Guilt Free Goodies – a review

I had the great pleasure this week of being sent a beautiful box of treats from Guilt Free Goodies.

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This UK, home-based business is run by Natasha and her partner, who produce homemade, all natural, healthy goodies – from granolas, nut butters to delicious treats and cakes. They’re perfect for anyone looking for dairy-free treats, diabetics and those wanting refined sugar-free treats (only natural sweeteners are used) or following the “paleo” diet. They’re also great for anyone who’s just health conscious and wants to watch what they eat. They can also make most of their products (granola, bites, energy balls and butters) suitable for vegans (some products do contain egg or honey).

I was sent this delightful selection of:

Peanut butter surprise muffin

Cashew butter, coconut and blueberry energy balls

Honey and peanut granola

Salted caramel almond bites

The first thing I noticed is how lovely the packaging was – all the items are beautifully packaged with lovely little touches like the handwritten notes. They’re also really securely packaged so nothing was damaged in transit.

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As instructed I popped the almond bites in the freezer (top tip – highly recommended!) and the first item I tucked in to was the cashew, coconut and blueberry energy balls. After a busy morning teaching spin and bodypump I was famished and needed something quick to munch on. These really hit the spot – full of goodness and flavour. Really satisfying and tasty too – not too sweet but sweet enough to satisfy 🙂

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Later that afternoon I was in dire need of a boost so thought I’d try the granola next – I served it with some homemade compote from my friend Colette and a big dollop of soya yoghurt.

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It was absolutely divine – crunchy and crisp with a great mix of nut and fruit. The sweetness wasn’t overpowering either which was great. I had to eek it out as otherwise I’d have eaten it all in one go! As it’s full of good fats (from the nuts) it really sustained me for my evening classes which is exactly what I needed. This would be just as good served with a little almond milk or yoghurt for brekkie, or as a decadent treat you could serve it with some coconut yoghurt or ice cream for dessert! Yum!

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I saved the muffin for a mid-morning snack with a cuppa. This was a really nice treat. Now it’s not like a traditional muffin so don’t be surprised. It’s a lot smaller but it’s also much denser. I really like this about it – it’s moist and squishy (in a good way!) and although small it’s exactly the right amount for a snack. I loved the peanut butter in the middle of this one. The nice thing about these muffins is that they really fill you up in a way traditional muffins just don’t.

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I saved the best until last – the almond bites. I was most excited about these – they looked delicious and I’m such a sucker for anything almond-based so I had high hopes.

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I was not disappointed in the slightest. These were so good! They’re definitely best out the freezer – the base goes all crispy and the caramel stays soft. The combination of the caramel, a whole almond in the middle (!), and lovely chocolate on the top is just fab!

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So all in all I was really impressed with all these products. They certainly live up to their reputation and satisfy your cravings without ruining any of your hard work!

I just love that this is a home-run business, run by someone who clearly puts their heart and soul in to their products. I’d definitely recommend them so do go and try them. You can also buy hampers or sample boxes and they’d make great gifts for the health foodlovers in your life. I’m really looking forward to ordering some of Natasha’s other products now – especially the loaf cakes and nut butters! 🙂

You can find out more about the products and place orders from their facebook page – here: Guilt Free Goodies or their new online shop here: Guilt Free Goodies Eshop.

Do check them out! and if you do let me know what you think 🙂




Simply Dazzling! Dairy-free ice cream from Razzle Dazzle Ices

I have had the immense pleasure of being able to review some delicious vegan ice creams from Razzle Dazzle Ices recently and I’ve been dying to tell you all about them!


Razzle Dazzle Ices are based in the West Country so not available across the UK yet, though their stockists are increasing by the day and I hear one day they may be able to send mail-order deliveries too (oooh I can’t wait! 🙂 ). They’re a small, family-run company who have developed these ices themselves for their own son and we have the pleasure of benefitting from that. They believe in being environmentally friendly and have great business ethics so they’re pretty much good guys all round in my book!

I was lucky enough to be given 5 flavours to try, each in 100ml pots: Mango Sorbet, Coconilla, Cocodough, Hintamint and Shokalate. They are essentially sorbets but you wouldn’t know that, they give the impression and mouth-feel of a lovely, creamy dessert. I’ll give my thoughts on each on in turn.



