• Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs Review

    Hippeas baked healthy chickpea puffs review Sundried

    Hippeas are a brand of baked, puffed chickpea snacks which could be the savoury answer you've been looking for if trying to cut down your consumption of fatty potato crisps or lose weight while still allowing yourself tasty snacks. We gave peas a chance and review these tempting chickpea puffs. 

    Taste & Texture

    I was pleasantly surprised by the light, crispy texture of the Hippeas chickpea puffs. They are slightly comparable to Wotsits, especially as they are the same shape, but are a lot lighter and crunchier. 

    I sampled the Salt & Vinegar flavour chickpea puffs and the taste was absolutely delightful. Being a healthy snack, you don't compromise on flavour and they really work when trying to satisfy a craving for salty, savoury snacks. You can't particularly tell that these aren't classic potato chips or corn snacks.

    Price

    Hippeas are available in the UK from various supermarkets including Waitrose and Tesco as well as online. I bought my bag of Salt & Vinegar Hippeas from ASDA where they retail at £1.99 for a 78g bag (at Tesco they are £1.60 for the same bag so slightly cheaper).

    For comparison, your favourite bag of Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips retail in ASDA at £1.99 for a 150g bag. This makes Hippeas a little more expensive gram for gram, however you are paying for a healthier product and if you catch them on offer, you may end up paying less than other brands. Bag for bag, they are the same price.

    The smaller bag may seem like a drawback but I actually think it's a great idea. 150g bags are designed for sharing, but anyone who loves a tasty snack will know how easy it is to polish off a whole bag in one go. The 78g bag of Hippeas is the perfect size for one person to eat guilt-free, especially as it contains only 316 calories in the whole bag, compared to an eye-watering 770 calories in the 150g bag of Kettle Chips – that's twice the calories per bag! To me, it's a no-brainer. 

    Hippeas versus Kettle Chips health comparison Sundried 

    Nutritional Credentials

    I love the idea of using chickpeas as a base for this snack as chickpeas are naturally rich in protein and fibre and are a great crop to farm as they release nitrogen back into the earth as they grow so they're good for the environment and for us too!

    The fact that all of the ingredients used in this product are organic is a real bonus as that can be hard to find these days and you usually pay quite the premium for this privilege. As well as chickpeas, Hippeas use quinoa in this product which is another excellent food which is rich in protein and fibre and is a great addition to your diet. Being able to snack on these tasty puffs is a really easy way for the everyday person to get these grains and legumes into their diet without having to feel like they're forcing themselves to eat quinoa and chickpeas just because they're healthy. 

    Hippeas are organic, naturally gluten-free, vegan, low calorie, high fibre, and a source of protein. They have tons of excellent nutritional credentials and are suitable for pretty much everyone, no matter what diet or lifestyle they follow. 

    At Sundried, we love this product and will continue to eat these chickpeas with joy!

    You can find out more on the Hippeas website

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Chia Charge Sports Nutrition Review

    Chia Charge bars review

    Chia Charge is a British sports nutrition brand founded by Tim Taylor in 2012 after he found that other sports nutrition brands lacked flavour in their products and he felt that energy products should be more than just fuel to keep the body going. We were lucky enough to be able to taste test a selection of Chia Charge products and give our verdict.

    Chia Charge Salted Caramel Flapjack bar

    Salted Caramel Chia Seed Flapjack

    The ingredients in this bar are all natural and are foods you would find in your own kitchen so there are no nasty surprises. The bar is packed with chia seeds and this comes with a whole host of health benefits. Chia seeds are high in protein and also high fibre. They are very nutrient dense for a small amount of calories as well as being high in antioxidants, high in omega 3 fatty acids, and one study even suggests that chia seeds can improve sports performance. This means they are perfect for a sports nutrition bar like this and add a great boost to your daily diet! 

