Healthy Snacks

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.

Boost Protein Balls and Butters

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During a busy day here, some of us have so much on our to-do lists that we don’t always have time to take a lunch break. Realistically speaking, most of the time we at The Amazing Blog are surviving off of quick snacks that we keep at our desks. However, during these hectic days we try not to compromise on our healthy eating. Step forward our new delicious pick-me-up, Boost Protein Balls let us introduce you to our new nutritious discovery…

Essex-based Boost Ball launched its range of protein balls with the idea of ‘less ingredients, more protein.’ Available in four different flavours, their Boostballs are made with seven natural ingredients and are entirely gluten, soya and refined sugar-free. They are instead high in protein and contain natural sugars for a healthy snack perfect for boosting your energy for either a day at the office or a gym workout. A new twist to a protein bar, each Boostball is enriched with Vitamin A, B, E, B12, Calcium, Iron and Zinc. The raw ingredients are not baked or refined; they are cold-pressed making these protein balls an indulgent snack - without the guilt. The first flavour we tried, Lemon Drizzle Cake, contains Dates, Rice Protein, Cashews, Cashew Butter, Coconut, Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract and Lemon Oil  making it a great zesty snack. The Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Boostball contains a whopping 23.3 g of protein and a mixture of gooey and moreish. Next, we tried the tropical and creamy Coconut Fudge Cake flavour which was by far one of our favourites out of the four.  The last of the Boost Ball flavours, Maple & Cinnamon Roll, was a great spice-filled yet sweet snack for those extra-long days at the office.  The Boostballs are available to purchase on here for £17.99 for  x 12 packs of 36 Boostballs.

We mustn’t forget to mention that Boostball has JUST released a new line of Palm-oil free protein butters, Boostbutter. These are to put on any snacks or foods you desire (or to eat straight from the pouch!) The Protein Nut Butters currently are available in Caramel, Chocolate Brownie and Sweet Maple and are each packed with 11 grams of protein and offer a healthier, smoother and more flavourful alternative to something like peanut butter. Conveniently in a squeezable pouch, we’ve been spreading the protein butters on toast, porridge or adding them to our smoothies. Yum! As of now they are not available but will be coming soon on www.boostball.com.

Mindful Bites - Nut Butter

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Who doesn’t love a good snack? Yup and it’s generally naughty little things like crisps that are our bad habit at The Amazing Blog We have been looking to substitute this potato addiction with ‘good snacks’, which is where Mindful Bites comes in. Founded in 2014 by Stephanie Peritore, Mindful Bites aims to change the way people snack, not on empty calories but on protein rich butters ‘one bite at a time’ they want to promote intentional eating.  We are finding that Mindful Bites' Nut Butters are the perfect vegan and gluten-free solution to our snack cravings.

Mindful Bites is built on the company’s four pillars of mindful eating (Intention, Attention, Gratitude, and Pleasure) and these pillars are reflected in the Nut Butter. The thick and creamy texture of the product slowly releases delicious flavours, which allow you to savour what you're eating. The carefully selected ingredients, including a blend of superfoods and high-quality nuts, also have you actively thinking about what you put into your body. However, it's not just the tasty and nutritious flavours that have us drawn to the Nut Butter; it is the way it makes us feel after eating it. The plant-based protein, made with no added sugar or sweeteners and palm oil, is a game changer for reinvigorating yourself during a mid-afternoon slump. Spread sparingly on some oatcakes  (in our case) it is filling and delicious and has made our cravings disappear resulting in a better, more energetic mood here in the office.

We had the chance to try all four of their  Nut Butter flavours (Hazelnut & Berries, Brazil Nuts & Cacao Nibs, Almond & Maca, Cashew Nuts & Baobab). Our personal favourite was Hazelnut & Berries. It has a rich taste of hazelnut, not dissimilar to Nutella, but with a yummy hint of a berry flavour which stays gently with you. However, if you want a more intense chocolate flavour, we suggest trying Brazil Nuts & Cacao Nibs. While nut butter is traditionally eaten on toast or straight from the jar with a spoon (not so good for an office share!) Mindful Bites suggests adding it to a smoothie, porridge, or yogurt for a protein boost.

You can purchase a single jar (185g) of their Nut Butters here for £6.99 or a box of all four for £25 here.

