Vegan Galaxy for Christmas?

If a nice big box of choccies is too much, or you are just after a smaller, stocking filler gift, then Galaxy’s vegan range is a good place to go. One bar in particular is the stand-out of the collection for me – Crumbled Cookie. I found this whilst on a trip to the all-new vegan aisle in Asda.

I will say straight away that if you are looking for this to taste exactly like a dairy bar of Galaxy, then you might be disappointed. Having said that, once you have got over that, I think you will appreciate the taste and texture of the chocolate they have created.

I always remember dairy Galaxy bars as being slightly more on the luxurious side of the chocolate continuum, and they have clearly worked hard to make sure this dairy free version is, too. It has a very silky, creamy texture to it, with lovely crunchy gluten free chocolate cookie pieces studded throughout.

The chocolate itself has a very nice flavour, too. Rich and not too sweet. It definitely has the taste of a dairy free ‘milk’ chocolate rather than dark chocolate. So good news if you still crave milk chocolate or prefer it to dark. It also has quite a nice hazelnut flavour to it, which seems to add to the creaminess.

It’s really good to get some more variety in the chocolate market, as dairy free chocolate has always been a bit plain in the past. As time goes on, it seems more and more companies are getting on board, which I think is good news for us lactase challenged chocoholics.

So, if you are looking for a luxurious chocolate-based stocking filler with a reasonable price tag, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

Purchased from: Asda

Rating: 5/5

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Rocky Road! (V, DF, LF)

Vegan rocky road

Happy Veganuary! Being lactose intolerant, I absolutely love that more and more places get on board with Veganuary and vegan food more generally as it means more options when eating out. It’s a shame that lots of vegan products don’t make it past Veganuary, so I’m trying to try out a few and blog about them before they disappear. (Any excuse!)

Today, I decided to treat myself to lunch out, with it being a Friday and having being dieting recently. Everyone needs a treat now and then! Costa is really close to my workplace so I decided to pop along to see what was on offer.

I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have the vegan toastie that has been advertised but they did have this delicious rocky road.

One little warning – it is very sickly! But that never stops me and I did manage the whole thing, despite it being quite large. As regular readers of my blog will know, full-sized lactose free lovelies always get bonus points with me, as so often they are much smaller than their dairy counter parts.

The rocky road contained plenty of biscuit pieces, vegan marshmallows and raisins. Despite its lack of dairy, there was no lack of chocolate flavour. It had a very rich, creamy chocolate flavour to it and the fact it was nice and chunky gave it a great texture and chocolate hit. I loved the combination of this with the biscuit crunch. Although us lactose intolerants don’t need to avoid marshmallows, I think the inclusion of vegan marshmallows makes this a really good option for vegans seeking a sweet treat. The ones on this rocky road were really well made, with a nice soft texture and sweet taste.

All in all, this was a well thought-out and delicious product, which I would fully recommend! Sometimes, vegan/dairy free options can feel as though they are a poor cousin to their dairy counterparts, but this is definitely not the case here. Absolutely perfect for my Friday lunch time treat.

And all dairy free milk is currently free at Costa!

Rating – 5/5

Vegan Gu – but actually! (V, LF, DF, GF)

If you have been a follower of my blog for a while (thanks, wonderful people!), you will know that I am always finding substitutes for tasty Gu products. But now, Gu themselves have finally decided to give it a go and create a dairy free version for us lactose free lovelies and vegans.

I am glad they have taken time to get this right, as I had high expectations for this pud. Luckily, it lived up to all of them!

Cheesecake has always been a favourite dessert of mine and I do miss it since I have had to ditch dairy. This chocolate and vanilla version is spot on.

Whilst the cheesecake is made of a coconut cream substitute, it doesn’t taste overly coconut flavoured. The chocolate layer is lovely and thick, and works really well with the creamy layer underneath. As well as being vegan, the cheesecake is gluten free. The biscuit base has quite a buttery taste to it, but is probably more crumbly than you would normally expect in a cheesecake. However, still delicious, so no complaints here!

I’m also pleased to note that the Gu pots are the same size as a regular version, so no missing out. Its the perfect size, as quite rich and indulgent, as you would expect from our friends at Gu.

Here is hoping they bring out some more lactose free lovelies soon!

Rating: 5/5

Puddings and sweet treats galore! (V, LF, DF, GF)

Check out this lactose free lovely! A vegan hot chocolate made with oat milk and topped with soya whipped cream.

Today I met up with my friend in Nottingham for lunch. We then decided a dessert was required and decided to visit The Pudding Pantry.

https://www.thepuddingpantry.co.uk

I have been here a few times, and the range of lactose and dairy free goodies seems to grow each time. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and serves a range of light snacks, brunch, hot and cold drinks and puddings. Not everything is dairy or gluten free, but as I have already mentioned, there is a solid range.

