Vegan cheese and onion crisps? Surely the stuff of myth and legend? But, no, they actually exist, thanks to Ten Acre Crisps. I’d heard about these crisps but never got the chance to try any as they’re not widely stocked in bricks and mortar shops. According to myth and legend though (okay, various vegan Facebook groups), they’d been spotted popping up now and again Loch Ness Monster stylee in TK Maxx but on a visit to my local store, I returned empty crisp-handed.
I reckon the busiest aisle in my local supermarket is the crisp aisle and, in my opinion, this is rightly so. Yeah, okay, so we’re turning into a nation of fatties and this isn’t a good thing, yada yada but… crisps… Crispy, crunchy, wonderful crisps.
Corkers sussed I love crisps, and asked me if I wanted two boxes of theirs – one for me and one to give away. Obviously, being a) a glutton; and b) of sound mind (no sane person would give away their crisps), I wanted to keep both boxes for myself but I showed some restraint, thanked them for their generosity and asked them to keep the winner’s box to one side to stop me from eating them all, therefore leaving the winner with only a few crumbs in an otherwise empty box, which would probably breach a few blog giveaway guidelines.
I’m now going to pretend you haven’t scrolled down to the bit where I give away the crisps, but if you are still reading this, here are few facts about Corkers:
- The crisps are made in the fenlands in Cambridgeshire. Not only are the potatoes grown on the family farm but the factory is also located there and all the crisps are hand-cooked on site.
- The Naturalo potato has a unique flavour from being grown in the rich peaty fenlands – it makes crisps with a unique crunch.
- They have just won Potato Grower of the Year by UK Growers and been named Best Regional Supplier by Waitrose (they also have a host of Great Taste Awards).
- The company was set up by best friends Ross and Rod in 2010, who had the idea whilst they were on a ski-ing trip but Ross’ family has been farming on the land since 1800s.
- The crisps are currently stocked at National Trust properties, the Tate, selected Waitrose stores and also Waitrose.com.
Although I haven’t eaten my way through the whole box yet, I’ve had a packet of the Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour and I can confirm that this is a quality crisp – firm, crunchy and full of flavour. Much better than that Walkers thin splintery rubbish.
Win a box of 8 packets of Corkers crisps
If you’d like to win a box of 8 packets of Corkers crisps (feel free to donate them back to me if you do win), just leave me a comment below letting me know what flavour crisp you would invent if you were in charge of inventing crisp flavours. I think I’d like cheese and baked bean flavour.
Terms and conditions
I can’t guarantee which flavours will be in the box, but they will all be vegetarian.
One winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator after the closing date of Saturday 31 October 2015.
The winner will be emailed, so make sure you leave a working email address (it won’t be shared with anyone).
UK entries only.
For more information about Corkers:
A variety of healthy snacks were sent to me to try recently, and I’m going to share them with you below. That’s ‘share’ as in let you know about them – not share them literally. They’re my snacks, go away.
Urban Fruit – Pure Fruit Snacks
You all know what dried fruit is and these pure fruit snacks from Urban Fruit are just that – pure fruit. They’re gently baked and have nothing added to them; no sugar, no sulphites, no oils, no nothing. As well as being available in a variety of flavours, they also come in handy snack packs and big sharing bags, but if you think a big sharing bag will last you a long time, you’d be wrong – I ate a whole big bag of pineapple in one go, which is saying something for someone who’s not a huge fan of dried fruit.
Find Urban Fruit in Asda, Tesco, Co-op, Waitrose, Ocado, Wilkinsons, in the
meal deal at Boots, on Amazon, and in loads of independents.
For more information, visit www.urbanfruit.co.uk
I love adding plain seeds to salads and smoothies but these Munchy Seeds are fab for snacking on, with flavours such as Choccy Apricot, and Chilli Bites. The pumpkin seeds contain essential fatty acids which help to lower cholesterol and maintain healthy blood vessels, while the sunflower seeds work to rid you of free radicals.
Gluten-free and free from empty calories, these seeds will give you the energy to keep going without any sugar crashes which other snacks can cause.
Munchy Seeds have an RRP of 69p-£2.35 (depending on size of pack) and are available in Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco and Co-op.
For more information, visit www.munchyseeds.co.uk
Fossil Fuel Primal/Paleo Raw Bars
These Fossil Fuel bars are right up my street. Although I don’t follow a paleo diet and don’t know much about it other than it seems to have something to do with cavemen, I do love a raw energy bar.
As you’d expect from this kind of raw snack, Fossil Fuel bars only contain natural ingredients that you’d find in your own cupboard (they’re currently in my cupboard, anyway – I haven’t been peeking in your cupboards, honest). For example, the macadamia & cacao variety only lists dates, cashews, macadamias, raw cacao and coconut oil.
