Reviews

Ayni Chocolate Matcha Bar Review

Ayni Chocolate Matcha Bar

So now you’re finished drooling over that awesomely delicious picture of the Ayni Chocolate Matcha Bar I guess you’d like to know a little more about the lady that HANDCRAFTED it! Yes not only is this chocolate raw, Paleo, Vegan, allergen and refined sugar free it is made from organic ingredients and then lovingly handmade and wrapped to perfection. What isn’t there to love?!

Below is the Ayni Chocolate mission statement and it’s an absolute corker of one too –  I think you’d have to agree with me there!

“Ayni Chocolate is gluten, dairy, nut, egg, grain, sesame seed, soy, and refined sugar free; making it suitable for a wide range of allergy suffers, as well as those on restricted diets, whether through choice or necessity.
We believe that living a ‘free from’ life shouldn’t mean living a bland, treat free life. As allergy sufferers ourselves, we understand how difficult it can be to find exciting and innovative chocolates; we hope that our growing selection of delicious, allergy free chocolates will bring you as much pleasure as they do us!”

So how did Ayni Chocolate come about?!

Pru (who runs under the blog Creatively Paleo) only just started up her little chocolate empire in June 2014 and her story is just the sweetest. Now normally I would write a load of waffle here about how people started out their companies but I don’t feel that I can do Pru justice as well as ummm well Pru can. The more and more I begin to learn about this woman the more my love for her and what she achieves grows. To find out the real story of how Pru got started out please read this link here. It won’t take you 5 minutes to read and it will just make your heart fill with giddy joy!

If you don’t have time however (but you better make some later or else!), in a nut shell Pru met some lovely people that put all of their faith into her and her love of chocolate and helped her to grow. Pru also pays it forward by giving at least 10% of her profits to Kiva Loans – a non profit organisation that through lending helps to alleviate poverty.

But why the name Ayni Chocolate I hear you all shout?

Well good question! Pru sources her ingredients from Peru and so she after a spot of ‘googling’ she stumbled upon the Peruvian word ‘Ayni’. Ayni roughly translates in English to ‘right relationship’ – a system of mutual support used in Andean communities.

So now you know a little bit about Pru and all of her mischevious chocolate making activites I can tell you a little (or a lot) about this fabulous little matcha green tea white chocolate!

Tell me about this magnificent Ayni Chocolate Matcha Bar! NOW!

Ayni Chocolate Matcha BarAyni Chocolate Matcha BarAyni Chocolate Matcha BarAyni Chocolate Matcha Bar

So as you can see this bar is super green and super shiny (seriously mesmerising), everything about it is aesthetically pleasing, so much so that it makes you want to dive face first into it and nom nom nom it down!

The ingredients are pretty much how I like them – simple; Organic Raw Cacao Butter (60%), Organic Maple Sugar, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Matcha Powder, Medicine Flower Extracts.

The taste was just gorgeous, a sort of intense and buttery, creamy sweetness coupled with a bold matcha green tea flavour followed by a beautiful faint undertone of maple and toffee. Oh my I was in heaven! The texture wasn’t at all how I imagined it, although I’m not sure what I imagined it to be like. It wasn’t gritty like most raw chocolates but it was granular, the grains weren’t from sugar however they were formed from cacao butter! The chocolate itself was very smooth but upon biting into a piece it instantly starts to melt in your mouth, but not how you would expect – it rather interestingly melts into tiny cacao granules before fully melting. It was quite literally a party in my mouth! (That was not intended to sound saucy)…

Ayni Chocolate Matcha BarAyni Chocolate Matcha BarAyni Chocolate Matcha BarAyni Chocolate Matcha Bar

So, yes this really would be the perfect gift for the Hulk to buy for his beautiful She Hulk this Valentine’s Day. Just a super special treat that I reckon nobody could manage to share! (Go on I dare you to try!)

You can bag your own 40g Ayni Chocolate Matcha bar here for £2.85.

But Pru didn’t stop there however – she snuck me in a little cheeky chocolate project and I just can’t help but share it with you all. These photos here are of an awesome little raw chocolate tropical toffee mix that was just to die for! Really! It contained chocolate coated mulberries, coconut, apricot and mango. Ooooooh momma! Yup this one was a hit in my household and my other half actually stole half of the bag (as he did with the matcha bar).

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So as you can see Pru is ever the inventor of all things Paleo chocolate and I can’t imagine that changing anytime soon. You will find plenty of choccy inventions on her website, not just chocolate bars though there are chocolates for the kiddiewinks, some great Valentine’s gifts, drinking chocolate and even filled chocolates and truffles!

If you’d like to follow Pru online please check out the links below:

Facebook: @CreativelyPaleo

Twitter: @creativelypaleo

Instagram: @creativelypaleo

Pinterest: @creativelypaleo

The Primal Pantry NEW Apple & Pecan raw Paleo bar review!

The Primal Pantry Apple & Pecan raw Paleo bar

So the new Apple & Pecan raw Paleo bar from The Primal Pantry is due to be released across the UK in and those wonderful people at The Primal Pantry (formely The Primal Kitchen) decided to send me out a couple to have a good munch on and review. Boy were they yummy!

The Primal Pantry was founded by a UK based nutritionist called Suzie Walker, in 2014 (a fantastic interview with Suzie can be found here at Paleo Polly).

Suzie embarked upon a mission to create the perfect Paleo bar and armed with nothing more than her kitchen blender, some dried fruit, coconut and nuts she set forth on her culinary creative endeavours. All of Suzie’s wonderful taste testers were so impressed with her bars that not so long after The Primal Kitchen was born! The Primal Kitchen has recently been renamed, rebranded & remarketed due to ever increasing international demand.

The Primal Pantry bars were designed to provide people living a Primal lifestyle with the opportunity to buy a natural energy snack that could carried around on-the-go and consumed with the knowledge that all of the ingredients are 100% Paleo and 0% junk. Every bar is made from no more than 5 ingredients and always with produce that you would find in your own home cupboard. This means no grain, no dairy, no soy, no vegetable oils and most importantly no refined sugars! The dried fruit in the bars is unsweetened and hasn’t been treated with suplhites or oils.

All of the bars are lovingly cold-pressed and handmade in the UK – fantastic hey?! Oh and I forgot to mention that these badboys are all Vegan friendly too!

The Primal Pantry Apple & Pecan raw Paleo bar

So now you know all about the brains and behind The Primal Pantry I guess you guys want to know what this little treat tastes like? Right?!

Riiiiight!

So this bar totes 6 different ingredients; dates, apple, pecans, almonds, cinnamon & almond oil.

Well other than the obvious (of being utterly delicious), these bars had just the right depth of flavour. The same signature date taste of the previous bars still remains but you can see gorgeous little pieces of unsweetened green apple gleaming through the jewelled date bar, and there is a subtle apple taste to compliment. It was generously studded with some chopped almonds and my favourite buttery and rich tasting nuts of all time – yes, teh great pecans!

But I have to say that my favourite part was the cheeky little hint of cinnamon that I could only just detect but enough to excite my cinnamon loving palate.

The Primal Pantry Apple & Pecan raw Paleo barThe Primal Pantry Apple & Pecan raw Paleo barThe Primal Pantry Apple & Pecan raw Paleo barThe Primal Pantry Apple & Pecan raw Paleo bar

This bar is high in fat but the good kinds of fats. You may or may not know that pecans contain high levels of monounsaturated fats that help to reduce not only your total cholesterol levels but your LDL cholesterol within your blood. LDL is the bad stuff just for the record. It also increases your HDL cholestorel levels which, yup, you guessed it are the good kinds of cholesterol. This all helps to prevent heart disease and strokes. Pecans also contain a healthy amount of vitamin E, antioxidants, & polyphenols which will all keep your skin, hair and nails all sexy and whatnot, whilst fighting the ageing process and other age related diseases too.

