Hello food lovers! Another month and another yummy Degustabox has found its way to our door. This month's box had a little bit of a barbecue theme to it. I say "A little bit of a barbeque theme," because there were a couple of items in there particularly suited to those of us braving the British weather and wrestling with hot coals and torrential rain (and by us, I mean you - because we were a little too chicken to take on the seasonal weather!)
As well as the aforementioned barbecue items, there was a cornucopia of delights - so without any further ado I'll get on with the sampling...
Fuel 10K Protibrick - RRP. £2.69 (for 24)
So, first up we have something for breakfast … and I guess you could stick it on the barbeque, but I'd rather stick it in a bowl with a splash of milk. If I was to say to you "some sort of breakfast brick made of wheat," you'd probably have a certain well known cereal brand in your head, and obviously I'm not talking cornflakes! Okay, as much as I try I can't avoid the obvious comparison to Weetabix; but I guess that's what any sane person would do, so here goes:
The Fuel 10K Protibrick tastes just like Weetabix; they're a similar size and shape... although they do make the point that "they don't cut corners," so, unlike Weetabix they have square corners rather than the curved ones of the similar wheat-cereal-brick-thing.
To be honest, it does raise the question: "Why get these instead of another brick-brand cereal?"
The answer (because I have the answer) is that these wheat bricks have extra protein in them. The idea is that the extra protein helps those early risers feel full for longer. In fact, the back of the box has a motivational paragraph from Steve Parry, Olympic medallist, talking about this and about himself.
So I'm not a Weetabix fan, but that's okay, Neil is - so I've been feeding him (actually, he usually feeds himself... ) these bricks for breakfast and he liked them. He's not sure if he noticed any benefit from the extra protein, although he often found he wouldn't snack as much in the morning as he did with his regular breakfast.
All in all, I have to say if you like wheat-based brick cereals, and need extra protein in your diet (for whatever reason), then these are a reasonable way to get it. (As a note, they give 6.3g of protein per 2-brick serving - I keep meaning to check in the supermarket how that compares to other cereals).
9 Bar Fruity - RRP. £2.00 for a box of 4, 40g bars
Before I go any further I have to say that before we even had the box open we were salivating over these bars (Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but...) - they look delicious! What these are is a healthy alternative snack bar to help get you through the day. They're vegetarian with a mix of seeds (I definitely saw pumpkin and sesame), apricots and dates and topped with Carob... which I thought was chocolate... but never mind...
They taste as good as they look. Each bite has such a medley of flavours that just go and taste so good together. Calorie-wise, we're talking 213 Kcal per bar; but that's 213 Kcal of nutritious seeds and fruit and amino acids - so loaded with all that good stuff.
We would definitely recommend these; so much flavour and great taste, and full of things that good for you making it a nice thing to reach for when you need a mid-morning snack.
Daelmans' Stroopwafels - RRP. 2.00 per box of 8
From a healthy snack that you don't feel bad about having to one that you can't help but feel a little like you're being indulgent and a little naughty about eating. These authenic Dutch Stroopwafels (I'm just copying the writing on the packaging here, I have no idea what a stroopwafel is or how you'd tell an authentic one from a counterfeit one...) are delicious!
What we are looking at is a thin, wafer-like biscuit with a caramel middle. While you can eat them straight from the box, it is nice to pretend you're in a coffee shop and place the stroopwafel on top of your hot drink and let it sit there a few minutes and warm up. Warm, these are divine and to die for. Cold, they're alright... but they're much nicer warmed.
Definitely would recommend these - they are a lovely luxurious addition to your elevenses time cuppa.
Fentimans' ginger beer - RRP. £2.80
Neil loves it when we get a box with anything ginger in it. He is a huge ginger fan and if I'm not quick will scoff anything ginger we find in the box before I have chance to take photos! So this month's box, with a bottle of Fentiman's ginger beer, really made his day.
He said, because I didn't get a chance to have even a swig, that it tasted nice. That you had a nice, clean taste that goes from subtle and mild into something with a distinctive, fiery aftertaste. He said it had a different feel to other ginger beers, but that wasn't a bad thing. He would buy/ drink it again and looks forward to seeing what's in any future Degustaboxes we receive.
Just as a note, this item wasn't in all Degustaboxes; in some this was replaced with a Green Coco juice drink.
Caption Kid's Green Coco - RRP. £0.80 per carton
Although I am a fan of coconut and certain coconut flavoured beverages, my experience of coconut water has been... well, it's been a bit of a disappointment; so when I saw that there was some coconut water based drink in the box I approached it with trepidation, expecting a disappointment. I couldn't have been more wrong though, and the coconut juice in this drink is quite subtle and takes a back-seat to the star flavour, which is banana.
