Appy Kids Company Juice Review and Competition. 


See all this in the picture above? It could be yours but we will get to that later.

You may ( or may not) know that I have a munchkin, and I may have commented on the fact she loves Peppa pig and Paw Patrol once or twice.  I know I’m not on my own, most children go through a Peppa stage I think.

Anyway the lovely people over at Appy Kids Co contacted us asking if we would like to try these juices, not only that we have collaborated to offer you all the chance to try them to. If you hadn’t guessed already Appy Kids sell licensed character juice drinks, which are made with natural ingredients and in ranges such as Peppa, The Gruffalo, Minions and Paw Patrol.


We had the Orange Paw Patrol pouches and mixed berry Peppa cartons to try. They are all much lower in sugar, (see Here for typical ingredients list) suitable for most diets and contain added vitamins as well.  I was happy for LR to try these, I’m always conscious of sugar content, in terms of teeth health and diet but 3.75g per 100 MLS is around about what these drinks are, which is so much better than some on the market- it’s a win for mums, and kids alike.

So how to they taste? Im Pleased to say LR liked both, her favourite is Paw Patrol ( I suspect Chase on the front has something to do with it). Mind you she drank both and has gone back for more on different days. I take this as a positive- wild horses would not make her eat or drink something she doesn’t like. Her only criticism was that Rubble was missing from the front of the carton, but taste wise it’s all good. 

For research obviously I had a few sips to. Both are very tasty and refreshing. I like the fact they don’t leave that horrid artificial after taste in your mouth.  They don’t cause a sugar rush after either, so that alone is a thumb up from me. Perfect for the back to school lunch boxes.  ( yeah I know 5 wks- you’ve got this).

So how can you get your hands on this great prize of:

  • 3 x 5-pack of Paw Patrol Juice Drink Pouches
  • 3 x 3-pack of Peppa Pig Fruit Drink Cartons
  • 1 x Peppa Pig 9in1 Bumper Puzzle Pack by JUMBO GAMES

That is easy just follow the instructions in the box below ( just click the link) 

Winner will be drawn at random next week. Good luck to you all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate (Green) Smoothie

Hello, hello, hello I’m back ( or BT has finally fixed our phone line). anyway now normal service can be resumed and I’ve got loads of posts to share with you all, so I best get started. 

  
This here Is a green smoothie in disguise. It’s perfect for a chocolate fix but has less sugar than some of the other smoothie combinations out there. I’m not going to say  it’s clean, or sugar free etc, sugar is sugar whichever way you look at it, and this has some fruit in. 

Ingredients 

  • Handful of spinach 
  • Small piece of cucumber
  • 1/2 frozen banana 
  • A few chunks of mango
  • 1tsp of cacao powder 
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • Milk of choice 

Place all ingredients into your blender/ nutribullet etc and voila there you have your smoothie

  
Right back to it I’m experimenting with photo backdrops and have some pictures to take. ( it’s one of my aims this year to improve my photography skills). 

Bircher ( Overnight Oats) Bowl 

Hmmm so how’s 2017 going for everyone? Not bad for us this end, although losing a dear friend has been a blow.  However this is not a post intended on depressing you all, on the contrary the year is still young, opportunities are a plenty and my popcorn machine is on standby for me to pull up my chair and watch the comedy/ horror/ disaster movie that is Trump ( I’m childish and still snigger at his name) going into the Oval Office. 

I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m supposed to be keeping you all uplifted, well you will need energy to do this…..and this breakfast is perfect for that. I love ( gluten free) oats, they are filling, good for you, and versatile. What’s not to like? 

  

  The best thing about over night oats is that there is no right or wrong way to eat them, any flavour or combination work, they can be as clean ( or dirty??) as you want them to be, and can be made the night before. This is the real winner for me, as it saves precious time on that early morning rush….

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats ( or gluten free oats) 
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup of yoghurt or choice 
  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds ( optional) 
  • I dessert spoon raisins 
  • Sweeten with honey or maple syrup or Apple juice ( to suit your palate ) 
  • Topping of choice 

Mix the oats, milk, yoghurt, chia and sweetner together and leave for 6-8 hours in the fridge. 

In the morning add to a jar ( or bowl) and have fun with your toppings. 

  

Have you tried over night oats? What’s your favourite flavour combinations? Let me know in the comments below. 