A blend of coconut and vanilla ice which is lovely and smooth and creamy. The coconut gives it a really smooth texture and removes any trace of that artificial flavour you can sometimes get with vanilla. The coconut is delicate though so doesn’t over power the vanilla at all. This is lovely on it’s own but even better alongside a vegan brownie or some fresh fruit.


Now I’m not a raw cookie dough fiend so I didn’t expect to fall in love with this flavour. It uses the coconilla as it’s base and has chunks of vegan cookie dough interspersed in it. My fears were wiped away with the first mouthful! The sweetness and stickiness of the cookie dough is balanced really nicely with the ice cream and you get just enough of both to feel like you’re getting something naughty but not tooooo naughty!

Mango Sorbet

Divine. That’s all I can say about this! It’s so refreshing and delicious, and not in the slightest bit grainy or full of ice crystals. It’s so smooth it’s more like ice cream than sorbet and there’s no articificial fruit flavour that you can sometimes get in sorbets – you can really taste those fresh mangoes!


Now I confess.. I am not a chocolate ice cream fan. I love chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate biscuits, chocolate anything in fact, but not chocolate ice cream, I never have. I think I find it too sickly and sweet, so it was with trepidation that I opened this pot. Once again I have been floored! This is so good! It tastes like a really good dark chocolate ice cream and because it’s a sorbet (though frankly you wouldn’t notice that) you get a massive chocolate hit which isn’t diluted by all that nasty creamy milk flavour! It’s just amazing; rich, smooth and just 100% chocolatey.


In my humble opinion, I’ve saved the best for last. This is far and away my favourite flavour. As I’ve mentioned before my two big things are choc-orange and choc-mint flavours so I knew I’d like this but this is beyond like, I love this. I could literally bathe in this stuff! It is just so good. This is a classic combination and the intense, dark chocolate ice combined with refreshing mint oil works perfectly. This is perfect for after dinner but also makes a delicious, indulgent treat for any time!


So “hintamint” is definitely my winner! Though it’s been a very tough call as they’re all so good! I shared my stash with my good friend Colette from Colette’s Fitness Kitchen (wishing I hadn’t now though… ;)) so I’ll be updating this with her views too. In the meantime I will continue to try to lick the remnants out of the bottom of the pots! A big thank you to Phil and Darrelle at Razzle Dazzle Ices for creating such amazing desserts (and for letting me review them!).

If you can find a way to try this ices you really must! They’re now being stocked in London (Ms Cupcake and a few other places) as well as in the West Country. Check out their website for your nearest stockist and enjoy!




SlimKicker – a new fun tool to track diet and exercise :)

Ok so this isn’t a baking post I’m afraid (as you will see shortly!). I didn’t manage to get in the kitchen at all this weekend – last week was manic, the weekend was jam-packed and this week is even worse, so much to my dislike I couldn’t whip up any yummy treats this time. Instead I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell you about a pretty cool site I found out about recently.

I lost a fair amount of weight a couple of years ago and one of the big things that helped me to do that was using an online tracker site (myfitnesspal was the one I used) to track what I was eating and how much I was exercising. I found it really useful to keep me on track. Recently I found out about a new site called SlimKicker and it looks awesome.

You can record what your eating (including those lovely healthy bakes 😉 ), and by tracking your exercise and logging “healthy” calories you can earn points. You also earn points by completing food related challenges (e.g. giving something up for a week etc). You can also take part in fitness challenges with other members as well. Now this is the bit that appeals to me – I love a challenge and I need things like that to keep me motivated so I’m keen to give that a try 🙂

There are also prizes to be won and you can upload your own images of your goal or the reward you will give yourself for reaching a certain target so you have something to aim for. You can link up with friends and other users as well so you have some support.

I think this site could be a lot of fun and really useful so I’m looking forward to trying it out. Have any of you used it before?

I’ll let you know how I get on…watch this space! 🙂



Honeybuns – delicious gluten free cakes

Although I’m definitely a fan of making my own cakes sometimes it’s just not possible, so if you’re out and about and need a cake then I think I’ve found the perfect solution.

Honeybuns are a Dorset-based company that specialise in gluten-free (and some dairy-free) cakes, cookies, brownies and a whole range of other baked goods. I love this company – it’s what I aspire to become! The founder,  Emma Goss-Custard, started off cycling around town delivering her home-made cakes to local deli’s and cafés. Now it’s a thriving small-scale business, but still makes its cakes by hand using locally sourced ingredients where possible.

They very kindly sent me some samples to try so I thought I’d let you know what I thought of them.

