November Fab Finds

Now that November is truly over and well are well into December I am going to tell you all about the Fab Finds that I came across last month.  In my Fab Finds features I will include products that I have either come across when out and about shopping, samples of items that I have tried and loved and also products that I have been sent for consideration that I have liked.  My first every Fab Finds feature included some items that I discovered in September that I really liked, October was super busy for me and I didn’t find anything particularly Fab so I skipped that month, there is no point wasting anyone’s time telling you about pointless items now is there.

This month my Fab Finds post seems to have been taken over by items for foodies.

One of the items that I was introduced to in November which I found handy was a healthy Italian alternative to sweets.  My girls love sweets and when they get them from anywhere be it birthdays at school where they get a sweet of some kind, birthday parties, their grans, friends or uncles houses they will secretly squirrel it away somewhere in their bedroom out of my sight.  I know they do this as I find sweets lying around and sweet wrappers carelessly disposed of on the floor next to the bin (come on kids really, you somehow missed the bin by 2cm).  I find that if a sweet craving is hijacked by a healthier sweet item being introduced such as whole pieces of fruit – not always a child’s first choice or something like dried fruit then the craving is satisfied reducing the need for sugar and rummaging through their room to find their hidden sweets when mummy isn’t looking.

Noberasco the Italian masters of dried fruit have a selection of fruit cubes which can be found at the Ciao Gusto Italian Shop on Ocado.  They have a range of flavours including Plum,  ‘Red Fruits’, Apricot and Pear.  The Fruttime packs are great for adding to lunchboxes and also for adults wanting a convenient snack that doesn’t include the hydrogenated fats and cereals that appear in so many snacks these days.  The products do not contain pectin, colours, gelatinizing agents, apple juice, added sugar, artificial flavour or preservatives just 100% fruit.  The pouches are a handy size making them easy to transport and they are resealable so you don’t need to finish the whole pack in one go.  Just a reminder though that although they do not contain added sugar the product will contain natural sugars from the ripe fruits used and also will not have the fibre that comes with the fruit.  I have been using these as an addition to whole fruit, it’s great as an after school snack on the way home or on the way to the tutors.

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Another item that I thought was rather good especially for children was Puds in a Mug.  These are a recent addition to the Dr Oetker range.  There are times where the little ones or I get a craving for cake and and nothing else will do.  Dr Oetker has 3 products in this range:

Dr. Oetker Pud in a Mug Sponge Puds are available in Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco and Co-op.

Dr. Oetker Pud in a Mug Velvety Desserts are available in Asda.

The MRRP is £0.79.

I made tried the rich chocolate dessert which really did have a rich chocolate flavour.  Although not the same as home made it helps when you need cake straight away and is not bad at all when eaten whilst still hot with vanilla ice cream.  It’s super easy to make, you simply add milk and microwave.

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I use coconut milk quite regularly and recently I came across a new coconut milk pouch in Asda.  The pouch contains 200ml of coconut milk where as the tins have 400ml.  Normally I use tins and reduce the milk as it isn’t always thick enough and there is a touch too much so the pouches make a fabulous alternative, these simply need pouring over the food you have cooked and heating through which takes a matter of minutes and adds a gorgeous creamy coconut flavour to your dish.  The coconut content is high too, this is one of the better quality products on the market as it contains 60% coconut extract where as many other have less and don’t taste as good.  I am looking forward to experimenting with some more vegetable pasta dishes so keep your eyes peeled for some yummy recipes coming soon.  This is high in fats but should be fine when eaten as part of a balanced diet.  In many instances you will be combining it with vegetable which will contain fibre and will actually trap some of the fats within the fibre strands helping to eliminate some of them from the body.

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Have you discovered anything Fab recently that you would love to spread the word about?

Sweet Freedom and Choc Shot

We are a nation of chocoholics, let’s face it, in many instances we turn to our dark and delicious friend for comfort before sharing our pain with partners or friends.  The challenge is to keep the various forms of chocolate interesting to appeal to our changing and generally super busy lifestyles.  I have been known on occasion to make hot chocolate as they do in France with pure chocolate melted into hot milk.  My goodness what a pain that is to do as it can be quite time consuming and rather frustrating especially when you have a baby running into your heels with his walker and two little Princesses wanting this and that.  Powdered chocolate needs a blooming good stir or else you get lumps, and even when you do stir it in well or at least that’s what you think, you get a chocolatey mass at the bottom that never quite mixes in!  Many of you reading this will feel my pain as I am probably describing a daily routine that you too experience at least with the chocolate powder.  You will be pleased to hear I come baring good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ok, so I am overly excited but did you know …….you can get liquid chocolate to make hot chocolate (Choc Shots)?  I know it’s like the invention of the wheel all over again.  This can be used in drinks and on foods and is available in different flavours including: Plain Chocolate and Chocolate with Orange Spice, both of which are available in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-op and Ocado at the hot chocolate shelf RRP£3.59.  They will also be introducing a Chocolate with Coconut (launching 31st March at Holland and Barrett).