New product- Real Good Tomato Ketchup

  
  It’s no secret I’m fond of ketchup, and I have to admit cutting it out for operation wedding dress has been tricky.  You know a bacon sandwich just isn’t the same without it ( unless you’re a brown sauce fan I guess).  

I was really excited when new company  Real Good tomato ketchup followed me on Twitter. They make ketchup (so far) that is gluten free, nut free, reduced sugar and dairy free. This ticks all the boxes in our house, so when a bottle arrived to try out, naturally we dived in ( not literally that would be silly).  

  
  

I like the packaging, it’s simple, clear and the allergy information easy to find. These are all great factors, but the important thing is how does it taste?   

  
It has a more rustic texture than some of the sugar laden counter-parts, due to the fact that its primary ingredient is tomato paste, with this, and due to the fact the sugars are sweetener and naturally occurring  sugar from the tomatoes, the taste edges more towards a tomato purée or passata than a traditionally processed ketchup. Now this is not a bad point, I love it ( although your die hard junk food lover may not) 

This ketchup works so well with meats, and vegetables alike. I’ve also used it as a secret ingredient in a tomato/ basil pasta sauce and it was a winner all round. Would I recommend it? Yes I would, it’s less sugar and calories with a more authentic taste, what’s not to like? The ultimate judge (mini me ) even went in for seconds, which in this current fussy phase is a triumph. So well done Real Good, more of the same please. Currently this is available from Amazon, but I believe more stockiests will be added soon-watch this space. 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product to try, all views are my own and my honest opinion. The tiny tot’s views are most definitely honest – at 3 there is no other way. 

Breakfast parfait Gluten and Dairy free 

Parfait what’s not to like right? Whether it’s the frozen dessert or layered up in a pot I think it’s great. I’ve become a fan of mason jars or jam jars and they are great for providing a vessel to transport your breakfast. And what could be better than one of these pots of joy?? 

  So this weekend we went berry picking,  we have a few farms that have pick your own around where we live, I love the scrabbling around through the strawberry plants and raspberry canes searching for the little red jewels that are hidden beneath the leaves. Mini me ( being the slightly ferrel child she is) loves it to- and it’s all nut free so it makes for a great hours entertainment. I do confess I had to buy a drink ( I felt guilty as Lily-Rose actually consumed her body weight of raspberries as we went round) 

Anyway I digress a bit. I’ve all these fresh berries and it’s hot ( yippee) so parfait pots made for a great, healthy breakfast. Perfect for summer. 

   

Ingredients 

  • 1 banana mashed with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • Yoghurt of your choice ( I used KoKo coconut dairy free ) 
  • Fruit of your choice 
  • Granola ( I used Delicious Alchemy Nutty Granola). Or my own recipe for a nut free version 

  

The method is easy, banana at the bottom, and then layer up however you fancy. Then dive in with a spoon and enjoy. 

Do you like parfait? What’s your favourite flavour combination? Let me know in the comments below. 

Fruity Berry Smoothie Bowl 

So smoothie bowls, what’s all the fuss you may ask? These lovely creations are so much more than something to make for pretty Instagram photos ( although I’m not denying they do make pretty Instagram photos). They are a great way to eat fruit/ vegetables if that’s not your thing, they are perfect for breakfast or as a satisfying sweet craving if you find yourself thinking about grabbing that Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer. 

  
They are also very easy to make ( just aim for a thicker version of your regular smoothie) and you can experiment to your hearts content on different flavour combinations and toppings. Things that work well are chia seeds, fruit, cacao nibs, desiccated coconut, coconut chips or coarsely chopped nuts. The main thing is to have fun and enjoy making and eating your healthy creations. 

I took my flavour inspiration from Wimbledon and berry season here in the UK, that and places like Aldi have cherries for 59p at the moment so it would be rude to not buy them right? 

So how to make a bowl- it’s more assembly work really, rather than cooking but here is the recipe: 

Ingredients 

  • 1 frozen banana
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup strawberries 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 6-8 cherries chopped 
  • 200 ml milk of your choice ( add more a bit at a time for your desired texture) 

Method

Blend all the ingredients together 

Pour into a bowl and then decorate however you fancy.  In this recipe I have used chia seeds, coconut and strawberries. 

Serve and enjoy. 

  

Have you tried a smoothie bowl yet? What are your favourite flavour combinations? 

Free From
Farmhouse

Infused Water- Strawberry, Basil and Cucumber 

We all know that drinking plenty of fluids are good for us, and I’m forever telling patients I see in my clinic that they should up their water intake. I thought it’s high time I practised what I preach if you will.