This is my fully vegan dessert – a Biscoff gateau accompanied by vegan peanut butter and choc chip ice cream. As you can see, the portions of both are generous, and I couldn’t finish it, even though it was delicious! I think having this alongside the hot chocolate might have been a little too ambitious! I love the pretty china that is is served on as well.

My friend chose a banana sticky toffee pudding which was also vegan.


He said it was delicious, which is also a good endorsement from someone who does not intentionally avoid dairy. I thought I would include a picture even though I did not try it to illustrate the range available.

Neither of our desserts were gluten free, but there were gluten free options available, so something for everyone! Both soya and oat milk alternatives were available.

I shall definitely be visiting again…but maybe this time I will have to try and not cram in everything on the menu!!

Rating: 5/5

Happy healthy tummies!

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20180608_1854186579966659891245216.jpg The dairy free of the Yakault world!

Having had IBS for most of my life, one of the things that often gets recommended is probiotics. I am no expert in this at all, but safe to say that the dairy versions of yoghurt drinks containing probiotics are not suitable for me. I’ve tried probiotic capsules, but I find I never keep up with them.

In Sainsburys, I came across Biomel, which is a dairy free probiotic drink, so I thought I would give it a go.

Originally, you could only get plain and dark chocolate, but recently I have tried a salted caramel one, too. Personally, I like the chocolate one best. I wasn’t keen on the plain one and the salted caramel one is a bit sweet for my taste. But at least with a few different flavours in the range you can try them and see which you like best!

I haven’t been using these long enough to know if they are having an effect yet. I bought some recently as I am having some tummy troubles, despite my low fodmap diet and exercise. I would also caution the cost – they are quite expensive and can only be bought individually. However, it is nice to see that us lactose free (and vegan) lovelies are being thought of with our gut health at last! Let’s hope this catches on and more affordable options become available.

Vegan mac ‘n’ cheese (DF, V, LF, GF)

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Delicious mac ‘n’ cheese without the dairy

This year has been a busy one. I am currently studying and working, splitting my time between two different cities and always backwards and forwards. I like to eat healthily, and due to having food intolerances, I tend to have to cook everything from scratch anyway. However, I have noticed a few more lactose free ready meals creeping onto the market recently. This has been really useful for when I am dashing between one thing and another, and its great to see these new ranges – previously there were a few gluten free, but very few dairy free.

I came across this ready meal in Tesco, and, at first was unsure about whether to give it a go. This, again, comes down to the vegan cheese element! But I am glad I gave it a go, as it turned out to be really tasty. You can cook the ready meal in the microwave or the oven. As I was in a rush, I cooked it in the microwave, which was both quick and easy, as you would expect.

The texture of the sauce was quite thick, which I personally liked, as it gave it a really authentic feel. It was just the right amount of creamy, without being too over powering. The same was true of the cheese flavour. It wasn’t too artificial and had a really good flavour to it for a vegan cheese. In the cheese sauce were little pieces of parsley, which was a fantastic touch. It really added another nice flavour to what could have been considered quite a plain dish.

I think you could use this as a bit of a base for other dishes if you wanted something more, for example, adding vegetables such as sweetcorn or some veggie bacon or veggie ham. Although I haven’t yet tried it, I imagine it would be a nice way to make the meal a little more interesting or substantial. However, on its own, it is still flavoursome and perfect for a quick go-to meal.

So, busy vegans and lactose free lovelies of the world – this is definitely one for you! And great news – Tesco often has an offer on these kind of ready meals, which is pretty rare for dietary requirement foods.

Rating: 5/5

Cheesey vegan bakes (DF, LF, V, GF)

 

Crispbakes with vegan cheese

When I first suspected that I was lactose intolerant, I decided to have a go at giving up dairy to see if it would help.  Back then, there was nowhere near the ever-growing range of dairy free or vegan products on the market.  And as most people will tell you, it is the cheese that you really miss!  Lactose-free dairy products were not a ‘thing’ back then, so it fell to the very few vegan options on the market to satisfy cheese cravings.  I have to say, these were not amazing at the time.  Recently, there has been a lot of new vegan cheese products launched onto the market, and I have decided to be brave and try a few of them!

I saw these on a trip to Sainsbury’s and was surprised to see that they were vegan as well as gluten free – usually these kind of bakes are gluten free, but made with dairy cheese sauce.  These crispbakes are made with potato, vegan cheese and spring onion, covered in gluten free breadcrumbs.

The texture of the crispbake was fantastic.  The outer coating was lovely and crispy, with a soft, melting middle.  Often, the melting properties of vegan cheese are not great, so the fact that this was more of a cheese sauce inside really helped with the texture.

Onto the all important flavour!  On the whole, I was quite impressed with the flavour.  You could taste all the different ingredients, such as the onion, potato, breadcrumbs and all-important cheese.  Together, they made a nice combination.  The cheese itself had quite a strong artificial cheese flavour, almost like you would find in a cheese-based crisp.  It did become a little sickly after a while, but as the crispbakes are not too big, this was not off-putting.  The fact it was an artificial cheese flavour is to be expected, with it not being dairy cheese, and I was pleasantly surprised by it all in all.  I definitely feel that vegan cheese has come a long way from when I first had it all those years ago!

