Going Nuts…Over Nuts!

With the focus on healthy eating, there has been scare-mongering within the health PR industry to steer clear of items that are termed ‘junk’. Whether that’s pizzas, burgers and chips or crisps, chocolate and sweets.

So the search to find healthy replacements for these foods has surged with focus on energy bars and protein balls. Yet one of the food groups that has always seemed to balance between the healthy and the unhealthy are nuts and seeds.  This small yet powerful food group have been hailed as ‘superfoods’, ‘miracle-foods’ and everything else associated with ‘clean-eating’.  That is if you have them in moderate amounts of course otherwise they become the epitome of bad eating, unhealthy eating and everything else associated with over-eating!

Whilst nuts have been around for eons, and come in all shapes and sizes – the popularity of these have grown as consumers add pumpkin seeds to porridge, nibble on brazil nuts as an afternoon snack or grind almonds to make almond butter. They can be sweet or savoury, pre-meals or post-meals, starters or desserts.

The variety these little foods offer are endless.

Miss Nang Treats: Nang Cin-Almond, Nang Sweet Pea-Original, Nang Vee-Cornish

northernmunkeebites.missnang2Rating: 7 out of 10

Appeals to: nut-lovers and those with a sweet tooth who want to (try) and be relatively healthy

Packaging:

These delights come packaged in little bags of equal looking delight. Wrapped in clear bags with tasteful ribbons, the consumer can see the nuts clearly which are attractive.  The colours of the nuts add to the overall look and feel, one can see these presented as favours in weddings or gifted to loved ones for special occasions.  I like the fact that these are small enough to pop into your bag as well rather than being in a box or dividing up a larger bag.  The tasteful sticker details the ingredients, although perhaps the brand could be a little more prominent on this.

Price:

For 100g bag, ranges from £2-£3. These can be purchased from the website directly.  Although the price is a steep for one bag, these are intended as gifts and can be bought in bulk for events.  The price though for one bag can be deemed fair as the nuts do last over a few days/weeks and can be shared.  It helps manage consumption that’s for sure!

Delivery:

These little bags of nuts are tasty! The three different flavours I tried were all spot onnorthernmunkeebites.missnang1 with my favourite being the Cin-Almond one.  These were so more-ish, sweet without being too sweet, tasty without being overpowering.  Whilst they were sweet flavoured nuts, at no point did I feel guilty for having one too many.  The Nang Sweet Pea – Original were just incredible too, the ingredients just say sugar and salt but these seemed to have just the right balance of delicious-ness.  There is definitely a certain je ne sais quoi as you can’t quite put your finger on the flavours but whilst popping these in your mouth, all you need to do is savour and enjoy them rather than trying to figure it out.  Although I may not purchase these regularly, I do know where to go now for a tasty nut treat and to order some packets for special friends.

Verdict: in a word –more-ish. Whilst the price can initially cause you to pause to purchase, after tasting it you can see that it’s actually a fairly reasonable price.  The whole look and feel is of something that is quite homely and very personal.

Details: https://missnang.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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Ooh-La-La Tea Biscuits!

As a gluten-free eater, there are some things I really miss. One of those is dunking biscuits into tea.  There is nothing better or more soothing that timing the moment of how long you dunk before the biscuit becomes soggy and drops!

When I became gluten-free this appeared to be one of the perks I had to give up. People think it’s the food we miss, but sometimes it’s the memories and actions associated with the foods that are the biggest losses.  I did of course find other things to replace with tea/biscuit dunking including the bliss of dunking chocolate to let it melt over my fingers, but there was always something missing as it wasn’t a biscuit.

Of course the market must have clocked on to this fact as there then arrived an abundance of gluten free treats, including biscuits and the return of tea/biscuit dunking was back. Alas, these biscuits just were not up to the scratch, they tasted like cardboard and even worse, the seconds to dunking were longer so you could never time it just right.  Plus so many of these gluten-free treats were just round balls of sugar and taste was compromised.

Then popped up another market – healthier free from treats. Lower sugar, more fibre, healthier ways of baking etc.  Whilst I scoffed again at some of the products, a few caught my eye.  Although I have made a personal decision to cut down on treats generally, it does feel nice to know that when I do want to have a healthier gluten free treat, there’s an increasing market of naturally good treats where companies are genuinely trying to look out for health AND focus on taste too.

northernmunkeebites.808rhythm1 Rhythm108 Ooh-la-la Tea Biscuits – Coconut Cookie

Rating: 9 out of 10

Appeals to: free-from lovers, healthy-conscious eaters and tea/biscuit dunkers

Packaging

These packs of biscuits screamed out to me. Whilst I didn’t source these from supermarket shelves (I was kindly provided with some samples) I was overjoyed when I opened the box as they were so colourful! The bright pinks, turquoises and pastel colours completely played to colour palette and if I were to see them on the shelves then yes definitely I would be attracted to them.  The material of the packaging itself was good – it felt like I would be purchasing purchased a high quality product, plus was easy to open – always one of my bear-bugs. I then saw that the packaging was home compostable so for those who are environmentally conscious – another win. I was also happy to see simple ingredients listed on the packet in an easy-to-read manner. A big tick on all fronts re packaging.

Price

£2.99 – I was kindly provided some samples but a quick search online showed me the price range and I was impressed.  So impressed I have purchased these again.  The sharing packets lasted a few days in my house, despite having a husband who scoffs biscuits like they’re grapes, so definitely value for money.

