Lotus Peak White Tea

When people use buzz words and phrases like “anti-ageing”, “fights cancer” and “prevents disease” I generally take what I’m hearing or reading with a grain of salt. By which I mean: they’re over simplifying something and being misleading. Also, they’re possibly nuts. If someone doesn’t take the time to explain these things properly, it all sounds like complete BS.

Hot White Tea 3

For example: I get irrate when reading about people “curing” their type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise. No. It’s not possible to cure it, but you can manage it this way. I’m all for promoting a healthy lifestyle – but don’t tell outright lies about it.

After being sent a free box of Lotus Peak White Tea to try, I decided to do a bit of reading on the researched health benefits of this tea. Below are some things that I learned. Continue reading

Has No… Aldi’s Gluten Free Range

Aldi Has No...

Hi everyone! Sorry for being a bit slow to post this week – things at work have been really busy and I’ve had commitments every evening… So here I am, up at 7am blogging for y’all (and I’m not a morning person!).

Last week was celiac awareness week and Aldi used that opportunity to launch their gluten free range of products, “Has No…”. The double page spread in their catalogue was hard to miss and I’ll admit I was sucked in, even though pre-packaged foods generally aren’t my thing. The range extends far beyond my purchases and includes gf/vegan versions of coco pops and fruit loops, plain and self-raising flours and a variety of other gf (but not vegan) items such as pancake mixes, wraps and gummy lollies. Continue reading

Emma & Tom’s Life Bars

I’d never heard of Emma & Tom’s – I accidentally found their life bars when I was craving chocolate, so I picked a couple up and thought I’d give them a whirl.

Emma & Tom's Life Bars
Life bars: Cacao & Orange, Banana.

Similar to the popular Larabars (which are a little harder to find in Australia than the USA), these are raw energy bars with limited ingredients. Continue reading

Baking Product Reviews: Wilton Icing Colours, LorAnn Oils & CK Products Decorations

First up, in case anyone is wondering about the photo (which is clearly not mine), it was taken by a close friend of mine. He’s a total perfectionist; LOOK AT THE RESULTS! They don’t lie. If you’re looking for someone to take some photos for you, drop me a line. I might just put you in touch with him.

Wilton Icing & CK Decorations 1

Wilton Icing Colours
I tried the leaf green, sky blue, lemon yellow & red. My favourite thing about these is that they’re in the form of a thick paste, rather than a liquid – meaning controlling how much you’re using is a lot easier and if you add too much, it’s easy to scrape it out before it soaks into everything. All the colours were impressive. If used in small amounts, they yield pastel coloured results but with heavier colouring, you can get some amazing and very bold colours. Two thumbs up, would definitely use these again.

LorAnn Oils
I only had a chance to try the bubblegum flavoured oil, and I’m pretty sure I used too much of it. That being said, though, the smell and taste was magnificent. I’d definitely love to explore using more of these in the future (the range is vast and exciting!) and at the very least, can recommend the bubblegum flavoured one!

Thank you very much to Sandie from The Greedy Pepper for showing these to me and telling me where to buy them. For anyone interested, you can purchase these (and the other products mentioned on this post) online at Baking Pleasures. I’ve also been lucky enough to find the Wilton Icing Colours at a local homewares store.

CK Products
The “Jimmies” are what we (Australians) would call sprinkles; CK Products is an American company. The jimmies were pretty impressive and one of the most affordable brands of vegan sprinkles I’ve been able to find – and unbelievably, they come in a decent range of colours. I’m keen to get my hands on some chocolate ones but both times I tried, they were sold out! The “Candy Beads” are exactly what you’d expect. Hard balls of sweet, brightly coloured candy. They look gorgeous but watch out – they’ll break your darn teeth if you’re not expecting them to be hard!

Wilton Icing & CK Decorations 2

Product Review(s): Kitz Living Foods

Karen from Kitz Living Foods was kind enough to send me a couple of complimentary items to review recently (“super charged” and “naughty but nice”). I decided to get a little carried away with this and ordered additional Kitz products from Vegan Online.

Kitz Super Charged 1

I was just about sold on this product instantly. It’s a fancier version of a raw buckwheat cereal that I make at home – though this is packed with far more variety and nutrients than my version. The only let down was that I was expecting it to be sweet (ok, confession time – I drench my version in agave nectar!). I love the crunch in this but what I love even more is that it’s easy to crumble with your hands; it makes an EXCELLENT, nutrient dense topping for raw banana soft serve.

Here’s a close up, just because it seems necessary. Awesome, no?

Kitz Super Charged 2

This is definitely something I’d buy again as a treat for myself. I say “myself” not because Mr. AA wouldn’t want it, but because I’d rather not share it!

Kitz Banana Date & Walnut Chunks

This is a close-up of the “banana, date & walnut chunks”. As you can see, there’s other goodies in there too! What’s cool about these is that they’re not random looking blobs like you’d expect with a description like “chunks” – they’re shaped into bars and they flex easily for you to break them apart if you don’t want to eat a whole one. They’re chewy but still have some crunch to them and they’re just the right amount of sweet.

Kitz Naughty But Nice Chunks

The “naughty but nice chunks” are pretty good – for me, it’s the subtle coconut in these that makes them worth it. The only down side to these is that they’re supposed to be chocolate flavoured, but nothing about them really strikes me as chocolatey (well, not in the processed chocolate kind of way). If you’re a hardcore cacao fan, you’ll probably be trippin’ over your own feet to snap these up. I’m more of a raw-cacao-in-small-doses kinda girl though, so these were a bit too rich for me. I did, however, really like the fudgy texture!

Kitz Crackers

And finally… The crackers! These were my favourite item and I’m going to be buying them over and over again. You only get 5 in a packet (each one of those can be broken in half, so total 10), but it’s definitely enough. Being faced with these answered some questions about why my attempts at raw crackers haven’t really been that fabulous.

The density of these is perfect – they’re nice and thick so they don’t flake apart. The buckwheat base is successful because it’s not overpowering and these are really filling. If you manage to eat all five of them in one sitting, I’m afraid I’m going to have to call you a little piggy!

Kitz Cracker Dressed
Can you spot one of my dogs making a cameo?

The “Italian herb & garlic” crackers definitely have a tomato/oregano/basil flavour about them and are just divine. The “Mexican buckwheat” ones have a Mexican influence about them, but I can’t quite put my finger on what specific flavour it is that’s dominating… I think it might be coriander (cilantro). These ones are the most subtle of the flavours that I tried.

The “curry buckwheat” flavour is my favourite, though I have to smile and tell you that when you open the packet, you get a powdery *poof* of a very garlicky smell waft up to your nose. It freaked me out a little at first but the flavour of these is so delicious and well balanced that it’s worth pushing past the giggles for!

I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised by the chili salsa flavour. I made Mr. AA try one and tell me what it reminded him of, hoping that he’d say what I was thinking. We both agreed that these are pretty close in flavour to Arnott’s BBQ Shapes – only they’re of course much healthier and a little spicier. The kick might be startling to some, but I like my food spicy so I love these. I’m just warning you in case you’re a wimp about spicy food.

If anyone’s keen on trying these with a raw dip, check out the french onion dip from Sarahfaé at Addicted to Veggies. You won’t regret it! These are, however, perfectly good to nibble on without any dressings.