Degustabox | November 2017

Yet again we received our monthly Degustabox subscription box, priced at just £12.99 for the whole box with free delivery. This month was a festive themed box and we were lucky to receive a lovely selection of items. Subscribers only get one of the Filippo Berio products in their box but we get to try all of them to showcase what is available. So what did we receive this month? Cadbury Picnic Bites – £1.99
Picnics are one of my favourite chocolate bars so I may have shrieked to see these Picnic Bites included. They didn’t take long to eat – they were probably gone within thirty minutes of the box being opened!

The Jelly Bean Factory Super Sours – £1.79

Now if I was extremely happy to see the Picnic Bites, Steve was very happy to see these – jelly beans are his favourite sweet! They went down a treat.

Planters Fruity Chocolate Crunch – £2

This was something the whole family enjoyed. Made with crunch peanuts, juicy cranberries and creamy milk chocolate buttons, we all enjoyed this very much.

Weetabix Additions Apple & Raisin – £2.99

These have been in the boxes before and I enjoyed them then. I love having these for my breakfast and I never share – the box is all for me!

ALO – £1.99

Steve had this as I am not a big fan of aloe vera drinks. Steve really enjoyed this and it is cool to know that Alo are the only quality-proven brand of Aloe vera drinks in the UK.

Dalston’s Fizzy Apple – £1.89

Steve also drank this and found it quite tasty. I tried a bit and wasn’t too sure but Steve enjoyed it.

Taylors of Harrogate Cacao Superior Colombia Ground Coffee – £4.49

We don’t drink coffee in our house so have gifted this to my brother in law – however it does sound quite nice!

PROPERCORN Perfectly Sweet Popcorn – 89p

Hand popped corn sprinkled with unrefined Fairtrade sugar, Jack enjoyed this whilst watching a movie with a friend. It didn’t last even five minutes.

Ryvita Multigrain Rye Cakes – £1.39

Whilst these do make a great snack, we aren’t the biggest fans of these so donated these to our local foodbank.

 Rio Mare Tuna in Olive Oil – £3

Jack and I both like tuna so this was a lovely addition to our box. It has a real unique taste and we really enjoyed it.

Kallo Organic Stock Pots (chicken flavour) – £1.80

We always use stock or stock pots in our meals so these are a very welcome addition to our pantry. Kallo are a fab brand and these new stock pots are made with organic, natural and high quality ingredients. There are three flavours available – chicken, beef or vegetable. We received the chicken flavour.

The English Provender Co.’s Caramelised Red Onion Chutney – £1.99

I don’t think you’ll find a family who loves chutney like we do and this was a very pleasing inclusion in our box. This is absolutely delicious.

Filippo Berio Classic Pesto

I am the only one to like pesto in our house so we don’t tend to make pesto dishes. I donated this to the local food bank so someone else can benefit from it.

Filippo Berio Fennel & Garlic Crostini

These were great to snack on and we all really enjoyed them. We would certainly buy them again!

This is what we received and we were very impressed – a great mix of sweet and savoury items and some interesting drinks. Definitely worth the money again this month.

We were sent the box for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.


Quick and easy roast dinner hacks everyone needs to know

The Sunday tradition of a roast dinner is very much alive and well, but any night has the potential to be roast night in our household. I have some tricks up my sleeve for getting one on the table quickly, with no hassle and less pans to clear up afterwards – perfect when you want something warm and filling on a winter’s evening.

Change your meat

The thing that takes longest to cook in a roast is usually the meat, but choose wisely and you don’t have to wait for hours. We often go for a small beef joint as it cooks quickly, especially as we prefer it cooked medium, while sausages go down well with the kids and can also be really speedy.

Treat yourself to venison steaks and they’ll be ready in only 10 minutes – simply season and flash fry them before baking in the oven for around eight minutes. If nothing but good-old roast chicken will do, spatchcock one for a reduced cooking time (you can get them ready prepared to save you the effort). Or for an even quicker chicken dinner, buy a pre-cooked one from the cooked meat counter at your local supermarket.

