@ Eat Your Veg HQ We Say Yes! #October
November 5, 2014
Lots of lovely foods, snacks, drinks and foodie related products and even an App have been winging their way to our attention at Eat Your Veg HQ this month. Thanks as ever to my chief testers, Francesca (newly 6) and Jacques (4).
First up this month, Vita Coco Kids drinks. Coconut water based naturally and gently fruity flavoured drinks suitable for the little peeps in your life. To be honest I’m not a fan of most drinks aimed at kids, usually because of their way too high sugar and unnecessary nasty content, but Vita Coco drinks are pretty impressive. Here’s the ingredient’s list for the Apple & Blackcurrant Drink: Coconut Water (37.5%), water (36.5%), grape juice (25%), citric acid, natural apple and blackcurrant flavourings. There’s also a Mango & Pineapple flavour. And actually they don’t taste at all overly sweet and so get my vote. And The Monsters liked them. Result. Recently launched in the UK, the drinks can be found at a number of independent health stores and Waitrose, Amazon and Holland & Barratt. Follow Vita Coco on Twitter @VitaCocoKidsUK
A big thank you to Vita Coco for sending us a fab and fun hamper of goodies to enjoy on a family picnic. That we did a couple of weekends ago when we headed out to the stunning Brecon Beacons and enjoyed a picnic besides the impressive Llanthony Abbey, fueling us before a mammoth walk up stunning Hatterrall Hill. Sadly we didn’t quite manage to make it to the top, curtailed by extremely changeable weather and a little too much wind and rain for The Monster’s liking. But next time we will!.
Next up, Frank Bars. Like they say they’re “frank”, and packed full of “natural, honest ingredients”. And they taste really good too. Coming in five flavours: Blueberry & Chocolate, Orange & Chocolate, Oat & Chocolate (our personal fave) Double Chocolate (yes please!) and Strawberry & Chocolate (totally delish) they all give a satisfying yet healthy choccie hit, are rich and decadently flavoured and have a fudgy texture. Made from wholegrain oats, dates and dried plums and topped with dairy free coconut cream chocolate they’re 100% guilt free too. I’d happily give them, and have indeed done so with eager chomping results, to The Monsters and I genuinely can’t say that about most snack bars on the market!
Great to pop in lunch boxes, hand/man bags or to take to work or the gym for a healthy energy hit. Available at various health store independents plus the biggies Asda and Ocado. I couldn’t help but notice they happen to be produced a mere stone’s throw away from my old working stomping ground on Manse Lane in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire! Follow Frank on Twitter: @FrankBars
I’ve a good deal of time for Amy’s Kitchen vegetarian ready meals, a family business gone really big and global. Established in 1987 in the States they’re continuing to hit the UK market by storm literally available at all major supermarkets plus Holland & Barrett and Wholefoods. Amy’s Kitchen dishes are made from real ingredients with zero nasties, additives or preservatives “if a child can’t pronounce it, you won’t find it on an Amy’s label” and “fruits, vegetables and grains are grown naturally, the way nature intended food to grow, without the use of insecticides, harmful chemicals or genetic modification”. They certainly get my vote on ethos alone, but every product I’ve tried thus far is really very tasty too and there’s a huge range to choose from.
We were recently sent a couple of new Amy’s dishes to try out. The Chinese Noodles & Veggies were a delish microwavable treat, bursting with flavour and packed full of good stuff including rice noodles, baked tofu, shitake mushrooms, broccoli and carrots all encased in a creamy and fragrant dairy-free cashew butter sauce. The perfect stand-by dinner I’d say. The kids were pretty impressed too, though I was a little loath to share such a treat with them! Being big noodle fans Amy’s version were no exception and they eagerly got stuck in. I was also sent Amy’s first breakfast product, a Veggie Sausage Breakfast Sandwich. A meatless sausage patty, Amy’s ‘secret sauce’ and a layer of golden scrambled tofu encased in a gluten free bun it’s a microwavable or oven re-heatable easy breakfast option. Whilst undoubtedly tasty I’d be less inclined to buy such a product preferring to make my own version of a breakie sarnie.
I should also mention Amy’s tinned Soups are delish. I’ve tried a couple now and they’ve already become my store cupboard ’emergency’ lunch staple. Perfectly flavoursome, hearty and wholesome their packed to the hilt with beans, lentils, veggies and other good stuff. Do try the Organic Hearty Spanish Rice & Red Bean Soup. Follow Amy’s Kitchen on Twitter: @AmysKitchenUK
Henri Le Worm and the Missing Cookbook
Special mention must be made to the delightful Henri who features on the new-to-me kids App Henri Le Worm. Jacques’s been virtually inseparable from him every morning since I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago (being the early riser that he is he has 30 mins to an hour every morning snuggled up to me in bed playing on my iPad before breakie and big sis getting up!). Created by Oliver Blanc and based on his famous Dad, Raymond Blanc, the superchef Henri Le Worm lives in the magical Forest of Plenty alongside a bunch of his fun animated friends. The game runs through a series of scenes as Henri searches for his missing cookbook, encouraging children along the journey to engage with nature, cooking and vegetables. There’s also recipes from Raymond Blanc himself which children are encouraged to make with their parents.
This is a truly charming, fun and informative app that I’m sure will delight your kids. Aimed at 3 to 8 year olds but I would say Jacques at 4 is bang on the perfect age. Currently £1.49 in iTunes (and only available for iPad or iPhone) I’d say this is a bit of a snip of a buy for all the would be mini foodies out there. And do follow Henri on Twitter.
Do let me introduce you to a brand new food wrap to the market, in the name of the natural, eco-friendly, reusable and washable Buzz Cloth! Made from hemp and beeswax it’s interesting a very tactile material that easily hugs and envelopes all food placed and wrapped within. I’ve been using mine for a few weeks now to wrap various cheeses and cold meats, and interesting they don’t spoil or dry out in the same way of other food coverings, probably because the food’s still allowed to breath.
I’m mightily impressed with my Buzz Cloth and it actually provides a more functional and useful replacement to all that nasty and wasteful cling film and foil. It genuinely works superbly too, clinging and moulding itself to whatever lies within and sealing at any wrapped edges. You really do have to feel and use it to believe it! And the fact that it’s easily washable, non-toxic, safe, biodegradable (at the end of it’s life) and handmade in Devon are all added bonuses. Currently only available to buy online directly from the site, but I’d imagine Buzz Cloth will be winging it’s way to a store near you shortly. Get the Buzz on Facebook here.
Well that’s it for my October round up folks (and yes I know we’re now well into November!). If you have a suitably healthy new food, product, app or gadget you’d like us try out then do drop me a line, we’d love to hear from you!
See you next month folks,
Louisa, Frannie & Jacques xx