Healthy Food

Oumph!

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With the average global temperature at an all-time high, at The Amazing Blog we’ve made it our goal to be more conscientious in the products we use and consume. We’ve already begun the shift towards using paper straws, reusable shopping bags and even reef-safe SPF but now we’ve taken on the challenge to switch to a more earth-friendly, plant-based diet that’s tasty yet easy to cook. That’s where the vegan company Oumph! comes along.

Based in Sweden, Oumph! has aimed to make meat substitutes and other vegan frozen foods that are low-impact to the environment. All of Oumph’s six plant-based frozen foods are made with a mixture of soya beans and organic herbs and spices combined into a flavourful vegan substitute. In addition to being gluten and dairy free, Oumph!’s high protein and fibre levels along with its sources of iron and folic acid make sure you’re getting your daily nutrients without having to eat animal by-products. We got to try all six of Oumph!‘s food varieties which we can say made our goal towards plant-based eating much easier (and tastier).

The first product we tried was the award-winning Oumph! Kebab Spiced. Seasoned with spices classically found in kebab, the plant-based strips are a great alternative to the English favourite. Next, we tried the Pulled Oumph! to spice up our weekly Taco Tuesday. Marinated in a vegan BBQ sauce, these Oumph! chunks placed in a taco shell with veggies and some salsa had us feeling moreish. Want a basic Oumph! to add your own seasoning? The Chunk only contains soya beans, water and salt for a perfect base to any dish you want. We tried The Chunk by using one of their recipes for a Tikka Masala on their website, and all we can say is yum! Oumph’s other two plant-based meats Thyme & Garlic and Salty & Smoky were an excellent substitute for a just ass hearty breakfast. If you’re craving a more cheesy alternative, Oumph!’s brick-oven Pizza topped with veggies, vegan cheese, herbs and pieces of Oumph! is a easy and tasty Friday dinner. To join the #greenproteinshift, see Oumph! for stockists, it can be found in the frozen food section at your nearest Whole Foods Market or Tesco.

Hi Honey

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As we all know, the beloved bee populations in recent years has been decreasing at an alarming rate in the UK. Toxic pesticides, varroa mites and loss of habitat have threatened the fate of bee colonies and the crucial role they play in our food production. That’s why at The Amazing Blog we always try to find ways to buy bee products in order to help #savethebees. Recently, a new UK brand Hi Honey sent us four pots of their delicious honey. All with a bit of a twist with added flavours - we just couldn’t wait to try them.

Launched in August 2018, Hi Honey prides themselves on having the ‘biggest selection of pure honey with freeze-dried fruits and herbs.’ While the company is based in London, all of their pots of honey are produced and packaged in Lithuania.  They are quick to add, that their bees are only treated with ecological medications, the hives are wooden, the location of the apiaries adheres to the IKP (Exceptional Quality Product) requirements and their extraction techniques meet EU standards.  They also point out that: “The bees work for us and we work for them, and that is why we give special attention to those who cannot imagine their lives without unique, natural bee products.”

 Each of their jars contains pure honey that is infused with natural freeze-dried fruits, spices and herbs such as orange, peppermint, cinnamon and even cocoa, to name a few. Yum! We had the opportunity to try four of their exciting flavours of their delicious honey selections including their Mixed NutsBlackcurrant, Peppermint and Cinnamon, Orange & Lemon flavours. Besides being delicious, we loved that we could use all four kinds of honey to bake, marinate and glaze in different ways and recipes. A bonus is that Hi Honey has added into their packaging ideas on how to incorporate their honey into your daily recipes. We had to try them all out. For breakfast, we put the Mixed Nuts flavour into our morning porridge to give us an added sweetness and some of our daily protein. The Honey with Blackcurrant also gave a nice added sweetness to our smoothie for lunchtime. Not much of a breakfast person? Then Hi Honey recommends using their Peppermint infused honey to glaze over a lamb or pork chop. Their last honey we tried, the Cinnamon, Orange & Lemon, was a great addition to a warm slice of  apple pie.  If you want to try a new twist on your honey, visit the Hi Honey website here to purchase one of their 250 g pots for £10.99. Not sure which flavour to get? There are 3 mini sizes at 40g to mix and match that are available of each jar for £10 available here. 

Nouri Healthy Balls

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At The Amazing Blog we have to admit to some of us having a penchant for sweet treats. However, with summer coming unhealthy sugars have to go, particularly as we look at our waistlines and start thinking about getting bikini-ready. With this in mind, we’ve been testing out many sweet treat alternatives but still find that many contained high amounts of calories with added sugar. That’s when we came across newly launched food brand Nouri Health, one of our #amazingfinds towards our healthier nibbling. We’re very happy to report that our sweet tooth habit couldn’t be easier now with their range of indulgent, yet healthy, truffle balls.