I got to try:

Almond moon

Milk chocolate brownie

Snowy hills



Gosh, where to start! Think I’ll just make a cuppa…… 😉

Almond Moon

This is a polenta, cranberry and almond slice and oh my it’s good! As I’ve said before on here I am a massive fan of almond-based cakes so this was always going to be a winner with me! It’s lovely and moist with just the right amount of crunch in the base. The fruit is perfect and offsets the sweetness of the cake brilliantly. The texture is lovely too!

Milk Chocolate Brownie

This is possibly the best gluten-free, bought, brownie I’ve ever had. Too often they are overly sweet and too moist but this is just perfect. It’s dense but not too dense, moist but not too gooey and it tastes divine. It contains real coffee so there is a delicious hint of coffee flavour throughout which I love and naturally it goes brilliantly with a cup of the black stuff!

Snowy Hills

Wow, they just get better and better! This is a ginger and polenta shortbread with a lemon sponge topping and it is seriously good. The shortbread is lovely and crispy with  hint of ginger but it’s not overpowering. The sponge is fantastic – sweet, moist and just lemony enough! This is really really good!


Another almond treat! This is like a macaroon but denser and moister and really very very nice indeed! It’s not light like an almond macaroon but I like that – you really feel like you’re getting plenty of cake for your money! It’s crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside just like it should be and it tastes fab! It’s also dairy free as well as gluten free.


This is probably my least favourite of the 5 to be honest, but then it would be hard to follow all those wonderful flavours! The sconeybun is basically a cross between a bun and a scone and this one is dairy free as well as gluten free. It does what it says on the tin! It’s basically a dense, cakey bun. It’s nice but after the other 4 cakes I felt it was lacking flavour a bit, but then again I think toasted with some jam it would be just perfect! Plus if you’re looking for something  a little less sweet then this is definitely for you!

The best thing about all of these cakes is that you wouldn’t know they were gluten free (or dairy free) at all – they taste simply amazing and just like “normal” cakes.

So which is my favourite? hmmmm I’m not sure…it’s so hard to decide! I think if I had to choose it would probably be the Snowy Hills lemon cake or maybe the Almond Moon… or maybe the brownie …. oh I can’t decide – they’re all just too good!

Do check them out – they’re available at various cafe’s and shops but they also do an online mail order service too  – just take a look at their website 🙂


Funky Raw

I’ve recently discovered a fab site for buying some of the ingredients I use in the recipes on this blog and also a great place to buy raw and super foods online. It’s the Funky Raw Shop. Do check them out – they’ve got a great range of products, ethically sourced and they’re reasonably priced too.

They also produce a pretty awesome little magazine – the  Funky Raw Magazine. It’s  a quarterly publication which focues on raw food, nutrition, raw food recipes, wild foods and foraging, reviews of books and products, info about food festivals, meets and swaps and more. It’s actually a really cool magazine and full of useful info. The current edition includes info on local gatherings, workshops and events which is really handy. There are reviews of number of great books and DVD’s including “Raw Food 101” which sounds brilliant. Susan Schenk’s book “Beyond Broccoli – Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet when a Vegetarian Diet Doesn’t Work” is also reviewed which is another really useful article.

If you’re interested in foraging for food then there are titbits of info on that too – in this edition there’s a focus on Nettles – something I’ve been keen to try for ages!
There are also a load of delicious sounding recipe’s and Raw Chocolate rears it’s head too – which is never a bad thing! 🙂

As well as food and nutrition-based aticles there are articles on broader life issues like how to overcome procrastination, stories of people’s work and projects, as well as short stories etc.

All in all it’s a great read. I’m not following a Raw diet but I found the recipes and info in there relevant to me regardless and there’s lots of really useful tips for anyone following any sort of healthy lifestyle be it raw or otherwise.

Do check it out. You can buy an e-book version or a paper copy here and you can also download a free trial issue to see what you think.While you’re there check out the rest of the site – it’s a mine of useful info 🙂

Enjoy! 🙂


Concious Chocolate – chocolate that’s easy on the conscience! :)

Well I’ve been lucky enough to be sent some of Conscious’ fab raw chocolate products to review.

Conscious is a small UK company that makes handmade raw chocolate. They’re all organic, handmade and free from gluten, soya, dairy and refined sugars. They also happen to be delicious!

Raw chocolate has considerable health benefits as the cacao beans aren’t roasted so they retain more of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and theobromine which make chocolate “good” for you.  They only use agave syrup to sweeten them which is another bonus.