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if you love choc etc text

  • 100% natural
  • Sweetened with our magic ingredient, award winning Sweet Freedom
  • Only 14 calories per teaspoon
  • Low GI / GL – no energy highs and lows
  • Suitable for diabetics as part of a healthy diet
  • NO artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives
  • GM, dairy & gluten free
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Made in the UK

The little ones and I sure did know what to do!

Step one

Open packaging excitedly.

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Step 2

Show mummy what was sent to review.

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Step 3

Open the first choc shot and sample.  Once approved go to step 4!

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Hang on mum we need to make sure, out come the spoons.

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Step 4

Make a dessert!

Chocolate Coconut / Chocolate Spiced Orange and Banana Puffs

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Wipe children clean then take a block of puff pastry and roll it out and cut into 4.

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Place banana slices diagonally over the middle and then drizzle with the choc shot of your choice.

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Fold the first side in and remove the excess pastry in the middle.

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Fold second side in and place on a baking tray that has been lined with foil and sprinkled with flour.

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We made half with the coconut one and half with the spiced orange.

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Cook for approx. 25 minutes at 190 degrees in a fan oven 200 degrees in a conventional oven.

Having let the little ones loose on this they did squeeze quite a bit of syrup on the bananas, well who could blame them.  If you are making this at home put about a tablespoon and a half just in the middle part as this will bubble up and through the ends when cooking.

Don’t they look good!

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Everyone was so excited about trying them that I didn’t get to add my last minute touches so if you do give these a go give them a little sprinkle with icing sugar once they have cooled and a small drizzle of the chocolate sauce on the top and serve.

Step 5

You will need a drink to go with it!

An obvious treat to make with the choc shots is hot chocolate.

Just make sure you remove the seal before using lol, I hadn’t done this when I gave the bottle to my youngest daughter with hilarious results.

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Check to make sure you have used enough.

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Step 6

Serve and enjoy.

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Both flavours were sweet and chocolatey.  The coconut flavour really came through in the coconut shot and the warm orange spice in the orange shot.

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A great treat for adults and super simple and self-explanatory:

Strawberries with chocolate sauce

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As well as chocolate Sweet Freedom also make two different sweet syrups that are made from carob, apples and grapes. These syrups have multiple uses.

syrup 1  syrup 2

The original tastes and sweetens like white sugar and the dark like brown sugar.

  • 100% natural
  • Made from 100% fruit; apples, grapes and carob
  • Only 13 calories per teaspoon
  • Use 25% less gram for gram
  • Low GI / GL – no energy highs and lows
  • Suitable for diabetics as part of a healthy diet
  • NO artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives
  • Produced using a water process with no chemicals or enzymes used
  • GM & gluten free
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Made in UK
  • 16g of fructose per 100g (sugar is 50g, honey 40g, agave syrup 90g)
  • Branded products called ‘fruit’ sugars are made from sugar beet and are 100% processed fructose

I popped some over some yogurt for breakfast.

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Hubby at the last banana or that would have gone in too.  This tastes similar to honey and was really nice and sweet (I have a sweet tooth).

I also found it a great alternative to golden syrup on pancakes.

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The products have won Gold Stars in the Great Taste Awards for the last three years and quite rightly so as they do taste lovely.

Sweet freedom is better for you than the sugar we see sold in the shops this sugar alternative has a low glycemic index so when you use it instead of the sugars we are accustomed to as it helps avoid the sugar highs and lows that one would normally experience.  It is only recently that the risks of excessive sugar have been brought to the public’s attention.  Whatever form sugar is in it should be taken in moderation.  Excessive consumption of sugar in any form although more so of refined sugar (white sugar) can result in tooth decay, premature aging, obesity, types 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as other conditions so it is best to control your daily intake especially as it is highly addictive (I should know I’m a sugar addict!).

How lucky are you guys!!!! Sweet Freedom have said I can give away 6 of their NEW Choc Shot Orange Spice.

Want one?

Just fill in the Rafflecopter form:

Not sure how to enter, have a quick read of this and see how easy it is:

http://melaniesfabfinds.co.uk/competitions/how-to-enter-rafflecopter-competitions/

Not all of the entry options are compulsory but the more you do the more entries you will gain.  Look out for the daily entry options for extra entries.

Likes on Facebook are NOT compulsory but are very much appreciated.

(Please do not cheat, anyone caught doing so will be disqualified, this includes saying you are following on twitter etc. when you are not!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is NOT a sponsored post.