Cold-Pressed Protein Balls

One of the great things about the focus on food trends are the innovative new products that appear on the shelves. Sometimes it can be overwhelming with the amount of choice, yet the fact that there can be so much choice now is truly a positive change in the retail food industry.

For me, the most exciting thing of this trend is the combination of healthy yet tasty food products. Now there are numerous ‘super-foods’ out there and companies have tried to make these ‘super-foods’ into tantalising products – kale cupcakes, beetroot brownies, courgette loaf – and whilst some do succeed, others just don’t seem to hit the mark to be sustainable but are part of a fad phase that goes as quickly as it came.

However I love finding those products that are not necessarily ‘super-foods’ but are healthy everyday ingredients that firms have combined to provide nutritional value. Whether that benefit is more protein or less cholesterol or lower carbohydrates, it’s interesting to witness the innovation and passion of companies to do good for consumers.  Of course, there are those mavericks who just say their products are healthy but actually really aren’t!

Much of the trend for this are energy balls which seem to be taking over the market to provide nutritional value in a snack-bite manner. The energy ball market seems to have exploded recently within the fitness world – however these are starting to seep into the mass-consumer market due to their convenience for time-constrained consumers; think breakfast-on-the-go or mid-morning snacks.

Vigor Protein Balls – Sample Pack (Date & Cacao, Peanut Butter, Lemon & Blueberry)

Rating: 7 out of 10

Appeals to: gym-goers, healthy-conscious eaters, time-restraint consumers!

Packaging

I love the packaging of these – they’re brightly coloured, small enough to hold in your hand and easy to store. My bug-bear with energy balls is that they usually come in a bag or a plastic tub and I always think they are going to get squashed in my bag.  However the sturdy cardboard material of this product lets me just throw it in my bag safe in the knowledge that when I dig it out later they will still be intact and not all squished together.  I also think the shape of the packaging is helpful too – easy to grip and hold in your hand.  I’m a huge fan of colour and love how the bright colours are eye-catching and pop out on a shelf or in your bag/cupboard.  The nutritional information and ingredients are easy to read and the fact you can see the product too is always a tick in my box.

Price

£5.99 for a sample pack of three via the company website. I think this is fair price as in each pack you receive 2 or 3 energy balls, plus a range of flavours.  If I just bought one pack for roughly £2 I would think I’m getting fair value for money in terms of quantity, and it’s in line with the price range for other products of the same ilk.

Delivery

I have tried a lot of protein based ‘treats’ during my time when I was really into my gym and work-out sessions. Quite frankly I found them difficult to eat and digest as they tasted like cardboard.  So I was slightly wary of trying these energy balls, especially as they are meant to be protein based.  However, although not totally bowled over I was pleasantly surprised as you could taste the flavours (peanut butter has the strongest).  However there is still the lingering dryness that is associated with many protein promoted products.  I don’t think many protein based products can get away with letting go of the dry taste,although these energy balls do try to at least have some genuine flavour in them rather than the majority which has either chocolate or caramel to try and cover the bland taste.  The peanut butter flavour is definitely the most flavoursome but the lemon and blueberry comes a close second- it’s refreshing to have a protein product with a fruit flavour.

Verdict: in a word – worth-a-try (3 words in 1!). These are a really good attempt to offer something different in the protein-based energy ball market.  There are a lot of protein products available yet these do stand out for packaging, different flavours and for appealing to all for a quick snack on the go.

Details: https://vigor-foods.com/

I would love to hear your thoughts if you have tried this product – feel free to leave comments below.

Guest Blogger: Mrs M.

About Me

As a person with a recently diagnosed sensitive digestive system, I’m now on a path to make sure I eat well whilst still enjoying myself. Having been fearful of food, I now love finding new products, going to new restaurants to try new twists on dishes and am constantly looking for quirky items to consume.  I’m a huge supporter of simple food that is made tasty with the right combination of ingredients and more importantly enjoying your food and diet in a balanced way.  That means I always have room for my favourite item – chocolate!

 

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Free-From Fudge Fun!

As a free-from eater I have grown used to passing (also read as – missing out) on food items. Whilst there are now an abundance of free-from items available , there are still many branded goods that I cannot eat – wagon wheels, walkers crisps, cadbury’s chocolate fingers to name a few.  Alternatives are of course available, but sometimes you want the real mccoy.

However one growing trend of the free-from market is the up-take of established brands to cater for the variety of food consumers that now make up the marketplace. Many branded food manufacturers are now going the extra mile to make their popular edible products available in dairy free and/or gluten free options too.

