Well and Good Muffins: Product review

well-n-good-muffins

Well and Good are an allergy aware company which makes a number of products which are free from gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, tree nuts and peanuts. I decided to road test their muffin mix.

It was easy to use and all you needed to add was some water, two eggs and some oil of your choice. I added some frozen blueberries for flavour, but you could use raisins, chocolate chips or another chopped fruit.

The muffins were easy to mix up and put into a medium muffin tray with liners. The muffins tasted divine just out of the oven and were still good a few days afterwards. There is an option on the box to make gluten free waffles.

Highly recommended.

 

 

Product review: Spiral’s sugo

imk-sugo

Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean-inspired sugos. They come in three flavours: Basil and garlic, Primavera Sugo and Arrabbiata Sugo.

spag-bolog

We tried the sugo successfully tossed through pasta, and added to a lamb casserole and also in a chicken caccitatore. You could also use the sugo instead of tin of tomatoes in a recipe.

The best thing about these sugos are that they are certified gluten-free and sugar-free. What I really like about these products is there are only natural real ingredients listed on the bottle, and there are no strange unpronounceable nasties.

All three sugos are a delicious combination of flavours and would be a handy addition to your kitchen.

Available from the Spiral Foods website.

Thank you, Spiral Foods for allowing me to trial these products. 

Just Fair Coffee and Mundial Coffee review

griffiths-coffee

I was keen to try Griffiths Coffee after I found out that not only was it organic but fair trade as well. You can trace the journey of the beans by typing in the code found on every Just Fair Coffee can.

Just Fair Coffee is a smooth and dark coffee made from 100% Arabica coffee beans from Honduras and Peru. The coffee is rich and full-bodied with a smooth nutty cocoa taste and sweet honey undertone. It is best for espresso, if you like dark Italian coffee and has a nice crema.

We tried the whole beans, but it also comes pre-ground. There is also a decaffeinated blend available that comes from Peru, and has a nutty flavour with a clear citrus aftertaste.

For a limited time, Griffiths Coffee has created the Mundial 14 blend using coffee beans from countries in the 2014 World Cup including Brazil. I enjoyed my cuppa while watching the football early in the morning.

Just Fair Coffee is the only Fairtrade organic coffee on the Australian market that comes in a reusable and fully recyclable can.

Available from independent supermarkets and delis and direct from Griffiths Coffee.

Thank you to Griffiths Coffee for providing samples.

Willie Smiths, dcider and Batlow cider review

Despite the drizzly rain, we decided to spend our Saturday at the Pig and Whistle’s Fluid Festival. I tried three new exciting ciders I’d like to share with you:

fluid-festival-willie-smiths

Willie Smiths Organic apple cider is made from 100% organic apples grown on the farm at Grove in the Huon Valley, Tasmania. It is Australian’s first certified organic Cidery. It had a nice cloudy and pronounced apple taste. I liked it!

fluid-festival-dcider

Next I tried the dcider with its distinctive pink labelling. The company is barely a year old and is already winning fans. It’s made with no added sugar and not from concentrate. It has a clean apple taste and is not overly sweet.

fluid-festival-batlow

Batlow Premium Cider is the all round good guy of ciders, with 3 and half freshly crushed batlow apples in each bottle and no added sugar. It was very drinkable and refreshing.

Overall three great new ciders to add to my favourites list.

Goat Pie Guy Review

goat-pie-guy

We have tried Goat Pie Guy pies once before, but we demolished them for breakfast one day at the Mitchelton Farmers markets. I didn’t realise how good they would be. When we spotted them today at the Eagle Farm Markets we knew we had to get some cold to have later for lunch.

Deluxe goat pie review

I choose the Deluxe Goat Pie, which is their signature pie – rich, tender slow-cooked goat meat, infused with honey and thyme, topped with a port & redcurrant jus. The chunks of meat were delicious and sauce just right. The crust nice and short.