Now water on its own can be a bit dull, it’s better with ice, and even better with lemon- you see where I’m going here don’t you? I do like to start the day with boiling water and lemon ( but then coffee takes over) so how to make it tasty without adding squash or fizzy drinks? I present to you infused water.

IMG_1123

The concept is very simple, fill a jug or glass with water, then add your ingredients, leave to infuse for about 4 hours (or overnight) then hey presto water that’s, well more interesting and better for you than fizzy drinks.

This particular flavour combination has been inspired by summer, Wimbledon and pimms season. This honestly tastes like pimms but without the alcohol and lemonade. It’s very refreshing, and would be great for a warm sunny day ( if we every have any) to quench your thirst.

Ingredients for one glass

  • 4/5 Strawberries chopped
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 4 slices of cucumber. 

Method 

  • I can’t call this a method, you fill the glass up with water, put your ingredients in and pop in the fridge for about 4 hours
  • Enjoy your drink.

There you have it. Have fun and experiment with different flavour combinations- let me know your favourites in the comments below.

Beetroot Berry Blast

Rubbish title I know but bear with me. I love this season all the berries are starting to come into the supermarkets, and more importantly my local town market. The fruit and veg stall in Stratford upon Avon is amazing, and so were the fresh beetroot and strawberries. I thought it would be rude not to buy some. 

  
I prefer to cook beetroot myself, I think it tastes better but each to their own. The color is fantastic as well, giving this smoothie such a vibrant, exciting purple hue you will just want to dive in ( hopefully). 

  My other tip is to use frozen blackberries if out of season These from tesco are great, last ages and are £2 so great value. I like my smoothies ice cold so frozen fruit is great instead of adding ice cubes to give you that icy kick. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cooked (or raw if you prefer) beetroot 
  • 1/2 cup raspberries 
  • 1/4 blueberries
  • A few frozen blackberries. 
  • 1tbs chia seeds. 
  • 250 ml or either water, coconut water or milk of your choice 

Method 

Put all the ingredients into your blender/ nutribullet/ processor and blitz for about 30 seconds.  Pour and serve straight away. 

Grilled Salmon In A spiced Marinade  

Well fingers crossed that the last few days haven’t been our summer, and we can look forward to long, hazy days and BBQ season. Now I love a bbq and alfresco dinning, but get a bit bored of the usual sausage and burger offerings. This year I’ve decided to mix it up and try new things on the grilling front. 

I know salmon isn’t a new thing, far from it, but I’ve been experimenting with marinades and I think this is yummy, and not as calorific as some of the shop brought offerings, it also includes one of my new favourites -turmeric, which also give a great colour to the fish as well.  

  

Ingredients

  • Salmon filets I used a side and cut it into portions. 

For the marinade

  • 100mls natural yogurt ( or dairy free alternative) 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp gram masala 
  • Chilli eithe fresh or flakes if you desire. 

Method 

  •   Mix together all he marinade ingredients then in a large bowl, pour over the salmon pieces.
  • Gently stir to ensure the fish has a good covering.
  • Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours. 
  • When it comes to cooking the fish, use the warmest part of your BBQ, learn from my mistake I put skin side down first, but flesh side down is better. 
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes on flesh side, then gently turn over and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the skin side. 
  • Turn every minute or so until the salmon is cooked through. 

 
 Serve with salad -delicious 

 

Leek and potato soup

Well it’s been a funny old week weather wise. Here in the shire we’ve had rain, snow, hail and wind inter spaced with token gestures of sunshine. So to amuse mini me, and have something warming for lunch we made a leek and potato soup. 

It’s comforting in cold weather, and not a drop of cream in sight ( feel free to add some if you prefer though). You can leave it chunky it or blend it smooth, which is my preference, it’s up to you. The main point is it’s super easy, and delicious to. 

  
Ingredients

  • 1 tbs coconut oil 
  • 1 onion chopped thinly 
  • 250 g potato 
  • 2 medium leeks 
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock 
  • Salt and pepper to season ( I use pink Himalayan salt) 

Method 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan, and add the onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes until they soften. 
  • Add the leeks and potato cook for a further 5 minutes. It’s better to cut the potato into small chunks so it cooks evenly and faster. 
  • Season and add the vegetable stock. You can make your own or use a stock cube with boiling water, either works. 
  • Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender. 
  • Blend with a hand blender or blender until smooth. 
  • Enjoy a bowl when you are ready.