Tried and tested products for the June/July

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There is now a vast array of both vegan and gluten-free food products available in the marketplace, which is great news for those who need it. It has never been easier to make that big step to become a vegan or live a life without wheat or gluten. The downside is that most of the products available to buy come with a hefty price tag, so if we choose wrongly it can become expensive. I can’t be the only one with food that has been bought where the taste does not live up to expectations or worse is really pretty nasty. These end up lurking in the back of a cupboard as we feel guilty throwing them away, but eventually, they face the bin. Most of us are on a budget nowadays and we hate wasting money. Maybe we can help each other find some lovley products that are also value for money.

Every month I will do a tried and tested blog where I will give my opinion of the products I have purchased. Whether I find them to my liking or not. Of course that is just my opinion so feel free to email or add a comment about the food you have tried or whether you agree or disagree with my opinion. I will add a few more items to this over the next two days. Don’t forget I would like to know what others think and like.

Daiya ranch dressing

This first product I discovered in May this year whilst on holiday in Canada. From the first spoonful, I was hooked, so much so that a few bottles came back nestled and well wrapped in my suitcase. I was so happy when I found it for sale online in the UK. It is so rich and creamy with that lovely tangy ranch dressing flavour. I use it on salads, like a potato salad dressing or even stirred through pasta. This item will always be found in my fridge plus a backup bottle in my store cupboard. So impressed

Green Vale Parveggio Grated

This was ordered from an online company called The Vegan Kind. Normally I use Violife vegan parmesan block or Engevita yeast flakes when that savoury cheesy kick is required in a recipe, such as when making pesto or a cheese sauce. The price was £1.80 for 100g which seemed a good price and size to determine whether I liked it. When I opened this packet I got such a surprise, the smell was just like parmesan and the taste was lovely. It proved to work so well when I was blitzing up a batch of pesto, sprinkled onto lasagna and in a cheese sauce. A long shelf life unopened makes this a monthly buy for me from now on.

Green Vale Cheddar flavour slices

I bought these thinking they would be great as they were from the same company as the grated Parveggio. Once I got around to opening them I was a little disappointed. The slices felt very plastic to touch and without any particular smell. They just didn’t do it for me when used in my cheese & onion toasty. The flavour lacked that savoury kick and I felt them a little bland. They are a great price at under £2.50 that is a plus point and if you were looking for vegan & gluten-free cheese slices when having a BBQ then these would be good when placed on a burger as they do melt.

Tofu by the Tofoo co

There are so many different brands and styles of tofu available on the market, from the silken tofu which is wonderful for desserts to the extra firm which is great for savoury dishes. I spotted this one when doing the weekly shop as I wanted a firm textured one to do my Southern Fried Baked tofu dish. It had to take being pressed down into breadcrumbs and spices without breaking apart. This one was wonderful and it is the only firm tofu I have used since. Great for kebabs, stir-fries and curries too. It does not have a long shelf life which you have to be careful with, I have forgotten a couple that were in the fridge. Apart from this, I would recommend this tofu completely.

Schar Gluten Free Mix it Universal

I am a coeliac vegan which I find so hard. Being vegan now is becoming so much easier but the combination of the two makes me have to work a bit harder. Anyone who uses and bakes with gluten-free flour knows that sometimes it can be slightly gritty, this is really not pleasant. This month I bought a range of gluten-free flours to combine together to make my own plain flour to see if this worked better. Then two weeks ago whilst in Morrisons free from aisle like a magpie I spotted this bright yellow package of the plain flour mix and at £1.80 I thought I would test it. Well, I made cookies and a fabulous Victoria sponge and my lovely testers said it did not taste gritty and loved it. So if you want a GF plain flour at a reasonable price then give it a go.

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