Vanilla

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.

SNiPH's Perfume Subscription Service

With February 14th fast approaching, you might be thinking about purchasing a little something for a loved one this Valentine's Day? Whether that's the case, or you're just looking to treat yourself, we’d like to provide a little bit of inspiration for you, here at The Amazing Blog. We like to gift perfume, but knowing exactly which fragrance to choose can be a bit of a minefield. This is where SNiPH comes to the rescue with their subscription service providing a plethora of different scents to choose from. The brand shares our belief that finding new fragrances can sometimes be overwhelming, so we were excited (and grateful) to discover that they have done the work for us.

By sampling vast amounts of scents from around the world, they then cleverly curate them altogether. Founders, Tara and Lisa wanted to make the world of fragrance a less intimidating one, offering to help us to discover new scents that we would perhaps not initially choose. The system is a simple one, either pick from their online shop (here) or subscribe to their monthly box, where you will have a monthly surprise delivered directly to your doorstep. Either way, you'll find a comprehensive selection of fragrances on the SNiPH website. They offer their 'Top Lists' for Men, Women and Unisex fragrances, which is brilliant for helping us to choose from the vast number of choices. We found this very helpful!

OK so let’s tell you what we tried. Firstly, the Biehl Parfumkunstwerke - PC02 EdP, a fruity and sweet fragrance from German fragrance company, Biel Parfumkunstwerke. We were surprised by the staying-power of this scent, a sweet yet spicy aroma that gently lingers. As with all fragrances, this perfume came with a fragrance card, which is very beneficial for helping to explain this complex notes of the fragrance to others. We received this as an 8ml atomiser, in a very stylish and sleek SNiPH branded black metal case, for £18. That said, you can purchase it without the case, or in a full size bottle (100ml) for £139.

The other fragrance we tried was Histoires de Parfums – This is Not a Blue Bottle 1/.2 EdP This instantly became one of our favourites at The Amazing Blog. It is a delicious, versatile and refreshingly light fragrance. Some of us here are particular fans of vanilla, so the further additions of ylang-ylang and pink pepper only further heighten our delight with this fruity and floral scent. Sourced from the famous French perfume house: Histoires de Parfums, we think that this perfume is something quite special. We also received it in the SNiPH black metal case (once again for £18, see here). After researching this perfume on their website, we saw that it also comes in a beautifully graphic and colourfully decorated bottle, as a rather appropriate named: 'This is Not a Blue Bottle'. Making it perfect for gifting, the full 60ml bottle is available here for £85.

Now if you're thinking, this all sounds great but I still have no idea which one to gift, don’t fret. SNiPH have recognised this inevitability, providing the option of gift cards (see here). Available for three, six and twelve-month subscriptions (ranging from £40-£130). All your recipient will need to do is choose a theme, and SNiPH will do the rest. They will receive a specifically chosen scent every month (within an 8ml case as photographed above), with free shipping and the option to cancel or pause anytime. What better way to gift the gift of fragrance!

Elements For Life - Hot Chocolate

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Are we all still desperately trying to cling to our New Year’s resolutions to go dry/ give up meat/ drag out the spandex and work each of our muscle groups, and supposedly therefore be a better person? Well, here at The Amazing Blog we may be able to offer you a glimmer of indulgence to ease up some of those more draconian ways to detox, all in the form of a chocolate … We know, chocolate is the root of many a slip up in the new regime schedule. However, there is a tin of gloriously burnished powder which should have a polished halo perched above its silver lid to signify its credentials. We are talking about one of our #amazingfinds Elements For Life – see our recent posts on their other products here.

Yes, we may be talking hot chocolate, but Elements For Life have created one is richly smooth, and sweet. This hot chocolate doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, GMOs or soya, the sweetness is derived from the sugar from coconut blossom, the evaporated nectar of the coconut tree, adding sustainability and diabetically friendly to the worthiness (because of its very low average glycemic index) As if that wasn’t enough, the Elements For Life team have made it suitable for those who may be lactose intolerant, and vegan by keeping this wonder-drink completely dairy-free and containing no milk solids.

We tried the Original and Spiced versions. The Spiced is warmed up by the addition of the winter spices cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. All we need now is the toasty log cabin with open fire and we have nirvana. However, we aren’t tied to the usual hot chocolate with this blend, as there is also the option of adding some ice and blitzing away to produce a very refreshing tipple. The benefits of raw chocolate, in both health and taste have been known for a while - it stands to reason that a natural product which hasn’t been put through the usual manufacturing processes will inevitably retain more of it’s core nutrients, and therefore with many of us now having to take a serious look at the minutiae of what we eat, a raw chocolate such as this makes clear sense.

And to keep that halo gleaming brightly, the whole team behind the Raw Hot Chocolate brand are keen to show they believe the sustainability of a product in this day and age has to address the issues beyond the contents of our mug. All ingredients used in their range are sourced for their high ecological standards and are agro-chemical/pesticide free from small-scale growers and farming co-operatives to ensure fair trading. The packaging is also made from recycled material or re-used from other sources, including their boxes and printed material. Small wonder then that with such highly prized credentials, Elements For Life have walked away with award upon award for what they offer us in this market place - and most specifically these two tins of delicious warmth! Priced at £6.99 for 175g all available from their online shop here they also offer refills priced at £4.99. And now, back to that log cabin and open fire to keep warm!

Christmas Food

We love the festive period at The Amazing Blog - the time for twinkling lights, mulled wine and time spent with loved ones. As if that’s not enough, Christmas is also the time for gourmet food choices, from the classic roast, to the after dinner cheese board. Tis’ the season for overindulging and treating ourselves, and with the New Year diet looming, it seems only right to make the most of the festive treats on offer. There are also few things we love more than to receive a selection of foodie treats on Christmas morning, so we thought, why not compile some of our favourites, so you too can give the gift of food!

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Firstly, we came across Cottage Delight, a brand based in the Staffordshire moorlands, bringing hand-crafted and innovative flavours to the condiments market. Established in 1974, the vast amount of experience helps the brand to lead the way in providing delicious additions to our meal (which more often that not, are even more delicious than the foods they are paired with). We were therefore excited to try their Gin & Fizz Set, compromising of two jams, a curd and marmalade - perfect to spice up any scone, crumpet or piece of toast.

Firstly, we tried the Raspberry & Prosecco Jam - a delectable treat to jazz up any morning. Made with 43g of fruit per 100g, this jam is characteristically tangy, but with a depth of flavour thanks to the addition of prosecco. Similarly the Lemon Curd with Gin has a zesty kick, yet an almost buttery texture that is not only indulgent, but also delicious. The addition of gin cuts through the tartness - ideal for any gin lovers in your life. For those who gear towards orange, the Marmalade with Gin has a fruity and juicy flavour - we love it spread across freshly made bread. Finally, for those who like a traditional strawberry jam, the Strawberry Jam with Marc de Champagne is a great option. Made with whole strawberries, this reminded us of our Grandma’s homemade jam. The champagne adds a luxurious aftertaste, solidifying this set as the ideal Christmas present. If that’s not enough, then the box itself is ready made for present giving, so there’s less hassle with wrapping, and more time to indulge in a glass of mulled wine (or two). Purchase a Gin & Fizz Gift Set here for £9.95.

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Secondly, for any chocolate lovers, we recommend Elements for Life. We tried their Yummy Scrummy Brownies not so long ago (see here), and more recently, their Raw Chocolate Making Starter Kit. Founded by Dan and Paula Knowlson, experts in raw chocolate, this brand continues to ensure products are suitable for vegans, diabetics and coeliacs, as well as those with lactose intolerances. This is something particularly difficult to find at Christmas, so we’re sure this set would be popular with anyone who suffers from a dietary requirement. That said, we all equally enjoyed this set, whether intolerant to common allergens or not.

The Raw Chocolate Starter Kit contains 100g raw cacao powder, 100g raw cacao butter, 100ml Sweet Freedom syrup and a reusable silicone chocolate mould. You can also choose your mould design, picking from the spiral swirls (which we went for), or the Valentine’s hearts. Using Peruvian Criollo raw cacao powder and butter, the ingredients are the best of the best, providing a rich and smooth chocolate that has a low GI. This makes it suitable for diabetics, furthermore displaying the inclusive nature of this brand. In terms of making the chocolate itself, we found the process incredibly easily. Simply melt the cacao butter, add the cacao powder and Sweet Freedom syrup and you’re done - pour into the moulds, pop them in the fridge and return to professional looking chocolates. To purchase a Raw Chocolate Making Starter Kit for £17.99, click here.