    The bar smells wonderful as you open the packet and you can see the chia seeds packed into the oats. It tastes very rich and indulgent with all the butter and sugar. The salt isn't overpowering and adds a great depth of flavour and really lives up to the 'salted caramel' name. It's not too crumbly so you could easily take it on a run with you and it'd be a really delicious way of fuelling. It's also not dry which is perfect when you are running and have a dry mouth. It's absolutely delicious and tastes very decadent, but the 50g bar is small enough that you don't feel like you've overindulged or ruined your healthy eating. This small bar has a lot of health benefits and would be perfect as pre-, during, or post-exercise fuel.

    Chia Charge Peanut Butter Flapjack

    Chia Seed Flapjack with Peanut Butter

    This 50g bar contains 246 calories, 11g of fat, 24g of carbs, 11g of sugar, and 6g of protein. These are very decent nutritional stats for such a delicious bar which will definitely provide you with all the fuel you need for an endurance training session or race. The elevated protein content is particularly impressive as there are no chemicals or additives in the bar, proving the worthiness of chia seeds as an ingredient. 

    The bar tastes really indulgent and lots of peanut butter comes through as soon as you take your first bite. The added sea salt flakes are really tasty and add a tangy edge in the background of the thick peanut butter. Beware though, it's so moreish! With only 11g of sugar it can certainly be classed as 'healthy', especially with its 6g of protein, which is more than a lot of 'protein bars' on the market today contain.

    Gingerbread Chia Seed Flapjack

    I was really excited to try this flavour bar because I'm a huge fan of gingerbread. I was pleasantly surprised that the potentially overpowering flavour of ginger was not too strong but was definitely there. The balance of flavours is perfect and the gingerbread flavour is delicious! 

    Cashew Karma Bar

    The brand's Karma Bar range is a low-carb option for when you need more of a protein hit and less carbohydrates. These bars are all low sugar and feature lots of nuts like cashews. The bars are fairly small and light at only 35g and contain few calories, roughly 150 calories in each bar, which means they make for a perfect grab-and-go healthy snack. If all that wasn't enough, they're also wheat- and dairy-free and 100% vegan meaning they're perfect for people on a free-from diet

    Chia Charge Cocoa Karma bar

    Cocoa Karma Bar

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I was about to open this bar because the name 'Cocoa Karma' doesn't give too much away, so I was pleasantly surprised by how chocolatey it was! This raw fruit bar has a very subtle flavour but is suitably moreish and indulgent.

    I've had bars before whose main ingredient is dates (which is the case for this bar) and they've always been far too sweet and sickly, but this bar hits the nail right on the head and gets the balance just right. It is devilishly chocolatey and rich considering the only chocolate-based ingredient is cocoa powder, but I think the peanut butter perhaps has a part to play in that. I really enjoyed this bar and its nutritional values are great, containing only 146 calories and packing 5g of protein. I'd love to see this bar re-imagined using cacao instead of cocoa as this would just take it to new levels!  

    Verdict

    I'm really impressed with this brand as the food tastes very authentic and is really delicious! It's perfect for fuelling pre-, during, and post-exercise and the fact that the bars come in both small and regular sizes means they're excellent as low calorie snacks.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Creative Nature Superfoods Product Review

    Creative Nature Superfoods Protein Bar Sundried Review

    Creative Nature is a young, ethical organisation that was established to promote health, creativity, and respect for the environment, just like Sundried. They source their ingredients from exotic countries like Hawaii and New Zealand to offer the very best in worldly superfoods. I was thrilled when they sent me a selection of their high protein bars to sample.

    Apple Pie Protein

    The Creative Nature protein bars boast such qualities as being gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, and nut free, meaning that people with food allergies or intolerances can freely enjoy them. They are also certified by the Vegan Society. With 8g of protein in each bar, there is a good balance of macronutrients. The Apple Pie protein bar tastes fantastic! It really tastes like apple pie! The texture of the bar is great, nice and soft without being too chewy like some protein bars.

