Meridian Cocoa and Hazelnut Butter

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Meridian Cocoa & Hazelnut Butter (170g) is the best dairy free chocolate spread I’ve ever tried and the fact it has hazelnuts makes it taste even more like Nutella, which, if we are being honest, is what most of us are aiming for. I’ve tried other chocolate spreads that were very dark and bitter or the taste of fruit sweetener was very obvious and rather odd.

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As you can see the texture is quite thick (once you give it a good stir when you first pop open the lid). I slap a thick layer between two pieces of sliced bread and that’s it. You don’t really need anything else with it, although sliced banana is a nice addition.

This does not contain any…

  • Palm oil
  • GMO ingredients
  • Artificial colouring
  • Artificial flavouring
  • Artificial preservative
  • Refined sugar
  • Trans fats
  • Rapeseed oil (which does not encourage biodiversity)

I don’t want an expensive Free From easter egg this year, instead I’ll be having this for breakfast or lunch and maybe supper.

Chrissie

White Chocolate Dairy Free Easter Egg from Choices

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The Choices Dairy Free Easter Egg (£2.89) is made of the best dairy-free white chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It’s full of flavour, has a creamy texture and isn’t at all waxy or cheap tasting. The Rondello’s are just white chocolate buttons which are the same lovely choccy as the egg. A shame really as I would have preferred some kind of contrast. It’s a little smaller than a lot of easter eggs out there but with the chocolate buttons included I don’t mind.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

Veggie, Wheat & Dairy Free Haul

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Raw Health Cacoa Brazilnut Bliss Spread
Not as sweet as I hoped it would be but very tasty with a strong Cacoa flavour.

Illumi Singapore Style Rice Noodles
Exactly the kind of savoury, slightly spicy flavour that you would expect from Asian noodles. After 5 minutes he sauce sauce and the noodles really thicken up.

Meridian Creamy Mushroom & White Wine Cooking Sauce
I think it was the white wine in this which threw me off a little. I added a tiny bit of sesame oil and some nutritional yeast flakes to really bring out the nutty mushroom flavour. I had this lovely creamy, chunky sauce with gnocchi and it was the loveliest dish I’ve ‘cooked’ for weeks!

Punjaban Tasty Tamarind Curry Base
This has some moderate heat to it, good rounded flavour including tomato and onion as well as slightly sweet tamarind.

Engevita Savoury Yeast Flakes
I tend not to use this in food much as the flavour gets overwhelmed easily and I don’t do baking. I love eating them in crunchy nutty/cheesy handfuls though lol

Free & Easy Green Pea Soup
The only way I can describe this is that it tasted of perfume. The herbs totally overwhelmed the flavour of peas!

Free & Easy Tomato Soup
This was a lot tangier than I expected and I sprinkled some sugar in before heating it up which made it taste more like a cream of tomato soup, which complimented the medium consistency.

Amy’s Kitchen Spanish Rice & Red Bean Soup
This was so incredibly filling and ever so slightly spicy.

The Foods of Athenry Lemon & Poppy Seed Cookie
Sweet with an undercurrent of saltiness, zesty flavour and a nice crunch. I actually preferred it a few days after I’d opened it when it had softened up a little.

Plamil Egg Free Mayo with Tarragon & Chives
The texture of mayo but slightly tart like salad cream. The (too sweet) Sour Cream and Chive Popcorn tasted great dipped into this as they balanced each other out in flavour.

Ten Acre Pastrami in the Rye Crisps
Perfect meaty, smokey flavour but veggie of course!

Ten Acre When Bombay Got Spicy Crisps
Mild, medium spiced, traditional Indian curry flavours.

Ten Acre Sour Cream & Chive Popcorn
Absolutely nothing like sour cream as it’s too sweet! Does have a very cheesy flavour though.

Nakd Pecan Pie Fruit & Nut Bar
Tasted way too much of dates and not pecans.

Raw Health Blissed Chocada Truffles
The most solid truffles you will ever eat. Fairly sweet Cacoa flavour, very chewy in a satisfying way. Just one at breakfast gave me enough energy for around 3 hours. You may want to avoid if you have loose fillings or caps though!

I bought all of this from Holland &a Barrett but I’ve seen a lot of these brands in the free-from sections of big supermarkets like Tesco, Morrison, Sainsbury’s and Coop as well as Unicorn in Chorlton and The Eighth Day on Oxford Rd.

