Wednesday, 12 October 2011

LARABAR TROPICAL FRUIT TART & LARABAR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH REVIEWS

LARABAR TROPICAL FRUIT TART



RATING: 1/5 (nasty!)

Ingredients: Dates, pineapple, unsweetened coconut, almonds, extra virgin coconut oil, cashews, orange juice concentrate, orange peel

Smell: Coconutty with orangey undertones

Taste: Tangy, coconutty, citrus from the orange and slightly bitter

Texture: A bit toooo chewy - prob from the orange peel and pineapple, a few nuts here and there

Verdict: I didn't like this much at all! Too much orange, not enough coconut or other nuts, too chewy - actually quite horrible!

LARABAR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH - RATING 3/5

Ingredients: Cashews, dates, chocolate chips* (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), salt

Smell: Smells chocolatey! actually milk chocolatey initially, then with a deeper sniff, the dark chocolate comes through

Appearance: Golden-mid brown bar, speckled with nuts and.. CHOCOLATE CHIPS! :o)

Taste: ..pleasant...a little odd! maybe it's the dates and chocolate combo? mmm.. well it is nice, it's growing on me, although I may not actualy buy it again (the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip is way nicer!)

Texture: Gooey, moist, chocolate chips here and there but not 'nutsy' enough

Verdict: An ok bar - I wouldn't buy it againbecause there are others that are faaar far nicer.. and there are 15 more bars in the box :o( oops!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar Review

This PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE Larabar only has THREE ingredients:

Dates, Peanuts and a little salt



..I can't wait to see if it's as delicious as some of the other Larabars, since it only has peanuts rather than a mixture of almonds and other nuts..

Appearance: Caramel-brown with the usual speckling of nuts

Smell: Peanut-buttery (this is goooood!) :oP no smell of dates at all, not that i'm anti-date, it's just a change!

Taste: Gorgeous!! like a peanut butter cake bar -yum!

Texture: Chewy, small peanut pieces, quite a dense bar, heavier than others, but still perfectly just-rightly moist.

Verdict: A reeeeeeally heavenly bar, purer than pure, but with an amazing texture and scrummmmmmy taste :o)

Rating: A full-on 5/5!!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Banana Bread Larabar Review

I was a bit unsure about the Banana Bread Larabar before I tasted it... The NAKD Banana Bread bar is ghastly, so I was worried this would be the same..

It's not! It's AB-SO-LUTELY YUMMMMMY :o)



RATING: 5/5

Ingredients: Almonds, Dates, Unsweetened Bananas

Appearance: Mid-brown bar speckled with nut pieces

Smell: Bananas and dates!

Taste: Deliciously banana-y, but mildly so, not yukky or overwhelming as can be the case with banana cakes/bars. Undertones of dates, and I couldn't reeeeally discern any particular nuts flavour.

Texture: Moist, cakey, larger chunks of almonds as well as smaller pieces (I was lucky enough to find a WHOLE almond :o))

Verdict: This is a triumph of a Larabar (of any bar!) and i'd put it on my list of favourites. It's filling and tasty and comforting - and energising! Pure, healthful gorgeousness :o)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Sidmouth Trip - Sunday 2nd October 2011

Well on Sunday (yesterday) I was up at 4am to get ready for our day out in beautiful Sidmouth, in Devon :o)

I'm always up at the crack of dawn anyway, and I always spring out of bed at the alarm - particulary when a day at the seaside beckons! It does seem ridiculously early, but I like to do every conceivable job before breakfast - I make my packed lunch, feed cats and dog, do Socks' insulin jab, prepare all the bits for my Dad's evening meal, and Mum's too, shower...

I also had to go to the village shop and walk Charlie before we left at 10(ish) ;o) It was a straightforward drive with no getting-lostness, thank-goodness. And we had the sat-nav...on the back seat of the car...not yet unboxed!!! Drive took around 1 hour 50mins, and it was so worth it. The sun was hot, it wasn't too crowded, and Sidmouth had a 'classy' feel about it, rather like Poole. Seaside resorts can often be tatty and seedy and attract yobs and.. less desirables (not that i'm a snob or anything ;o)) ...but here it was quiet and lovely. People conducted themselves in a civilised manner!!! I could have easily pitched a tent on the beach and stayed for a few nights (and this from a girl who's never camped or even contemplated camping ever ever!)