The almonds are high in protein and fats too and there is a hefty amount of sugar in the dates, but hopefully the cinnamon in there will help to regulate blood sugar levels just that little bit so that you don’t get too much of a sugar spike and crash. This all makes for a perfect pre and post workout snack. In fact I consumed one before and after my workout and felt smashing. High fat foods are always my favourite foods!

http://perfectlypaleo.co.uk/http://perfectlypaleo.co.uk/http://perfectlypaleo.co.uk/The Primal Pantry Apple & Pecan raw Paleo bar

I’m sold! When and where can I buy these yummy primal creations?!

So if you want to get your hands on some 100% natural grain-free primal energy which is high in omega fatty acids then you will have to wait until the end of this month… but it will be well worth it I can assure you!

You’ll be able to find the new flavour stocked in Tesco, Superdrug, plenty of health stores, CrossFit boxes and well my favourite little place for all your Paleo needs called Perfectly Paleo!

There are four other flavours in The Primal Pantry range; Almond & Cashew, Brazil nut & Cherry, Coconut & Macadamia and Hazelnut & Cacao. If you would like to read my review of the other 4 delcious Primal Pantry bars then just click here!

If you would like to see what Suzie and her fellow Primal Pantry team are getting up to then why not follow them on:

Twitter: @PrimalPantryUK

Facebook: @primalpantryuk

Instagram: @theprimalpantry

Website: http://www.primalpantry.com/

DRINKmaple Review

DRINKmapleDRINKmaple

That’s right DRINKmaple is now available in the UK as of today! How very exciting. I was lucky enough to recieve 3 250ml cartons of the yummy pure maple water (yes pure! nothing else!) from the wonderful DRINKmaple EU team to guzzle my way through. And boy did I guzzle.

Touting the motto ‘Mother Nature is the best chemist’ I was instantly sold by this company.

DRINKmaple was founded by the two health conscious Ironman triathletes Kate and Jeff after they had a chance run in with some maple water whilst competing in a triathlon in Mont Tremblant. They were so impressed that they wanted to find a convenient way to bottle the stuff up for people to consume in their hometowns rather than paying the added cost of an imported item.

Kate and Jeff believe that chemicals belong in the science lab and not in our food and drink, and I’m sure that anyone reading this probably will be along the same line of thinking. If you’d like to read more about their story then click here.

So I guess a lot of you are wondering what an earth maple water is…

Quite simply maple water is the sap from the maple tree, not to be confused with maple syrup which is the sap that has been heated and reduced down into a syrup.

DRINKmaple taps the sap straight from the maple trees to the bottle meaning that it is in it’s purest form and there is therefore no nutritious breakdown.

Don’t worry though no trees are harmed during the process and the sap can only be tapped when it is ready to flow upward. Over time the sap collects nutrients from the soil, once the warmer weather approaches the sap begins to deliver the nutrients to the tree by running vertically up the tree. It is then that the sap can be collected. This means that it is a sustainable product and can be tapped for years on end. So yes this is an eco-friendly product you’ll be happy to know!

So what is so special about DRINKmaple maple water?!

Well, where an earth do I begin?

  • DRINKmaple is the ultimate superfood, it contains 46 nutrients: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polyphenols, antioxidants, electrolytes & prebiotics.
  • It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, Paleo and Vegan.
  • It is super hydrating due to it’s high electrolyte content. It contains the electrolytes calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which help to maintain the function of your heart, muscles and the electrical impulses sent to your nervous system. If you want to boost the electrolyte content even more for your own performance drink and squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and Himalayan pink salt will go a long way! Otherwise this is the perfect post workout hydration.
  • Maple water contains more manganese than a cup of kale! Manganese helps to absorb vitamins and magnesium so all the natural components of this drink work in unison. Manganese also improves thyroid and bone health, controls blood sugar levels, and eliminates nasty free radicals from the body.
  • One 250ml carton contains only 20 calories (if you count those things) and is low in sugar – in fact it contains half the sugar content of coconut water.
  • It contains Abscisic Acid (ABA) which helps to regulate blood sugar which would be particularly beneficial to those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
  • It can help to boost your metabolism. If you want to make this into your own metabolism powerhouse of a drink just add the juice of half a lemon with 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper! If you’re not so brave just add a pinch.
  • So as I mentioned before it contains a lot of polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of nutrient with anti-carconegenic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. That basically means they help to lower the risk of contracting things like heart disease and cancer. With the anti-inflammatory properties you may even see an improvement of your skin – fab!

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Ok this maple stuff sounds pretty impressive but I bet it tastes pretty gross?

Nuh-uh my friends. Not at all, it pretty much tastes like water with the slight sweetness and hint of a maple syrupy taste. I would say that this is probably more appealing to people than coconut water due to that fact alone. Although I do love coconut water myself.

What was your overall verdict then?

I love this stuff! I tried drinking a carton pre and post workout and found that it did hydrate me faster than water did. It was very pleasant to drink, in fact it almost seemed thinner and lighter than regular water so it didn’t fill me up too fast.

As the taste isn’t too strong I can imagine this being the best hangover remedy yet or even if you’re a bit under the weather from the flu or a stomach bug. It’s super refreshing and subtly tasty.

Most of all though I love the simplicity and honesty of this brand. The packaging alone depicts this. It’s modern but it’s not pretentious and it’s just simple and beautiful like Mother Nature herself.

My only criticism is that I would love to see some larger carton sizes and for it to be available in more locations. Not really a criticism of the product and considering they only launched in the UK 1st January I really can’t complain!

So yes, I am in love with this drink and will be purchasing many more for my workout supplies! If it’s good enough for the indigenous people of North America then it is more than good enough for me!

But enough of me harping on go out there and try for yourself!!!

 So where can I buy this glorious stuff from and will it break my bank?

So the DRINKmaple shop has a lot to offer! You can buy 6x250ml cartons for £10 which comes to around £1.67 a carton, quite dear buuuuut if you buy 12x250ml cartons it will only set you back £18 which is a modest £1.50 per carton.

It is currently only available in the following Harvey Nichols; Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool & London. So if you fancy hitting the high street for a swish refreshing bevvy go there!

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If you’d like to follow DRINKmaple online then check out the links below:

Website: http://drinkmaple.eu/

Twitter: @drinkmapleeu

Facebook: @drinkmapleeurope

Instagram: @drinkmapleeu

The Raw Chocolate Company – Christmas Raw Chocolate Berries Review

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

Kris at The Raw Chocolate Co. has slowly become my best friend by plying me with copious amounts of raw chocolate. Although, I have to say that anyone can become my friend pretty much instantly if they send me out some chocolate goodies (hint hint), especially raw chocolate. So this time in line with Christmas, Kris sent me out their Organic berry collection, and ooooooh, oh yeah was it good!

Inside my little care package was; The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins, Goji Berries and Mulberries.

The first time I tried raw chocolate was the moment I never turned back, and the very first raw chocolate that I sampled was from The Raw Chocolate Co.

The Raw Chocolate Co. was founded by raw foodie enthusiast Linus Gorpe. Linus became very intrigued with raw cacao and he began to experiment with raw chocolate making. After a lot of ‘lab’ experiments, trial and error and some very happy taste testers, Linus, had become an expert. The company was launched in early 2006.

The one thing that has always attracted me to The Raw Chocolate Co. is it’s values and ethics. Out of all of the raw chocolate companies I have come across this one by far is the most ethical. All of their outer packaging for their chocolate bars is made from recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks, their factory is wind and solar powered (meaning no CO2 emissions) and all of their produce is Fairtrade too. In fact they recently picked up an award for being one of the UK’s most ‘socially responsible businesses’ – not too shabby hey?!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

So what makes their chocolate and the rest of their products so special? I hear you ask.

Good question! Well for a start their ingredients are either raw or cold pressed, organic (well at least all of the ingredients that can be) and they don’t treat any of their cacao produce with chemicals. In fact they often scour the world to find the absolute best ingredients even if it takes them years!

All of their bars and berries are suitable for Vegans, and Paleo followers alike – fab!

I heard that raw chocolate totes some awesome health benefits. Is this true?

Yes. Raw chocolate does indeed boast a whole host of health benefits; it improves digestion, enhances the libido (wit woo – insert winky face here oi oi!), improves cardiovascular function, is packed full of antioxidants that neutralise free radicals, and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals.  So, on that note… let the taste testing commence!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, the review!

