This month I’ve signed up to a really exciting concept which I came across thanks to my lovely daughter-in-law Emma. It’s Degustabox and if you haven’t heard about it, it’s a fantastic food lovers treat! Every month a lovely surprise box of food and drinks arrives at your door for you to try out. It costs just £12.99 per month with free delivery, and the brilliant thing is that the items in your box are guaranteed to always be worth more than you’ve paid. I signed up to 3 months of boxes right away and the first one was delivered just a week later.
I thought readers of the yay retro! online vintage shop blog would be interested to read what my husband and I thought of our first box (note I have paid for my box of goodies so my honest reviews both positive and negative are based upon my experience having paid for the box myself.)
In case you are not aware yay retro! is an online vintage shop selling the very best in vintage 1940's, 50's, 60's & 70's china, glass, home and tableware. I acquire genuine retro pieces that can be used every day in your kitchen, lounge and dining room at home. Here on my blog I post recipes which are easy to cook in your vintage styled kitchen, as well as writing reviews on interesting businesses and products which I think my customers and readers will enjoy finding out about.
Summer Degustabox July 17 Review by yay retro!
The theme of the box each month is different, and the July 17 one is called ‘Summer’. The first thing to note was the attractiveness of the box itself which was top quality and decorated with little food motifs. Inside the box was lined with tissue and the food attractively packed together. I can’t show you a photo of my own box as I have already unpacked it, (though next month I will show you what my box looks like when it arrives in my kitchen), so here is a photo from the Degustabox website showing you the July box. Looks fun doesn't it?
What I personally like about the Degustabox idea is that I am normally a very prudent shopper. I basically buy fresh fruit and vegetables and ‘own brand’ products, and then I cook from scratch most nights. Whilst this is great for the pocket, it can lead me to be very predictable in my shopping habits, and we very rarely try anything new. Additionally we are vegetarian/pescatarian in the yay retro! household and pretty keen on low calorie items as we are kind of health conscious. If I thought this was going to be a problem, I couldn’t have been more wrong as Degustabox had some really interesting healthy options inside.
Here are the contents of my Degustabox Summer Box and My Reviews One by One
Blossom Hill Spritz Elderflower & Lemon
I love craft beer, so I wasn’t much looking forward to trying this wine substitute. In fact I haven’t drunk any wine this year. However I was really amazed at how yummy it was and have had a little tipple most evenings with my dinner. This has a low alcohol level of just 5.5% making it a lovely treat without the worry of piling on the calories and drinks units - I am very Drink Aware and like to keep my units down.
Anyhow, on to what it tastes like. This is best served chilled and has a surprisingly fresh interesting taste which is not too sweet. If you like your wines on the drier side then you will definitely like this. It has a lovely perfumed aroma and a nice light fizz as you unscrew the top and have a sip. It’s fruity (not too lemony) and has the nice floral notes of elderflower without being over the top. Because of it's screw top lid it retains it's fizziness once opened for quite a few days. This is great as you can open it for one person as I did and make it last.
I’ve been drinking it from one of my vintage 'Chance' glasses which are perfect for such a delicate, classy drink! I can also imagine this being ideal for a lunch time treat with friends or taken on a Summery picnic! I will definitely buy this again soon. Sorry about the bottle being nearly empty in the pic - yumtastic!
OLOVES Healthy Olive Snacks
Now these little cute bags of olives were the first thing I tried, so to be honest I haven’t got them here to photograph now as I’ve eaten them all up! There were two bags of them in the box. Here’s a little pic of the OLOVES from the Degustabox website for you. I’ve paired this with a vintage nibbles dish from the1950s, perfect for serving olives etc and available in the yay retro! shop here.
Each treat sized bag is just 50 calories and inside you’ll find enough olives for up to 2 days of treats. I served them with feta cheese, lettuce and cream crackers on the first day. I also had them as a quick snack and added them to a simple pasta dish on other days. They were pretty spicy being Chili and Oregano flavour which I loved. Just the right kick of heat, though not sure the oregano came through. I would buy these if they were available in my local supermarket as a lunchtime treat. Personally I found them a good small size as it is only me in the house who eats olives. Note each pack is only 50 calories - yay!
Weetabix Additions Coconut & Raisin
I am a cereal-aholic! I adore it and could live on it to be quite honest, so this was one of the first treats I tried in the box. Normally I eat porridge for breakfast with fresh fruit, and then in the evening if I'm peckish I’ll have a bowl of cereal for supper. A plain shop branded Weetabix style cereal would be my normal choice, so having this coconut and raisin version to try was great. These Weetabix Additions were just like the usual cereal texture-wise except with coconut & raisin added.
I quite liked these, however I couldn’t really taste the coconut which is one of my favourite flavours. The little pieces of raisin were ball-like, not sure how they got them that shape but they were the right size to make the whole thing work. I think their sweetness overpowered the nut. My hubby didn’t like these much as he felt the raisins were annoyingly hard in amongst the softness of the Weetabix. Overall they are nice, but I think I would prefer to eat something else alongside plain Weetabix if I needed a boost to my regular cereal, as I would prefer to eat fewer calories in the cereal. We love eating cereal from our 1940s Woods Beryl ware bowls from the yay retro! vintage shop, did your family have this tableware?
August Update! As I've eaten more of these, I like them more and more!
Ryvita Thins Three Cheese Flatbreads
We don’t really eat bread, so having a new type of crackers in the box was brill - we get through loads of crackers! I never buy Ryvita normally and I didn’t know they made funky ones like this. These are described as a ‘wheat & rye flatbread topped with cheese’ and are a slimline, very crispy, crunchy cracker / biscuits which snaps easily into small mouthfuls so you can dip them into hummus etc. We had them for lunch with a big salad and a homemade tzatziki (made from cucumber, greek yogurt, onion and dill).