Rustle up some roasties

When you’re using a quick-cook meat, the last thing you want to do is hang around for your spuds. That’s when McCain Roasts come in really handy. These crispy roast potatoes go straight in the oven from the freezer and are ready in just 30-40 minutes. That takes three stages out of the roast-making process – peeling, cutting and boiling. Coated in goose fat, they also taste great – as good as any I’ve made at home before.

Use instant gravy

This one’s a no-brainer for time-saving in our house, but if you’re not sold on the idea of using granules you can always add a little something to pep your gravy up. At the very least you should include the meat juices from the pan and water from the cooked veg, but there are some other great additions to pack in flavour and enhance your classic Bisto gravy.

Even if you’re a marmite hater, you’re sure to be sold on the addition of a spoonful in your gravy. It doesn’t have that pungent flavour when used this way and instead gives the whole thing a really rich taste. If you prefer the idea of using a pot of ready-made gravy, pep it up by frying some bacon and adding the sauce to the pan to absorb all the tasty juices.

Choose your vegetables wisely

Although veggies don’t take all that long to cook in the scheme of things, buying them ready-prepared saves you on prep time and hassle. Frozen peas are always a winner and are usually frozen as soon as they’re picked to ensure a fresh taste. You can also buy microwaveable packs of pretty much every vegetable on the market, from broccoli to cabbage, or go for veg that steams in no time like mange tout.

One pan roast

If you find it hard to get the timings right for all the different elements of a roast, instead try a one-pan wonder. This one-pan chicken roast only has three stages. Simply cook your chicken, potatoes and carrots together before turning the heat down a little later, finally adding peas and stock for the last stage. The juices from the chicken flavour the vegetables and there’s no need to make additional gravy, as the ingredients create a flavoursome sauce in the bottom of the pan.

We love a roast dinner in this family, and it’d be great to get some more tips on easy roast dinners from you.


Degustabox | October 2017

Degustabox - Nuttvia Breadsticks Snackpack - Pip's Real Hot Chocolate Co Real Hot Chocolate Coins - Pulsin Kids' Fruity Oat Bars Orange Choc Chip - Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs

We are sent a monthly Degustabox for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

We love it when our monthly Degustabox turns up – we just love to see what is included. There’s usually something for everyone! You can purchase your own here – they cost just £12.99 per month including shipping but you can get your first box for just £5.99 with a whopping £7 discount! Why wouldn’t you want to give it a try?

So what did we receive this time around?

Degustabox- Vimto Millions Gift Jar -Michel et Augustin cookie - Pechkeks Misfortune Cookies

Vimto Millions Gift Jar – £2.99

At £2.99, this gift jar is a steal. This was by far and away the most popular item in the box – we all love Millions sweets and we all love Vimto so we were always going to love these! They were super tasty and didn’t last long.

Michel et Augustin oversized cookie – £1.60

This cookie was gooey and delicious and it was a shame I had to share it with the rest of the family. I would love to see a bigger pack of them in the future.

Pechkeks Misfortune Cookies – £1.50

I love seeing these included. Their black humour really makes me laugh. Jack ate the cookie but I kept the fortune, haha!

Degustabox - Nuttvia Breadsticks Snackpack - Pip's Real Hot Chocolate Co Real Hot Chocolate Coins - Pulsin Kids' Fruity Oat Bars Orange Choc Chip - Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs

Nuttvia Breadsticks Snackpack – £1.70

Jack loves hazelnut chocolate spread breadstick snacks like this so to find one with 97% less sugar is fab. It means he can still have a treat whilst I know he’s not getting anywhere as much sugar as he would if he had chosen other brands. This has zero palm oil to and Jack absolutely loved it.

Pip’s Real Hot Chocolate Co Real Hot Chocolate Coins – £1.50

I’m yet to use this as I am saving it for when I want a real indulgent treat but this is real Belgian chocolate moulded into single servings of hot chocolate. It is nut free, gluten free and dairy free which is fab!