<3Chrissie

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Dairy and Gluten Free (veggie) Holland & Barrett Haul

I went a little bit nuts the other day on the Holland and Barrett website when I discovered you can search by filtering out dairy and gluten – or whatever ingredient you don’t want. Perfect if your cupboards are bare and you really haven’t got the energy to shlep around different shops, reading the ingredients on everything and then dragging numerous bags onto a bus.

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I deliberately avoided anything that I could get from local shops, mine being a small-ish Co-op and Tesco Metro and I got multiples of things I knew I already liked.

Clockwise (if a your clock is rectangular):

Proper Corn Worcester Sauce and Sun-dried Tomato Flavour

The best savoury pop corn you will ever eat. Ever so slightly sweet, savoury and very tangy.

Le Venezane Potato Gnochi 

I absolutely love dumplings, pasta and ravioli, basically anything chunky and a little doughy that you cover in sauce, so to find this naturally gluten and dairy free gnochi was fantastic!

GranoVita Organic Mushroom Pate

Lovely and thick with lots of little chunks of mushroom, this tastes savoury and earthy but not too salty.

Dry Roasted Garbanzo (Chickpeas) Tomato, Garlic & Herb

A lot of the flavouring had gone to the bottom of the bag and hadn’t remained on the chickpeas so they didn’t really taste of much. They were also incredibly dry and so was my mouth after eating them, which was really unpleasant!

Mini Moos Bunny Comb Bars

Really nice vegan choccy and the honey comb pieces add a some sweetness. I just wish the bar were coated on both sides.

nakd Banana Crunch

Solid, sweet (but not sickly) and crunchy. One of my favourite snacks.

nakd Pecan Pie

I’ve never eaten pecan pie so I can only judge this bar off it’s own merits. This is a lot softer than the banana crunch thanks to the dates in it. It has a slightly bitter sweetness to it which I think I like….

Goody Good Stuff Sour Fruit Salad

I don’t like most sour sweets as they make me break out into a sweat but these were really nice.

Goody Good Stuff Summer Peaches

I absolutely love these! I used to get them in pick n’mix from the cinema as a kid.

GranoVita Vegetable Pate with onions, herbs and spices

I haven’t tried this yet as I don’t want two pates on the go at once. The bloke has had this in the past and said it was ‘perfectly nice’.

Free and Easy soups

All of the flavours this brand does are wonderful. Medium – thick, tasty comfort food.

Biona Organic Spiced Pumpkin Soup

This is one of the best soups I’ve ever eaten, out of a jar, tin or at a restaurant. Medium consistency, some onion and carrot so it’s not totally smooth and subtle spices.

Have you tried any of these? Which one’s would most want to?

Chrissie ❤

 

 

 

Top 5 Gluten and Dairy Free Snacks

I did another free-from snack haul in the supermarket and these are the fabulous five that I’d recommend.

9 bar – Peanut

Gluten, wheat and dairy free

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These mixed seed energy bars are named after the 9 amino acids they contain. The peanut version is chunky, tasty and has just enough golden syrup to hold it all together without it being to sticky. The flax seed version is tasty and handy if you’re not a fan of adding dry seeds to your food. These keep your energy up for hours.

Fabulous Freefrom Factory – Covered Raisins

Gluten, wheat and dairy free

Fabulous Freefrom Factory Dairy Free Covered Raisins

These soya based covered raisins are a welcome, and very moreish change from dark chocolate snacks.

Warburtons Sweet Chilli Cracker Thins

Gluten, wheat and dairy free

Warbutons New Bakehouse Sweet Chilli Cracker Thins

Most savoury free-from snacks are either salt and vinegar or sweet chilli flavour, which can get boring but these are really nice. They break easily but are great to dip into soup or salsa, although not practical for shovelling up large amounts of humous.

nairns biscuit breaks chocolate chip

Gluten, wheat and dairy free

Nairns gluten free biscuit breaks

These taste gorgeous dipped in rice milk for breakfast or super or broken into ice cream for desert. As nairn do a ‘normal’ version make sure to look for these in the free-from isle.

nakd Banana Crunch Wholefood Bars

Gluten, wheat and dairy free

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These are a genius collection of 3-4 raw ingredients ‘smushed’ together that are moist, chewy and naturally sweet. The vegan and gluten free flavours are Berry Delight, Cocoa Delight, Rhubarb & Custard, Cocoa Orange.

Chrissie xx