What struck me about them was their low calorie count, especially as they are cheese flavoured. At just 29 calories each these are fabulous! They are also high in fibre so all good. Unlike other cheese flavoured biscuits or crackers, these are not in any way fatty. They are dry and feel like they are a much healthier treat.
You can really taste the cheese, and the fact that there are 3 separate cheesy flavours in them - how do they do that?! Although it doesn’t list it as an ingredient I felt I could taste a nice blue cheese in there somewhere. We finished them in 2 days, and I’ve just been out and stocked up on more boxes as they were on offer at Morrisons!
I can imagine if you are on a calorie controlled diet you might crunch on 2-3 of these as a snack, you could break them up into crisp sized pieces to make them last and imagine you were eating crisps!
Frylight Cooking Spray with Avocado Oil
I’ve been using Frylight sprays for cooking since going on a WeightWatchers diet a few years back. Frylight is perfect to lightly fry foods as it is really low in calories, so I was pleased to see a new flavour to me included in the box. I find you cannot tell that foods have been cooked in healthy sprays like this, other than the fact food tastes cleaner and lighter. When using these healthy oil sprays if the food gets a bit dry whilst cooking you can add some boiling water part way through and let this boil off, this extends the life of the spray without needing to keep spraying all of the time.
I normally use the Sunflower Oil Frylight and have previously also tried the Coconut flavoured one. Frylight is perfect to lightly fry new potatoes to go with a salad. Another great recipe to try this with would be my New Potato and Red Pepper Rissoles, the recipe is here. I've now used this Frylight with the Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Red & White Quinoa below. To be quite honest I cannot tell the difference between this flavour and my usual Sunflower Frylight as I cook spicy foods.
Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Red & White Quinoa
I was pleased this was included in the Degustabox as we eat a lot of pre-prepared microwaveable rice and I wanted to try some new grains for a change. I love microwaveable packs like this as they are quick, clean and you don’t cook too much at once. The exciting thing about this product for me is that I realised you can eat it cold straight out of the packet. The Degustabox came with a Tabbouleh Salad recipe which involved simply opening the pack and mixing it up with herbs, tomatoes, onions and lemon.
Alternatively it can be used in a hot meal, which I did tonight...I simply fried onions, mushrooms and sweet peppers in the Avocado flavoured Frylight, with some chopped ginger and chilli paste. I added some cooked green beans salt & pepper. I microwaved the Quinoa as per the pack instructions and stirred it into the pan with some lemon juice and served. This made for a quick simple vegetarian supper, full of protein, vitamins and fibre and low in fat.
Our thoughts on the Quinoa was it was quick and easy to prepare. However, as my hubby is not keen on eating the texture of small grains I may not use it for dinner again. I would be happy to, it as it's high protein and low fat. What is surprising is that you can use these Quinoa packs in savoury or sweet dishes. I’ve wanted to try quinoa in place of porridge for ages and may do so with another pack - there's a porridge recipe on the pack for you to follow so that's brilliant!
Rowntrees Randoms 30% Less Sugar
I am the kind of person who will always choose the low cal treat option if I can. If I’m following a recipe and it wants full fat, I’ll add a low fat version, I cook with half spoon sugar and I always use low sugar drinks and squashes. We currently get through boxes and boxes of sugar free sweets, so being able to try 30% Less Sugar Randoms was right up my street.
We’ve had a good old try of these but I have to say although my hubby says he cannot tell the difference between these and regular soft jelly sweets, I definitely could. I felt that they left a bit of an aftertaste in my mouth which was not very nice - a bit chemically to my taste even though they have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives - it's probably just me!
I think the grandchildren would find them fun as they include lots of random shapes such as Big Ben, retro spaceships, post boxes, racing cars and ice cream cones.
Crafted Mango & Passionfruit Juice Drink
I don’t normally buy fruit juices as they are high in calories and they are generally too acidic for us. My hubby’s favourite fruit is Mango so we cracked this open quite quickly and were really surprised at how nice it was. Both of us found it to be light on our stomachs and really easy to drink. It’s not too sweet and is really treat worthy! I would definitely buy this in future and think it would be ideal on it’s own or mixed with soda water as a Mocktail. There are just 60 cals in a 200ml serving, so this is lower than orange juice, so all good.
Again, I’ve had to borrow a photo of 3 of the Crafted drinks from the Degustabox website as we drank ours too fast to include in this blog post. I think it’s the ideal drink to pop into some vintage 1960/70s glasses like the ones shown from the yay retro! online vintage shop. - yum!
Maille Dijon Original Mustard
I don’t eat mustard, but hubby does. He had it with Linda McCartney sausages, fresh green beans and button new potatoes and reported it was really delicious and much hotter than he’d imagined. I thought it looked really creamy and smooth and posher than regular mustard. I can see myself using this to spice up my homemade cheese scones which are always nicer with a teaspoon of mustard in them. Here’s a recent pic of my mustardy cheese scones, complete with vintage kitchenwares from yay retro! of course!!
The Collective Pro-yo High Protein Yoghurts
I got a voucher for these yoghurts which sound really interesting. Being a vegetarian I do look for high protein foods, and the fact these would also be high in vitamin D make them appealing to me. My local supermarket does not sell this item, so I am still on the lookout for them elsewhere to be able to cash in my voucher.
Try Degustabox with yay retro! and get money off your first box!Degustabox is made for the food lovers who want to be the first to try the latest in food products and adore surprises! There is no long term commitment and you can join in the fun on the Degustabox website, signing up for as many boxes as you wish, then you too will receive a marvellous surprise box of foodie treats! Use the code WBWEO to get £7 off your first box - you’ll pay just £5.99 instead of £12.99!
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