Himalayan goat pie review

George selects the Himalayan Goat Pie, which has tender slow cooked goat meat in a rich Nepalese curry with ginger, tomatoes and fragrant spices. He said there were generous chucks of meat and a perfect balance of chilli. A convenient way to eat a really good dry-spiced curry.

The Goat Pie Guy uses Boer goat meat and there’s a talent to cooking goat so it stays nice and tender. Look out for Goat Pie Guy at your local markets.

Highly recommended.

Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies Decadent Red Velvet Cake review

Melinda's Red Velvet Cake

I decided it was time to try the Decadent Red Velvet Cake from Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies for a belated father’s day.

I followed the instructions on the back of the packet to a tee and was rewarded with a light reddy-brown coloured cake. Instead of making the suggested cream cheese icing, I made a glaze with coconut oil and icing sugar, which complemented the flavours really well. 

red velvet cake

The cake was served with strawberries and vanilla ice cream. The red velvet cake was moist and delicious. It received positive feedback from all the family members who tasted it. My sister-in-law said “She couldn’t believe it was gluten free. It tastes that good.”

Available from Coles, Woolworths, IGA, Independents, and various online stores.

 Thank you, Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies for allowing us to try Decadent Red Velvet Cake

How to grow tasty tomatoes

Guest post by The Diggers Club

tomato tasting

About the Taste Test

The Diggers Club conducted a tomato taste test to see whether heirloom tomatoes could beat the supermarket hybrids. The taste test was held in February 2013 at the Adelaide Botanic Garden, with South Australian garden experts, and cooks and gardeners invited.

Supermarket hybrids are usually dwarf bushy varieties which are easier to machine harvest and are bred for long-distance shipping. Being dwarf varieties they are invariably low in flavour with short harvest periods. The tasty long-harvest period heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate, with lateral branches that continue to grow and therefore need support.

The seeds from these heirloom tomatoes bred in back yards over hundreds of years hold a continuous unbroken link to our history.

The Results

The top ten Diggers Club Tomato Taste Test results were all heirlooms:

Rank Variety Colour Size
=1 Hungarian Heart Pink Oxheart
=1 Jaune Flamme Orange Apricot
2 Tommy Toe Red Apricot
3 Black Cherry Purple-Black Cherry
4 Wild Sweetie Red Pea
5 Wapsipinicon Peach Opaque Apricot
6 Lemon Drop Lemon Grape
7 Ananas Noir Yellow/Black Beefsteak
8 Black Russian Black Apricot
9 Periforme / Granny’s Throwing Red Large pear
10 Purple Smudge Orange Beefsteak

We had three Italian Chef/food experts who rated Italian red heirloom Periforme the best, in preference to highly coloured heirlooms.

tomatoes in basket

Growing tomatoes

Tomatoes are easy to grow with 6 hours of sunshine per day in friable, well drained soil.

  • Sow seed into Jiffy or Peat Pots 6 weeks before transplanting to minimise transplant root disturbance. All but dwarf varieties need support.
  • Being frost sensitive they need minimum 15 degrees C soil temperature for up to 21 growing weeks. Plant out at 1 metre spacing.
  • Heirlooms will fruit from January for 3-4 months in cool climates and all year around in hot climates, hence the ubiquitous supermarket ‘winter’ tomato!

Summary

The first eighteen varieties preferred were all heirlooms from Hungry, France, Italy, Russia and America, and seven of the bottom eight were red commercial varieties from the South Australian market. Since the 1993 taste test which was won by Tommy Toe, fourteen varieties were regarded as better than the garden standard Grosse Lisse.

Would you pay four hundred times the price of heirlooms to an overseas corporation when you can save your seeds and replant for nothing?

Guest post by The Diggers Club

Very Chocolate gelato by Sugo Mi Gelateria review

Very Chocolate gelato

I had to try Very chocolate gelato from Sugo Mi Gelateria after I found out that it won 5 out of 6 of the major prizes in the 2013 Royal QLD Food & Wine Show.

