Vegan

FITCH Brew Co - Cold Brew Coffee

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We are heading up to Yorkshire for The Amazing Blog this time - and happily so, for some of the best things come out of this glorious part of England AKA ‘God’s own country’, and we are never slow in jumping forward to celebrate it. But we aren’t talking ubiquitous puddings, or dales here, but coffee - deliciously smooth, and naturally sweet, cold brewed coffee to be exact! The secret of cold brewing we learn, is that it takes longer for the flavours and aromas to extract, and therefore keeps the acidity low. The Fitch Brew Co have taken this concept and added their own roasting technique and grind profiles to create a superb range of refreshing and totally delicious coffees for us all to enjoy.

Founded by young pioneers Andy and Emily who knew that there was more to soft drinks, more to flavour, more to brewing techniques and more to transparency! All coffee used in cold brew here is from using single origin, Rainforest Alliance coffee where they apply their own specific roast and grind profile. The cooler the water the slower the flavours and aromas will extract. It also has a limited acidity thus providing a naturally sweet and smooth taste. The names of each coffee are themselves a magnet for our tastebuds. Here are our favourite three: Coffee Infused With Sicilian Lemon, or perhaps the Blood Orange Infusion  will tempt you? Delve a little deeper and we find Dark Fortune Cold Brew Coffee with Amber Tonic which definitely gives a good zing! It is well worth checking out to see their full range, and to read the background story to this creative team, who also pride themselves on their sustainability through a collaboration with Bio-Bean to recycle their coffee waste into high performance products, displacing conventional fuels and chemicals.

Each coffee is brewed in-house, with all-natural ingredients, no refined sugar and all vegan friendly - giving every one of us a drop of Yorkshire magic in each can, along with the required caffeine hit to brace us for the morning. Each can is 330ml, and depending on the flavour, they range in price from £1.99 - £2.20, but let’s face it, none of us will be opting for ‘just the one’ option, so obviously there are multipacks at £8.50 for a pack of four cans. All the ranges and much more merchandise besides are available here.  

 

 

ChicP - Houmous

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Houmous. It’s a food that dates back to as early as the 13thcentury in Egypt and something we at The Amazing Blog have devoured since it became a trend with the likes of Whole Foods. What we adore about this food is it makes a hearty and healthy snack that leaves you satisfied for hours unlike a bag of crisps. With our tastes for houmous in mind, we were interested to try two flavours from ChicP 

The company was founded by Hannah McCollum, who worked predominantly as a private chef, on the‘passionate commitment to reducing food waste’. All of ChicP’s five colourful houmous flavours are made with raw vegetables that were discarded due to their irregular shape or size. Supermarkets reject approximately 40 per cent of produce because of these qualities and nearly 1/3 of UK produce goes to waste because people don’t eat it. McCollum wanted to combat this with ‘houmous made from imperfect veggies’ to promote better choices for your health and the environment. 

We were drawn to not only the company’s ethos, but also the delicious taste of its houmous. This houmous is much lighter than any others we’ve tried and is creamy, satisfying, and flavourful. The first flavour we tried was the Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric  The spread immediately tastes like you’ve dipped a carrot into an ordinary blend of chickpeas, saving you the extra step of doing it yourself. While the carrot taste is evident, the ginger and turmeric follow after and linger yet don’t overpower. This flavour works splendidly as a dip, but we liked putting it over baked chicken and pasta. We felt the second one we tasted would be more suitable as a midday snack or sandwich spread. Herby is true to its name and has a strong veggie taste, as 16 per cent of the recipe is spinach and parsley. However, lemon juice concentrate, vinegar, and garlic purée increase the flavour’s depth and tastiness. 

The houmous here is vegan and contains no additives or added sugars. Carrot, Ginger & Tumeric and Herby also only have 113 calories (469 kJ) and 127 calories (526 kJ) per quarter pot, respectively, and are reasonably priced at £3 for 170g. Additionally, there are three other flavours available in ChicP’s collection: Beetroot, Horseradish & Sage, Chilli Pumpkin, and Banana Chocolate. You can purchase their houmous here, or at one of the retailers listed here.

Irish Black Butter

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Let’s make a short hop, skip and a jump over to Ireland for this post, to highlight a small jar of pure versatility in the form of Irish Black Butter - a new concept using ancient techniques, for us all to enjoy whether we want to go down the sweet or the savoury route. The main ingredients here are the rich bramley apples from Armagh which are then blended with cider, brandy and spices, producing a mouth-watering conserve of dark velvet indulgence.