Welcome to Cinderella’s 3 ugly sisters… Ok they’re not so ugly but as you will probably notice they look like some little organic lifeforms’ miniature brains… Mmmm brains… brains covered in delicious chocolate. Each ugly duckling that I popped into my mouth transformed into a beautiful swan. Each had their own unique quality and made my mouth have a little party – awesome.

All 3 products contain raw cacao mass, coconut palm sugar, virgin cacao butter and cacao powder.

Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins

Raisins, raisins, raisins… I do not like raisins… but luckily I do like chocolate raisins.

These juicy and plump raisins are covered in a dark chocolate (minimum of 74% cacao solids) oh and then dusted in cacao powder just for good measure!

Now, The Raw Chocolate Co. do not do things by halves as you may probably have noticed already. Yes these wonderful folk have consumed many a raisin in their lifetime just in order to find the perfect one to coat with their gorgeous bittersweet chocolate with. They sourced these juicy, plump raisins all the way from Turkey!

Now this is like eating one of the ugly bolshy sisters out of Cinderella crossed over with an ape. It’s the goji berry’s overweight and over indulgent sister – this isn’t a dainty snack, oh no, don’t let it fool you. This is a big bang wallop to your taste buds. The juiciness of these raisins really shocked me and they almost explode in your mouth with a ginormous amount of flavour, it’s crazy.  Seriously. The only problem is that these raisins are so sweet and so loud that it’s hard to be able to appreciate the beautiful chocolate that encases them. I’m not saying that you can’t taste the chocolate – you can. But you do have to do quite a bit of mental digging to latch on to and appreciate it’s beautiful complex flavours. But then again this could be to do with my taste buds not liking raisins so much. Did I enjoy eating these though? Most certainly!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate RaisinsThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Raisins

Would I eat these again? Uhhhhh hello? Are you crazy?! Of course I would, but in moderation for sure as these are the highest in sugars out of all of the berries with 46.8g sugar per 100g.

They are available in the following sizes;

100g resealable foil pouch for £3.29

200g resealable foil pouch for £5.29

Organic Raw Chocolate Goji Berries

So these I thought were going to be my favourite but then I tried the mulberries and they were my favourite. So these are my ummmm 2nd favourite.

The guys at The Raw Chocolate Co. searched for 7 whole years just to find the perfect goji berries! Say whaaaaaaaaaat?! I am starting to think that they are all a little bit bonkers but after eating their goji’s I can see why. They are the biggest, plumpest, chewiest, juiciest, and all round loveliest goji berries ever. I have eaten goji berries that are almost flat and brittle before and that is always a sad experience. But not these yummy bad boys oh no! They sourced these all the way from beautiful China, just in case you were wondering.

Goji berries (also known as ‘Wolf Berries’) were originally used in Chinese medicine but these little fellas have found their way over to the UK due to the huge number of celebrities that are in utter awe of them. They are packed full of antioxidants and the beta-carotene which gives your skin a lovely, radiant glow. They are also are high in fibre, and vitamins E, C, B1 & B2. If you’ve never had goji berrie before they are bitter like a cranberry and have the sweetness of a cherry.

These are the least sweetest out of the berry batch but only because of their beautiful sourness that comes through at the beginning, and the aftertaste is somewhat bittersweet as you can expect from a goji berry. There’s a little bit of seed crunch going on here and there but nothing that takes away from the whole experience. The fruitiness of the goji compliments that signature fruity flavour of all of The Raw Chocolate Co. chocolate. As the chocolate has a minimum of 50% cacao solids it helps to sweeten any bitterness that the goji berries tend to carry with them and so almost goes unnoticed. However the cacao dusting does keep that chocolatey flavour lingering for longer.

I was trying to think of what these remind me of and all I can really think of is that they carry the flavour of a really fruity tasting milky dark chocolate with the texture of well… chocolate raisins. The aftertaste stays for quite a while and is beautiful. Yes I devoured this snack pack in no time whatsoever. Yummy scrummy in my tummy!

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji BerriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Goji Berries

These are perfect sprinkled over your faux porridge in the morning, and also as a post workout recovery snack as they contain 9.9g of protein per 100g.

They are available in the following sizes;

32g snack pack for £1.49

100g resealable foil pouch for £4.49

200g resealable foil pouch for £7.99

Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

These little beauties shocked me. These were my favourite out of the whole berry collection. Oh my oh my… I’ll stop blabbering now, wipe away the drool and get my brain back on track.

These gorgeous little white mulberries have been dipped in chocolate and then dusted with cacao powder. They have a minimum of 41% cacao solids so that’s pretty standard milk chocolate. They source their organic white mulberries from Turkey.

Mulberries are high in iron, calcium, riboflavin and vitamins A,C, E & K. They are also high in antioxidants. So like goji berries they are great for your hair, skin and nails and also for cardiovascular health.

These really reminded me of one of my favourite little childhood sweets ‘Poppets‘ – who remembers those? These little bad boys are like eating a silky smooth fruity milk chocolate with a soft toffee chewy centre. I literally think that if you were blind folded you wouldn’t be aware that you were eating berries – magic!

In fact I had never had mulberries before until today that is, but I have always wanted to try them, and I am so glad that I did. There was a tiny bit of crunchiness when you eat them, I take it that these are seeds but it wasn’t unpleasant, it almost reminded me of eating little miniscule rice pops or something like that. I have to admit that I polished off the bag in under a minute and I don’t tend to do this as I like to savour my chocolatey treats. The light dusting of cacao is what makes all of these berries, it takes away from the overpowering sweetness and just adds that tiny little bitterness that enhances both the flavours of the mulberries and the raw chocolate itself. The mulberries themselves taste distinctly caramel like and it is the most bizarre thing that I have ever eaten (but in a nice way) I mean how can a berry taste exactly like a piece of soft chewy caramel?! Splendid! I guess their flavour reminded me quite a bit of the Vanoffe bar that The Raw Chocolate Co. do.

I just want to clarify that although these are chewy like a caramel/toffee they do break apart into fragments rather than staying as one big fat lump – I prefer this because it means I can throw a handful into my mouth and chow down as fast as I like.

And another thing that impressed me – these are the lowest in sugars compared to all of the others with just a 30.4g sugar content per 100g.

The Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate MulberriesThe Raw Chocolate Co. Organic Raw Chocolate Mulberries

These are soooo going to be making an appearance under my tree this Christmas for sure!

They are available in the following sizes;

32g snack pack for £1.49

100g resealable foil pouch for £3.79

200g resealable foil pouch for £6.29

150g festive gift tube for £6.49

So, overall what did I think? What’s the verdict? Would I purchase any of these products myself?

Yes, yes and yes times infinity!

I don’t think I need to add much else really. I love the ethics and hard work that this company possesses. I  love the overall branding. I love the quality and taste of the products.

I really think that these are the greatest little Christmas snacks that you can indulge in, and well not just for Christmas but the mulberry gift tube just reminds me of something that good old Santa would drop down the chimney! Oh and don’t forget the snack packs to whack in your pocket on your travels or workouts!

So where can you buy myself some of these lovely little treats?

Good question.

Well the first place you can go is directly to The Raw Chocolate Co. themselves. In fact if you live within the UK you can enter in your postcode into the map on their website and it will tell you your nearest stockist. Clever huh? Yup.

Other than that they are available in a lot of online and health food retailers.

You can follow The Raw Chocolate Co. in these places:

Twitter: @TheRawChocCo

Facebook: @therawchocolatecompany

Instagram: @therawchocolatecompany

Pinterest: @therawchocco

Have you had any experience with The Raw Chocolate Co. products before? Please do comment below and share your experience!

MULU Raw Organic Chocolate Review

MULU Organic Raw chocolate range

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive a care package from MULU containing their full product range. I kept this under wraps as I have had a bundle of products to review and I thought it would be best to save this one for the weekend. And just in time for the start of Christmas shopping the wonderful people at MULU are giving a mahoosive 20% off of all Greens of the Stone Age reader’s first orders! Wahey!