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Although we’re big sweet lovers at The Amazing Blog, we’re equally enticed by flavoursome and spicy dishes. For the spice lovers in your life, we present SteenbergsMediterranean Mini 8 Spice Box, a set packed with numerous spice blends, heavily influenced by the Arabic side of the Mediterranean. Having tried their Botanicals for Cocktails in October (see here), we were keen to try this set for ourselves - and can confirm that it will indeed be well received by any foodies in your family.

Founded by Axel and Sophie Steenberg in 2003, Steenbergs is passionate about providing top quality and organic spices, with over fifteen years of experience to draw from. You can therefore be safe in the knowledge that by gifting their Mediterranean spices set, you’ll be helping your foodie recipient to create delicious meals, with ingredients they can trust. This set compromises of organic tagine, ras al hanut, za’atar, organic harissa with rose, organic Italian herbs, organic Lebanese 7 spice blend, organic paella spice blend and organic chermoula spice blend - a vast array of flavours to create a multitude of dishes. Our personal favourites are the organic paella spice blend, which helps us to create an authentic taste of Spain, and the chermoula spice blend, which we were admittedly less familiar with - but now cannot be without. To purchase your own Mediterranean Mini 8 Spice Box for £15.99, click here.

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Finally, for something a little more luxury, we came across Haupt Lakrits, a Swedish liquorice brand aiming to bring gourmet products to the market. Having tried a variety of their products, we can confirm that these are far from the packet of slightly squashed liquorice wheels in your cupboard, but instead, provide a new take on a traditional classic. Even those less enthusiastic about liquorice were found sneaking these on our lunchbreak - testament to their scrumptious flavours.

Firstly, for those of us with a penchant for liquorice, SÖT (€9.00) proved to be popular. Thanks to being cooked for 8 hours and stored for 10 weeks, this liquorice is soft and sweet, and has a pleasantly chewy texture. Secondly we tried the Hallon (€9.00) flavour, liquorice dipped in 60% Belgian milk and dark chocolate and coated with raspberry and vanilla. These proved very popular amongst those will less of a liking for traditional liquorice, and we found they work well with rose wine. Thirdly, we tried the limited edition God Juhl: Merry Christmas (€11.00) jar. Coated in Belgian white chocolate and flavoured with a Swedish Christmas spice mix, this liquorice is undoubtedly festive, even covered in a glittery outer layer. Finally, we tried the slightly lighter God Helg: Happy Holidays (€11.00) liquorice. Dipped in Belgian white chocolate, the additions of lingonberry and saffron add sweetness, yet the fruity nature helps to cut the sickliness often associated with white chocolate. Like God Juhl, this Christmas edition liquorice is best paired with a glass of mulled wine. Visit the Haupt Lakrits website here to purchase your own liquorice delights - some flavours are also available as gift sets, smaller jars and refill packs.

So there we have it - four foodie treats guaranteed to put a smile on your receiver’s face. And if you’re thinking ‘I’ve already finished my Christmas shopping’, then why not treat yourself instead? After all, we think the festive period is the perfect excuse to indulge!

Turmerlicious

Everyone is jumping aboard the Turmeric bandwagon, due to its amazing health benefits, and we here at The Amazing Blog think incorporating it into a latte is the perfect way. Turmerlicious has created a range of delicious instant turmeric lattes and we were lucky enough to try the Ginger, the Choco, the Vanilla and the Chilli Choc.

This wonder spice has been renowned for its healing abilities for over 4000 years. So much so, the Sanskrit translations for turmeric is ‘one that wins over diseases’. Even science says so, and in the last 30 years there have been over 6000 peer reviewed publications supporting the benefits of Turmeric. Turmeric is hailed for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is said to be beneficial in reducing heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and more. Add this goodness into a delicious drink, and you have a winning combination.

All of the powders are caffeine-free and are a combination of natural ingredients; turmeric, coconut, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. This aromatic blend of spices create a soothing and delicious hot drink, and all you need to do is add three teaspoons of the mix to hot water. This gem of a product is ideal if you are trying to cut down on your caffeine intake. Just replace one of your cups of coffee a day to Turmerlicious and you’ll be left happy and healthy!

Turmerlicious powders are free from dairy, gluten, artificial flavours and GMO’s.

Purchase Turmerlicious here for £6.95 (200g) or £1 for a single serving (20g).