filled versions) and they're definitely my new favourite British Oreo. Now ASDA, please stock them pronto!  

9/10

P.S If you're still not convinced.. pop on over to Nibbles'N'Scribbles' review.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

NEW! Mars Dessert Bar (Iceland)

I was so impressed with the new Twix cheesecake at Iceland that it was only going to be a matter of time before I ventured back into my local branch for the Mars Dessert Bar. I still think that the £3 non offer price is a tad on the pricey side, but for £2 it wasn't so bad. As with the cheesecake, the dessert bar is also actually made by specialists Coppenrath & Wiese.

"Layers of delicious chocolate sponge, mousse and caramel, smothered in milk chocolate."



The child in me was delighted when I removed the bar from it's box and saw that the inner wrapper made it look like a whopping great big Mars Bar (the pen is there to give you an indication of its size)! Surely that means I could eat it all? Sorry guys, no sharesies! Pah, I don't think my other half or sister would have agreed. Although it wasn't quite as preposterous as the cheesecake, 6 servings did seem a bit meagre and I decided that fifths would be more reasonable.


The serving suggestion warned me to defrost it inside its wrapper for the first hour and then naked for the last 1.5 -what a faff! There was also 3 of us for dinner, and I wanted to keep the remaining 2 portions for another day, so I ignored the destructions and unwrapped the bar straight away -slicing into it whilst still frozen. My defiance meant that the chocolate casing shattered upon impact, but I wasn't too bothered by the aesthetics as long as it tasted good. 
Whilst we're on the subject of prettiness, I did appreciate the distinct layers of cake and mousse, but was somewhat disgruntled when I realised that the caramel sauce only ran through one tier (unlike the picture on the box, humf). 


Meh, my disappointment didn't stop there. The Mars Dessert Bar is yet another case of style over substance. Where was the rich chocolate flavour? The mousse was light and airy, sure, but what's the point when it doesn't taste of much? The same went for the cake, which fortunately wasn't dry or stale, but was so non-descript that I wasn't savouring every morsel as I expected to. What made matters worse was that the caramel was the best bit, and the only nod to the chocolate bar that it's supposed to resemble.. If only there was more of it. Pants. 

Gah. I don't really think I need to tell you that I won't be buying another Mars Dessert Bar. There are far tastier chocolate gateaux on the market -Tesco's own for example.

6/10

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

NEW! BPI Best Protein Bars (Cardiff Sports Nutrition)

A few Fridays ago I visited my sister in the Welsh Capital, and was fortunate enough to have the afternoon off. I used the opportunity to head down early so that I could make the pilgrimage to the famous wall of peanut butter -AKA Cardiff Sports Nutrition. As you all know by now, peanut butter pretty much pumps through my veins -I've had it every single day in 2016, and that's absolutely true- so CSN is my idea of absolute heaven, I've never seen so much PB in one place. The last time I visited I was on a mission to buy a jar of PB Crave Coco Bananas, and wasn't working out, so forewent the massive array of sports supplements. This time, I had a good look at what was on offer, and was lucky enough to receive some samples of a new range of bar that CSN has recently started stocking: BPI's 'Best Protein Bars'.



With so many protein bars, flapjacks and shakes on the market, how do BPI compare? They say... 

"Tired of eating protein bars that taste like cardboard? Those days are a thing of the past! BPI Sports’ BEST PROTEIN BAR™ is not only packed with nutrition, but it tastes amazing! With four delicious flavors to choose from, like Cookies and Cream, S'mores, or Cinnamon Crunch, you're sure to find your new favorite protein bar, for the best snacking experience, anytime, anywhere!"

I had been given two sample size bars: one cookies and cream and the other S'mores. I've tried both of the same flavours in the Quest range so I was keen so see how they compared. The guys promised me that they tasted good -and also agreed that the B-Up bars are vile.

Looks wise, they looked very similar to Quest, and nutritionally they're close too with 20g of protein per full size bar, whilst being low carb and gluten free. 




Cookies & Cream
This flavour was good, and even better once warmed in the microwave. In fact it was darn similar to Quest's bar, and contained lots of chunks too (after all, we all want a bit of chunkporn!)
8/10

S'mores
Wow, now this was a bar that was very different to Quest. There was a strong scent of cinnamon, which also came through in the taste too. There was harder, biscuity like chunks dotted about which gave it a lovely textural edge. If you're a fan of the Combat Crunch Cinnamon flavour, I definitely suggest that you give this bar a whirl. One of the best protein bars I've had. 
9/10

If you want to try some of your own, please head over to CSN's website where they'll even give you free shopping on orders over £19.99. Thanks to Matt & Marc at CSN for the samples! 

Monday, 15 August 2016

NEW! KitKat Chunky Cookie Dough (ASDA)

It was only last week that I was wondering when a new chocolate bar would come out, and what it could possibly be. 2016 has already heralded some fantastic new entries to the market (Cadbury Tiffin and M&S' The Nutty One get in my belly!), some pretty damn good contenders (Galaxy Duet Toffee & Popcorn I'm looking at you), and others best relegated to the bargain bin (never again Cadbury Dairy Milk Fudge Medley). 

Of course there were also two new KitKats released in January too -the extra chocolatey chunky and vanilla stirred four finger- but, I was so uninspired by them that I still haven't bothered with them. The trouble with KitKats you see, as I've pointed out before, is that there's just not enough chocolate. Even the extra chocolatey seemed too wafery to me. Still, when I saw OneTreat's photo* pop up on instagram of this new cookie dough edition chunky, I just knew would have to track one down. Two trips to ASDA later, and I finally found them nestled in front of the tobacco kiosk -where else?!

 "Crisp wafer with a creamed cookie dough topping, covered with milk chocolate"

As usual, the chunky was split into two separate sections. I sliced one of the halves in two to have a good peek at the cookie dough filling. There it was: a creamy coloured paste with darker flecks. So far so good.

I realised that I had fallen into my usual pattern of  nibbling off the thicker chocolate round the edges -anyone else do this? Of course, we all know that Nestle doesn't make the best quality chocolate, but it wasn't bad by any means. The wafers were as crisp as usual, but that's not what you want to know is it? Oh. The cookie dough. How did that taste? Well, despite my efforts to dissect the KitKat, the cookie dough was a let down. I couldn't really taste it against the chocolate and wafer -probably because it made up less than a fifth of the bar. 


Indeed I was so disgruntled that I let my other half take a bite (just in case my taste buds had gone into hiding) but he couldn't tell the difference between the cookie dough and standard KitKat chunky. Perhaps if Nestle had used a white chocolate casing then it would have stood out more? Who knows. I'll be sticking to peanut butter and double caramel KitKat chunkys when my (rare) cravings arise in future. If neither of those flavours are your bag, then I suggest you buy the cookies & cream KitKat 2 fingers instead, they're far more noteworthy. 

6/10

*Please pop along to One Treat's blog and see what she has to say about the new KitKat!