Perfect as a snack anytime or to fuel you on long bike rides, etc.
For more information and to buy online, visit www.wearefossilfuel.co.uk
Chirps Egg White Bites
I’ve got to admit, when two chicks (that’s the name of the company, honest – look, you can see it on the packets in the photo above) asked me if I wanted to try their Chirps egg white bites, my first thought was ‘ugh, they sound revolting’. But they intrigued me, so I said yes. And, do you know what? They’re nice and nothing like you’d expect. They don’t taste like egg whites – they taste just like crisps and have a texture of something that’s in between popcorn and a chunky crunchy crisp like, say, a Kettle Chip (other premium crisps are available).
Although the egg bit does put me off, I really like these. They’re high in protein, low in carbohydrates, low in fat, low in sugar and have fewer calories than other crisps, so give them a try.
For more information and to find stockists in your area, visit www.twochicks.co.uk/chirps-snack
I’ve been hankering after a food dehydrator for years. Mostly, I’ve got to admit, because it’s a kitchen gadget and, despite what The Meat Eater says, you can’t have too many kitchen gadgets.
The thing is though, what exactly does one do with a dehydrator? Yes, I know you dehydrate food in them, but what? and – more importantly – why? I know raw foodists find them essential for their diet, as I found this out a few years ago when I briefly pondered whether to do a ‘raw food week’ challenge and picked up a raw food recipe book and saw it mostly contained recipes using a dehydrator to make, amongst other things, pizza bases (which led me to briefly ponder whether I wanted a raw pizza, decided I didn’t and put the book down and phoned Papa John’s instead).
Then Vida got in touch and asked me if I wanted to try out one of their appliances; one of which being a food dehydrator. The time had come to release my inner raw foodist, hurrah!
After googling ‘what do I do with a food dehydrator’, I looked at a few websites, got thoroughly confused, so I asked on the Little Vegan Kitchen Facebook Page what people there did with theirs. One reply I particularly liked the sound of was courgette crisps. I did some more googling and found a whole load of recipes with varying drying times ranging from 5 hours to 15 hours, so back I went to the Little Vegan Kitchen and asked how long they usually dry for and was told 24 hours. Oh. That’s a long time. But I was going to make my courgette crisps, no matter how long they took.
Anyway, before I tell you about my courgette crisps, let me tell you about the Vida Food Dehydrator.
The first thing you need to know is that it’s big. I thought food dehydrators were about the size of a shoe box. This is more the size of a post box. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration but this is not a small machine, so it’s not going to sit unobtrusively on your kitchen worktop.
I also thought food dehyrators were silent. I don’t know why I thought this but I did and they’re not. They’re not washing machine noisy but you will notice the sound, so my dehydrator has been banished to the conservatory where it can whirr away without disturbing anyone.
As with most kitchen appliances, the instruction manual is useless. Saying that though, you don’t need a manual for this machine, as there is absolutely nothing to working out how to use it: Put on the trays whatever fruit or veg you’re drying, put the lid on top, switch it on, turn the dial to the required temperature and press a button to tell it how many hours you want it to be on for (23 is the maximum but you can just turn it off and start it again if you want it to be on for longer – the instructions do say though not to have it running longer than 72 hours without giving the machine a bit of a rest). So, yeah, you don’t really need a manual, it just seemed a bit odd to get an appliance with no suggested recipes in the manual with which to start you off.
But I already had my suggested recipe from my friends at the Little Vegan Kitchen anyway, so I prepared my courgette crisps and about a day later they were ready and I ate them all in one go, they were that good. I don’t usually like dried fruit or vegetable crisps, so I probably only liked them because I made them, in the way a mother loves her ugly baby, but, hey ho. They didn’t come out properly crispy like a crisp, but I’m assuming the longer you leave them dehydrating, the crispier they get.
You’ll see from the photo above that I lined my trays with baking paper. Some recipes said to do this, some didn’t. I decided to, I don’t know why. I probably wanted to keep the trays clean.
I currently have some cashew, onion and sunflower seed crackers in the dehydrator and I’ll let you know what they turn out like.
The Vida Food Dehydrator is available from ebuyer.com for (at the time of writing) £29.99.
- 2 courgettes, sliced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- chilli flakes
- Put the courgette slices in a bowl and mix in the olive oil, along with the salt and chilli flakes to taste
- Line the dehydrator's trays with baking paper and lay the courgette slices on, taking care not to overlap them
- Grind some more salt and chilli flakes over the top of the courgette slices
- Dehydrate for 24 hours at 45C
I love crisps but I’m only too aware they’re not the healthiest snack around so I’m always on the look out for a healthy alternative. Therefore, I was keen to give Scrubbys a go when they got in touch recently.