This is great news for ‘fussy-eaters’ like myself – we actually do get to have our cake and eat it. But alongside the obvious benefit of enjoying the real deal, there is a deeper benefit to this trend.  By companies going out of their way to include free-from eaters as part of their clientele, they are making their own attempts to create a more inclusive society.  The amount of times I have felt ‘left out’ because I couldn’t enjoy the same items as friends or family from gifts or eating out are too numerous to count.  So when companies expand their range – they are doing much more than building their own business, they are giving joy to thousands of free-from consumers who have for far too long not been able to enjoy branded products.

northernmunkeebites.fudgekitchen2Fudge Kitchen – Dairy-free fudge, Dairy-free drinking fudge and sugar-free peanut brittle.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Appeals to: dairy-free consumers and fudge lovers!

Packaging

All 3 of these products come packaged slightly differently…

A selection of the dairy-free fudge in 4 different flavours came wrapped up in a luxury deep chocolate brown box – making it a perfect gift, for others or yourself. With gold lettering and minimal detail, it adds to air of mystery. Ingredients are listed on the bottom – so discreet. Each slice of fudge was individually wrapped in tissue paper, and the smell as you opened the box….sigh!

The dairy-free drinking fudge was a selection of again, different flavours, in a small boxnorthernmunkeebites.fudgekitchen3 with strips of colour dripping down the white coloured box. Pleasing to the eye and again giving off an air of luxury it would not go amiss in a gift hamper, or displayed proudly in your kitchen.  Each sachet is carefully packed inside making it easy to select which flavour you fancy.

The sugar-free peanut brittle is boxed in a light tan colour with minimalist writing. northernmunkeebites.fudgekitchen1The golden writing makes this a luxurious product but on a more accessible level.  It feels like it’s a box you would reach for when you have a few hours to yourself to indulge.

Price

£16.00 for a 4 slice dairy-free fudge box.

£10.00 for dairy-free drinking fudge

£6.50 for sugar free peanut brittle

The price points for the products are aimed at the more discerning consumer. Whilst they are appear at the higher end of the price range, these are artisan products and considering this, the price range seems fair.  What makes it fair value as well is that these products are not to be consumed in one go but rather to be enjoyed slowly and over time.  This makes the price points far more reasonable.

Delivery

Each of these products are exquisite. There’s no two ways about it – the care and craftsmanship gone into produce these products make your taste buds come alive.

Out of the 4 flavours, I have only tasted the dairy-free sea salted caramel fudge as yet, but it took a lot of willpower not to devour this in one go. The mix of crunch on the first bite with a soft centre makes this a tasting sensation. There are also pieces of sea-salt mixed within the fudge which provides different textures as  you let this sit on your tongue to melt slowly.  It surprised me this was dairy-free as the rich taste of it made me think there must be milk in it but there definitely isn’t – so there was no difference in taste of this versus a dairy-full fudge.

The dairy-free drinking fudge is no different. A rich luxurious hot drink this oozes flavour and warms the whole body – with serious contentment.  I had the cinnamon spice flavour and although its summer, it just made me wish for winter so that I can enjoy this again in front of a roaring fire!

Sugar-free peanut brittle – this was the surprise product for me. Although not a fudge-based product, the company are clearly trying to cater for different tastes.  The snap of peanut coated in a sugar-free caramel base provided me with a moor-ish new snack that had no different in taste despite using sugar alternatives.  Letting this melt in your mouth literally allows you to truly experience the different textures of crunch against gooey-ness.

Verdict: in a word – exquisite. These products are for luxury moments.  The self-indulgence of the fudge and the peanut brittle makes these ideal for treating – yourself or others.  What makes these extra special is the fact that you can consume these knowing you are not missing out on taste but can experience the same delight as a dairy-free consumer.

Details: http://www.fudgekitchen.co.uk/index.asp

I would love to hear your thoughts if you have tried this product – feel free to leave comments below.

Guest Blogger: Mrs. M.

About Me

As a person with a recently diagnosed sensitive digestive system, I’m now on a path to make sure I eat well whilst still enjoying myself. Having been fearful of food, I now love finding new products, going to new restaurants to try new twists on dishes and am constantly looking for quirky items to consume.  I’m a huge supporter of simple food that is made tasty with the right combination of ingredients and more importantly enjoying your food and diet in a balanced way.  That means I always have room for my favourite item – chocolate!