    Ingredients:

    Dates, Soya protein (10%), chicory fibre, rapeseed oil, rice protein (5%) pea protein (5%) humectant (glycerol) Dried Apple (3%) pumpkin seeds, Gluten Free Oats, Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Ground Cassia, Brown Linseeds, Natura Flavouring.

    Salted Caramel

    I was a little disappointed with this flavour as salted caramel is my absolute jam, I cannot get enough of it, and this didn't really give me much of that flavour. It still tastes fantastic, but I didn't get the salted caramel vibe unfortunately.

    Ingredients:

    Dates, Soya protein (10%) chicory fibre, rapeseed oil, rice protein (5%), pea protein (5%), humecant (glycerol) Gluten free oats, pumpkin seeds, brown linseeds, chia seeds, natural flavouring, pink crystal salt.

    Cacao Orange

    The cacao orange flavour was my favourite of the three which was a surprise! The orange flavour is so authentic despite there not actually being any orange listed in the ingredients. The cacao gives a lovely balance of deep flavours to offset the sweetness of the dates and orange flavour. The added crunch from superfoods such as pumpkin seeds and chia seeds give this bar a fantastic texture and make it very moreish!

    Ingredients:

    Dates, Soya Protein (9%), Chicory fibre, humectant (glycerol), Rice Protein (4%), Organic Cocoa Butter (3%), Gluten Free Oats, Pumpkin Seeds, Rapeseed Oil, Cacao Beans, Chia Seeds, Natural Flavouring.

    Sundried Review Creative Nature Superfoods

    Verdict

    The bars themselves are delicious with an excellent texture. The only drawback I'd say is that they're so moreish I could eat them all day! But with that fibre content I don't think my stomach would thank me for it! The flavours are rich and complex and I think they would perhaps suit names that do those qualities more justice. It's an 8 from me!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Vega Clean Vegan Protein Review

    Vega Clean Protein Sundried Review

    Vega is a well-established plant based protein company in the USA, so when I was asked to try some of their products as they start to make waves in the UK, I was thrilled! Vega was co-founded by Brendan Brazier, a vegan former professional Ironman triathlete, so Sundried and Vega share some common ground in our passion for ethical consumption and triathlon. Vega’s products boast organic ingredients which are all gluten-free, non-dairy, and high protein. What’s not to love?

    Vanilla Flavour Essentials Nutritional Powder

    The vanilla flavour essentials nutritional powder is made from a blend of pea, flaxseed, and hemp. Its wholesome vegetable ingredients provide you with the nutritional building blocks to start your day strong and are high in protein, fibre, and omega-3. Vega says that it’s great as a smoothie, but I decided to try out their recipe for Cashew Vanilla and Coconut Balls, which turned out to be amazing!

    Cashew Vanilla Coconut Balls Protein Vega Sundried

    They are really easy to make - trust me, I am a terrible cook! They smell phenomenal and they are lovely and light with a sweet taste. They make the perfect post-workout snack, and knowing that they are raw vegan and organic means they are totally guilt-free! If you want to have a go yourself, you can find the recipe on the Vega website.

    Chocolate Flavour Clean Protein

    I also got to try to chocolate flavour clean protein, which is a protein powder made from pea, hemp, alfalfa, and pumpkin seed. It’s naturally high in protein and low in sugar which makes it the perfect clean vegan protein powder! It tastes great mixed with water over ice but there are also recipes on the Vega website which you can try.

    Verdict

    So, the verdict. I must say I am impressed! Anyone who has tried several different vegan protein powders has probably had the same experience as me in having to endure thick, lumpy, powdery protein shakes which taste awful! Well, no longer. Vega’s products are light and mix well, and are perfect in tasty recipes so that you can stay nourished and happy all day long. I was really pleasantly surprised by these products as past experiences have made me dubious about plant-based protein, but the nutritional value of these products is excellent. It’s a 10 from me!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • How To Eat Clean While Travelling: Isobag Review

    Isobag Review Bodybuilding Meal Prep Food

    Staying healthy while travelling can be very tough and can undo a lot of hard work. If you travel a lot for work or if you're just going for a weekend away, trying to plan your meals and food prep can be very stressful. That's where the Isobag comes in with a solution to your problems. 