The gelato was soft and smooth, with a rich but not overpowering chocolate-y taste. Served with a waffle cone and you have all you need for a great gelato. Go across the road to the park and eat away to your heart’s content.

Highly recommended.

Sugo Mi
3/190 Oxford St,
Bulimba, Brisbane

3 Organic teas by The Loose Leaf Tea House review

loose-leaf-tea

I’ve been lucky enough to try some of the range of certified organic tea from The Loose Leaf Tea House. About 70% of their tea is currently Organic, and Monique is constantly trying to source more organic teas to add to their range. Their best sellers are the Organic Earl Grey, Organic China Sencha, Japanese blossom and the Organic peppermint. I tried the following three teas:

organic-english-breakfast

Organic English Breakfast

The Organic English Breakfast is my favourite of the three teas and I’d happily recommend it to my friends. It has a beautiful smooth flavour, which reminds me of soft caramels. It is a traditional strong breakfast tea, made with certified organic and biodynamic Assam and Ceylon teas. It produces a full-bodied aromatic blend. I could easily drink this tea every day.

It is best brewed for 3 to 5 minutes at a water temperature of 100°Celsius.

organic-china-sencha

Organic China Sencha

The Organic China Sencha is a delightful green tea. This certified organic tea is made from large leaf green tea, which produces distinctively crisp and mild flavours. The tea has a high level of vitamin C because it is made from the first picking of the leaves in spring and steamed dried. This tea looks different to other green teas I have tried, as you can see the large vibrant green leaves. The tea has a yellow light green colour and gives a well-rounded taste. It reminds Matt of the green tea served in Chinese restaurants.

It is best brewed for 2 to 3 minutes at a water temperature of 80°Celsius, so allow the kettle to rest awhile before pouring. It took about 5 minutes for the water to cool to the recommended temperature, but this will depend on your kettle.

immune-boost

Organic Immune Boost

The Organic Immune Boost is a certified organic herbal tea which aims to build up the immune system and help keep away colds and flues. The tea consists of a blend of powerhouse herbs such as echinacea, Siberian Ginseng, spearmint, ginger and lemongrass. The packet is full of chunky herbs but the tea provides a well-balanced taste. I prefer my herbal teas to be organic – you can really taste the difference, particularly with peppermint tea. I would recommend drinking this herbal tea through winter or as a warming drink to have before bed.

It is best brewed for 5 to 8 minutes at a water temperature of 100°Celsius.

teaspoons

The teas are available for purchase online and at various locations around Australia.

Thank you, The Loose Leaf Tea House for allowing us to try Organic English Breakfast, Organic China Sencha and Organic Immune Boost. 

Melinda’s Gluten-free goodies Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownie review

chocolate brownie

We were lucky to receive a packet of Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownie from Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies to trial. I was wanting to make something sweet for afternoon tea and these were the answer.

The lactose-free chocolate was morish and I had to stop myself from eating the chips! I must admit I made a bit of a mess melting the chocolate and butter in the microwave, so next time I would do this on the stove top. Alternatively, I’d suggest checking the mixture every minute and the recipe on the back of the packed does suggest this.

It was then easy sailing as I mixed 2 eggs with the brownie premix, which I then combined with the chocolate and butter mixture.

I didn’t line my cake tin as suggested, but I did use a non-stick tin sprayed with oil. I popped it in the preheated oven and 25 minutes later it was done. You can leave the cake in less time for a more fudgy result, but I left them in for the full amount.

The result was gooey, moist chocolate brownies, with no funny aftertaste that you sometimes get with gluten free products. They have kept well for a few days, although best eaten on the day of cooking.

It’s not hard to see how these become bestsellers.

Available from Coles, Woolworths, IGA, Independents, and various online stores.

 Thank you, Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies for allowing us to try Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownie