Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Degustabox August

Degustabox August Box was delivered last week, and we've been busy sampling and tasting new foods and drinks
As always, this month's selection picked by the experts from Degustabox is varied and irresistible.

If you haven't tried Degustabox before and would like to order it, I have a discount code for my blog readers which offers you £3off. It is valid until the end of October.
The code is S1BBG

Each Degustabox costs £12.99 per month including delivery, a very reasonable price. There is no fixed contract, and you may cancel at any time. With the discount code above, your box will cost £9.99 (including delivery). It will make a lovely gift for any new student.

What did we find in the August box?

I didn't doubt that the first products to be polished would be Walkers' shortbread and cookies. Walkers is of course a well known and much loved brand. A true patriarch of the shortbread world, it has always been popular since 1898. The selection of the finest Scottish shortbreads, biscuits, cakes and oatcales is baked, following over a century-old original recipes.

We received four mini-bags of Chocolate Chip Shortbread, Fruit & Lemon crunchy biscuits, Pure Butter shortbread and Oat'n Honey biscuits. Wonderfully crunchy biccies and melt in the mouth shortbread disappeared as soon as I managed to take a quick photo of the stash.

Bahlsen is another brand which needs no introductions. You can find Bahlsen biscuits in our house at any given time.
Choco Leibniz White is a relative newcomer, but I have been buying it very often since it appeared on the market. My husband and younger son are big lovers of white chocolate, and this is one of their top favourite biscuits. Between two of them, they make a pack disappear very fast. It is a delicious cocoa biscuit covered with a thick layer of white chocolate on the top. Personally I prefer the dark variety.

PiCK UP! Dark chocolate is a two-biscuits' sandwich with a layer of dark chocolate in between. Rich and indulgent, it is lovely with a cup of coffee or tea.

Ryvita Crispbreads are one of our family staples. Baked with wholegrain rye, Ryvita Crispbread is a perfect base for a snack of any kind, sweet or savoury. Sesame Ryvita is delicious with a smoked trout pate, with a little bit of herbs, like dill and a small slice of lemon. What is your favourite Ryvita topping?

Dr Oetker is a German brand, known for its cake mixes and baking  ingredients. Their extensive range has been recently expanded with an addition of Mug Cakes. These are easy to make quick desserts which are ready in under 2 minutes. There are 3 varieties: Lemon, Rich Chocolate and Chocolate Chip.
Each mug cake comes at 267-291-300kcal per prepared cake. As I don't have a microwave, I am passing these packets on to a friend who often makes cakes in her microwave.

The Primal Pantry has been announced as a Degustabox's Discovery of the month. I haven't tried paleo foods before, and was quite curious to test something new. This brand was founded by nutritionist Suzie Walker with a purpose of making paleo and primal foods for everyone, as well as a promise of the best real food ingredients and a lack of junk. All their bars are raw and coldpressed, naturally gluten free and dairy free.

I have tried two bars - Hazelnut & Cocoa and Apple & Pecan. I wanted to like them, as the ingredients sound good, but I found them to be an acquired taste. It had a strange aftertaste, and the texture was chewy and sticky. I am sorry to say they are not for me. My Mum thought they would be handy for long trips, as they are small in size and easy to carry.

Life Tonics Hydration Plus is a drink made from coconut water and natural fruit extracts. It contains vitamins and minerals, and there are no refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. It is available in three flavours: Coconut & Mint, Daladan Orange and Elderberry & Juniper. I received a Daladan Orange drink in my box. It was bright yellow in colour. Its sweet flavour comes from fruit and natural sweetener Stevia.
At 90kcal per 500ml bottle, it could be part of the 5:2 diet.

Scheckter's Organic Energy Lite caffeine blend which is a light sparkling energy fruit drink, promises to improve alertness and increase physical performance. It contains no artificial ingredients, no taurine and no GMO's.
It's a bright pink mix of sparkling filtered water, organic agave nectar, organic lemon juice, organic pomegranate juice, organic elderberry juice, organic asian panax ginseng, organic energy caffeine blend (guarana, green tea, green coffee extract) and more. This is a light version of Scheckter's Organic Energy caffeine blend which I reviewed back in April (see Degustabox April International Box).
I don't usually buy any energy drinks, as I'm getting my caffeine from coffee and tea, but I enjoy trying new flavours and staying up-to-date with the lastest foodie news.

When it's cold, I enjoy a bit of spice in my tea. Williamson Tea Ginger Grove is a combination of black tea with ginger. It's a strong warming brew. Just what you need after a brisk walk in the cold (though as I write this, we are enjoying a few days of an Indian summer).

Now let's turn to the product of the month - Barilla. There were two products in the August box - Penne Rigate and Arrabbiata sauce.

Arrabbiata is a spicy sauce, which means "angry" in Italian. It is perfect for pasta or chicken dishes. You could make a simple pasta dish of penne pasta with Arrabbiata sauce and a bit of grated parmesan or Grana Padano on top.
Or cook a spicy turkey tray bake. In a big tray arrange the turkey fillet pieces, 2 sliced sweet peppers, a packet of baby courgettes (sliced in half lengthways) and roast for half an hour, occasionally tossing around the tray. Add the tomato sauce in the last 10 minutes.

Penne Rigate is one of my favourite pasta shapes. We love it with many sauces, as its shape is ideally suited to hold the sauce. If you fancy a plate of pasta for dinner, how about Pasta alla Norma?!

If you buy August box, keep in mind that Db's Discoveries might be a different product from what I received. I've seen some bloggers talking about a cookie mix instead of the paleo bars.

Disclosure; I received a Degustabox for August for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.