..Today (Monday), sitting here at home, I feel all fidgety and just want to be back in the wide open spaces of the coastline :o( I've even been looking at tents...



Mum (Penny) enjoying the sunshine!


(Perfect) Pecan Pie Larabar Review



Pecan Pie Larabar - RATING 5/5 - Faultless!

Ingredients: Simply Dates, Pecans, Almonds

Appearance: Mid-brown coloured bar with obvious chunky (and smaller) nuts

Smell: Dates-y, nutty undertones

Taste: Delicious!! Defined pecan flavour, with almonds to back it up

Texture: Soft and moist, chunky nuts and smaller nut pieces

Verdict: Gorgeous!! Pure, healthy, filling, yummy.. A much more characterful bar than the other 'plain' variety of Larabar (Cashew Cookie)

I can imagine eating this as a dessert, warmed in the oven then drizzled with maple syrup and served with vegan cream/ ice-cream :o)

Friday, 30 September 2011

POM Wonderful?

Right, I have drink to review - POM Wonderful.



I love to try anything a bit different and if it's got amazing health claims, so much the better!

Right then...

Ingredients: 100% Pomegranate Juice

Smell: No reeeeeal smell... there is a slightly fruity hint.. almost red-wine-ish..

Taste: WOW, it's very strong! ..and I did actually dilute it a bit already. It's a nice taste though, fruity and quite dry, if I had to liken it to something, i'd say red grapes. Obviously it needs more water though. Very sweet, and quite acidic (can feel the heartburn stirring but then i'm super-sensitive in that area!)

Verdict: Well as I type, and sip, it's growing on me. It feels almost alcoholic, a 'grown-up' drink, most definitely! I will definitely plod on with it... but with much more water in future.

LARABAR COCONUT CREAM PIE REVIEW

Lunchtime Larabar review of the day :o) I'm excited about this one - I love coconut. I've read mixed reviews about it though. I guess it's kind of hard to go tooooo much by what other people think though, as tastes are so subjective...

Today it's Coconut Cream Pie!! RATING - 5/5 - Gorgeous!


Ingredients: So amazingly healthy and pure (just like me!) :o) Dates, Unsweetened Coconut, Almonds, Cashews, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (how apt ;o))

Appearance: A caramel coloured bar with lots of flecks of coconut and other light-coloured nuts

Smell: Coconutty (duh!) Like a coconut macaroon!!

Taste: Absolutely *delicious* and my FAVOURITE Larabar so far :o) Tastes like a macaroon too! Just sweet enough from the dates, not sickly at all. Delightfully coconutty with a hint of almond.

Texture: Moist, but not sticky or gooey. Chewy with a bit of bite! AND I came across a whole almond - treasure trove!!

Verdict: LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

So that's it. My Larabar moment is over for today :o( BUT I have a new drink to review later.. watch this space!









Thursday, 29 September 2011

First Ever Recipes of My Brand New Blog... and a little Review :o)

So, here we go, this is what I ate tonight - vegan Sweet & Sour Lentils with kamut noodles, followed by my own home-made Banana, Apple, Lucuma and Pistachio 'ice-cream'. Yum :o)

I did try and take pics, but with the combination of my crappy camera, and my Mum's tinted yellowy lightbulbs (cheers Mum!!), the result wasn't too attractive.. So if at some point I get a super-duper camera (hint hint Christmas pressie?!) then I will add photos. For now though, the recipes. Devised by yours truly :o)

I tend to use the American way of measuring ingredients (spoons and cups). This is for two main reasons - the first, it's just easier than fiddling around with scales. The second is that I don't like to know precisely how many grams of each ingredient i'm going to be eating! It messes with my head and I get into calorie calculation - always bad news..


Sweet & Sour Lentils with kamut noodles - for one person!

