vegetarian

Urban Cordial

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As the temperature rises, our taste buds are craving something refreshing to cool us down, and the array of choice in the soft drinks sector is greater than ever before. However, with our awareness primed these days to know exactly what we are drinking, the challenge now is to source the perfect taste, but without all those sugary additives which are going to send our glucose levels rocketing. Fortunately, we at  The Amazing Blog only have to look as far as  Urban Cordial who have brought their delicious concoctions to market with a mouth-watering array of pairings. How do Strawberry & Sage , Pear & Ginger, Blackberry & Lavender or Apple, Lemon & Fennel  sound as an introduction to the range? Pretty impressive, when further investigation revealed that these tantalising flavours are just the tip of the iceberg - or should that be ice cube?

Now, a cordial may conjure up images of Grandma’s pantry, but these colourful offerings pack quite a punch in the zing department - both in each bottle’s contents, and also outside on each brightly illustrated label. All of course are alcohol free, and made from the best ingredients, although Urban Cordial are justly proud of bringing these to us with a laudable mission of sourcing their fruit on quality of taste and nutrients, rather than how they may be shaped! In a bid to incorporate a solution to the serious global problem of food surplus, Urban Cordial do not discriminate on appearance and is to be congratulated on saving over 30 tonnes of fruit from landfill.

Each bottle costs £5.50 plus £4.99 p&p, and the complete range is available for the bargain bulk price of £44.00 and with p&p free on orders over £40 here everyone’s a winner! However, some small independent grocery stores and also one or two of the larger high street names are taking up the option to supply, so getting our hands on these wonderful libations, is thankfully, becoming easier for all of us.

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.

 

Love Cocoa - Chocolate Bars

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We're all chocolate lovers at The Amazing Blog, and for those of you who join us in the pursuit for delicious new treats, Love Cocoa will be a fitting choice. The problem with most chocolate brands is that they contain irritating allergens and poorly-sourced ingredients. This is where Love Cocoa differs, they are gluten and soy-free and are founded on the basis of creating ethical products.

Love Cocoa is a British brand launched in 2016 by its creator James Cadbury, who has an unsurpassed chocolate heritage. His great-great-great grandfather John Cadbury, the Quaker philanthropist, started the iconic Cadbury's chocolate brand in 1831. As such, Love Cocoa strives to not only recreate luscious chocolate classics but also aims to remain an ethically driven company. Working with British producers, Love Cocoa's products are free from refined sugars, gluten, soy, and palm oil. Producing both dark and milk chocolate, there is something for everyone. Their dark chocolate is single-origin, organic, fairly-traded from Ecuador.  Their milk chocolate is single-origin, organic, and fairly-traded from the Dominican Republic with a swirling of milk. Delicious!

We tried Love Cocoa’s Sea Salt 70% Organic Dark Chocolate bar for £3.85 and loved the burst of flavour the sea salt flakes brought into the mix from Maldon Sea Salt. Love Cocoa recommends that you pair this bar with a medium-bodied red wine to bring out its notes of fruit. Next, we broke off a piece of the Gin & Tonic 70% Organic Dark Chocolate bar at £3.85. We didn’t know what to expect from this flavour and were very pleasantly surprised by the subtle hint of juniper berries, lemon and lime. Love Cocoa have taken their inspiration of flavours from one of favourite drinks and transformed it into a delicious treat... All we needed was a crisp G&T in hand.

Moving on from the dark chocolates, we nibbled on two milk chocolate bars, the first being the Crushed Coffee 37% Milk Chocolate bar for £3.85. Why not combine your mid-morning coffee with your after dinner treat? The result is a crunchy square of heaven. Love Cocoa recommends that it is paired with a smooth stout, sweet rosé, or an energising espresso. Finally, we made room for the Honeycomb & Honey 37% Milk chocolate bar at £3.85, and it was so worth it. This sticky, sweet treat is studded with glorious crunchy pieces of honeycomb all source from Barnes & Webb, a team of beekeepers who install and maintain urban beehives around London.

So put on the kettle and let these chocolates melt in your mouth! All Love Cocoa chocolates can be purchased separately or in sets here. Prices vary, there is free shipping on orders over £20.