I think it is great that more options are coming onto the market, especially ones which try to create new meal options and improvement of flavours.  Although I can’t say it is exactly like dairy cheese, it is definitely coming along nicely and is worth a try if you fancy something a bit different, that you don’t have to cook yourself from scratch!

Rating: 3/5

 

Refreshing ice cream for a hot day! (DF, V, LF, GF)

 

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Delicious vegan ice cream – coconut and passion fruit Swedish Glace 

We have been blessed with a few hot days recently, so I thought it might be time for another delicious ice cream review.

As I have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of Swedish Glace and recently there have been a few new additions to their range.  This ice cream is one of them, and it was so delicious I had to share it with you.

I purchased the ice cream from Tesco, and it is vegan as well as gluten, dairy and lactose free, so can be enjoyed by all!  Additionally, it is made with coconut, rather than soya (although, please check the ingredients yourself if you are unable to eat soya products).

The fact that the ice cream is made with coconut gives it a different flavour to usual Swedish Glace, or other dairy-free ice creams.  It has a very creamy and refreshing flavour to it.  Although I was a little unsure how the passion fruit would taste with the coconut, I was pleasantly surprised.  The two flavours went well together, and neither flavour over-powered the other.  All in all, it was a refreshing blend. As always with Swedish Glace, the texture was soft and creamy.

When lactase challenged, you often have to miss out on luxury ice creams, such as Carte Dor, and settle for more plain flavours.  The fact that this ice cream had such an exotic flavour combination made it a real treat and gave it a luxurious feel.

I would recommend this ice cream, particularly with summer fruit, such as strawberries.

Rating: 5/5

 

Swedish Glace caramel toffee cones. (DF, V, LF, GF)

What can I say?  I can’t resist an ice cream.  I have always been a lover of ice cream in the summer and I remember enjoying ice cream as a child from the ice cream van, or at the seaside.  As I got older and became diagnosed with lactose intolerance, finding ice cream I could eat became a rare treat, especially when I was first diagnosed, and the market for vegan treats was not as strong as it is today.  It seems that every year, new ice creams for us lactase challenged people are hitting the market, and I, for one, am always at the front of the queue to try them out!!

I came across these decadent cones in Tesco, and thought they would be worth a try, especially as I rate Swedish Glace ice cream in general for its creamy taste.  Although I was initially put off by the price, when I thought about it, I realised that they were not badly priced at all when compared with their cows’ milk counterparts, especially considering dairy free usually equals hilariously expensive!

The quality of the ice creams are totally worth it, anyway.  As can be seen from the picture, they are a chocolate-filled waffle cone (gluten free as well, bonus points), filled with toffee-flavoured ice cream and a caramel sauce centre.  The top of the ice cream is covered in a nice layer of dark chocolate.  The flavours go so well together, and the toffee ice cream has a lovely taste to it.  The sauce inside is quite generous, and adds another texture and flavour, as well as a bit more sweetness to it.  Even thought the cone is gluten free, it still tastes good, and for those who are not gluten free, you would not notice that this is a substitute.  I was quite pleased with the size of the ice cream, too, as often dairy free ones can be a bit on the small size, but there is enough here to satisfy a sweet tooth.

These also come in a strawberry flavour, with vanilla ice cream and a strawberry sauce.  This flavour it also nice, but personally, I prefer the toffee ones.

A perfect summer treat, and hopefully one that is here to stay!

Rating: 5/5

Milkshake without the moo! (DF, LF, V, GF)

 

milkshake
Dairy free flavoured milk!

Purchased from: Asda

Dairy/lactose free: Dairy free

Description of product: Flavoured soya milk drinks, available in strawberry, banana and chocolate.  From the ingredients, it seems as though it is vegan, although not stated on the packaging, so please check!

My review:

Missing out on calcium and vitamin b12 can be of concern when entering into a dairy free diet, whether for reasons of intolerance or though becoming vegan.  Fortified soya drinks are a good way to get what you need in the way of calcium and b12.  However, if, like me, you don’t enjoy the taste of milk, a glass of soya is out of the question!  That’s why I thought I’d try some of these flavoured milks from Asda.  It is also useful to know if you are thinking of extending the vegan beyond Veganuary.

So far I have only tried the banana one.  Banana is probably my favourite milkshake flavour, so I was excited to try it.

The banana flavour is quite artificial, but it does have a generally nice taste to it, and I can imagine that children would enjoy this one.  It is pretty sweet also.  The texture is quite thick, which I was surprised about with it being soya milk based.  Unfortunately, it does have quite a strong flavour of soya milk, which made it less enjoyable for me.  However, on the whole, I was quite happy with the product overall.  I would buy it again, and am looking forward to trying the strawberry one next!

Rating: 3/5