Delivery

These are moor-ish with a capital M! I could not stop myself from snacking on these.  Whilst they are still snacks, I reasoned with myself they are healthier treats so allowed myself to just eat as many as I could in one go! The other huge win for me was that these were not only gluten free, but also dairy free and refined sugars and using organic ingredients – for a fussy eater like me, this was an item I could eat safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have reactions later.  I truly did indulge, so much that I had to hide a packet of these so that my husband wouldn’t finish them.  Even he could not notice any difference between gluten biscuits and these gluten-free biscuits and was quick to keep on taking them.The taste was spot on – exactly what a coconut biscuit should taste like – crumbly yet softened when dunked in tea.  Plus the flavouring of coconut was just right for me, I love coconut and can’t get enough but didn’t feel this overwhelmed the whole taste.

Verdict: in a word – delicious! These are definitely my new to-go biscuits now. They hit all the right spots for free-from AND non free-from consumers as well as just getting the taste bang on.  Not only were they healthy but they gave me back one of my greatest missed moments – tea/biscuit dunking.

Details: https://www.rhythm108.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!

 

 

 

Pipped to the Post!

Product Review: Pip & Nut

So it’s official. I’m an addict, but that’s ok right? The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem…but my problem is I don’t want to admit, not yet. Hi, my name is Northern Munkee and I’m a Nut Butter Nutter.

Not much has changed in the market place since my peanut butter series but this blog opens up something completely new to the category: on-the-go.

On-the-go is a very trendy category and it’s one that a lot of suppliers and retailers are desperate to get right. The beauty is that the on-the-go category is so expansive and subjective. What is it? It’s impulse, it’s snacking, it’s portion-control, it’s portable, it’s handheld, it’s over-priced, it’s…not easy to define. What this shows is a shift in eating habits that started in the early 90s and is driven by our time poor society. Take breakfast for example. When I was growing up breakfast was a meal taken at the table or at worst in front of the TV but I was definitely sat down. It wasn’t a chilled, oaty, yoghurt drink gulped down as I’m reminded to ‘Mind the Gap’ as I alight the tube! This movement in the breakfast category has been a long time coming with breakfast bars first introduced with Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain in 1996. The category has developed since then but the pace has really picked up in the last 5 years and handheld is certainly the present and almost certainly the future!

One issue this does present is competition. All of a sudden, as a supplier, you’re not just looking left and right at competitors within your category. You’re now watching your back from, well, almost anyone; even nut butter manufacturers brands…

I’m going to assess the Squeeze Packs in their own little review at the bottom of this, just to make sure I do them justice!

Rating: 9.8/10

Appeals to: nutbutter nutters, peanut fans, those against boring toast

Packaging

This is spot on. The most obvious thing about the packaging is that the brand values and personality shines through. It’s fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously which will really appeal to the excited generation of nutbutter nutters.

Price

£2.29 (250g Jar) – this is actually really reasonable for the category and, potentially, undervalues the product slightly. However this price point does allow Pip & Nut to establish itself as a credible premium option and steal some share from the palm-oil loving Whole Earth.

Delivery

So, what makes Pip & Nut different? Well it has the mark of quality that all good nutbutters should, the separation of the nut oil. It has familiar and appropriate flavours. But for me the thing that makes it stand out, and achieve the best score I’ve given so far as a blogger, is the consistency; it’s not smooth but it’s not crunchy. Your mouthful is interrupted just the right amount of times by variation in texture and nutty goodness.

Peanut Butter

This was brilliant. It had an initial creaminess presented by the nut oil that was embraced by a sticky, nutty aftertaste. I usually like my peanut butters a bit more crunchy than this but the taste was just superb.

Almond Butter

This butter is superb. It’s sweet but has a really rich texture so what it gives to peanut butter in terms of earthiness it makes up for in texture and creaminess.

Coconut and Almond Butter

These flavour combinations work perfectly well together. The oaty hit from the initial coconut flavours merge into a sweet almond paste that makes for a really light and delicate spread. This has to be my favourite of the bunch!

Honey Cinnamon Cashew Nut Butter

This jar delivers three layers of flavour. First you get a smooth sweet honey which builds in intensity as it passes onto a sweet, creamy cashew nut and the last out of the blocks is the light heat of cinnamon. What a brilliant creation.

Squeeze Packs

Quite simply brilliant. The flavour delivery was exactly the same as the jars. The packaging was absolutely appropriate to the audience and on-trend. This will appeal fantastically well to the main growth drivers of the nutbutter category: fitness fanatics. I think this is a very shrewd move by Pip & Nut and they’ve listened very closely to their customers and delivered a pack that’s more appropriate for their mission which is absolutely on-the-go. They’re priced at £0.99 RSP so, again, I believe that Pip & Nut are doing themselves a disservice here because the fitness category is expensive with protein bars commanding a premium price point. So if you’re a gym-goer, a cyclist, a runner or just one of those characters with all-the-gear-and-no-idea then you need to bin that Cyclone bar and pick up a Squeeze Pack!

Verdict – in a word, fantastic! The delivery on the nutbutters is fantastic but for me the real gem in this review is the squeeze packs. It’s absolutely bang on trend and what the category needs. I’m excited to see how the story develops with squeeze packs but I can only see it get bigger and bigger.

Details: http://www.pipandnut.com/

Northern Munkee.