Sunday, 15 December 2019

Winter Warmers & Festive Degustabox

It's the most wonderful hectic time of the year. The posties work hard, carrying parcels and packets, and Degustabox subscribers welcome the latest box of surprises.

This monthly food and drink subscription box is an excellent way to discover products which have only just appeared in the shops, or those which might have been around for a while, but you haven't had a chance to try them yet.
Thanks to Degustabox, I have found new favourites to add to our shopping list, including some products which I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise.

Each time the monthly box arrives, it's a total surprise. You get a good selection of foods and drinks. If you haven't tried Degustabox subscription box yet and would like to have a go, I have a whopping £7 off discount from your first box (and you can unsubscribe any time) - just use a code 8EVI8 when you place an order.

What did we receive in the Winter Warmers & Festive Degustabox? Let's have a look.

food subscription box, Chez Maximka

While it doesn't scream Christmas to me, there are a few things which could be pronounced winter warmers and festive, including snacks which could be served as nibbles at the parties.

Real Handful Blackcurrant Blast/Strawberry Stomp Fruit, Nut & Seed Trail Mix (£2) is a blend of dried fruit, nuts and seeds, infused with natural flavours.
Subscribers receive one of two flavours.
Strawberry mix included a blend of strawberry infused raisins, almonds, dried strawberries, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and jumbo flame raisins.
Top up a bowl of hot porridge, or just snack, watching the TV.

healthy snacks, fruit and nut snack mix

Eddie and I made a quick job of it, he ate most of the dried fruit, while I enjoyed almonds and seeds.

fruit, nut & seed trail mix, Chez Maximka

Blackcurrant Blast is a mix of dried blackcurrants, almonds, apple infused raisins, sunflower seeds, dried sliced apple and jumbo flame raisins.
Both blends are a good source of protein and fibre.

POP crunchy peanut bar with dark chocolate (£1.49) is a lovely treat for fans of peanuts. Peanuts are super healthy (unless you're allergic to nuts, of course), are kinder on the planet and a good source of protein. This bar contains 40% less sugar than similar brands.
Nutritional information: 6.6g sugar and 209kcl per 40g bar.
We received a Peanut bar, but you can also find it in Coconut, and Raisin & Dark chocolate flavours.

healthier nutty snacks

Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs (£2.29) are organic, gluten free vegan snacks made with peanut butter and corn. They are so moreish, that even your non-vegan guests or family members will be reaching for a bowl of these snacks for more.
Other credentials worth mentioning - they are GMO free, kosher certified, soy free, a source of protein, not fried and have no milk or casein and no added sugar, and they are truly tasty.

peanut butter snacks, vegan snacks

I might have eaten most of the bag myself.

vegan snacks for party, Chez Maximka

Mr Lees Noodles (£2.50) are gluten free rice noodles, made with premium ingredients. Subscribers will receive one of the flavours, while the bloggers get two for reviewing. Each pot is an easy and quick meal for one, or add them to a stir fry and share with your family.
These noodles are crafted to authentic recipes.

For example, Mr Lees Noodles Coconut Chicken Laksa is a cup of fragrant chicken curry rice noodles with coconut, cauliflower, green beans and turmeric.
Nutritional information: no palm oil, 274 kcal, low sugar, gluten free.
Mr Lees Noodles come in recyclable containers (plastic and card sleeve separately).

Mr Lees Noodles Zen Garden Vegetables is a vegan meal of miso rice noodles with asparagus, green beans, spinach and ginger. It comes at 208kcal per cup.

Available from Asda Free From and Holland & Barrett. Use code DEGUSTABOX20 for 20% off on

easy noodles, Chez Maximka

Rebel Kitchen Dairy Free Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Mylk (£1.60) is a creamy 100% dairy free, plant-based drink. Ingredients include date nectar, coconut cream, hazelnut, cacao, cashew, Himalayan salt.
Nutritional information: no refined sugar, no emulsifiers or stabilisers, gluten free, organic, 73kcal per 100ml.

Winter Warmers Degustabox

Subscribers who opted for an alcohol box option, would receive a bottle of Woodstar (£4). It's a crafted low alcohol drink, produced to replace wine. Crafted using acai berries and other fruit, botanicals and a touch of cocoa, it's only 1% ABV.
Available from Fortnum & Mason and Sainsbury's (from January).

Double Dutch premium mixers - Cucumber & Watermelon/Cranberry & Ginger Tonic Water (75p per can or £4.15 for a pack of 8 cans) - will be handy for seasonal parties, as a tonic part of cocktails, or even drinking on their own.
We received two flavours, with the calorie count of 21 and 33kcal each.
Ingredients include: carbonated water, sugar, natural flavourings, quinine or citric acid.
Double Dutch are an award winning range of all natural premium tonics, founded by Dutch twins Joyce and Raissa de Haas. The name of the brand sounded familiar, I did a quick search on my blog, and found that we had indeed one of the Double Dutch premium soft drinks in Degustabox over two years ago.

tonic water for gin, Chez Maximka

Cranberry & Ginger Tonic Water was perfect with a rhubarb gin.

Double Dutch soft drinks, Chez Maximka, gin and tonic

Food Thoughts Cacao Melts (£2.99) are fine dark chocolate discs, made from the best single origin Colombian Fino de Aroma bean varieties, known for their exquisite and intense flavour.
This product is found in the non-alcohol version of the box.
These chocolate discs are perfect for baking, melting, drizzling and decorating.
To give you an idea on what to do with cacao melts, how about delicious Mini Baileys Chocolate Tarts (recipe found on their website, just click on the link).

Used by chefs in professional kitchens these fine dark chocolate discs are shaped so they can be heated and melted quickly, easily and consistently.
The velvet sheen finish and clean snap make them ideal for many chocolate recipes.

This product is gluten free, nut free, suitable for vegetarians, GMO free, Kosher.
Ingredients include Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soy lecithin), natural vanilla flavour.

chocolate for melting, Chez Maximka

Pure Leaf Matcha Ginger/Mint (£8.99, subscribers will receive 1 of 3 flavours) offer an easy way of making a cup of matcha, as it comes in proportioned, individually wrapped sachets.
I confess I'm not a big fan of matcha, and find it too earthy to my taste. Adding an extra flavour to it, makes it much more palatable for me.

The colour is this intense green of the pond algae (the photo doesn't do it justice). Flavoured matcha is a good option, as it's supposed to be very healthy.

Chez Maximka

Duerr's Half Sugar Seville Orange Marmalade (fine cut) offers the classic taste of the marmalade, with a reduced sugar content.

Total sugar content is 31g and 30g fruit per 100g.
Lovely spread on hot toast, or inside a croissant, it also works as an ingredient in baking. In fact, I baked a ricotta cake with marmalade just yesterday, and it proved to be a very tasty cake.

reduced sugar preserves

Disclosure: We receive a monthly food box for the purposes of reviewing.


  1. What a selection of products, really different. Real Handful are really good, aren't they? I like the brand. I like matcha too, but it is a strange taste.

    1. Thank you, Anca, Real Handful are lovely. I was also excited about the Cacao Melts. Matcha is an acquired taste, I prefer green tea to matcha.