About MULU

I’ll start by telling you a little about the amazing MULU raw chocolate. When Kaycee & Ben Fordham took a trip to Cornwall they stumbled across their first taste of raw chocolate. Elated at the idea that chocolate could be beneficial to your health they decided to do a little research about raw chocolate. They discovered that although it may well be good for your health it wasn’t comparable in taste and quality to a lot of commercial chocolates available. They decided to try and make their own raw chocolate in hopes of perfecting the recipe for the best raw chocolate around. MULU Chocolate Ltd. was founded in 2007. (If you’d like to read more about Ben & Kaycee’s story then click here.)

Packaging

MULU love to keep their packaging as ‘raw’ as their chocolate. I absolutely love how their boxes and inner wrappers are recyclabe, biodegradable and from sustainable sources. In fact all of their card is actually recycled. The inks that they use to print are plant based and all of their boxes are sealed using a water based varnish – I didn’t even know that that even existed! Amazing!

Ingredients

All of the ingredients used at MULU are certified organic and ethically sourced. Their raw cacao is sourced in Ecuador where they have formed close and trusting relationships with cacao farmers (most of which are fairtrade certified) from small scale productions. To read more about how MULU work with their suppliers please click here.

Their chocolate bars are handcrafted at very low temperatures and contain very few ingredients; (which is great in my books) raw cacao, agave nectar, vanilla and incredibly small trace amount of sunflower lecithin. Their products are soya free and suitable for people suffering from soya allergies. The sunflower lecithin used is non-organic, however it is certified GMO free.

MULU raw chocolate is Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free and nut-free. Although their factory is a nut-free working environment they state that they “cannot guarantee nut-free” products due to the fact that their cocoa beans are picked, dried and processed in a rainforest so nut contamination is possible if a nut were to fall from a tree.

Agave nectar is high in fructose and so cannot be a certified Paleo product, however it is Paleo friendly and should be consumed sensibly in small amounts. To read more about agave and the Paleo diet please read my agave article here.

The MULU Chocolate Range

MULU Christmas Star

At 70% minimum cocoa solids, the MULU star is the same as their dark chocolate bar. I love the MULU Christmas Star it’s cute and fun. It’s pocket sized – or stocking sized rather! And well it’s delicious.

When you first open the box there is a super cute magical shooting star and following it the little saying “Shoot for the moon… dance among the stars” – I just love it! If you had this on Christmas day in your stocking it would just make it!

The chocolate was chunky and had a nice well tempered snap to it. Although the chocolate was very firm the texture was almost butter like and incredibly smooth once it began to melt in your mouth. The flavour was slightly nutty and a bit bitter – not too bitter though as a there is a lovely sweetness to it, but again it was not too sweet either. There was a slight floral note to this, I guess you could say it is a bit reminiscent of Turkish delight!

Yup I love this one for sure and at £1.20 for this beautiful little handcrafted 20g star of raw chocolate it’s a bargain gift for Christmas! If you’d like to buy one click on the link here.

MULU Christmas StarMULU Christmas StarMULU Christmas StarMULU Christmas Star

MULU Raw Chocolate Buttons

This is MULU’s lowest cocoa solids product at just 58% minimum cocoa solids. This is certainly perfect for children as a once in a while treat. Again it would make a great stocking filler.

The chocolate is smoother, meltier and has a milky taste to it probably due to the lower cocoa solids teamed with the organic vanilla that is used. My 9 year old daughter loved these and devoured the lot before I could say stop.

It’s a 22g bag with 10 small round chocolate buttons. As they are very melty they wouldn’t be much of a choking hazard for young children but again due to the agave nectar I think that these would be more suitable for older children.

If you’d like to pick up the MULU raw chocolate buttons for a mere £1.00 then click here.

MULU Raw Chocolate ButtonsMULU Raw Chocolate ButtonsMULU Raw Chocolate ButtonsMULU Raw Chocolate Buttons

MULU Silk Block

The MULU silk block is a sort of ‘dark’ milk standing at around 65% cocoa solids.

The texture was very similar to the MULU star but slightly meltier and not as soft as the MULU buttons. The butteriness does linger with you for a little while and their is a more distinct fruity and floral flavour rather than nutty. This was a very comforting bar and would be great with a big mug of hot chocolate and some furry slippers. The blocks are around 1cm thick or possibly thicker so this is the ‘Yorkie’ of the raw chocolate world I love it!

For a whopping 74g you can bag this at just £2.99 from MULU.

MULU Silk BlockMULU Silk BlockMULU Silk BlockMULU Silk Block

MULU Dark Block

The MULU dark block is a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. It is the same chocolate as the MULU star and so is very solid yet buttery once it enters your bouche! In a very weird way it reminded me of a Bournville bar but far more sophisticated with it’s nutty flavour. The MULU dark chocolate isn’t as rich and complex as other raw chocolates around but it’s simplicity really did win me over. It’s not dressed up trying to be anything else. It’s just a very sweet, solid chunky bar that you probably would have craved before you went down the healthy route.

I really like it and it’s smoothness is so comforting.  You can pick up this 74g block of MULU dark for £2.99 from MULU.

MULU Dark BlockMULU Dark BlockMULU Dark BlockMULU Dark Block

MULU Dark with Raw Cacao Nibs Block

So the minimum cocoa solids of this bar is 64% excluding the cacao nibs, including them it would be 73%.

Out of all the bars this one was my favourite in flavour and texture. It has a slightly milkier taste than the MULU Dark and has an amazing crunch when you bite into it due to the crushed cacao nibs. If you want to reap the maximum benefits of raw chocolate and still want that bitter kick then this is the MULU bar for you!

This bar only weighs 68g but I can promise you that you won’t notice at all! If you want to try this bar then head on over to MULU.

MULU Dark with Cacao Nibs BlockMULU Dark with Cacao Nibs BlockMULU Dark with Cacao Nibs BlockMULU Dark with Cacao Nibs

My ultimate verdict

I really like the branding of the products at MULU – the mothernature-esque background that adorns all of their packaging along with the tagline ‘The way mother nature intended‘ is just breathtaking. They seem more like an indulgent luxury raw chocolate treat or the perfect gift for a loved one due to the way they are packaged. The ethics at MULU are outstanding, and any green and responsible business will win me over.

The taste and the texture of these products shocked me. There wasn’t even the tiniest bit of powderiness that you would associate with a lot of raw chocolates and they remind me of simple childhood treats that have been made to be slightly more complex and a lot more sophisticated for the adult market. MULU have succeeded in their dream to create a raw chocolate bar that equals that of the commercial chocolate market.

My only criticism is the use of agave nectar – and well, this is purely because I would like to be able to treat myself more often and scoff an entire bar. But I guess that’s what will make MULU more special for me – it’s a little treat I can look forward to, and they are always the best!

If you’d like to place an order then head over to the MULU online store and go wild for Christmas! Don’t forget to quote MULU20 on your first order for a whopping 20% off!

I can’t wait to see what MULU have in store for the future!

If you’d like to follow MULU Organic Raw Chocolate online then check out the links below:

Facebook: @MuluRawChocolate

Twitter: @mulurawchocolat

Instagram: @muluchocolate

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kayceeburnett/mulu-organic-raw-chocolate/

 

Had any experience with MULU products before? Then don’t be scared to leave a comment!

Comvita Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey & Olive Leaf Extract Review

Comvita UK

It has been quite a long time since Comvita sent me out my lovely care package to review. I have been up to my eyeballs in all kinds of products and trying to get the right balance between reviews, recipes and some articles that I have been working on has proven to be tricky. I did however have a lot of fun sampling their products and using them in my own recipes. I was lucky enough to sample their Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey and what Comvita are calling ‘Winter’s best kept secret’ – Olive Leaf Extract.

So here we go, straight to the review!

Comvita Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey

Comvita’s Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey is a combination of their naturally fermented & unpasteurised apple cider vinegar (meaning that it includes the all important ‘mother’) made from sun ripened apples, and their New Zealand UMF 5+ Manuka Honey and bush honey.

