If you’re not sick of hearing me ramble on about snacks and treats yet (but then, why would you be visiting my blog?), it’s UK Vegan Food Swap time!
Well – first week of the month is confirming participation in Vegan Food Swap… second week of the month is touching base with swappers and swappees and putting a selection of goodies together… third week of the month is sending parcels and receiving parcels… fourth week is tasting, testing, and posting – so, technically, it’s always UK Vegan Food Swap time.
This month I was sending to Shaheen of Allotment 2 Kitchen, who specified that she preferred savoury foods to sweet foods, already had too much tea to get through, and pointed out that “a girl can only eat so many Nakd bars”. I feel Nakd bars are to the UK Vegan Food Swap what “Stairway to Heaven” is to guitar shops.
I knew instantly that a Wheaty Chorizo Spacebar would be going in there, as my favourite savoury snack. I thought of some kale chips, but the Inspiral ones I usually see around are usually horribly expensive – so it was a no brainer when I saw the Happy Kale chips that I received from Kirsty back in June’s swap and which I have never seen elsewhere.
I also stumbled across the Naked Noodle Hot & Sour Ramen pot in the supermarket and although the ingredients list on the packaging was vegan, the ingredients listed on the website include egg. I will be contacting the company to get a clear answer on this.
The Nairn’s Caramelised Onion Oaty Bakes, however, are definitely vegan. I love oatcakes and though I have never had the oaty bakes, I figured they would make a pleasant snack, crunchy but more substantial and less greasy than crisps. Same goes for the little Munchy Seeds packs.
Luckily, Ben clevery spotted the little packet of chia seeds, and the pretty King Soba Organic Black Rice Noodles. After arguing with him that a packet of noodles was “boring”, he pointed out quite rightly that I would love to try them and cook with them, but I would never splurge on them for myself. Lucky he did, as these turned out to be the highlight of the parcel for Shaheen! I can’t wait to see what she makes with them.
As for me, I was eager to receive another parcel from Laura, whose jar of homemade chutney I have just about demolished in under a month. Unfortunately, although I do love all sorts of treats and tastes, I had to request that she not send me any spreads or condiments as I have a ridiculous amount of them in the fridge already (roughly half of mine and Ben’s fridge shelf, and more unopened in the cupboard). And she did not disappoint!
The Fairfields Farm sweet potato crisps instantly jumped out at me – I have been thinking about eating them ever since I opened the parcel two days ago, but I am scared of eating them as I will then have none left. Ha. [Update: I ate these yesterday, in the midst of helping Ben move offices, as I desperately wanted some crunch and some flavour – man they were good! I will have to find some more of these! At about 200kcal per bag, they really are the ideal savoury snack.]
My eyes/chocolate detectors jumped to the Moo Free Cranberry & Hazelnut bar. Hours later, I was enjoying a chunk. That stuff is so good.
The Granose Meat-Free Burger Mix will be put to good use. I actually picked up a pack from the supermarket who were selling them off super cheap a few weeks ago, but keep forgetting I have it – now I have more of an incentive to have a burger fest, and it will be a great way to use up some of those condiments!
I’m really excited about the Sunita Grape Juice Halva. I love halva and always think about including it in UK Vegan Food Swap parcels, but I’m the only one I know who likes it so I figure it’s a bit risky. Halva is great for when you need both a big hit of intense sweetness but with a bit of sustenance to it – it’s no low-calorie treat, but there are certainly less healthy alternatives.
Infinity Foods Hot Chilli Almonds. Need I say more? Another packet that I both desperately want to open and yet don’t trust myself around… [Another update: these have now been devoured, just a few hours ago, in the car halfway through a fairly busy day. With a small 60g bag, I find it really hard to limit myself to a sensible quarter- to half-bag serving, so they were all devoured, but I suppose there are worse snacks to eat entire packets of – anyway, they were delicious and I enjoyed every bite and every crunch.]
I’ve actually never seen the Maverick Dark Chocolate with Honeycomb Crisps bar – I am impressed to see that the chocolate contains 70% cocoa solids. Normally even in “dark” chocolate bars you are lucky if the chocolate is over 50% cocoa. Super excited! And Ben got to learn that honeycomb is vegan! [and another update: this also got eaten yesterday, right after the sweet potato chips, as I was craving something decadent and less rich and refined than Green&Blacks chocolate, and was pleasantly surprised by just how good the chocolate was, honeycomb or not!]
As well as all of that, Laura sent me some Goody Good Stuff sour sweets (all eaten today – I love that they actually taste of various fruits and flavours rather than just sugar) and Biona lollipops and a packet of Tongmaster Fish & Chip Shop Curry Sauce Mix. I’ve never had fish and chip shop-style curry sauce but I have heard a lot about it, and this will definitely be an incentive for Ben and I to create a fun weekend meal together (along with the burger mix!).
I have truly been spoilt this month, and I am so grateful to Laura for putting in the time and effort to pick such “me” snacks!