Welcome to my blog! I started my blog to let you in on a little bit of my life. My life as me, as a mumma, as a Coeliac and my product reviews.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Review: Hale 'n' Hearty foods ~ Gluten and Wheat free products

Catarina over at Hale & Hearty sent me a box of treats, I was so excited as it contained lots of new yummy things for me and Lydia to try. Being Coeliac it is hard to find new tasty and good for you products, all i had to do was open the box and eat them!

Choco Jungle Pops

The first item that Lydia was immediately drawn to was the Choco Jungle Pops. A brightly coloured box with monkeys all over it, on the back of the box there is a little activity for children to do. Very similar concept of a leading brand product, making Coeliac children feel less left out at breakfast times :)
I was a bit supprised to find the box was only half full, it contained a freshly sealed bag with the cereal in. The bag was Almost half the size of the box, less packaging is needed i think.

The cereal is supposed to be chocolate flavour, i found that it was barely noticed in the taste at all. They were very hard and needed quite some time to soak in milk before they were soft/chewy enough to eat nicely. However, alike a kids leading brand again they did 'make the milk chocolatey'. More so in looks than taste. I found them to be quite sticky to your teeth after being hard to chew, with a very strong taste of the quinoa.

Priced at £2.75 (in Sainsbury's) for 275gram box, i feel is a little steep seeing as you can only get about three decent sized portions from the packet. I think a 350gram would be better value and last alot longer :) But if using them for a child i am sure you'd hear no complaints! (and they eat less)

The next for us to try were the breadcrumbs. I was very impressed with these. A real loaf (gluten&wheat free of course) is cooked then used to make the breadcrumbs, this gives a very soft and tasty result.

I followed the recipe for breaded chicken nuggets. I adapted the recipe to my taste and added some boullion, herbs and garlic powder. Shallow fried them until golden brown and ate! They were so yummy that my non-GF/WF boyfriend wanted more than his share, to be honest so did i! He said he was very impressed with the results and generally doesn't like to eat 'my' food as it tastes different and is to dry, not these though, he said they tasted like 'real food'. They keep well if you seal them back up, i used a clip-grip on top of the original bag.

It was a few days later and i  had half a packet left over, so i decided to make some proper beef burgers. Using the meat, herbs and egg as usual i then was able to add some edible breadcrumbs to bind it all together. They made my burgers nice and sturdy, very tasty and filling for once!

A product idea for H&H could be that they make a few 'ready to use' versions of the breadcrumbs for certain recipes. A herby one, one with dried parmesan ready for the nuggets etc....

I am very impressed with these teeny crumbs, fish fingers are next on my 'to cook' list :)
At £2.79 (waitrose) for 250grams the price seems quite steep, but for the amount of use you get from them i think they are well with the investment! Yummy!

All i can say i is...they didn't last long! These breadsticks are so good!!! With a little help from my 16mth old daughter a whole packet of these were gone in about 1/2hr, so yummy and moreish.

If they lasted as long as to get them on the table they'd make a fabulous party nibble, add in a couple of dips and your off! Alternatively be a piggy like me and just devour the packet as it were a bag of crisps.
They're crunchy but not to hard, make you salivate so are not to dry and are cooked just enough to give you a satisfying toasted flavour.

The size of them is just great to, being the size of my thumb i could happily let Lydia munch away on them without fear of her choking on a small piece (before biting of course) or poking herself in the eye with a huge one.

I'd love to see multi-packs of smaller packets for snacking or to give to children to nibble, maybe 4-6pks of around 30-40grams.
That being said i would also love to see these in full sized restaurant style breadsticks for the adults, for dipping and enjoying the same way.
Priced £1.59 (Sainsbury's for the plain breadsticks) for 100g, fantastic price for a fantastic product! I always have an emergency packet stashed in my cupboard, not that they stay there very long....

The last items we had to try were the multi-packs of Cassava crisps. Available in three yummy flavours; superbly spiced, perfectly peppered and beautifully barbecued. The spicey is just right, not over powering or to hot with chilli. And the barbecued is lovely and tasty, not burnt. And lastly the pepper flavour is a nice simple alternative to ready salted, plain and simple without being to hot.

Made with Cassava root rather than your usual humble spud these give a very different but tasty flavour. Its fantastic to know you can just grab them to eat and not have to worry about reading the label for that sneaky well known comment of 'may contain traces of wheat or gluten'.

The flavours are quite different to the normal flavours associated with crisps, and i would love to see more being made available. Two ideas i have and would love to see and eat are, plain salted and cheese & herb flavours. And making a larger 'to share' bag of the current individual flavours would make an ideal food for party's/film nibbles etc....

Priced at £2.59 (Tesco) for 6x30gram bags, i find is a good price. Average to what you'd pay for a normal multi-pack of crisps, but better because you know your safe to eat them and they're a healthier alternative. 

Over all i find Hale 'n' Hearty foods are of fantastic quality, value and a necessity to any healthy diet. I can't wait until my next food shop so i can find more of the range to try out.
The range is widely available to buy in these retailers; Sainsbury's, Waitrose, ASDA, Tesco, Holland & Barrett, Ocado, Booths, As Nature Intended, Planet Organic and Whole Foods Market.

Definatly a name to recommend to all your Coeliac or health conscious friends and family :) Yummy!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

I miss you....

I Miss my boobie baby, i have even had a dream in which she comes back to me. She's so grown up and independent now that its hard to imagine that just over 2months ago she was with me all the time, having boobie and hugging me.
Sometimes she pulls a face when she is sleeping that reminds me of how she used to look whilst feeding,so sweet and 'baby-like'. Now she's all toddler and girly looking, with alot of mischievous looks about her.

I know i'm going to have a new baby to feed and love, i just miss my Lydia baby. I need to realise that she's growing up and needs me less than before, i can acctually have a little time off and give her to a friend or relative for a few hours.

She has recently started to give cuddles and kisse's which is really lovely. She is always happy and smiley, unless she's throwing a wobbly!
I am planning on trying to do lots more with her, toddler clubs, swimming again and finding out new games for us to play. Some 'us' time whilst we are still a family of three.

Flat hunting is still going on, what a STRESS that is, i never knew it was so hard? Everything i find has been taken already! I've been trying not to take my stress of that, hormones, sickness, tiredness and cheeky toddler-ness out on Justin and Lydia but its difficult sometimes.

Well i'm off to play with my cheeky little madam, and to try and relax. She can still be my 'baby', she's just not 'a baby' anymore :)