Nutritional Information:

Ingredients:

Apple Cider Vinegar (80%)
New Zealand forest honey (15%)
UMF 5+ Manuka Honey (5%)

Nutritional Breakdown per 100ml:

Energy: 65.7kCal
Carbohydrates: 16.0g (of which 15.6g sugars)
Fat: Negligible
Saturates: Negligible
Protein: Negligible
Salt: Negligible

So as you can see it is free from any artificial flavourings, colourings, preservatives or any other additives.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of unpasteurised apple cider vinegar are:

  • Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. Acetic acid has antimicrobial properties and can kill certain kinds of bacterias and prevent them from multiplying such as E.Coli.
  • When diluted with water it can also help to clear acne when applied to the skin – this has certainly worked for me!
  • It’s not exactly proven yet but it is thought that it could help with cardiovascular function and cancer.
  • It helps to lower blood sugar and insulin levels which is great for people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes.
  • Aids in weight loss by helping you feel full. Fantastic!
  • It helps to eliminate toxins from the body which again helps to improve the condition of your skin.

The benefits of manuka honey are:

  • As manuka honey is highly antibacterial it can help to improve immunity and prevent you from catching those nasty winter bugs and cold sores.
  • It can aid your digestive system. It helps ease bloating, symptoms of IBS, stomach ulcers and indigestion.
  • It is great for a quick burst of much needed energy.
  • It can help heal skin ailments due to it’s antibacterial properties.

What does it taste like?

It tastes like apple flavoured vinegar, like a non alcoholic cider but with a hint of honey. It’s beautiful and I love it!

What can I do with it and how do I use it?

You can pretty much do whatever you like with this – be creative! Make a salad dressing, pour into your soups and stews at the end of the cooking process, you can even drink it as a tonic.

If you want to use it as a toner in your skin care regime then dilute 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water. However you may want to have a little play with it as it can be quite drying if you have sensitive skin. I sometimes add in some rosewater too.

To make a tonic start off on 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of boiling hot water with a tbsp of raw honey and 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper. You can eventually work your way up to 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp cayenne pepper. Drink this first thing in the morning to reap the benefits and last thing at night if you want to.

If you’d like a little bit of recipe inspiration then check out my Paleo Shredded Beet, Carrot and Ginger Salad recipe.

Shredded beet saladA close up of a plate of paleo spiced sweet mash, peppered mackerel and a beet, carrot and ginger salad

Where can I buy Comvita Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey from?

You can buy a 750ml bottle for £9.49 direct from Comvita. You will also find it in high street retailers such as Boots and Waitrose.

Comvita Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is a natural immunity booster with 400% more of the antioxidant power of vitamin C  and twice the antioxidant power of green tea. It totes all kinds of health benefits such as anti-tumour/cancer properties, anti-ageing, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antibiotic. Phew! A lot of benefits as you can see!

So what’s so special about Comvita’s Olive Leaf Extract then?

Comvita have decades of experience working with Olea europaea (olive) trees; they use rich volcanic soils, organic fertilisers and rainwater to produce some of the healthiest trees in the world. Pretty impressive hey?

Comvita Olive Leaf Extract is made from olive leaves that have been harvested at sunrise to ensure that the freshest and most suitable foliage is used. It is then rushed to the Comvita GMP-certified facility in rural Queensland, Australia in order to prevent any further deterioration.  At the facility it undergoes various extraction and purification processes before being protected from heat, light, oxygen and any other contaminants. This extra protection ensures that the vital active compounds; oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, caffeic acid, tyrosol (and many others) are kept at their optimum state to increase their maximum effectiveness when administered.

This is all done before the following morning to ensure the least amount of polyphenol loss and that the polyphenic components are kept intact.

So what are the benefits of olive leaf extract then?

There are so many benefits that I could write a whole article on them. I will however try to keep it as simple as possible and write you a little bullet point list. I will focus mainly on the compounds oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol.

  • Oleuropein totes anti-viral properties which can help treat herpes and even HIV. It is also anti-fungal which aids in the fight against yeast and fungal infections.
  • Oleuropein can help with skin conditions such as psoriasis which could be because it improves cardiovascular function too. It has been proven to help prevent cardiac arrhythmia and lower blood pressure. It has also been proven to help fight chronic fatigue due to it’s immunity boosting properties.
  • The two phytochemicals oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol contained in olive leaf extract can slow down the oxidation process of free radicals via antioxidation. Free radicals basically are very reactive and will cause cell damage when they become oxidised. (Hence the ‘antioxidant’ will do the opposite!)
  • Olive leaf extract can help ‘detoxify’ the body when it is under a great deal of stress.
  • Hydroxytyrosol is boasted as ‘the most powerful natural antioxidant in the world’. Why? Because it is the only polyphenol that is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.  This means that it can absorb free radicals throughout the entire central nervous system. It is also fat and water soluble meaning that it also has the highest bioavailability of all antioxidants.

This all sounds great! When should I take olive leaf extract?

Olive leaf extract should be taken daily to help prevent illness and also to help recover from illness too. When I received the Comvita Olive Leaf Extract I was actually ill with a virus and it helped me recover fairly rapidly. I stayed at a ‘light’ level of being ill for about a week and then I was fine. It definitely took the brunt of whatever I was suffering from. I took it twice daily at 5ml for 10 days. There is 22mg of oleuropein in 5 ml of Comvita Olive Leaf Extract. You can take 2-3 doses so up to 15ml a day.

I honestly felt a lovely boost of energy and my skin started to improve and get a bit of a glow to it. As I actually suffer from an auto-immune disease I would love to do a longer trial of this product and see if this would help improve it somewhat. Especially as we are now falling into the winter months – I will definitely have to buy myself some!

What does olive leaf extract taste like?

Although 2 other flavours were offered to me I took the natural flavour. I wanted to be able to use this in my food. If you do use it in your food do not heat it!

I am not going to lie to you. It doesn’t taste nice. At first there is a very strong sweetness but this is then overpowered by an incredibly strong bitterness.  This is due to the oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol content. The bitterness is very alike to olive oil, except… well… more concentrated! There is a definite aftertaste and a slight ‘burn’ almost in the back of your throat, but more like you’ve got a bit of a lump stuck there. This doesn’t last long so don’t worry!

I did find that it made a fab little salad dressing when I combined it with the apple cider vinegar that Comvita sent me. This made it much more palatable and I was still getting it down me the same way. Most days though I just necked it straight. You do start to get accustomed to the taste much like anything else and it becomes part of your daily routine. I just made sure that I drank a full glass of water after.

Here is a simple little salad dressing that I knocked up using both the apple cider vinegar and olive leaf extract:

Serves: 1

Preparation Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

5ml Comvita Olive Leaf Extract – Natural
3 tbsp Comvita Apple Cider Vinegar with Manuka Honey
1/2 tbsp raw honey
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A generous pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Method:

  1. Mince your garlic, mix in the salt, honey and lemon juice.
  2. Add your olive leaf extract and stir until a nice smooth paste.
  3. Finally add your apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
  4. Stir thoroughly and if you have a little bottle to keep it in give it a good shake!
  5. Serve over your favourite salad, tinned tuna or even scrambled eggs!

Who can take Comvita Olive Leaf Extract?

Comvita Olive Leaf Extract is suitable for all of the family – well almost – children over the age of 2 may take this.  Although I couldn’t find any contraindications if you are pregnant or breastfeeding then please consult your doctor before you consider taking Comvita Olive Leaf Extract. Again if you are on any medication or suffer from any particular long term health problem please consult your doctor.

So, is Comvita Olive Leaf Extract Paleo?

Let’s look at the ingredients per 15ml dosage:

Vegetable glycerol (bulking agent), Olea europaea (olive) leaf extract (water, olive leaf solids) equivalent to 15g fresh leaf (5g fresh leaf per 5ml dosage)

I can hear you now “glycerol?!!!”. Yes it contains vegetable glycerol – now this may not be as bad as you first thought. It certainly isn’t as bad as say alcohol or polysorbate 80. While it is a sugar alcohol it is not a synthesised one and is derived from vegetable fats – this makes it suitable for Vegans. Sugar alcohols are present in natural foodstuffs and are low GI carbohydrates.

