Pollen + Grace is a London-based clean eating food delivery service who make healthy lunches and delicious sweet treats. Founded by Stephanie Johnson, their ethos is to find the beauty in nature and apply that to their food. I met the team at Balance Festival earlier this year so I was very excited to try their delicious snacks!
Raw Beauty Bar
The Raw Beauty Bar features antioxidant-rich superfoods like acai and acerola superfruits. Acai berries have more antioxidants than any other berries and boast health benefits such as fighting disease and promoting healthy skin. The acerola fruit is a type of cherry and is rich in vitamins C and A as well as riboflavin and niacin which are often artificially added to foods because of their fantastic health benefits.
The bar itself is very attractive and features a crumbed based made out of cashews, sesame seeds, tahini, and coconut. The base has a great sticky sweet texture and the bar itself is delicious. The berry top adds a lovely tang and there's a subtle crunch from the seeds. I love this little bar and knowing how many health benefits it has!
The Mojo Bar
The Mojo Bar was the treat that I was most looking forward to as I had tried a nibble at Balance Festival and was immediately hooked! This salted caramel fudge bar is totally vegan and is enriched with superfoods like maca and cornflower petals. Maca contains numerous minerals which promote a healthy immune system and it also contains 20 amino acids which aid protein synthesis and promote healthy muscle repair.
This bar tastes absolutely incredible! I couldn't get enough! I previously went on a bit of a rant about products claiming to be 'salted caramel' flavour when they're not, but this bar has the absolutely perfect taste and is just delicious! Knowing that it's vegan means it is a guilt-free treat and is perfect for after a demanding cardio session when you need a sugar-hit to feel better.
Sweet Potato + Peanut Butter Flapjack
The sweet potato and peanut butter flapjack comes in a very generous 100g portion and boasts 10.4g of protein. This flapjack is also vegan (if you don't mind consuming honey) and contains lots of great ingredients. The bulk of the flapjack is made with sweet potato and also features organic peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, and pecans which add a beautiful depth of flavour.
The bar itself is super crunchy thanks to the seeds and it is really filling! It's not very sweet but in this case, that's a good thing, as sometimes flapjacks can be way too sugary and buttery. This has a really nice earthy feel to it from the sweet potato and it's almost like a savoury snack.
Raw Cacao Protein Bar
This gooey vegan cacao bar is protein-packed thanks to pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, hemp protein, and chia seeds. All of these are fantastic super foods which boast numerous health benefits. As with the flapjack, this bar is quite hefty and definitely super filling! It tastes delicious and isn't too dense or chewy like most protein bars! It has such an authentic taste and texture, rather than some which feel like they've just been mass produced in a factory.
VerdictI absolutely love this brand. I love the ethos and their raw treats are not only delicious but they're healthy too! The food delivery service is a great idea and hopefully they'll be able to expand further in the future! It's definitely a 10 from me for these goodies.
Easy Bean was founded Christina Baskerville who grew up on a farm and has always appreciated the health benefits of pulses (beans, lentils, and peas). After spending time working in tropical agriculture in Africa and Latin America, Christina realised how simple but delicious beans can be and that they deserve a higher 'culinary status'. She found that there are famous bean-based dishes in many countries, but not so much in the UK, so she set out to change that by producing delicious one-pot meals. Easy Bean's newest products are their chickpea crispbreads which I had the pleasure of trying.
The cheddar crunch crispbreads boast fantastic nutritional values, with nearly 15g of protein per 100g. The biscuits are a great thickness and texture, they are not so thin that they just break apart and they are not too crumbly. They are delicious on their own, but Easy Bean also have plenty of topping ideas available on their website. These crispbreads are incredibly moreish and before long I found I had eaten the entire packet! They'd make great party foods topped with different spreads and vegetables, and it's good to know there are no nasty surprises or artificial ingredients in them.
Seaweed & Sesame
I was dubious about the seaweed flavour before I tried it as I don't have a great track record with this flavour! However, these crispbreads are absolutely delicious, and like the cheddar flavour they're great to eat even just on their own. The flavour of the seaweed creeps through in a subtle way without being overpowering, but it's definitely there. Seaweed has some great health benefits, including a rich supply of minerals such as calcium and iron, and it is also rich in protein and folic acid. The crispbreads are so moreish, but thankfully they are a guilt-free treat as the ingredients are all natural.
I love that Easy Bean shares Sundried's ethos of caring for the planet and sustainability. I think it's great that Christina has set out to promote the benefits of beans as they are quite an underrated ingredient in the UK. This unique concept is sure to be successful, and Easy Bean's flavoursome and interesting recipes mean that they stand out from the crowd in the frankly saturated health food market. These crispbreads are delicious and make the perfect snack, so it's a 10 from me!
Metcalfe's Skinny was founded in 2009 by Julian Metcalfe at a time when the nation was beginning to wake up to the need for lighter, healthier snacks. They were the first company to sell sweet & salted popcorn together as a flavour combination, which is now one of the most popular on the market. They now offer a wide range of light snacks including rice cakes and popcorn thins and at the beginning of 2016 announced their business partnership with Kettle Foods. Ashley Hicks, Managing Director of Kettle Chips UK, described Metcalfe's Skinny as "an incredibly innovative, dynamic, fast-growing, premium brand appealing to ‘foodie’ consumers looking for lighter great tasting snacks.” They launched their newest flavour, salted caramel, a few weeks ago and I was lucky enough to get a chance to taste test.
Salted Caramel is still a very trendy flavour, with everything from brownies to protein bites being available in this flavour. I was pretty excited to try a popcorn variation, especially as the flavours of salt and caramel are pretty classic in the popcorn world so surely it was bound to work!
The flavour is a little artificial-tasting and I wouldn't particularly describe it as 'salted caramel'. There are certainly hints of caramel, but the spark of salt was lacking a little. However, all that being said, salted caramel is a very difficult flavour to get right if you are not literally pouring the real thing onto something fresh, like a brownie, so to that end I would commend Metcalfe's on a good effort. I have tried other 'salted caramel' flavour products in the past which, upon reading the ingredients, don't even contain salt or caramel or anything resembling the two!
Not taking into account what the flavour is or is not supposed to be, the actual popcorn tastes great and is incredibly moreish! I love that it's now possible to buy popcorn in flavours other than just sweet and salt and that it is becoming more of a popular snack, following in the footsteps of crisps. I wonder how long it'll be before we have cheese and onion popcorn!
The ingredients in this product are largely natural which is a big plus for me. There is added sugar and a fair few dairy derivatives, but the nutrition could be worse. With only 114 calories per 25g bag, it certainly is a light snack. Popcorn itself is fantastically healthy and boasts numerous health benefits, so by making it more accessible and widely available Metcalfe's are definitely promoting a more healthy lifestyle to the general public.
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I first tried this product, as I have a long and complicated love/hate relationship with products that claim to be salted caramel flavour. I do think that sometimes it's just a marketing ploy, but in this case, it pays off. There is indeed salt and caramel in the flavouring, but it's not an authentic taste. This popcorn is hugely moreish and I managed to polish it off with no complaints! Popcorn is a light, healthy snack no matter what, so by adding light flavourings it appeals to more people who may end up choosing this snack over a heavier, more oil- and fat-laden snack like crisps. I'm a big fan of the Metcalfe's skinny brand, especially as I compared their ingredients and nutrition information to other popcorn brands and they are miles ahead. It's a 7 from me for their salted caramel popcorn.
Boostball is a homegrown UK brand whose ethos is to provide the nation with 'less ingredients, more protein'. Their high protein balls contain all natural ingredients which have various health benefits. The high protein content is conducive to muscle growth and they only contain natural sugars found in fruits and plants. I was excited to try their products as they sound as delicious as they look!
Maple & Cinnamon Roll
The balls are raw and cold-pressed which means they don't lose any vitamins or other nutrients during the production process. The Maple & Cinnamon Roll flavour balls have a looser texture than the others which makes them easier to chew. They're nice and light with just the right amount of cinnamon flavouring without it being over-powering. There are three balls in each pack and together they provide 11g of protein which is impressive for such a light snack!
