Wednesday, 15 February 2017

January Degustabox ...


I'm so excited to be writing my first food related blog post.
One of my New Years resolutions this year was to try new foods, eat healthier, gain some weight and steer towards a vegetarian / vegan diet.

So you can imagine my excitement when I arranged to work with Degustabox.

I hadn't heard of Degustabox before so let me give you a quick little introduction to who they are.
Degustabox is a monthly subscription service. In the box you get 10-15 food products but you never know what you are going to get.

It's a nice monthly surprise on your doorstep of new foods to try. Some well known brands and some smaller businesses too. 
I wasn't sure what to expect at all because the website doesn't give anything away. 





When it arrived I was instantly in food heaven. I couldn't believe just how much there was!
It came in a big old box and the box was full to the brim of AMAZING food and drink.
I was so excited. Elliot and I had been arguing but I made up with him just because I needed to show him the Degustabox. I was too excited.

I've never tried a monthly subscription box before so it was an exciting first time for me. :')








How cute is the pattern on the box by the way?! The box was also huge and pretty heavy!

I was so pleasantly surprised at the variety of products. From healthy snacks to alcohol there was literally so much to try and something for everyone. A good option for the family too which I guess I wasn't expecting because I don't have to think about family stuff just yet!
I was very happy to find such a large selection of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options inside. It was mostly healthy food but a few treats too.




But let me just show you exactly what was in there and what I thought!

Pip's Real Hot Chocolate






I do believe this is the cutest packaged little goodie I've ever received. I was really intrigued to find out what was in the little paper bag. it looked very personal and homemade.
I was right!

This is a little homemade hot chocolate crafted personally by one artisan maker in Wales.
He started making hot chocolate over 11 years ago and wanted to share his amazing creation with us! I'm so glad he decided to do so because oh my gosh! Super yummy!

How sweet that it's like a little wax melt. I've never seen a hot chocolate like this before.

I love anything like this. I think there is so much passion in smaller businesses because all they want is to show you something they are so incredibly proud of. he even wraps them all by hand himself. How cute is that?

I like that you make it differently to your typical instant hot chocolate. You make it on the hob and Pip recommends using some double cream in it too!
It's so frothy and rich but in a way that makes you sink into your seat and do that over-exaggerated ahhhhhh.

Sooo chocolatey! I had the after hours flavour which is just like after eights. Mint hot chocolate is my favourite so I was happy with mine!

He is also super considerate. Pip's hot chocolate is free from nuts, gluten, dairy and therefore makes it vegan! Just mix it with soya milk or almond milk instead or even coconut milk. There is a huge variety of choices. :)

I loved loved loved that this came with a loyalty card. What a fabulous added touch. It makes you want this company to do really well. It's already stocked in a number of shops and cafes which must be so exciting! Please keep on your journey because this is possibly one of my favourite hot chocolates I've ever tried. So much better than the instant powders.

I couldn't find this flavour on the website however here is the link to all the amazing flavours to choose from. Red velvet sounds delicious!

Show Pip some support and follow his social medias below

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Natvia Natural Sources Sweetener


Some interesting facts about Natvia Sweetener...
 It's made in Australia. A lot of the products in the Degustabox are from around the world which is exciting because it introduces you to lots of new cultures. 
It's made from stevia plant and natural nectar.
It's diabetic friendly!
It's great for baking and one of my other New Year's resolutions was to start baking so that's actually super helpful.
There are ZERO calories per serving.
There is absolutely nothing artificial in this, it's all natural.
This also means it's tooth friendly! A lot of people forget the effects of sugar on your teeth!


I got way more excited about this than I should have. I know it's just a sweetener but I panic quite a lot about how much sugar I have because I do like sweet stuff and I've been trying to steer clear of things packed with sugar but it's so boring! Porridge tastes so bland without sugar and so now I can sweeten things up and feel guilt-free. 

I guess it just tastes like sweetener but I like all the benefits of it. It also smells really nice. Nicer than sugar. I spent a good 5 minutes sniffing at the tub :')

But yes, really happy this was in my Degustabox, thanks Natvia!

Buy it here for just £3.49. It's usually £4.99!




Crabbie's Scottish Alcoholic Ginger Beer



Crabbie's is the no1 most popular Alcoholic ginger beer in the UK. It's crafted for 6 weeks using real ginger and spices.
It's made in Edinburgh which is somewhere I am dying to visit and it's also gluten free!

I'm not a huge fan of ginger beer as I find that it can be quite spicy and burn my throat. Maybe it's just me but Elliot loves it. I wanted to try everything in the box anyway so we went halves. 
Ginger Beer reminds me of Christmas. 
Elliot really liked it and so did I! It's very much like drinking pop. Just like the flavoured ciders really. It had a kick and a festive fizz to it but the flavour was really yummy. I really like berry flavoured things so I had a feeling I might like it.

If you're looking for a new favourite sweet alcoholic beverage then you might like to try this?

Get it here for £1.79

Finn Crisps Snacks


I had never heard of these before. Apparently they are the goodness of Nordic nature!
They have no added fat and are super high in fibre. 100% wholegrain rye.

This was actually the first item we tried in the Degustabox. When we opened the packet my reaction was 'ooh, they don't smell very nice' but actually they tasted OK. They are quite plain and Elliot said they taste like ryvita but I actually really liked the after taste. The sea salt hits afterwards and I really liked that.
It also says on the packet they are great for dipping and it came with a little booklet with recipes which I'm excited to try out.
We used some hummus we had in the fridge and actually devoured almost the whole packet so to say my first impression wasn't great, I actually would buy these again so I can try all the dips. They are a much healthier alternative to nachos etc.

As I said it came with a little recipe booklet and these are just some of the recipes you can try out.

Grilled tomato salsa
Baba ganoush
Avocado hummus
Black turtle bean chilli
Snack breaded trout fillets
Cheese-glazed snack casserole
Apple dip
French onion dip.

I actually really wanted to try one of these recipes so I could talk about it in this blog post but I needed to get this done so I will try some of the recipes throughout the month and if I enjoy it you'll be hearing about it in my February favourites!

Thank you Finn Crisp for the inspiration! Such a great idea to add that element to the Degustabox!

I couldn't find this exact packet of the dipping triangle shapes but I did find the little bars for just 70p. Buy them here!

Fruitella



I've obviously already tried Fruitella but now I can feel a little less guilty as they have 30% less sugar and not to mention more fruit juice has been packed into the pretty pink treats. Woohoo!
There are no sweeteners in them or natural flavours and colouring's.
I figured they would just be the same old Fruitella but both myself and Elliot thought they seemed chewier. We don't know if we are remembering them wrong but we are sure they were a similar texture to Starburst but they seem tougher now. That's not a bad thing. They were gone within minutes whilst we watched 'The life of David Gale' which is an amazing film by the way.

Why are Fruitella so moreish?

Proper Corn Crunch Corn



We were really interested to try these! Half-popped corn? What's so special about them? 

But they are really peculiar. I expected them to be puffy like popcorn but with a slight crunch but as it says on the packaging. They are like nuts. Without the nuts. Not even a trace of nuts!
I really really liked them. Quite addictive to be honest. I found myself grabbing handfuls and snacking instead of grabbing sweets which is always good.

Proper Corn is also another homemade company making it's way up! A lady called Cassandra used to make popcorn with her dad and using these amazing memories she came up with proper corn.

They have a variety of flavours too such as salt and pepper, sweet and smoky chilli and salt and vinegar. Would love to try the salt and pepper!

Elliot and I have been loving Pink Himalayan rock salt lately so I was excited about that being one of the main ingredients too.
Little tip for you. If ever you need to buy any don't go to Tesco or anything because it's pricey but Tiger do it for £1. You're welcome.

The seasoning is all-natural, they are also gluten-free. Another Degustabox item that is suitable for vegans. I really am loving Degustabox!

Get yours here. I found them for just £1.10

Quinola Mothergrain Express Quinoa



This wasn't actually on the sheet that told you what was in the box so I don't know if it was a little added goodie but I sure am glad they added it in! 

I love quinoa. So I was really excited to try this. I was not disappointed. It was really nice. I had this with pan-roasted carrots and some quorn and Elliot said 'That's going to be so bland, you'll need a sauce' but I didn't and it was super tasty!

I like that it comes in an easy microwavable pouch meaning it's great for taking to work with you for a quick but satisfying lunch.

It's packed full of nutrients and can be enjoyed hot or cold!
This makes a really nice change to rice or pasta, it's a vegetarian and gluten free supergrain making it super healthy.
Because it's a vegetable protein and has slow-releasing carbohydrates it keeps you feeling full for longer.

It's also made in the Andes which is interesting!

I liked the texture, how filling it was and of course the taste. 10/10.

Get yours here for £2.55

Protein Boost Chocolate Shake


Oh my god. I loved this. I always have a protein shake after my weekly exercises but I hate the effort of making it. We have a strawberry powder that you mix with milk yourself and although it's nice, I do find it has a coin like taste too it. Very metallic and I'm not massively keen on it. I presumed all protein shakes had that metallic taste so I wasn't massively excited to try this and chocolate protein flavoured things can sometimes be nasty.

But this was soo good. It didn't taste bad at all. It tasted like a lightweight easy-going dessert. It wasn't rich or heavy but felt like a well deserved treat after a workout.
I was actually quite gutted when I finished it. I would 100% buy these for out on the go exercising

There is no added sugars but it does have sweeteners. It is less than 150 calories too and fat free!

I couldn't find these online as it kept popping up with a different brand called boost protein BUT I will be keeping a look out for these in supermarkets and when I find them I will let you all know where you can pick one up! :)

Popchips Ridges



Popchips have created a new ridged range which are better for you! With under 100 calories a serving you don't have to feel quite so guilty. All the flavours are popped (not fried) and again gluten free and vegetarian.

Well they do say 'Crazy Hot' on the packet but I don't think we expected them to be quite so hot. It's like an unwritten rule that you say 'it's not that hot' so you don't look like a wimp but Elliot choked and I ran to grab the milk. They are sooo tasty but the aftertaste is super hot.

This is my first time trying Popchips and although I would probably go for a different flavour I did really enjoy the texture!

I personally prefer a slight spice but Elliot likes hot hot so he would probably get these again!

Order some for yourself here

The Chia Co Chia Shots






This was another item that came with some recipes and I decided to make the chia mocha ...in my cute little copper mug!

Elliot tried his first while I was finishing up this blog post and he was sooo excited about it. He kept making 'mmm' noises so I'm like oh my gosh, this must be so good! 
I was excited to try it!

I tried it...not a fan. I just found it was soooo bitter. I hadn't even had chance to put it on the table before Elliot swooped it out my hand and said 'I'll have yours as well'!

He also said..and I quote 'these are filling as heck, yo'. Did it stop him from having the second one? No. No it didn't.
I think he may have found his new favourite hot drink. It must just be an acquired taste! 
I think I'll stick to using the chia seeds in my porridge which is something I do every day. We actually already had a big old supply of these exact seeds in the cupboard anyway so I was more excited about the recipes. 

I would still like to try the chia cranberry peanut butter slice but the mocha was not for me. I'll have to treat Elliot to them every so often though! 

Chia seeds are so super good for you that it's a great idea to find a way to introduce them into your diet. They are bursting with fibre, omega 3 and protein.

They have more recipes (which I may enjoy more) at thechiaco.com

Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks



I didn't know whether I liked the sound of these or not. Coconut and chilli sounded amaze balls but they are made using green peas so I thought surely they are going to taste strange.
They do taste peculiar but in the most beautiful addictive amazing peculiar way they could.
They make such a great alternative to normal crisps! They are high in fibre and also protein making them a fantastic replacement to crisps and giving you a healthier option.

Their influence is from Japan and they are anything but bland!
They are baked and also free from nuts and dairy making them yet again another great Degustabox option for vegetarians!
They also have no artificial colouring, flavours or msg.
Less than 99 calories a bag so diet friendly too!
So many benefits to these and they feel like a naughty snack too! Highly recommended for people who can never stick to diets because they miss the nice foods too much.

I want a lifetime supply of these. Out of the entire box this was my favourite product. I've added them to my shopping list to grab another pack.

They are only £1 at Asda, stock up fast!


Little's Natural French Vanilla Coffee


Out of the Degustabox this was the one I squealed most at. I love coffee and I love vanilla. So vanilla coffee sounds like heaven to my ears.
I tend to be affected very very easily by caffeine. If any of you watched my Snapchat story when I opened my Degustabox you will know that I was very 'squeaky' and also had gained a bit of a speech impediment. It's because I had coffee that morning.

However, I've had this twice and although it wakes me up, I haven't found it making me crazy. Which is good! People must think I'm on drugs haha!

It was unbelievably tasty and arrived at the right time too. I have just ran out of Tassimo pods and needed a fancy coffee. I'm a bit of a coffee snob so this will keep me going!