Sugar alcohols are similar to both sugar and alcohol molecules and so this is where their name is derived from. They are known as polyols which are essentially carbohydrates. They don’t cause any tooth cavities (although it can prevent teeth from remineralising), they have very minimal effect on insulin production and will not cause a spike in blood sugar – good news if you are diabetic. However, if you suffer from IBS you  may want to stay clear as this can exacerbate the problem further due to fermentation caused by your colonic bacteria – yummy hey.

Is it Paleo? Well no, not really as it has been processed however it is incredibly Paleo friendly and I wouldn’t worry too much about consuming it. It’s no worse than having some blackstrap molasses and certainly the benefits of the olive leaf extract outweigh the vegetable glycerol content – it would however be your choice. If you’re using toothpaste with vegetable glycerin in I certainly wouldn’t blink an eyelid!

The glycerol in Comvita Olive Leaf Extract is derived from Palm Oil. This is from a sustainable source via a company registered to the organisation called the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, also known as the RSPO. It is not sourced from Borneo or Sumatra.

If you’d like to know more about Comvita’s Quality Certifications and Ingredient Performance Marks click here.

Will I suffer from any side effects?

It is not likely no. I did not notice any side effects myself but as part of the detoxification process headaches and slight flu like symptoms may occur. However as I mentioned before there is a slight chance that it could cause some mild diarrhea or exacerbate existing IBS.

Where can I buy this wonderful elixr?!

You can buy Comvita Olive Leaf Extract directly from the Comvita website here. You will also find it in high street retailers such as Boots and Waitrose.

Comvita Olive Leaf Extract is available in Natural, Mixed Berry, and Peppermint flavour. A Children’s Olive Leaf Extract is also available.

It is available in 3 different sizes:

100ml, 200ml, and 500ml.  The 100ml bottle is £8.99, 500ml is £22.99, the 200ml bottle however is currently on offer for £9.99! Bargain!

 

If you’d like to follow Comvita UK online then check out the links below:

Facebook: @ComvitaUnitedKingdom

Twitter: @ComvitaUK

Instagram: @comvitadotcom

Pinterest: @comvitauk

DISCLAIMER: Please note that I am not a qualified health professional nor a qualified nutritionist (nor chemist). All information has been gathered by myself from various resources. Always clarify the content you read for yourself!

NUA Naturals Review

Nua Naturals

Nua Naturals Coconut Flour, Goji Berries & Coconut Palm Sugar

Some of my readers may remember that a few weeks back the wonderful people at NUA Naturals sent me out some of their coconut flour, coconut sugar and some goji berries to review and get creative with.

If you haven’t heard about NUA Naturals before then shame on you!!! Not really I’m just messing with you… Let me tell you a little bit about them…

They are an Irish health food business who are at the cutting edge of the global trends of ‘Raw Food’, ‘Gluten Free’, and ‘Vegan’. They’re lovers, suppliers and artisan producers of organic health foods. 95% of their range is Organic (excluding their goji berries, MSM & bee pollen) and the only product of theirs that is not Vegan is, well, the bee pollen.

They are such a lovely and fab company that could definitely do with a bit more exposure in England I think! So hopefully this review will help – if even just a little!

NUA Naturals Coconut Flour

NUA Naturals Coconut Flour

This coconut flour is made from organic coconut meat.  It is dried at low temperatures to preserve it’s nutrient content and then ground into a fine flour. In fact this flour is very fine and I’d say it’s one of the finest coconut flours that I have used. It has the texture of a slightly heavier regular plain wheat flour.  It isn’t as dense as almond flour and so is great for cakes, pancakes and muffins etc.

Coconut flour may well be a little pricey but a little goes a long way. For instance you could use only 1/4 cup and require 1-2 eggs and a substantial amount of liquid to accompany it – this can be milk, raw honey, maple or date syrup etc. In fact I’d say 1/4 cup of extra liquid on top of the eggs! The wet to dry ratio pretty much doubles in comparison to regular cooking, i.e. cooking with wheat flour. What I am trying to say is that coconut flour is super absorbent. I see a lot of recipes requiring a billion eggs but this isn’t necessary, while the eggs will help to bind your ingredients together it’s more the liquid content you require so that you don’t end up with some sort of stodgy brick of a cake or whatever it is that you are making.

I personally don’t tend to cook with large quantities of coconut flour, or any flour for that matter. I am more of a flour blend type of lady. For instance when I use coconut flour in my pancake mix I’ll typically use just 1 tbsp.  I always feel that you need some ‘stretch’ when using coconut flour and so I usually blend it with something starchy like tapioca flour when using large amounts.

Coconut flour is also an excellent thickening agent, and as it can be eaten raw you can chuck it into anything from protein balls, to shakes to even yogurt or – sprinkle it onto your roasties with some tumeric to help crisp them up!

Coconut flour is gluten free, low in carbohydrates, high in protein and high in fibre – in fact it contains more dietary fibre than regular wheat flour or wheat alternatives… Let’s look at the nutritional breakdown shall we?

Ingredients

100% Organic Coconut Flour (yup that’s all)

Nutritional Information per 100g

Energy: 233 Kcal
Protein: 19.2g
Carbohydrates: 20.8g (of which 18.7g are sugars)
Fat 8.1g (of which 7.54g are saturates)
Fibre: 41.6g
Sodium: 0.08g

It is also Vegan and Organic Certified!

So as you can see pretty much 1/5 of coconut flour is protein and the majority of the nutritional make up consists of dietary fibre – it really doesn’t get much better than this!

My best use of the NUA Naturals coconut flour was this Paleo Semolina recipe!

A bowl of paleo semolina topped with goji berriesA close up of a bowl of Paleo Semolina topped with goji berries

You can buy Nua Naturals coconut flour from here!

NUA Naturals Goji Berries

Goji berries were originally used in Chinese medicine but these little fellas have found their way over to the UK due to the huge number of celebrities that are in utter awe of them. They are packed full of antioxidants and the beta-carotene that they contain gives your skin a lovely, radiant glow. (I feel like I should be smothering these on my face – not eating them, or maybe I should do both?!)

These bright red, juicy miniature superfood warriors are immense! Goji Berries (also known as ‘Wolf Berries’) are high in fibre, and vitamins E, C, B1 & B2.

Ingredients

100% umm Goji Berries!

Nutritional Information per 100g

Energy: 309 Kcal
Protein: 11.1g
Carbohydrates: 53.4g (of which 53.2g are sugars)
Fat 2.6g (of which 0.8g are saturates)
Fibre: 14.0g
Sodium: 7.62g
Vitamin E: 184mg (1553% RDA)
Vitamin C: 43.4mg (54% RDA)
Thiamin (B1): 1.52mg (138% RDA)
Riboflavin (B2): 11.3mg (807% RDA)

What do all of these figures mean?

  • Vitamin E for a start will really help your skin as well as boost your immune system, so even with a small portion of goji berries you’ll get your fix.
  • Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) aids in wound healing, cell and organ function
  • Thiamin helps to create energy to essentially keep your organs running smoothly, improves cardiovascular functions (your heart!), prevents cataracts and improves eye health, improves brain function i.e. concentration and memory and aids nerve function by improving myelination (the production of myelin sheath). The myelin sheaths cover your nerves like a little bit of electrical insulation and without them your nervous system wouldn’t function. Top stuff!!!
  • Riboflavin helps increase red blood cell production, boosts mineral absorption, aids in energy production, maintains healthy skin & eyes, and strengthens your immune and digestive system.

So as you can see you’re likely to get close to your RDA for all of these vitamins in just a small handful. Goji Berries really are a top superfood!

For those of you that haven’t tasted goji berries before they taste sweet with a slight tang and bitterness to them, much like the bitterness of a cranberry and the sweetness of a cherry. They’re about the size of raisins and the NUA Naturals ones have such a lovely chew and juiciness to them – I love them!!!

What I also loved about NUA Naturals goji berries is that they are sold in a tub not a bag which keeps them nice and fresh as well as looking vibrant and stylish in your kitchen cupboard or on your countertop!

I made some lovely grain-free granola and cookies with goji berries so check them out!