    What is meal prep?

    When you’re at home, you can stock your cupboards with all the right foods to keep you on track. Fresh vegetables and lean meat are easily accessed and the scales are on the side to weigh out your exact macronutrient requirements. You know exactly what you're going to eat and when so there is no risk of going off-track or having a slip-up. However, when you need to go away for a few days, it can be far too easy to opt for an easier option like fast food or an unhealthy snack from the local shop. That's why meal prep is so important; so that you know you've got your healthy food with you ready to go and in the correct portions.

    Isobag Photo

    How does meal prep stay fresh?

    The Isobag I bought fits 6/8 containers and comes with 12. I’ve left 6 perfectly untouched so that once the 6 I use daily show signs of wear and tear, I have brand new ones ready. This means on Sunday night I meal prep 6 meals, 2 in the bag, 2 in the fridge and 2 in the freezer. I wouldn’t recommend keeping meals for longer than 3 days and be particularly careful of meat, even refrigerated, food can still go off.

    Of course, it depends on which foods you decide to prep. Fruit and vegetables stay fresher if you keep them cool, which is one of the features that the Isobag offers. Fresh meat should be eaten within 1 day of being prepared, but this will also stay fresh in the cool compartments of the Isobag. If you are prepping food 2 or 3 days in advance, you should keep them in your fridge at home until you need them. Alternatively, you can freeze foods which will last a lot longer.

    Isobag Review

    Taking your meal prep to work or for a weekend away can be a hassle. Endless Tupperware containers with lost lids and bottles of sticky liquids spilling all over your bag. That's why the Isobag is such a saviour. No spills, no leaks, and all your food in one easily-accessible place. This review is of the 6-meal Isobag from Isolator Fitness. 

    What you get:

    • The Isobag: 18"x9"x8" (LxWxH)
    • Weight: 4.5lbs.

    Containers:

    • 6 - 16oz Containers
    • 2 - 12oz Container
    • 2 - 28oz Container
    • 2 - 38oz Container
    • 3 - Ice Packs
    • 1 - Shoulder Strap

    The bag comes with 12 containers, a detachable shoulder strap and 3 large ice blocks.

    The containers are all BPA-free, microwavable, and are dishwasher- and freezer-friendly. There are ice block holders to either side of the main cool bag, as well as a further attachable ice pack holder which can divide the main section in two for extra cooling. I find you can either opt for less cooling and larger meals or more cooling but smaller meal containers, however even the ‘small’ containers still have plenty of room. The bag fits a maximum of 8 fresh meals at any time, 6 in the main compartment and two in the zip up top, plenty for a weekend away.

    The bag itself may be large, but it looks the part and is comfortable to carry. I opted for black as I didn’t want to bring too much attention to myself and I’d say the bag looks like a gym bag, albeit a rather large one. The material is durable, standing the rigour of daily use and it even survives in our wet English weather, making sure my meals aren't soggy.The top storage compartment is perfect for supplements and cutlery, as well as being isolated should it need to be used for further meals.The side pockets hold a 2-litre water bottle, flask or protein shaker.

    The bag is very well designed, prepared for all your nutritional needs. It’s simple to setup and easy to carry. The ice blocks themselves need freezing for a few hours, but the gel keeps food cold for up to 16 hours. I’ve taken the bag away overnight and everything’s remained fresh after 24 hours, but it depends on what your food is and the temperature of your external environment also.

    Isobag Verdict

    I think meal prep bags such as this one get a lot of fame as being just for bodybuilders or those preparing to compete, but actually, this is a great addition for anyone who is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My meals are prepped, cooled and best of all, don’t leak!

    Isobag Being Carried

    Posted by Alexandra Parren