Dadima's Panjiri

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We might be enticed by a good beauty product (or two) at The Amazing Blog , but we’re also equally interesting in discovering new (and delicious) foods. One thing we’ve concluded through our foodie research is that there is often a focus on new crazes and fads – and while there is no problem with this, the focus on tried, tested and traditional recipes can often be forgotten. We were therefore thrilled to discover Dadima’s, a brand sharing our desire to celebrate the wisdom of generations, providing us with their traditional and high energy Panjiri – a recipe that has well and truly stood the test of time.

Panjiri or Panjeri is a recipe and staple that originates from the Punjab and Hyderbad regions in India. It is treated as a nutritional supplement and has been used for thousands of years, by the ancient Hindus and Sikhs. It is usually eaten in the winter to ward off cold and also given to nursing mothers as it’s considered very nutritional. The story behind this brand is a lovely one. Founder, Anneeka, has taken inspiration from the wisdom and knowledge of her grandmother, creating a version of the Panjiri recipe which is full of tradition and flavour. This inspiration even draws as far as the brand name itself, taken directly from the name she uses to address her grandmother. We don’t mind admitting that we were novices in relation to Panjiri, however we are now huge lovers of this high energy snacking food. With a recipe deep rooted in Ayurvedic medicine. It boasts a plethora of health benefits, boosting energy and fibre levels simultaneously, and thanks to the handmade recipe, both artificial preservatives and added sugars are avoided.

For those wondering what this snack tastes like – we concluded that it is a cardamom and sultana infusion with a kick of almond, fennel, ginger and carom seeds. The texture is soft, making it easy to sprinkle over porridge, fruit or yoghurt. The texture comes from the use of semolina and ghee, while melon seeds, dessicated coconut and Arabic gum are all used to add flavour. We tried the no added sugar version, but for those with a sweeter tooth, the traditional version contains a little extra sweetness. Alternatively, we have added a sprinkling of Panjiri to a traditional British crumble, for a flavour kick, but also to add a little bit of goodness to a perhaps not to good pudding!

To try this family classic for yourself, then both the original and no added sugar Panjiri products can be purchased from the Dadima’s website here for £6.99. Enjoy!

Top Herd's Snacks

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Oh yes, groan, it’s that time of year again: ‘New Year, new you, new us’ - prepare to be flooded with gym membership teasers that promise the powers of a total detox, ond a general shedding of the skin belonging to 2018. At this time of year, we at The Amazing Blog are being bombarded with messages to look more closely at what we’re putting into our bodies - which is where the range from Top Herd comes into it’s own.

With Top Herd’s delicious Jerky selection in six flavours (four beef and two turkey) and their two salami flavours to choose from, they give the taste buds something of a workout to decide which to go for. The beauty of these tasty treats is that they are packed full of protein and are therefore brilliant at helping us to boost our energy levels, and fulfil our new year resolutions, whether they be at the gym, the office, or indeed at home. The stand out offering for us amongst the jerky offerings is their Smokey BBQ Grass Fed Beef Jerky, with only 91 calories per packet, it will certainly help to shape that waistline in the right direction. All natural ingredients, gluten-free and without a nitrate in sight. The journey that all their products undertake, is of paramount importance to the Top Herd Team - all meat is responsibly sourced to ensure the animals destined for our snack box have been grass fed, having enjoyed a carefree life, roaming at their leisure and taking good exercise out in the open air. No nasty chemicals are allowed to enter this chain, keeping each ingredient as unadulterated as possible.

The lean salami comes in two flavours - ‘Tomato’ and ‘Mild Chilli’ with 5.7% and 6.1% fat respectively. In our tastings, the ingredients each came through, without being overpowering - especially the chilli options which can sometimes be hit or miss in some snacks. Of course the really interesting test came in whether these yummy morsels actually staved off the hunger pangs - we can report that they did, adding an extra boost of gusto to our step which wasn’t entirely down to the feeling of self-righteousness!

In a world where we are increasingly being lectured on the rights and wrongs of what we keep in our larders, it makes a refreshing change to come across a brand who are fearlessly pushing their products forward, and encouraging us to eat well, and play well. The message from Top Herd is to lay a foundation of good nutrition and well being, and then get out into the fresh air and explore all manner of adventures. It’s the perfect premise for the beginning of a new year, and possibly a new and fulfilling direction for those of us willing to taste something new. Individual pouches of jerky will set you back between £1.59 and £2, but you will also find the Adventure box of Jerky’ bundle priced at £12, and the ‘Go Wild Snack Box’ at £14. These are all available from the Top Herd website here. Happy snacking!