Try out my recipes for yourself! Grain-Free Goji Granola or my Melt In Your Mouth Goji Cookies

A close up shot of a spoonful of Paleo granola with the bowl in the background.A stack of paleo goji berry and orange cookies

You can buy Nua Naturals goji berries from here!

NUA Naturals Coconut Palm Sugar

Coconut sugar is not produced from the fruit but from the sap of the coconut flour itself. The sap is boiled and then dehydrated to create a granulated brown sugar looking substitute. It’s just as sweet as sugar but it is rich in nutrients – it’s high in potassium and chloride, and vitamin B1 which is an added bonus. But sugar is still sugar so remember not to get too carried away with the nutritional content. As it is low on the glycemic index it will not cause your blood sugar to spike and it is 45% fructose it won’t be adding too much stress to your lovely livers.  It is a perfect vegan alternative to raw honey or just as an alternative to other Paleo friendly sweeteners.

Coconut sugar is also one of the most sustainable sugars in the world so you can indulge in this guilt free!

Ingredients

100% Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

Nutritional Information per 100g

Energy: 376 Kcal
Protein: 1.2g
Carbohydrates: 91.9g (of which 86.6g are sugars)
Fat 0.1g (of which 0.1g are saturates)
Fibre: 13.0g
Sodium: 0.2g
Vitamin C: 23.8mg (30% RDA)
Thiamin (B1): 0.45mg (41% RDA)
Potassium: 934.7mg (47% RDA)
Chloride: 466.49mg (58% RDA)
Iron: 2.79mg (20% RDA)

The NUA Naturals coconut sugar will add a lovely caramel flavour to your sweet and savoury dishes or even to your coffee. I like to make a ‘coffee creamer’ using coconut sugar and find it great in the base of a raw cheesecake to help to give that ‘sandy’ biscuity texture.  I also find that it has quite a similar taste to ‘jaggery’ used in Indian cuisine.

You can use this pretty much at the same ratio as normal brown sugar in your recipes.

The Verdict

Well… what can I say?? I am sold!

I was completely bowled over by the funky packaging, the company ethos, the amazingly wide range of products (acai, lucuma, maca, cacao etc) that there just isn’t anything negative to say whatsoever. I kind of just wish that this company was based in the UK!

So get on the interweb and buy yourself some NUA Naturals goodies. You can do this by purchasing from Ireland’s Raw Kitchen or Perfectly Paleo.

 

If you’d like to follow NUA Naturals online then check out the links below:

Facebook: @nuanaturals

Twitter: @nuanaturals

Instagram: @nuanaturals

Pinterest: @NUANaturals

Caveman Kitchen Biltong Review

Caveman KItchen Biltong

Biltong is a traditional dried beef snack from South Africa. Luckily for you guys you can now buy it in the UK!

The lovely people that sent me out the awesome Caveman Kitchen Vegetable Spiraliser also sent me a couple of packets of their biltong for my children to review (as I don’t eat meat).  Needless to say my daughter was especially happy as she is the biggest carnivore that I know!

The Caveman Kitchen is a wonderful family-run business who will only feed you what they would only ‘offer their own tribe’.

They offer a monthly biltong subscription service where members get 4x100g bags of their biltong for £30 delivered to their door, working out at less than £1 a day for a portion of biltong. They also offer 3 and 6 month subscriptions too. Oh and if you refer a friend and they sign up you get 1 month subscription for free!

The Caveman Kitchen Biltong comes from grass-fed and organically raised British beef.  They use Aberdeen Angus and Hereford Cows (moo) and feed them natural food, in fact these lucky cows get to graze on a mixed saladof 31 different herbs, clovers and grasses! They’re  left to roam free in plenty of grassy space too which is just sweet!

Their biltong is sugar and salt free and is available in traditional or peri peri flavour – or if you want you can have a 50/50 mix! It is also available sliced or uncut. Perfect!

Caveman KItchen Biltong

Certified Paleo, a natural source of creatine, high protein, low fat, low carb snack! Get in!

So if you’re wondering what the difference between biltong and jerky is I shall explain:

  • Biltong is often from thicker cuts of meat. Jerky is thinner!
  • Biltong is never smoke, however Jerky often is.
  • Biltong is marinated and cured using vinegar, Jerky is cured using salt.
  • Biltong is usually more moist than Jerky due to cutting thicker strips.

The Caveman Kitchen Biltong is made by marinating the beef for at least 48 hours.  It is then left to air dry and mature in a controlled atmosphere. It is then cut into strips and packed. In fact each piece of their lovely biltong is handpicked, and hand sliced on the day your order is placed!

Caveman KItchen Biltong

As you can see the ingredients are all listed complete with the best before date, batch number & weight!

So here’s a little nutritional info:

Biltong Ingredients:

Beef Steak (200g for every 100g of Biltong)
Black Pepper
Coriander
Vinegar
(Peri Peri spices in the Peri Peri flavour)

Allergen Information:

Manufactured in a factory that handles nuts, milk, and eggs.

Nutritional Values per 100g:

Calories: 293 Kcal
Protein: 50.7g
Total Fat: 4.87g
Saturated Fat: 3.87g
Trans Fat: 0g
Salt: 2.54g
Total Carbs: 3g

BCAA’s:
L-Leucine: 3.9g
L-Isoleucine: 1.7g
L-Valine: 2.8g

What the hell are BCAA’s I hear you ask? Branched-chain amino acids! In a nutshell they help to protect your muscles from muscle breakdown! Pretty nifty huh?

Now all of the facts and figures are out of the way what was the verdict from the little munchkins?

Caveman KItchen Biltong

Traditional Beef Biltong

The little ones said this this was very chewy with no ‘gristle’, in fact it’s tough and a bit ‘rubbery’, oh and flavoursome! It only had a little hint of vinegar to it, they said it tasted a little salty too. It had only a hint of black pepper to it but they couldn’t distinguish the coriander at all.

“It’s less greasy and leaner than normal beef and it tastes like beef gravy” – this has to be the most constructive quote I managed to get between the two of them.

photo 5(29)Caveman KItchen Biltong

Peri Peri Beef Biltong

Again this one they said was very chewy – “like overcooked meat”. The chewiness starts of quite strong and then becomes easier to chew. It’s not too fatty and very lean. The peri peri flavour is subtle, it’s definitely not spicy and a little peppery. They said that it had a ‘vinegary’ like taste similar to hot sauce but without the heat.

“It tastes like beef, dried beef” one of them said. I gather that is a very good thing because it is in fact beef.

photo 2(66)photo 4(41)

The Verdict

Caveman KItchen Biltongphoto 2(65)

This biltong is a fab little snack for when you’re on the go. As you can see in the nutritional information it is packed full of nutrition – the BCAA’s make me want to eat this myself but sadly I can’t.

It is a great snack for young and old too, for the sportsperson, for the cheeky kiddies or the cheeky kiddie inside you!

My 2 said that Peri Peri was the best flavour, and my daughter pretty much devoured the entire bag at once!

Where can I get my hands on this fantastic Caveman Kitchen Biltong?!

Great question! Just head on over to the guys at Caveman Kitchen Biltong and make an order! Simple! Buuuuuuut because they are so incredibly generous they have offered to give you all a whopping 20% off of your first order!

All you have to do to claim your discount is go through to the ‘Contact Us’ page and in the comment/question box mention  the discount code GREENSBILTONG20 – they will then contact you to take your order, and apply the discount when they send out the PayPal invoice.
They also can provide a wholesale account with a healthy discount – so if you’re a crossfit box or health food store then you may be interested!

Bag yourselves a biltong bargain guys!

Stay Primal!

Georgie!

Caveman Kitchen Spiral Cutter Review, Competition & Recipe!

Caveman Spiral Cutter

Scroll to the bottom of the page for your chance to win 1 of 5 of these Caveman Kitchen Spiral Cutters!