Scrubbys is an award-winning vegetable crisp brand available in two flavours – Beetroot, Sweet Potato, Parsnip & Carrot with Sea Salt, and Parsnip Crisps with Chilli & Lime Zing. Neither flavour contains artificial colourings or flavourings; they’re gluten free as well as being suitable for vegetarians and vegans. They also contain at least 30% less fat and 18% less calories than other standard fried vegetable crisps. Even the name Scrubbys has a link to their nutritional value; unlike other brands, Scrubbys aren’t peeled but scrubbed clean, leaving the skins on, before being sliced and gently fried and we all know that the best bit is just under the skin, don’t we?
Being a chilli-lover, I tried the chilli and lime flavour. They had a great crunch to them and went well with my homemade hummus (click here for the best ever hummus recipe) but the flavour was too subtle for me – I expected much more chilli and lime to come through. Seeking a second opinion, I asked The Meat Eater to try one and he agreed with me.
Leaving the slight lack of flavour to one side though, if you’re looking for a healthy crisp to dip into your dips – Scrubby’s are for you as they’re large which makes them ideal to use as an edible spoon.
Scrubbys are currently available in 40g (RRP £1.25) and 100g (RRP £2.49) packs and stocked in the ‘free from’ aisle at Waitrose and online at Ocado. The range is also available at independent retailers throughout the UK.
For more information:
It’s been ages – years in fact, since I had some Pom-Bear, so it was a surprise to discover they now come in more flavours than the no-flavour one I had all that time ago.
Now as well as the original flavour, they’re available in Really Cheesy (not just bears but farmyard animal shapes), Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar, and new to the range – Prawn Cocktail, and Smoky Bacon.
Despite the weirdness that is prawn cocktail flavoured bears, the whole range is approved by the Vegetarian Society so if you, like me, haven’t had Pom-Bears for a while, why not give them a go?
For more information, visit the Pom-Bear website.
I love dips, so when Manomasa sent me their tortilla chips to try, it seemed like a good excuse to buy some. Manomasa Tortilla Chips are available in three flavours: Chipotle & Lime, White Cheddar, and Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper.
Each variety has a distinctive shape (designed for snacking, scooping or dipping), texture and flavour combination.
I almost bought some healthy hummus to go with the White Cheddar variety I tried last night (which are an oval shape, designed for scooping, so they’re perfect for dipping) but although I LOVE hummus, I thought, ‘sod it’, I’m going to have me some mega-unhealthy creamy oily dips instead.
Oh yes, I’m going to be chipping and dipping all week now.
Manomasa Tortilla chips are suitable for vegetarians, have an RRP of £1.99 for a 160g pack and are available from Ocado, Whole Foods Market, Fortnum & Mason and independent delis and farm shops. For more information visit www.manomasa.co.uk.
Unlike Walkers, who decided to add meat to their crisps (okay, it was to the meaty flavours but why cut out a huge corner of their market by making them ‘not suitable for vegetarians’, eh?), the entire range of Seabrooks Crisps are vegetarian. Now, they’re gluten free too.
Seabrooks Crisps are lovely. I had a packet of their cheese and onion flavour (my favourite) today and they were crispy, crunchy, full of flavour and just how a crisp should be.
For more information, visit http://www.seabrookcrisps.com/
Diamond Jubilee crisps, how cool is that? I know not everyone’s patriotic and I’m hardly a royalist (although I do think the Queen is quite sweet), but I do love all the flags everywhere. Which is just as well, seeing as my next-door neighbours have a Union Jack (please don’t bother commenting that it’s only called a Jack when it’s at sea – that was outmoded a long time ago and we’re allowed to call them Jacks now) up a pole, Union Jack bunting and little Union Jack flags on the fence.
Anyway, so when Tyrrells asked me if I wanted to try some red, white and blue crisps made of red, white and blue potatoes (the Highland Burgundy Red, the White Lady Claire and the Salad Blue) I said ‘yes please!’
The crisps were great. Crunchy like most of the quality hand-cooked brands (i.e. not Walkers) are, although like most salt flavour crisps, I found them a bit greasy.
So, if you’re having a Diamond Jubilee party this weekend, you know which crisps to get. Do you think The Queen will be having them? Maybe she feeds them to the corgis.
These very rare crisps will be available for a very limited time in 150g sharing bags, with an RRP of £2.99 they will be available from some of the nations finest stores including Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason, Waitrose and leading independent stores.