They have a range of different flavours but I was sent:

Pure – 65% cacao with vanilla
The nutty one – brazils, cashews, hazelnuts and walnuts
Chilli hot – cayenne pepper
Love Potion No. 9 – maca and essential oil of rose
Essential orange – essential oils of orange and tangerine
Wild at heart – maca, vanilla and wilde blue-green algae
Mint hint – essential oil of peppermint

The best thing about these bars is the texture – they’re so silky smooth and they just melt in the mouth. They’re more like a truffle in texture than a chocolate bar and they’re beautifully creamy and rich. They all taste amazing but my favourites were the essential orange and mint hint, closely followed by chilli hot. The pure and plain ones were very nice, and the nutty one had very generous chunks of nut in it which is always good. I’m not a huge fan of rose flavoured chocolate generally but this bar was actually ok. It wasn’t overly floral and the maca balanced out the flavour nicely. The wild at heart bar tasted very nice but I couldn’t really detect the blue-green algae (that may be a good thing!) so it’s presumably there as a health benefit that doesn’t impact on the flavour too much.

I gave my official taster, Colette some pieces for her and her hubby Rod to taste too and they were similarly impressed with it. I’ll let them tell you all what they thought of them themselves though 🙂

The really great thing about these bars is that they’re so rich you really don’t want to eat too much of them in one go. A few pieces after dinner is plenty. The fact that they’re free fom refined sugars as well is fab, so it means you can enjoy these treats even if you’re trying to control your sugar intake. They’re also suitable for diabetics which is handy.

You can get these from local health food shops of from Conscious direct. I highly recommend you treat yourself to a bar (or two!) 🙂

Rawr chocolate – simply divine!

The lovely people over at Rawr sent me some of their delicious raw chocolate bars to review. I’ve had them a while but have been taking my time trying them as I really wanted to give them my full attention!

There are 6 flavours of bar, and they sent me 5 to taste (they also do a Heatwave chilli bar which sounds amazing!):

Rawr Purity – organic dark chocolate

Rawr 80% Intensity – organic intensely dark chocolate

Rawr Passion – organic chocolate with goji berries and vanilla

Rawr Zest – organic orange flavoured chocolate

Rawr After Dinner – organic mint flavoured chocolate

Right out the bag first impressions of these bars are fab. The packaging is really lovely, simple but beautiful. The bars are a really good size – a nice chunky slab of chocolate which is also a big plus! They are all raw, organic and use no refined sugars or fats so they’re as good a chocolate bar as you’re going to get! 🙂

The taste definitely lives up to the look. I can’t decide which my favourite is – it’s a toss up between the After Dinner mint one or the Zest orange one. I’m a massive fan of both mint and orange flavour chocolate so these were always likely to be my favourites. The mint one is really nice – the mint flavour isn’t overpowering but is enough to give you that lovely after dinner mint effect. Often I find mint flavoured raw products have that nasty fake mint flavour and I was worried that would be the case here but it’s not at all. It’s flavoured with organic mint oil and it’s very subtley done.

The zest bar is lovely and orangey, but again it’s not overpowering. You can still taste the flavour of the raw chocolate but you get a deliciously warming orange flavour coming through from the organic orange oil. This is perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon and anyone out there who’s a fan of Terry’s chocolate oranges will love this – all the flavour without any of the nasty refined sugars and fake orange flavours! (and I’m saying that as a BIG terry’s chocolate orange fan so that says a lot!).

I was most intrigued by the Passion bar and a little unsure it would work. Goji berries are very much the super food of the moment and I guess I worried these were just thrown in there for effect, but to my surprise the flavours worked really well. The vanilla extract softens the taste and the tart chewiness of the goji berries is lovely. This is a much milder choc and would suit people who tend to prefer “milk” chocolate.

The two plain chocolates are both lovely. The Purity bar does what is says on the pack – a pure organic chocolate, rich, dark and delicious! The chocolate is lovely and creamy but still has that dark chocolate bite. The 80% Intensity bar is quite something! At first I wasn’t too sure about it but after a few bites I was hooked. It has cacao nibs in it which give it a lovely crunch and it is seriously intense! 🙂

So all in all these are delicious. You get a lot of choc for your buck and they are simply lovely. I’m looking forward to using them in some of my recipes soon 🙂  Do check them out – you can order online from their website: