Welcome to my review of the February 2016 Degustabox. If you’re not familiar with the Degustabox then in brief it’s a subscription service whereby each month you’re sent a box full of goodies to try; most are either new brands or products and it works out far cheaper than buying everything individually in the shops. It is a bit of a lottery however as you have no idea what you will be sent, some products you may love, and others you might not be so keen on; the surprise element is quite fun though, and it encourages you to try products that you wouldn’t normally think to buy. If you fancy giving a box a try yourself then simply enter the discount code BLDEG15 at the checkout and you’ll get £6 off your first order!
My Favourite products from the February box were the Divine caramel chocolate bars which were seriously delicious, some of the tastiest chocolate I have ever eaten in fact!
My second pick is the Nutribix gold and grains cereal, it is basically posh weetabix made with healthy grains like sorghum, oats and rye with a touch of coconut and honey. It is much more flavourful than weetabix, with more texture (it doesn't just turn into mush) and is very filling.
My third pick is the Hartley's 10 cal jelly pots; it has been many many years since I last ate jelly and I had forgotten how much I liked it! These jellies are great because they only contain 10 calories per pot so you can enjoy them as a sweet treat even if you are dieting.
The other products included in the box were:
Sarsons Malt Vinegar: Really? Malt vinegar?! There is nothing new or interesting about this, I think it was included because it's got a limited edition label... It was handy though as I happened to have just run out.
Mr Kipling Cranberry, Orange and Oat Slices: Fairly tasty but nothing special, they are also tiny, and pretty high calorie for the minuscule size...
Beloved Dates Cereal Bars: 100% natural with no added sugar and bound together by date nectar; they were very nice and definitely healthier than most cereal bars, a bit on the small side though.
VitHit Juice Based Soft Drink: Apparently contains 100% of your daily recommended allowance of 8 different vitamins, has no added sugar and less than 35 calories a bottle; it is made with a blend of fruit juice and teas. It has quite a pleasant, refreshing flavour.
Ritz Crisp And Thin: I was expecting these to be like thin, crispy, flavoured crackers, which would have been nice, but they aren't; they taste just like crisps so I don't really get the point of them, just buy crisps...
J2O Spritz: These were pretty good, a sparkling non-alcoholic alternative to juice.
The London Crisp Company Sweet Chilli Crisps: These were nice but nothing different, they are just regular crisps and had less flavour than other brands of sweet chilli crisps that I have tried.
James White Drinks Carrot Juice: Unfortunately I can't stand vegetable juices except if they are mixed with so much fruit juice that you can no longer taste them so I can't comment on how nice this was, I did use it to make this rather lovely carrot and caraway seed bread though.
This is a really good bread for sandwiches, it is lovely and soft and full of flavour, as well as being a beautiful, bright orangy yellow colour from the carrot. I used both grated carrot and carrot juice in the bread, though it doesn't have a discernible carroty taste, they just help to keep the bread moist and give it it's fantastic hue (as well as sneaking in a bit of extra veg). Most of the flavour comes from the caraway seeds, they are totally optional, but I like them; you could always swap them for some sesame or poppy seeds if you would prefer something with a milder taste. You can also bake it as a free-form loaf as I did here, or in a loaf tin for easier sandwich slicing; I like this bread best for lunch with some sharp cheddar and a dollop of chutney, bliss.
Carrot & Caraway Seed Bread
- 170 g (6oz) carrot, finely grated
- 400 g (3 + ⅓ cups) strong white bread flour
- 100 g (generous ¾ cup) rye flour
- 10 g (3 tsp) fast action yeast
- 10 g (1.5 tsp) salt
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 220 ml (⅔ + ¼ cup) carrot juice
- Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix to form a rough dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic; it is quite a sticky dough so use a stand mixer if you have one; if not, try not to add to much extra flour.
- Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Knock back the risen dough and either shape it into a free-form loaf and place it on a floured baking sheet; or shape it into a log and place it into a large loaf tin lined with baking parchment. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Dust the top of the loaf with a bit of rye flour then cut a slash down the middle of it with a very sharp knife. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the centre of the loaf reaches at least 94C/200F on a probe thermometer, it should sound hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before slicing.
I am sharing this with Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant, Bake Of The Week hosted by Casa Costello and Maison Cupcake, Fiesta Friday hosted by The Brook Cook and Little Sweet Baker, Foodie FriDIY, Foodie Friends Friday and Friday Features