Strawberry dairy free milkshakes

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Milkshakes are one of those things that I love as a treat.

I’ve always felt that there are two types of milkshake, the thick ice cream type and then of course the runny milky type. Either way, I love them…. and just can’t get enough.

As is in their name milkshakes unfortunately consist of a lot of dairy!

This poses a problem to those of us who are dairy intolerant, or choose not to eat/drink dairy.

Luckily for us, a few companies have produced options to keep us covered. Now I have found there’s more ranges/brands producing dairy free chocolate milk. Dairy free strawberry alternatives are a little harder to come by, but I much prefer this or banana to chocolate.

Ocado had two choices on offer in small carton sizes:

Koko

A dairy free alternative made from coconut milk. These are a long life, carton sized option which come in a pack of three.

At £1.49 it is the more expensive of the two, but not by a huge amount. Coming in three flavours which consist of strawberry, chocolate or original.

The cartons are tall, but thin which meant that they took up less room in the fridge or bag when taking to work.

Handily it is UHT so not necessary to keep in the fridge, however personally I think it really does need to be chilled before drinking.

The straw that comes with it is a collapsible type one, this can be a bit of a nuisance when drinking if the straw is a bit dodgy. As I had one carton where the straw just kept folding up whilst I tried to drink.

As for the taste, the strawberry taste is subtle. It’s refreshing and light and not too sweet for early in the morning.

However once swallowed I find it has a bizarre after taste, it definitely is not of coconuts. So I cannot work out what it is, but that’s then all I could taste.

Unfortunately this strange after taste put me off of them, and I found I was disliking the drinks more each time I had them purely for that reason.

These might be enjoyable for some, but definitely not me and will not be purchased again.

Alpro

Next up was Alpro’s long life strawberry milk. Again, this comes in a pack of three with the two flavour alternatives of chocolate or strawberry. At the price of £1.35 from Ocado it is the cheaper of the two.

The Alpro cartons are pretty sturdy and I’ve taken them around in my work bag etc with no concerns over them breaking.

Again this drink is long life, so does not require being kept chilled. However to enjoy it best, it should definitely be cold before drinking.

On first impressions the Alpro strawberry milk is much sweeter, it was also thicker with a lot more flavour to it.

The main noticeable thing about this one compared to the KOKO alternative is that there is no horrid aftertaste. The sweet strawberry taste remains the same, and is nice and refreshing.

This drink will likely be the preferred choice for children, and it is definitely the preferred choice for myself.

I’ve continued buying this, and will continue to do so.

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Review: Tesco free from chocolate eclairs

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I think the hardest thing for me since getting diagnosed is missing out on certain ‘desserts’ pastries, cakes etc. I’ve often stared longingly at my gluten eating friends/family as they devoured delicious looking sweet treats.

Tesco’s then introduced gluten free profiteroles, amazing you say….. unfortunately these are not dairy free. So I continued to stare longingly as others are those cream filled eclairs etc.

I recently got told about Sainsbury’s free from chocolate eclairs. I loved these SO much. Unfortunately there is not a Sainsbury’s that is easy to get to. So I was pleasantly surprised to find free from eclairs in Tesco.

These are free from wheat, gluten and dairy. The box comes with four eclairs in, larger than Sainsbury’s offering (although less in the box)

These are in the free from freezer section of Tesco’s, and are really handy to keep in the freezer….not that they last long as I eat them all far too quickly.

I’m quite bad and enjoy these still frozen, as the cream seems to taste even better like that.

The pastry is light and works well with the ‘cream’. There is lots of chocolate on top of these, and they are all stuffed full of cream.

These are definitely not a healthy treat, but they are delicious.

Review: The Canvas Cafe – London

Eating Out

I started following The Canvas Cafe on Instagram after somebody shared some photos on their own Instagram.

The regular photos they shared of their vegan freakshakes just couldn’t be ignored.

On a recent trip to London I had to visit, luckily it’s a short walking distance from London Liverpool Street.

Once in there I asked for gluten/dairy free, they advised they had no cakes etc available but that their vegan milkshakes (aka freakshakes) were.

I believe these were about £8, with a choice of flavours. I opted for blueberry.

The drink turned up in a very large glass, covered in vegan whipped cream, blueberries, chocolate and a chocolate brownie.

Initial taste of the cream and chocolate was a light tasting cream, and a good dairy free chocolate. The brownie was soft and rich.

What I quickly learnt was that this drink is filling. You get a very large amount and

as I struggled through I found more brownie at the bottom of the glass. I just could not finish the drink, no matter how hard I tried.

I can’t wait to head back and try an alternative flavour, however I will be sharing the drink next time.

The drink was delicious, and such an experience. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to have a milkshake like this that was suitable for me.

Review: Planet Organic- Paleo Granola – Caramel Apple Pie

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Browsing Ocado for new products I came across the Planet Organic granola options.

At £6.99 they are not a cheap option, and definitely a treat as opposed to something you want a full bowl of each morning.

I decided to go for the Caramel Apple Pie flavour, a lot of the reviews on Ocado stated that there was too much cinnamon in this.

Me being such a huge cinnamon lover, I naturally had to buy some.

Completely grain and dairy free, this was a great option to try. It’s full of other good ingredients

The box is a simple, clean design. Showing clearly what it is free from.

The granola smells delicious, and there are lots of apple pieces running through it.

As it’s not a cheap granola I’ve been mixing it with another granola I have from Tesco (Deliciously Ella Nutty Granola) this has meant both have lasted much longer.

This also means the cinnamon is not as overpowering.

The cinnamon is quite strong in this, and if you are not a fan of the stuff then this granola is probably not for you.

The Apple pieces contrast deliciously with the cinnamon, and it is quite a filling granola.

There’s not meany ‘crunchy’ pieces like in normal gluten containing granolas.

But this is a delicious free from, paleo alternative.

Well worth the money but only if mixed with another granola, so it lasts longer.

I will try the other flavour alternatives, but probably not every shop and that is purely because of the steep price.

Review: Drink me Chai – Free From Chai Latte

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Everybody loves a comfort drink, mine is a soya chai latte.

Unfortunately making one at home has always been time consuming using a chai teabag and soaking for a while. That is until I came across the Drink Me Chai drinks in Tesco’s.

Clearly marked up as free from, this provides an instant chai latte drink.

The pot it comes in is a cute little blue design, that is nice enough to have left out on a kitchen counter top.

Upon opening the lid you’re hit with an extremely strong smell of cinnamon (which I love!)

I then make up approx 200ml of heated cashew or soya milk. Before adding 3 tsp of the chai mix.

Throughout mixing, the cinnamon aroma stays strong, and you’re left with a light brown looking drink that smells strongly of spices, a perfect winter drink.

The drink itself has a strong taste of cinnamon, it’s very warming and is delicious. It is sweet enough that it does not need any added sugar, without being overly sweet.

This drink has become my go to comfort drink, especially when trying to avoid any caffeine or have been drinking too much tea.

Not only do they do the pot of it, but they also sell sachets for on the go chai!

Review: Honest burger – London

Eating Out

I was introduced to Honest burger a number of years ago, since then they’ve opened up at further locations throughout London.

The most handy of these is the one near Liverpool Street station.

Being a couple of minutes walk, it is well worth the train journey out of Essex to get a delicious burger AND onion rings.

Honest don’t have an extensive menu, there is a few different options to choose from. But every one of these is delicious and done well.

It is most fantastic for a coeliac to hear when asking for a gluten free bun, that they query if your dietary requirements are an intolerance or an allergy with an understanding of coeliacs as well.

The best bit is hearing that the only item of gluten they have in the kitchen is the standard buns, and these are kept separate from everything else. The friers are a completely gluten free zone and their onion rings and chips are gluten free!!!

The chips come included with the burgers, and they are rosemary and sea salted chips which are amazing!

This burger was one of their specials, which was a ‘Tribute to bacon’ and included extra thick cuts of bacon, burger, bacon ketchup and a bacon gravy on the side.

Honest burgers are one of the best burgers I have ever tried, they are so rich and full of flavour.

The service is always friendly and quick, and the prices are actually really good, especially for London.

If you’re a coeliac and you’re missing having decent burgers, then you must go to Honest.

Review: The Angel & Harp – Dunmow, Essex

Eating Out

Whilst googling for places that could cater for coeliacs I came across ‘The Angel & Harp’.

Based in Dunmow it is a little far out for me, but is an easy drive and in a very pretty location.

There is a large carpark, and the entrance is round the back through the pub garden.

There is a number of tables outside with heat lamps, and a fountain.

Inside it is comfortable and a decent size with a number of areas, stopping you from feeling over crowded.

The exciting thing is when it comes to the menu, they have both a gluten free menu and a separate dairy free one. So are comfortable catering to both.

The dishes should definitely come with a warning…. they’re substantial in size.

Starters are definitely filling, and so by the time mains is finished it is definitely a struggle.

I’ve had a few different bits on my visits to the pub.

Recent starters being:

Crackling & apple sauce (by far my favourite)

A salad with goats cheese halloumi:

Mains:

Lorena pizza (goats cheese, pine nuts and sweet potato)

Or my most recent (and favourite) pork belly:

The food comes well presented, with generous portions. Most important of all it’s always delicious and the service is always fab.

The angel & harp is fast becoming one of my favourite pubs to go to.