Chocolate Orange Mud Cake
The chocolate orange mud cake was definitely my favourite flavour! So chocolatey and moreish, I could've eaten them all day! They are lovely and sweet without the help of artificial additives and the orange flavour shines through really well. This flavour feels so decadent and indulgent, you could eat them to cure a sweet tooth or chocolate craving without having to feel guilty, winner!
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
The peanut butter cookie dough flavour was a personal highlight too. After spotting peanut butter listed on the ingredients, I confirmed with Boost Ball's 'Chief Roller' Dan Chambers that no palm oil is ever used in any of their products, which is a really important point. Palm oil is not only bad for our health but it's bad for the environment too, yet it is a really common ingredient in many processed foods, including peanut butter. So the fact that Boost Ball steer clear of it is a big tick from me.
Coconut Fudge Cake
The coconut fudge cake balls are covered in flaky desiccated coconut which I love, although it did make a bit of a mess on my desk! The texture is quite hard, I decided that eating each ball whole was the best option rather than trying to bite into it. But this is definitely not a negative quality; they are not so hard that they are difficult to chew. They are perfectly sweet without any added sugar or artificial sweetener which is great.
Boost Balls are the perfect snack whether it's to satisfy a craving for something sweet or just something to get you through the mid-afternoon slump at work. It's so great knowing you can have something healthy to snack on that won't taste awful and has lots of protein in it as an added benefit. I love the branding and packaging on these and they're perfectly pocket-sized so you could even take them on a run or a bike ride. It's got to be a 10 from me!
Boost Ball on Social
The Protein Ball Co was founded in 2015 by husband and wife team Matt and Hayley Hunt after they struggled to find clean, healthy, protein-related grab-and-go snacks. They set out with the goal of making protein snacks more widely accessible to the population, rather than just bodybuilders and gym buffs! I was super excited to try their products as the packaging is so cute and attractive and I love tasty protein snacks!
Coconut & Macadamia
The coconut and macadamia flavour balls are made with whey protein making them a great protein source for a quick snack. The coconut flavour is really powerful and fresh, with the macadamia nuts hiding in the middle adding a lovely crunch to the texture. These are really tasty!
Cherry & Almond
This flavour tastes exactly like Cherry Bakewell - delicious! I absolutely loved these ones, and I think I would've been even more excited about them if the flavour was actually named Cherry Bakewell. These are dairy-free as the protein source is egg-white and they provide a hearty 9g of protein per pack! I was really impressed by this flavour as I usually go for chocolate-flavoured snacks but these were superb.
Cacao & Orange
The cacao and orange protein balls are also made with whey protein meaning they have a 22% protein content! The cacao provides a lovely deep flavour; it's nice and chocolatey meaning it'll kerb any chocolate cravings, but it's not so moreish that you end up just wanting more!
Goji & Coconut
I love that The Protein Ball Co offer such a diverse range of protein sources and that they have 2 flavours which are vegan-friendly, one of which being the goji and coconut flavour.
The peanut butter protein balls are to die for! They taste so authentic, almost as if I had just whipped them up in my own kitchen. They were extremely fresh with a lovely moist texture, and the peanut butter is definitely the star flavour. They are moreish without being addictive and perfect for a post-workout snack!
Lemon & Pistachio
The lemon and pistachio balls also contain vegan protein meaning there's plenty of choice for vegans. This flavour is lovely and fresh thanks to the lemon.
These handy protein snacks are absolutely perfect for all number of occasions, from lunchboxes to gym bags. They make the perfect pre- or post-workout snack or just something to cure that sweet tooth craving. All the flavours are absolutely delicious and they really taste authentic; you don't feel like you're eating some mass produced chemical-laden franken-snack. I love the packaging, especially as I feel that kids would be attracted to it which would encourage them to eat healthier snacks. Finally, I love that the different flavours are made from different protein sources so there's something for everyone. It's a 10 from me! Buy yours now from their website! http://theproteinballco.com/
The Protein Ball Co on Social