Pulsin Kids’ Fruity Oat Bars Orange Choc Chip – 59p

Jack loved this – fruity and chocolately, what could be better? Packed with gluten free oats and made woth 1/3 less sugar than the average kids fruit snack, I am more than happy for him to munch away on something like this.

Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs – £2.29

We’ve had these in the Degustabox before and Jack ate them. These are light, crunchy and airy but have plenty of protein and fibre. They are vegan and quite tasty – Olivia loves them too!

Degustabox - Lee Kum Kee Sauce For Honey Garlic Spare Ribs - Cirio Valfrutta - Lee Kum Kee Sauce For Tomato Garlic Prawns

Lee Kum Kee Sauce For Honey Garlic Spare Ribs & Sauce For Tomato Garlic Prawns – 85p each

(We also received a sweet soy sauce as an extra)

We haven’t yet used these but love Chinese food and flavours so can’t wait to give these a try! They look absolutely delicious.

Cirio Valfrutta – £2.29

One of a new range of tasty ready to eat Mediterranean dishes, these are delicious cold in salads or heated in the microwave or in a pan for a tasty meal. Yet to eat this as keeping it for when I am eating on my own.

Degustabox - Feel Good Drinks Water Infusions

Feel Good Drinks Water Infusions – £1.20 each

We received the strawberry & mint flavour and the orange, mango & water. We’ve tried this brand before and find their drinks absolutely delicious. These didn’t last long! 100% natural ingredients, there are three flavours available in the range.

Degustabox - Kabuto Noodles Thai Green Chicken Curry - Heinz No Added Sugar Hoops - LoSaltKabuto Noodles Thai Green Chicken Curry – £1.99

We’ve always got a Kabuto noodles in the cupboard for emergencies as we love them and I am a big fan of Thai Green Chicken Curry so this one was no different. Very tasty.

Heinz No Added Sugar Hoops – 75p

Jack loves spaghetti hoops but I am reluctant to give them to him too often as they can contain so much sugar. These no added sugar hoops are great for giving him what he wants whilst ensuring he has 1 of his 5 a day with no artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours.

LoSalt – this was a free sample size

Steve loves his salt and I am keen for him to reduce the amount of salt in his diet so this was a welcome addition to our box. We’ve already been using it and can tell no different.

Is the box worth the money this month? Yes it is – yet again it comes in at over £20 for all the items you receive, £8 more than what you are paying. As always, there are items I prefer more than others in the box but that’s the way subscription boxes work – you won’t always be a fan of everything!

Have you ever tried a Degustabox?

Degustabox | September 2017

We were sent a Degustabox for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

We recently received our monthly Degustabox – what was in it this month?

Mentos Mint Mix Sharing Pouch – £1.19

We love Mentos so were happy to see these included in our box. A mix of peppermint and spearmint flavours, they come in a resealable pouch. These were very delicious.
Green & Black’s Velvet Edition – £1.99

I am not always a fan of dark chocolate but you can’t beat some Green & Black’s. This was absolutely delicious and I will definitely be buying some more.
Nestle Cheerios Oat Crisp – £2.49

Jack was very excited to see these in the box. These are high in fibre and low in saturated fat so they are a breakfast cereal I am happy to give Jack.
San Miguel Gluten Free – £2

We aren’t really big drinkers in our household so this hasn’t been drunk yet but will remain in our fridge for when we are entertaining. This is 5.4% ABV.We received this Ramen Kit too – a tasty lunch for me!Latin American Kitchen Coconut and Chilli Rice – £1.85

A great combination of flavours. This made for a tasty lunch. We love coconuts and chillis so the combination of this in the rice is absolutely lovely.
Virtue Energy water – berries and lemon & lime – £1.35 each

These energy waters are sugar free. These are zero sugar, zero calories and contain no sweeteners. They contain the same amount of natural caffeine as a cup of coffee. For every can sold, they donate 500l of clean drinking water.
Dream Ancient Grains – £1.60

