Tried and Tested – June 2018 Product Review
This past month we have enjoyed being sent an array of food and other goodies to try out as a family for review purposes. These products include both edibles and wearables, but the one constant is the standard of quality of all of them is extremely high and I would be delighted to recommend any of them.
I received these products for free for an honest and unpaid review, all of the opinions in this post are our own. This post also contains an affiliate link, click here for my full disclosure policy.
Coffee Brewer by Grower’s Cup
Athol and I love our coffee, so much so that over the years we’ve tried various different coffee brewing machines and have had to keep replacing them as they finally give up the ghost due to over use. This coffee is such a clever concept – I’ve never seen a portable coffee system that also tastes like good brewed coffee should.
I received the Desk Cafe Assortment Box which contains 25 sachets. The coffee comes in three different flavours each in individual large sachets that have a zip lock opening and pouring spout. They are different strengths as listed below:
- Honduras – medium
- Colombia – medium strong
- Brazil – strong
To make the coffee, you remove the cap from the spout near the top, fill a sachet with just boiled water up to the recommended guidelines, close up the zip lock and recap the spout, then allow to steep for the time suggested for each strength. Then you pour from the little spout into your cup. Each sachet is enough for two standard sized coffee cups or one large mug.
I reckon these are ideal for picnics, sports days, fishing, boating, basically any days you plan to be out and about. These make it easy for you to brew the coffee freshly while you are away from home, all you need is a flask of hot water (and sugar/milk too if you need them). I find coffee from a thermos flask is just not as nice four hours after you’ve made it!
They would also be handy for bringing in to hospital, either for yourself if you need to spend some time there, or a gift if you are visiting a friend who loves a good brew. They would be great for camping and if you were really fancy, for hotels too (for your cup in bed!).
The sachets are reusable so once you’ve cleaned them out and dried them you can refill with fresh coffee grounds. I love that they have used Fairtrade sourced coffee where possible in two of the flavours (Honduras and Brazil).
Overall we decided the taste is lovely and smooth with no bitter after taste. The strength is good, and just what it says on the packet. I found I could drink one sachet in a large mug in one sitting quite easily.
This is a UK based company but the flavours are West African inspired. Containing chickeas, plantain or almonds, these almost sounded way too healthy to be nice but we gobbled them up in minutes! I found them to be delicious and was surprised that even the kids loved them.
“They are like crisps but way nicer and much more interesting! You feel that they are healthier for you because they don’t taste like there’s too much salt on them and I like that there’s a variety.”
Each of my kids liked a different type, the plantain (a type of banana) was an interesting one to try as it’s a food that we haven’t eaten before. They were sweet and crunchy and would make a lovely lunch box snack.
These are gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, low in salt, highly nutritious and 100% natural.
We tried five different products:
- Lightly Salted Chickpea Crisps
- Smoked Chilli Chickpea Crisps
- Smoked Almonds
- Plantain Crisps Original
- Plantain Crisps Chilli
They are available in Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Ocado, Sainsbury’s or you can find out more about them online at Chika’s
We also tried these yummy snacks, another one that would be perfect for lunch boxes or on the road. These are suitable for vegans and are gluten free. The coconut is organic and the fruit varieties count as one of your five or seven a day.
We buy dried mango from our local supermarket but found that by comparison this one isn’t as sickly sweet. It’s great to find a product where they haven’t gone and added sugar to something that’s naturally sweet anyway. Wallaroo snacks contain no added sugar or salt, no preservatives or sulphites – their ethos is ‘nothing added ever’.
Once again the kids all devoured them and had their firm favourites each – I barely got a look in! The pineapple was zingy and chewy, the mango was chewy, not too tough but sweet and the coconut was lightly toasted, the flakes were not paper thin so had a good crunch to them.
What also impressed me is that not only does the packaging look really fun and eye-catching and is beautifully illustrated with appealing characters but it is also fully compostable – you can just throw them away in your compost bin!
We were sent three flavours to try:
- Toasted Coconut chips
- Mango slices
- Pineapple Chunks
You can find out more about them on their Wallaroo website
ProU is an Irish yogurt company. Our first reaction to the yogurt was surprise, the fruit flavours are not nearly as sweet as other yogurts and the kids were unsure about them. I loved them straight away though, and was delighted thinking I would have the rest of them all to myself. Sadly the kids palates adjusted and the next time I looked in the fridge the stock had been depleted by two thirds, I had to salvage the wrapper from the recycling bin to take a photo for this blog.
The texture of this yoghurt is very thick, it holds a firm spoon full. It’s also very filling, I had just a small tub for breakfast and it was lunch time before I realized that was all I had eaten that day.
First glance at the packaging might give you the false impression you were eating a tub of bones and muscles – the smaller print before that says ‘For maintenance of normal’. This yogurt has been specially formulated with extra protein, calcium and vitamin D to help aid healthy growth in the young as well maintenance in the not so young (almost middle-aged mums like me?)
Here’s a quote from their website:
“Calcium, protein and vitamin D are all crucial in keeping your bones and muscles strong. ProU is a delicious, natural and convenient way of getting high levels of all three in one go. The first of its kind on the Irish and UK market, this sumptuous Greek-style yogurt contains less sugar than normal yogurts.”
We were sent four different flavours to try:
- Mango and Passion Fruit
In my opinion, this is the best tasting yoghurt I have eaten. This morning I tried the type I used to buy and I got that tang-in-the-jawbone sensation from all the over sweetness!
Visit their website here for more info: Pro-U
Critically Endangered Socks
These socks made me so happy when I opened the box, apart from the colours, I was impressed by what they stand for (no pun intended). Each pair comes with a card containing information and features an embroidered creature near the ankle, either a Sumatran elephant, a Borneo Orangutan or an Amur Leopard.
With each purchase of these socks, an amount is donated to a different wildlife conservation fund, either The International Elephant Foundation, the Friends of the National Parks Foundation, or the Wildcats Conservation Alliance.
The socks are soft and warm, I love the muted colours and faint textured pattern. The cuff is strongly elasticated so these socks won’t fall down!
Please don’t tell anyone but on the day I got them I wore them with my sandals.
Here is link for the Critically Endangered website if you’d like to see their full range and read more about the great work they are doing.
Sunsense Ultra Suncream
We were sent the Sunsense Ultra spf 50+ in the 125ml bottle and a 50ml roll-on to try out. It also comes in a 500ml pump bottle. This suncream is designed for all skin types and ages and is formulated to meet the Australian standard – considered to be one of the highest in the world. It is dermatologically tested which makes it suitable for sensitive skin and provides 4 hours of water resistance.
I love that the cream is easy to apply and not gloopy. It has a very mild fragrance, similar to aqueous lotion, which I like as I don’t feel like we all smell like a bunch of coconuts.
The roll on is very handy for the kids as it’s easy for them to apply to their faces. Nate hates having cream put on his face but he tolerates this. It’s a convenient size for their school bags and is ideal for travelling as it falls within the cabin baggage liquid restrictions.
This is a broad spectrum sun cream so it helps protect from both UVA and UVB radiation.
They have a wide range of different products including kids, Daily Face, Anti-Aging Face, Lip Balms, Sports Gel and Sensitive. You can find more information on the Sunsense website.
On rereading this it seems that my kids are a bunch of savages that devour what ever is put in front of them without mercy or regard. If you’d like to help me feed my family and send us things to try please email me at email@example.com.
At the moment we are in the process of trying out some delicious sauces, a different brand of coffee as well as some other lovely items, all of which I’ll include in my July review. I’ll keep you posted!
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