Food

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.

Bay’s Kitchen: Stir in Sauces

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There are days in TheAmazingBlog Towers when we get to tell our fabulous followers, not just about a great product, but one that has an inspirational background story and clearly a very exciting and fulfilling future ahead of it. And for this one, we invite you to focus on the glorious part of our fair British Isles known as the Cotswolds, to learn about an incredible young woman called Hayley Burdett whose love of cooking has led to a fiercely delicious range of what will fast become essential for our larder’s shelves. However, in so doing, she has done this with a mission to encourage understanding and help alleviate the symptoms of the often debilitating condition of IBS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome has a tough ask in getting the airtime such a condition needs, mainly because the whole subject is one most people have felt embarrassed or unwilling to talk about. However, the truth is as many as 1 in 7 of us will suffer from it, and for many of this group, they will suffer quietly without much backup unless they are prepared to invest their time in serious research for their personal symptoms. IBS takes so many forms, and can kick off with many triggers - not simply a case of what an individual eats, but also stress levels and other lifestyle choices. The good news is that because of the amazing work carried out by The International Foundation For Gastrointestinal Disorders there is an immense amount of information, help and advice now literally at our fingertips to ease the discomfort. The IFFGD designated April as IBS Awareness Month many years ago, and have given countless people a portal through which they can find some answers in their own personal journey.

Each story is as individual as the people who have to deal with the condition, which is why, when we hear about such an amazing young entrepreneur as Hayley Burdett, we literally want to shout it from the rooftops … or the highest point of TheAmazingBlog Towers to be more precise! The fact that this success story encapsulates one of our favourite and very necessary pastimes  of eating and cooking is a very happy bonus indeed.

Having suffered from IBS for many years, Hayley put her considerable energies into researching the causes and coming up with solutions for her own needs and now thankfully for the needs of her ever-growing legion of culinary fans. She set up Bay’s Kitchen bringing her own brand of delicious stir-in sauces quite literally to our table, and in so doing has helped to make life enormously more comfortable for many people, but also fabulously delicious for us all.

Bay’s Kitchen currently offers three sauces: the Tomato & Basil Stir-In Sauce, the Sweet & Sour Stir-In Sauce, and the Jalfrezi Curry Stir-In Sauce - all of which we can confirm not only set our tastebuds humming, but also continues to satisfy them most effectively! Each of the recipes are certified Low-FODMAP, Gluten-Free and totally Vegan, and aside from the gratitude of many, Hayley is collecting awards for her creations in increasing number, gaining Gold and Silver at The Free From Awards 2019 .

Competitively priced at £4.15 for a 260g two portion serving, and available through their online shop here However, for anyone who finds themselves in the sometimes excrutiatingly uncomfortable pangs of an IBS onslaught, we urge you to check out Ms Burdett’s comprehensive website and also visit for further information, help and advice.

Nutty Nibbles from The Nutty Group

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How many times have we at TheAmazingBlog reached for the healthy options on the latest dedicated detox, only to be woefully disappointed by our dissatisfied taste buds screaming out for something, anything more? Well, that clever team at Nutty Nibbles have come up with something truly spectacular whilst answering all the demands we can throw at them. Their recipes are 100% organic, vegan compatible, and thoroughly gluten free.

Now a certain cynic typing at this very keyboard blew a bit of a raspberry on researching this lot, but it has to be said, I have not only eaten my words, but also a rather sumptuous feast of delectables from The Nutty Group’s expansive range, alongside fantastic recipe ideas and options to help us all get back to the benefits of pure, wholesome foods. We were only sent a very small taster sample selection which sadly didn’t get around the whole office. However, from these tiny single pots that we did try: Apricot & Chia Seeds, Coconut Blueberry, Mango Coconut Almond, Pumpkin Pie and Cherry Coconut Marshmallow (Nut Krispy).

Clearly these guys have set up a business model to adhere to their ethos of healthy nutrition, but also business practice and sustainability … all very admirable, but do the end results warrant the utopian dreams of The Nutty Revolution? Well in three words … Yes, yes, yes! So, you too can get your hands on some wholesome heaven and relish each delicious treat. For stockists, check out their website or go to their online shop here each variety comes in a small 40g pot x 18 pots all from £10.

 

Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company

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The best part of our day is treating ourselves to something sweet – especially if it happens to be confectionery! We’re not ashamed to admit our penchant for all things chocolate - after all they say 'a little bit of what you fancy, does you good'. So when we at The Amazing Blog had a delivery of a Gourmet Chocolate Pizza, let’s just say, it didn’t last long…the team devoured it within seconds, and we’re not joking!

Based in Nottingham and started by Helen Ellis in 2007, the Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company’s sole purpose is providing those with a sweet tooth, like us, with a delectable chocolate treat. The bases of their chocolate pizzas use handmade Belgian chocolate, with an assortment of toppings. Whether you have a fondness for milk, dark or white chocolate, their 21 different flavours will undoubtedly satisfy all of your cravings. To top it off, the pizzas come in a variety of sizes (4”, 7”, 10” and 12”) making them a perfect gift for any occasion. Additionally, you can customise each of the pizzas to suit your preferences: see hereWe love the fact that you can design this chocolate gift from scratch. The process is simple, just click and select the chocolate you want, then choose the toppings and the size etc. 

The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company sent us their Strawberry Sensation, a delicious pop of fruit flavour on a creamy base. As we devoured the slices, the chocolate melted and the fizzing popping candy awakening our taste buds! The Strawberry Sensation is made from smooth Belgian milk chocolate, topped with chocolate curls, freeze-dried strawberries and white chocolate rice balls. We highly recommend this chocolate pizza - it was truly moreish. If you’re now suitably hungry, you can purchase one here: 7” for £10.50, 10” for £14.50, or 12” for £17.50.

Whether it's a birthday, anniversary or to wish someone congratulations for a job well done - we think these Gourmet Chocolate Pizzas are rather a novel way to say 'I'm thinking of you'.

 

Ludlow Food Centre Blood Orange & Gin Marmalade

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If the caffeine hit of an espresso doesn’t quite hit the spot, then perhaps a layer of Ludlow’s Blood Orange & Gin Marmalade spread over a chunky slice of granary toast may do the trick! This delicious pairing is sure to become a staple ingredient to The Amazing Blog’s breakfast table, giving us the juicy sweetness of blood oranges, alongside the tangy decadence of an innocent morning tot of gin! 

This Award winning Blood Orange & Gin Marmalade was created by Darren Marsh and Tess Slater, a pair who have been perfecting marmalades, pickles, jams and preserves together since 2008. The team at The Ludlow Food Centre are justly proud of their new product, which won the top slot in the Best Sweet Preserve/Sauce Category at The Great British Food Awards. These awards celebrate the very best in British Farm Produce and are judged by a panel of celebrity and culinary head honchos with a particular focus on the provenance of each individual ingredient. The Ludlow Food Centre squeeze the blood oranges and grapefruit by hand and produce the marmalade only when the fruit is in season. Chase GB Gin, sourced from a local supplier, is added, and the marmalade is produced in small batches of approximately 30 jars. The marmalade works well in sponge puddings, and also works well to form a syrup for cocktails – Marmalade Martini’s anyone?
 
At £3.99 a jar, this isn’t the least expensive pot on the market, but it is certainly one of the tastiest, and can be ordered from Ludlow Food Centre’s Online Shop. They offer a delivery service Monday through Thursday, or of course, you can collect from their store. All details can be found on their website here.