This is made with a blend of oat spelt, buckwheat and linseed. These are plant based milk alternatives. We don’t use this in our house so we donated this to the food bank for people in need.
Knorr Concentrated Stock – £2.20

This is made with real beef extract and is gluten free. This is perfect for adding to bologneses which is what we have been doing – super tasty!Latin American Kitchen Brazilian Xinxim Peanut Sauce – £1.85

We are yet to use this but it sounds absolutely delicious! We will definitely be using this in one of our meals.Green’s Egg Custard Mix – 69p

Perfect for helping to make egg custard, we donated this to the food bank too as we wouldn’t use it.
Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna Steaks – £3.49

We love tuna in this house so this was a welcome addition in our box. 100% pole and line caught, these are ranked #1 in the US by Greenpeace for sustainability and are very tasty.

We also received a full value voucher for some Seriously Spreadable Squares which we will be picking up soon!

All in all this was quite an impressive box – a mix of sweet and savoury and perfect for lunches and dinners.

Reducing Cancer Risk How to Plan a Carcinogen-Free Diet for Your Family

Cancer is widespread. For women, it’s breast cancer and for men it’s prostate cancer. Take prostate cancer as an example. In the United States alone it’s estimated that around 161,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. But what if we could change that?

There’s growing evidence that eating the right diet can reduce the chances of experiencing many types of cancer, including cancers like mesothelioma. It’s quite simple when you look at it.

It’s well-known that your risk of 13 different types of cancers can increase just by being overweight. So how do you go about planning a carcinogen-free diet for your family?

Boost Your Antioxidant Levels

Antioxidants are what reinforce our immune systems. This has the effect of protecting against the growth of cancer cells. Fruits and vegetables provide our bodies with lots of antioxidants. For example, trying the nergi berry fruit can have a range of beneficial effects on the human body.

These guidelines should help improve your antioxidant levels:

  • Eat vegetables like carrots and sprouts. They contain carotenoids that may help to reduce the risk of lung cancer.
  • Choose non-starchy vegetables like beans and spinach for protection against stomach cancer.
  • Select foods high in vitamin C to make it less likely you’ll get esophageal cancer.

Through diversifying your fruit and vegetable intake, you’re cutting the chances of experiencing lots of different cancers.

Focus on Fibre

Fibre may also be referred to as bulk or roughage in some parts of the world. This is found in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

The role of fibre is in forcing carcinogens through your digestive system faster. The damage occurs when carcinogens stay in the digestive system for longer. Leafy greens are a good way to get more fibre into your system.

Choose Healthy Fats

It’s easy to think that all fat is bad for us. That’s not true in the slightest. We need fat to keep the body healthy. But you need to make sure you’re opting for healthy fats.

Trans fats, for example, is found in fried foods and things like cakes and cookies. These should be avoided as much as possible. Limited saturated fat is necessary and is found in dairy and red meat, but it should be an extremely small portion of your diet.

Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, your body can’t get enough of. They come from fish, nuts, and oils. They can enhance brain and heart health.

Create a Plan to Keep Your Family’s Diet in Check

You already know that you need to cut down on sugar and all those other delicious treats. But managing everything can be difficult. Unless you’re a diet guru, you’re just not going to remember everything.

The best option is to create a plan to keep your family’s diet in check. Write down a meal plan and stick to it. Make multiple plans so your family doesn’t get bored of the same foods all the time.

Remember this isn’t an exact science and you don’t need to begin counting grams or worrying about calories. If you’re on the right track you should have few problems.

What about Exercise?

Exercise is also important for making the most of a healthy diet. Just remember that diet makes up 80% of your health and exercise just 20% of it. Exercising every day isn’t going to matter if you aren’t eating a healthy diet.

It’s essential to focus on exercise, but your diet is the most important thing.

Last Word – Making the Most of Your Diet

Making the most of your diet means proper planning. Get some input from your family and ensure that everyone can have their favourite foods from time to time.

Reducing your risk of cancer doesn’t have to mean a boring diet. It can be fun to eat healthy!