Now the obvious choice here for us at The Amazing Blog would be to try this on a slice of toast - very yum we can confirm - or perhaps a more decadent scone with some cream perhaps - completely yum - but the versatility of this ‘other black stuff’ comes when we start using in a more experimental manner for the ultimate ‘yum’. How about on our porridge? Or mixed with some thick greek yoghurt? The options for this little pot of black gold are endless, but one recipe, we would urge you to try is to slather it over a ham before cooking it - the delicious flavours from the oven will swirl around the kitchen like a warm Irish hug and tease those taste buds for what is to come. Not forgetting to mention that it is vegan, vegetarian friendly, dairy free, wheat free and comes in cute little jar. 

The Irish Black Butter Company was formed in 2017 by Alastair Bell who has a background in farming and events management. Clearly a well-founded belief in his Irish Black Butter, which has gone on to sweep boards of awards with two stars in the Great Taste Awards 2018 and Chefs Choice Award in the Irish Food Awards 2018; and of course, now securing many stockists throughout Ireland. Of course, in this day and age we don’t have to be local to the Emerald Isle to get our hands on a jar, as we can simply go to here and click on their shop to order - 125g will cost you £3.95, and the 225g jar costs £5.95. If ever there was a condiment which no self-respecting larder should be without, then surely this is it.

 

CLĒ Cosmetics - Melting Lip Powder

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With the anticipation of summer, we’re feeling a little bit more colourful at The Amazing Blog.  We’ve been getting ready searching out our lighter and brighter clothing to complement our range of statement lip tints and blushes. That’s when we were recommended CLĒ Cosmetic’s Melting Lip Powder which is versatile enough to be used on lips and cheeks, so we had to include it in this week’s #amazingfinds.

When US born Lauren Jin founded CLĒ Cosmetics, she wanted to craft every product with the ‘modern’ woman in mind. With the beauty brand’s minimalistic and multifunctional approach, we were intrigued when they kindly sent us the shade Hot Choco of the Melting Lip Powder to try out. Made with the Korean beauty technology, CLĒ’s Melting Lip Powder is like no other product we have tried. While we’ve tried many liquid lip and cheek tints throughout the years, CLĒ’s powder-to-stain tint is an innovative take to the cult-favourite.

While the lip powder looks dry in the bottle, when applied to lips, cheeks or eyelids, the Melting Lip Powder glides beautifully across the skin to melt into a smudge and water resistant matte tint. Like all CLĒ Cosmetic’s products, the Melting Lip Powder is entirely  vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, has no paraben, or sulfates and contains nourishing elements like Vitamin E to ensure skin is moisturised and protected.  Some of the other key ingredients are:  Natto gum, hydrolozed hyaluronic acid, blueberry fruit extract, bamboo leaf/stem extract, saussurea involucrate extract (thistle), and coconut oil. CLĒ sources these ingredients with a holistic approach in mind and aims to develop a makeup formula that benefits the skin as well.  While the lip powder is a little messy when you open the cap, the doe-foot applicator makes it easy to control where and how much of the pigmented powder to apply. After applying the chestnut-hued Hot Choco to my eyelids, cheeks and lips, I was able to put together an effortless look in less than five minutes. To try CLĒ’s innovative Melting Lip Powder for yourself, you can purchase a tube for $20 on their website here or for £14.34 available here.

NB: CLĒ does warn that the powder can naturally compress over time, which in turn decreases the powder level.

 

 

 

 

Pretty Athletic – Cool Down: Purifying Gel Cleanser

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Daily workouts are a must for all of us at The Amazing Blog. Whether it be a quick jog in the morning or a Pilates session, we’re all for the energy and health-boosting effects exercising give us. However, we’re less of a fan of the red, sweaty look and breakouts that come with it. In this day and age do we really have to choose between having amazing skin or an amazing bod? We want work out friendly skincare to target our exercise-related skincare needs. That’s where Pretty Athletic’s Cool Down: Purifying Gel Cleanser completely changed our skincare game.

While there are many sunscreens and moisturisers that market themselves as a ‘sport’ product, U.K. based skincare brand Pretty Athletic has been one of the first beauty companies to formulate specific products for the modern, active woman. Besides targeting exercise-specific skincare needs, all Pretty Athletic products are almost 100 % natural and vegan. After trying their Cool Down: Purifying Gel Cleanser, we can honestly say that we have seen a difference in our skin after a workout.

Unlike many other facial cleansers, Pretty Athletic’s Cool Down: Purifying Gel Cleanser doesn’t leave skin feeling dry and stripped. The gel cleanser was not only formulated to target ‘exercise-related breakouts’ but also to nourish your skin in the process. Infused natural ingredients like aloe vera, cucumber and chamomile, ensure red, sweaty skin is soothed and void of any oil and dirt that can clog pores during a heavy workout session. Added hyaluronic acid also helps decrease oiliness while hydrating skin. After a workout, directly apply a penny-sized amount of the cleanser to dry skin. Then after thirty seconds of massaging, rinse off for a clean, hydrated complexion. For £18 you can purchase a bottle of the 100 ml bottle on the Pretty Athletic website here.