These cartons are part of Dr. Antonio Martins' (not to be confused with a similar-named boot-maker) kid's range of organic drinks. These Coco juice with banana are aimed at the younger child. They have low acidity, low calories (checking on the website shows 36 Kcal per carton) and are full of flavour.
Although they're aimed at younger children, these have such a nice taste, I can't see a reason why older children and adults shouldn't enjoy them. I know I did!
Sarson's Balsamic vinegar - RRP. £2.00
Next up we have a condiment; like the old advert used to say, "Don't say vinegar, say Sarson's!" In this month's Degustabox was a bottle of Sarson's Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Now I'm not someone who usually uses balsamic vinegar, Neil is, so I let him try this and give me a few comments. (He's done well out of this month's box)
He had to say that it was nice. That it had a good "balsamic" flavour with a pleasant hint of a classic Sarson's malt vinegar aftertaste. That it tasted really nice on salad leaves, with or without an oil compliment and he enjoyed it a lot.
Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbecue Sauce - RRP. £2.99
Staying with the condiment theme, we have some BBQ sauce - "straight off the boat from the USA," the accompanying Degustabox note says. It says it's good for marinating and cooking, as well as being used for dipping (or covering your food in). We've only used it as a dipping sauce so far, but were impressed with the flavour.
I know with past Degustaboxes we've been treated with all sorts of different BBQ sauces - and to be honest, there isn't much we can say. They are always packed with flavour and a bit posher than the regular brands (we all know and love) - and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce is no exception, with the right blend of sweet and smokey flavours - it is mouth wateringly delicious! There is a flyer with a couple of recipes on (pulled pork and bacon cheeseburger flatbread) using the sauce which look and sound divine! We might give a couple of them a go in the near future (unless we run out of sauce).
(Also, along with the Honey BBQ sauce, we had a sachet of the Original BBQ sauce, which we'll try another day - but have high hopes for!)
Slim Pasta - RRP. £2.49
In case we put on too many pounds with the BBQ theme, there's some slim pasta to help us lose weight. What this is, is some lasagne sheets made from konjac flour and oat fibre. It is a low calorie alternative to regular pasta and is free of … well... almost everything people might want it to be free of (Gluten Free, Fat Free, Sugar Free and Wheat Free) while being high fibre.
As it isn't something you can just have by itself (although it does suggest blending the pasta with water/ juice to make a smoothie, although it's not something we tried (or can imagine doing!)) we made a lasagne with it and some quorn mince.
We were warned that there might be a bit of a fishy smell to the pasta, but it would be fine after rinsing under water a few times; plus, once cooked it would be fine. We found that on opening the packet, the smell was there - but washing helped a lot. So we cooked up the lasagne.
It looked pretty good, and tasted good. It made about 4 portions and was delicious! The only difference we found was that where the pasta hadn't gotten enough sauce, it was a little rubbery (whereas regular pasta tends to just go a bit … hard). Not bad at all though, and for the low calories and the free-from-everything-ness of it all, it had a really good flavour and did exactly what it said it would on the packet.
Schwartz Grill Mates, Marinade in a bag - Honey and Soy - RRP. £2.19
At time of writing we haven't been able to use this yet, but we really like the sound of it and will have to write an update to say what we think of it later. What it is, is a marinade in a bag. We were sent the Honey and Soy flavour, although there are 6 different flavours available, each being a different taste sensation from all over the world.
The way it works is that you have your meat (chicken, pork, beef, etc.), fish or vegetables and place in the bag; you then leave for 15 minutes or overnight in the fridge and, when you're ready, cook it! It's that simple.
We really like the idea of this, and maybe will use it with some noodles to make a Chinese/ Japanese style meal...
Maggi So Stir Fry Noodles - RRP. £1.49 per packet
Which we've also been sent this month (but haven't had chance to use yet). We were sent two bags of Maggi So Stir Fry Noodles; one being the Singapore Curry Chicken Noodles, the other being the Oriental 3 Spice Chicken Noodles.
The way these work is that you add a number of chicken breasts (4), an onion and peppers (for the 3 Spice) or chicken breasts, carrots, a red pepper and a leak (for the curry). The packs contain enough noodles (and seasoning) for 4 portions, and look relatively easy to prepare - and fairly quick. (Around 25 minutes from start to finish according to the packet). We really like the idea of these too, and are looking forward to using them in the near future.
Well, that's another month of food delights. We are always impressed with the range and selection on offer from the Degustabox box, and always find a mix of things we either wouldn't usually consider trying along with things we already know and love; and, since we've been receiving the Degustaboxes we've found ourselves seeking out some of the products we've been exposed to and turning a one-off taste test into a regular thing.
If you would like your own Degustabox, please go to their website. It costs £12.99 a box (including delivery) however Degustabox has given us a special offer code for our readers to get £3 off their first box. The code is:
We are very happy to recommend the service and selection they provide.