Nouri Health was launched last year after the founder discovered a lack of confectionary alternatives which were completely vegan, sugar and gluten-free. Their use of simple and natural ingredients in their truffle selection gives delicious and indulgent flavours while simultaneouslyly nourishing the body. Since Nouri doesn’t use artificial ingredients and aromas, they aim to use only the freshest fruits and nuts to ensure each truffle is up to par with their taste standards.  The founder Kalina Halatcheva said: “We found that many healthy treats taste very similar (concentrated with dates and other dry fruits) and leave you searching for something more satisfying with a proper sense of indulgence. That's why we decided that our number one focus on Nouri was taste!” After winning the prestigious SIAL INNOVATION Selection 2018 award in Paris , Nouri commemorated their win by releasing a luxurious 16 count box of four flavours of healthy balls all, equally full of goodness, rich and chewy.

The Nouri Vegan Healthy Balls box contains four indulgent flavours, Chocolate & Hazel, Coconut & Chia, Matcha Green Tea and the special edition Sesame & Cardamom. While all the flavours are delicious, our favourite amongst the four is the Chocolate & Hazel truffles. Made with dates, hazelnuts, almonds and vanilla, this truffle is the perfect balance between chocolatey and nutty. For a more crunchy texture, the Coconut & Chia truffles are a sweet mix of coconut, dried apricots, sultanas and chia seeds offering a refreshing, tropical twist. The third flavour, Matcha Green Tea is a creamy, matcha flavour made with other superfoods such as pumpkin seeds, sultanas, dates, cashew paste, almonds and millet flakes. Wrapped in a gold foil, the special edition Sesame & Cardamom truffle, infused with turmeric, left us feeling satisfied without the guilt with its decadent and earthy taste. While fruits, nuts and dates are combined into the recipes; unlike other natural sugar-free confectionary alternatives, these truffles don’t have that typical identifiable fruity or date-y taste. They are just so moreish! Like us, you can now satisfy your inner-sweet tooth, as well as 'nourish your body, indulge your soul' and enjoy a 16-count-box of delicious truffles from the Nouri Health website here for only £14.95.

Protein Bites By Nibble

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Unfortunately, a lot of so-called ‘healthy’ snacks are full of sugar, and Nibble just couldn’t stomach this anymore (pardon the pun). When Nibble created their Protein Bites, which are delicious, healthy and high in protein, our appetites here at The Amazing Blog were wetted.

Protein Bites are high in protein (obviously), a great source of fibre, low GI and low in sugar. In layman terms, this all means that you stay fuller for longer, so you won’t be tempted to snack on empty-nutritious foods, and you also won’t get that dreaded sugar crash later. In fact, Nibble are lower in sugar than almost all other brands, and by a lot. For those with dietary restrictions, they are also dairy free, gluten free, date free, and vegan – hoorah!

You might think this all sounds a bit, well, bland. Think again! Protein Bites are packed with flavour, and come in some very tempting flavours, including Sour Cherry, Choc Chip Cookie, Lemon with Coconut, and Mocha. These are simply the perfect healthy snacks for on-the-go, a little energy boost when you’re feeling low or can’t quite get through the seemingly endless gap between lunch and dinner. The bites are made of antioxidant-rich dried plum puree, instead of the over-used and strange-tasting dates, and a blend of toasted pumpkin/sunflower seeds (for nutty flavour and texture) and pea protein (for that much-needed high protein content).

Purchase the pack of 8 Protein Bites  here for £18.00, Nibble Protein Bites are also available at Ocado for £2.39 each.

Friday Feature - Breadren Cooking Classes

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Bread. It’s perhaps one of our favourite comfort carbs not only at The Amazing Blog but for most of us, and the Breadren Cooking Class will teach you how to make it but with an artisan twist. You can learn how to make artisan bread from the comfort of your own home, which sounds fantastic to us. You will be taught by the bread-master Baker Max Tobias at the London-based artisan bakery, Breadren. Breadren, is holding cooking classes with dietary restrictions in mind. They understand the daily struggle if you’re gluten-free, vegan or even vegetarian, and they’re here to broaden your horizons. Their ethos is to promote natural, unpretentious food. You won't learn just how to bake, however, as some of their star recipes include roasted cauliflower with tahini, quinoa with roasted brussel sprouts, crispy kale & fresh pomegranate, Vietnamese-style summer rolls, charred sprouting broccoli with harissa, and matcha and coconut mochi cake.

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We’ve often pined for the baking abilities of those we see on the British Bake Off, and now the abilty to shape round loaves, rolls and batards, to knead and proof dough, and manipulating temperatures for the ultimate loaf is at our fingertips. Both sweet and savoury baked goods are incorporated into the classes, and both naughty and nice recipes! You needn’t be trapped by trendy food fads and uninspired ‘free from’ diets. Their recipes naturally forego ingredients like eggs, sugar, wheat or dairy so you can keep to your diet restrictions if necessary, whilst cooking and eating some tasty food.

Vegan Cornbread

Vegan Cornbread

There are classes once a month throughout the year, ranging from ‘Vegan Seasonal Cooking and Baking’ to ‘Seasoning & Spice’ classes. However, if you prefer cooking around your loved ones you can book a private cooking class on everyday cooking or a themed cooking class for you and your friends and enjoy the experience. Breadren uses local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible, sourcing primarily from London and the South East, an added bonus.

You can book a cooking class here from £55, and book a private cooking tutorial here for a small group of 2-5 persons for £60 per person.