A couple of weeks ago I was very lucky to receive one of The Caveman Kitchen’s Spiral Cutters. It has literally become my new best friend! It comes in a nifty little box and has a stylish yet fuctional design to it. It totes 2 Japanese stainless steel blades in two sizes which gives you the option of having a ‘spaghetti’  thickness or a ‘tagiatelle’ thickness.  To top it all off it comes with a little bottle brush type cleaner, a safety cap (so you don’t julienne your finger skin) and an e-book which boasts a whopping 36 pages of recipes that well… put mine to shame! Ramen noodles, Pad Thai, Creamy Basil Alfredo – you name it!

Caveman Kitchen Spiral Cutterphoto 1(57)

This is perfect for anyone embarking upon a Paleo, Vegan or Raw food diet. It really is one of those little compact gadgets you should have in your cupboard! So anyways enough of my ramblings and onto the good stuff!!!

Functionality

Functionality is key in the kitchen!

So I shall start off by telling you how this little wonderous gadget works. You stick stuff in, you twist it round and around and out comes your wonderful raw veggie ‘pasta’. Simples.

The blades

You have 2 options of pasta width to go for and with either of the blades however placing a lighter amount of pressure on your vegetable whilst spiralising results in a thinner and more dainty pasta. Placing a heavy amount of pressure on your vegetable increases the overall thickness.  I like to use the wider blades for softer vegetables like courgettes and the thinner blades on harder vegetables like carrot, sweet potato and parsnips.

Getting your pasta to be one long continuous strip is slightly trickier than you may imagine and takes a little while to get going. Once about a quarter of your vegetable has been spiralised it starts to become steadier within the cutter and then turns into one long noodle. You will get a few scraps at the beginning and end of the process but nothing that will bother your culinary experience.

Caveman Kitchen Spiral CutterCaveman Kitchen Spiral Cutter

Wastage

Like all spiral cutters there is always a small amount of ‘wastage’ and probably more so with this one. However, this doesn’t really bother me as the design of this cutter makes the whole process faster and less messy than any other spiraliser I have used in the past. As you can see in the bottom left picture this is generally what you will have left over after spiralising. You cannot get it to go further into the cutter without cutting your fingers off. The second picture on the bottom right is what is left over inside the cutter after spiralising and is fairly small in diameter. I just chuck these bits in with my cooking.

Caveman Kitchen Spiral CutterCaveman Kitchen Spiral Cutter

The safety cap

If you look in the bottom left hand picture you can see the safety cap in all of it’s glory (complete with courgette). This is a great idea as all you have to do is to pop the cap onto the end of your veggies and twist to your heart’s content. I do like to use it with wider vegetables, however I can’t help but to try and spiralise every last piece of any narrower vegetable that allows me to pop my big chunky man like fingers into it. And have taken the risk several times.

I have to confess that I have also cut my fingers several times too doing so – use the safety cap people!

Caveman Kitchen Spiral Cutter Safety CapCleaning Brush

The bottle brush cleaner

Another ingenious creation! This brush is fantastic as it can get into every nook and cranny and scrub it clean! Every spiraliser that I have had has been big and clunky and hard to clean.  This is amazing and a complete time saver in the kitchen.  If you’ve got a busy household then I have to say that this is the item for you over those crank handled ones.

Design

I love the design of this product. It’s incredibly slick, minimalist, it’s compact and it carries the awesome and modern Caveman Kitchen logo on the stainless steel outer handles.

Caveman Kitchen Vegetable Cutter

The ‘hour glass’ type design means that it can stand proud on any kitchen top without looking like a piece of clutter or another kitchen gadget. The compact size of the cutter makes it perfect for small kitchens and overcrowded ones too. This is key for me as I have the tiniest kitchen and never enough storage to contain all of my kitchen gadgets that I have accumulated over the many years.

The overall verdict

At £11.99 (and free shipping within the UK) this is an absolute bargain!

This is the sturdiest vegetable spiraliser/cutter that I have ever used. The last one that I owned had a crank handle and I pretty much broke everything that was attached to is because I am quite heavy handed. I did not have a problem with this one at all. You could put full force onto this and it will not break at all. It’s incredbly durable. I feel safe in knowing that if I ever suffer from a Gordon Ramsay style episode of ‘kitchen rage’ that I shall be safe to launch this and not need to invest in a new one.

The ease of use, compact nature and mess-free cutting make this all worth while. The e-book is also so creative that there will be something in there for anyone – raw salads, stir-fry and pasta. If I had known this had existed before I received one then I would most definitely have bought one myself.

Plus you can have fun figuring out what will and won’t spiralise!  Just a little heads up – aubergine is a no go! (Yes I really did go there)

If you’d like to get your hands on one now then check out the Caveman Kitchen Amazon Store.

Recipe

Yes I made this fab Tahini Mixed Veggie Noodles and Sweet Egg Omelette! Click here for the recipe!

Tahini Noodles and Sweet Egg OmeletteTahini Noodles and Sweet Egg Omelette

IT’S COMPETITION TIME!!!

So the moment that you have all been waiting for! The wonderful folk at Caveman Kitchen have allocated 5 Caveman Cutters for Greens of the Stone Age readers to win!

But don’t worry – nobody is a loser! All runners up receive a 20% off discount off of the wonderful Caveman Cutter. It’s a win win situation!

(I reckon by now you’d like to get your hands on one of these little shiny bad boys right?! Yup!)

All you have to do is click the link here answer the question and follow the instructions – easy peasy! It literally takes 1 minute to complete!

Please note: Competition is now closed and all winners will be informed 12th November 2014 via the e-mail address that they have provided. Good Luck!

Vintage Tea UK – Morning After Tea in ‘Springtime’ Review

Vintage Tea UK Springtime

The lovely people at Vintage Tea UK were friendly enough to send me out a sample tin of one of their Moring After Teas special blends in ‘Springtime’.

Well what can I say, I was utterly blown away. Now considering that I am Paleo I don’t tend to drink black tea anymore. Like ever. But I have to say I have gone through my 10 bags pretty swiftly.

Vintage Teas UK are a small tea company based in Warwickshire that ethically sources and  imports the finest teas from Ceylon, Sri Lanka. With a little bit of imagination (and a whole lot of love) they create fab tea blends and pop them into gorgeous, eco-friendly cotton pyramid tea bags just for us lucky peeps to brew up and enjoy!

But don’t worry they don’t just do black teas they also tote a nice green tea range too which looks amazing!

So what’s in the beautiful Springtime blend then? Black tea, maple, safflower, and real marigold petal. If you just look at the bags you can see the individual pieces of safflower and marigold – I love it!

A tin of Vintage Tea Uk Morning After Tea in SpringtimeAn open tin of Vintage Tea Uk Morning After Tea in Springtime

So what was a lady to do on a rainy day with all of this tea? Brew it up of course!

Now the first thing that I noticed as soon as the water hit the tea bag was the gorgeous, comforting smell of maple! Oh my, I was in maple heaven. I’m not even joking. The smell tasted delicious!

So that’s the smell covered, what about the taste?

The first thing that you taste is the sweetness of the maple with a splash of something almost reminiscent of vanilla, it’s gorgeous and comforting, but then arrives the subtle yet earthy splash of safflower that compliments and enhances the maple flavour even more. Next comes the slight bitterness and sunny tang of marigold and the earthy full bodied flavour of black tea.

It’s like drinking sun and Spring in a cup all at once. It is probably one of the most comforting black teas that I have ever consumed!

All of this and the tin is also stunning to look at too. It is just the right size for storing your spare change and keys in afterwards, and as it is really pretty what a bonus!

Vintage Tea Uk Morning After Tea in Springtime

Excuse my dirty windowsill and bask in the glory that is Springtime!!!

I would absolutely love to try some of their green teas and more from the Morning After range such as ‘LoveBuzz’ which contains rose petal, marigold, kiwi, coconut, saffron flower, jasmine oil and black tea. It just sounds divine!

Springtime costs a rather cheap £5.99 for 20 pyramid tea bags for the ultimate brewing sensation!

If you’d like to bag yourself some of this beautiful tea along with others then check out the Vintage Tea UK shop here.  They have been lovely enough to give all Greens of the Stone Age readers a whopping 10% off any orders of £15 or more.  All you have to do is quote the discount code Greens – I hope you enjoy one of their brews as much as I do!

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