10/10 will drink again.
Get yours here


Aspire Health Drinks




There are so many health benefits to these little cans of goodness.
They give you a boost of healthy energy that lasts a long time.
They are made from a premium-grade green tea extract.
They are jam-packed full of good ingredients and vitamins and even help your mental focus!
I think I could do with some of that!
Zero calories, sugars or carbs making them great for losing weight and watching your blood sugar levels.

In regards to the flavours, I was very excited because they sound really good. I mean come on, Mango Lemonade? But as they are for helping people watch their weight I probably wouldn't invest in any myself as I am trying to do the opposite.

They are carbonated drinks but I personally would have much preferred them as a still juice drink but I am not a fan of fizzy drinks altogether. Elliot really enjoyed them though! I still drank half of each one and it was nice to know that I was giving my body a little health boost anyway!

If you want to give them a go and see what you think they have supplied me with a discount code! use 'ASPIRE20' for 20% off. It is valid until the 5th of March 2017.

Use the discount code here







This was another food goodie in my box. They obviously didn't send the yoghurt itself as dairy needs to be kept cold but instead I got a voucher for a free tub so I sent Elliot on a meaty mission to go pick one up!

I said to surprise me with the flavour but I was kind of rooting for rhubarb but Tesco only had raspberry, blueberry or fudge.
I'm not a fan of yoghurt with bits in so Elliot got the fudge one.

I've only ever tried toffee yoghurts but never fudge. I presumed they would be similar.
I've never managed to find a toffee yoghurt that I liked but never mind.

Because this fudge one is to die for. Me and Elliot are literally fighting over it. It's the best yoghurt I've ever tasted. It tastes more like a pudding to be honest.
I'm a fan of live yoghurts anyway because when I was in hospital with pancreatitis I lived off live yoghurt and got a bit of a taste for it.

There is lots and lots of fudge in it so it's super sweet and I really really really want to try every flavour. This is my new favourite yoghurt ever. Will certainly be picking one up with each food shop. I was just having plain old natural live yoghurt before but this makes it soooo much tastier.

There are no nasties in it, it's full of live cultures, its a source of protein and vegetarian friendly. It couldn't get any better really. Thank you The Collective for bringing your wonderful yoghurts into this not so wonderful world!

They also run a 'Tub 4 Grub' campaign in aid of Action Against Hunger.
If you finish one of their yoghurts and then fill the tub with some tasty grub, peel off the label and make your own and then gift it to someone else they will donate an extra 50p towards the cause.
All you have to do is share your good deed on social media using the hashtag #tub4grub 

How generous!

(I'm adding this note before publishing...Elliot just looked at me and said 'Stace, I can't stop thinking about that yoghurt' He literally took the words out of my mouth). 


And that my friends, is everything.


I really liked that the box was a kind of half and half mix.
Half of the foods were snacky things, perfect for a night in.
But rather than having unhealthy takeaway and chocolate you could have healthier options that still taste as good and feel naughty! 



Then the other half was super healthy stuff to help promote a nice healthy lifetsyle. Perfect alongside exercise and some good recipe ingredients too!



I basically LOVED this Degustabox. I am now a huge fan of the company. I think that every product was interesting and new. I didn't find a single thing in their that I would say I disliked. I just like some more than others. I think Degustabox really did collaborate with some great brands for the January box. Some really great choices. 

I would HIGHLY recommend this to vegetarians or people who need a gluten free diet because I feel like you would discover a hell of a lot of brands whose food you can have without even realising. 
I had heard of a lot of these brands before but would never have thought to check the packaging to see if it's gluten free etc so you might find extra things to add into your diet making it more versatile.

Anything that you couldn't have could be kept for when you have visitors! I've been sharing a lot of my Degustabox discoveries with family who have popped over. They have all been seriously impressed with just how many items were in there and for such an amazing price.

A huge thank you to Degustabox and all the brands that contributed to the box. Keep up the good work! :)

Excited for my next box!

If you would like to try Degustabox for yourself you can start a subscription for just £12.99 a month here. If you buy 3 months in one go it's even cheaper!
I totalled that my box had around £30 worth of products making it a huge saving. The products lasted a while too. I had to try them all fairly quickly to get my review done but I haven't finished a lot of the stuff yet.

If you would rather try a trial box first you can buy a one-off non-subscription box for half the price!

Let me know if any of you get one. :)

Much love,




Disclaimer: I was sent this Degustabox free of charge in exchange for a review. All words, pictures and opinions in this blogpost are my own and my 100% honest opinion.
I am not making any money from this collaboration. 

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