2 tbsp red lentils, rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve
8 tbsp passata
8 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup (I use Heinz Fiery!)
1 tbsp pineapple juice
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1/4 tsp dried chives
1/4 tsp dried paprika
1/4 tsp dried ginger
1/8 tsp mild chilli powder
1/4 tsp brown rice vinegar
2" chunk of grated carrot
3" chunk of carrot 'matchsticks'
Mixed peppers, also matchsticked! about a cupful, I didn't actually measure ;o)
Frozen green beans, snapped into 1-2" pieces, approx 1/3 cupful

60g or so of Kamut noodles (about 1.5cm diameter circle when held tightly and you look at the end of them, to save weighing!) ..and ok ok, they were actually tagliatelle, but I prefer that to actual noodles!

Throw all the Sweet & Sour ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil, semi-cover and simmer for 23 minutes.

Meanwhile bring another saucepan of water to the boil, and 12 minutes before the sauce is finshed cooking add the 'noodles'. When cooked, drain well, then mix into the sauce and serve up.

Really yummy!



Banana, Apple, Lucuma and Pistachio 'ice-cream' (also for 1 person)

When frozen banana slices are blended in a food processer.. they turn into the most amazingly delicious 'just like ice-cream' :o) Ice cream is what I missed most when I began my vegan adventure. I'm allergic to soya (helllooooo migraine!) so soya ice-cream was a no-no. And anyway, all the fake stuff that's available is usually pretty much full of sugar and rubbish... and invariably cornstarch (another allergy of mine).

I'm addicted to this stuff now, it's my favourite dessert! I make all kinds of variations (watch this space!) AND it's soooo healthy :o)

1 small sliced frozen banana
Approx 1/2 cup of slightly thawed frozen apple pieces
2 tbsp vegan 'milk' (I used Kara coconut milk or Ecomil sugar-free almond milk)
1/2 tbsp raw lucuma fruit powder (I LOVE this stuff!)
A handful of chopped pistachio nuts

Bung it all into a food-processor or mini-chopper with a strong motor (I use a Kenwood with a 300watt motor, and I think it will burn out one day as it kicks up a bit of a fuss).

Pulse/blend for a few minutes until you are left with a smooth and creamy Mr Whippy style manna-from-heaven!

Spoon out into a freezer-proof container, then freeze for around 45-minutes. Take out of the freezer, mix well, then out back for another half hour or so until ready to eat :o)

I always have a bit of chocolate with my cup of tea - and THIS is my favourite kind - Raw Chocolate Pies by Living Food in St Ives in Cornwall. It's just like old-fashioned chocolate biscuit cake! Out-of-this-worldly delicious... and guess what? It's good for you!

I always keep them in the fridge, then cut into slices and have some every night. Gorgeous!






My First Ever Blog Post - Larabar Cashew Cookie + Cherry Pie Reviews

I may be a Brit, but I LOVE all things that originate Stateside! particularly food... vegan food, of course ;o)

Following on from my growing interest in raw foods, and most especially raw (or semi-raw) 'bars', I stumbled on the GORGEOUSNESS that is the Larabar. They are similar to Nakd bars here in the UK, but with a much much tastier and bigger range of flavours. Hopefully I will get to try them all, and will review each one here :o) I buy them from iherb and Vitacost, in rather large (pricey)boxes of about 16 bars... bankruptcy here I come!

First off, Cashew Cookie - RATING 4/5





Ingredients: Cashews, Dates

Appearance: Light brown, with lighter nut pieces visible

Smell: Very mild, slight hint of dates

Taste: Pleasantly nutty, mild flavour, reminicent of cookie dough

Texture: Nicely moist, gooey and chewy, with a mixture of small and a few larger nut pieces

Verdict: Pleasant enough to eat, and so extremely pure that i'd definitely buy/eat it again.. once i've tested out all the more exotic flavours!


Cherry - RATING 2/5



Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Unsweetened Cherries

Appearance: A dark brown bar studded with lighter nut pieces

Smell: Definitely a hint of cherry

Taste: Deliciously cherry-y, but quite tart/sour (slightly metallic after-taste which isn't too good!)

Texture: Moist, chewy, with nutty pieces and the occasional treat of a chunky nut ;o)

Verdict: Not my favourite, and I wouldn't buy them again. Not reeeeeally sweet enough, the cherries are just to 'sour' and as I said above, there is an oddly metallic aftertaste.

So that's it. my first Blog, my first review. Done. And all with a stonking great big headache!! More about me and possibly even a RECIPE, later on :o)