As a part of my ‘eat the rainbow’ new years resolution, I’ve found myself becoming increasingly more conscious of health-food products that claim to be healthy when in fact are full of highly processed ingredients that I can barely pronounce. Chemicals, artificial sweeteners and additives are added to so many ‘health’ foods to bring down their calory count and price point.
Nutreelife is a family run British health food brand pushing back against this trend. They use only the highest quality, all-natural ingredients and are 100% plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free and soya-free. Halleluja.
When Nutreelife contacted me and asked if I would like to try some of their protein-packed products I jumped at the opportunity, finding gluten-free, dairy-free and healthy products can at times seem like a minefield and I am always on the lookout for new brands to stock my cupboards with.
The sweet stuff
Whenever I hear the phrase ‘naturally sweetened’ all too often the product used is stevia, a low calory sugar substitute, but sadly one I can’t eat due to very unpleasant side effects. Nutreelife sweeten their products using dates, carob and chicory root making them accessible to those who can’t eat stevia.
Nutreelife create 17 varieties of sweet protein snacks (not including their protein bars) I tried the original flapjack and also the chocolate and vanilla protein squares. These bite-size protein boosts come in individually wrapped portions with 18 per bag making them convenient for lunches, handbag snacks and keeping on hand in the car. Each nutrient dense square contains more than 5g of protein putting to bed the myth that those choosing to live a plant-based or vegan lifestyle will struggle to meet their daily protein needs.
On opening the resealable bags my first impression was that the individual portions we a little on the small size but very quickly realised that due to their density and protein content a little can make you feel very full. There’s a few less than 18 left in a bag now…
Neither variety I tried was overly sweet, in fact, the chocolate squares had a pleasant bitterness rather than the usual artificial sweetness and I really liked the added crunch from the pea protein crispies. The vanilla flapjack was also not overly sweet and reminded me of cookie dough which is never a bad thing.
These are going to be perfect for curbing my office cravings when the boys get the biscuit tin out!
Although not vegan I have been increasingly living a more plant-based lifestyle choosing cruelty-free home and beauty brands and dramatically reducing my meat consumption. Veggie burgers have never been something that appealed to me, mock meat varieties tend to be dry and flavourless and now I realise this is where I was going wrong. Sometimes it’s best to not try to recreate a product but to re-invent it. Veggie burgers masking as meat will always come up short but veggie burgers embracing their own flavours are in my opinion far more successful.
I tried the Piri Piri burger mix which packs a whopping 17g of protein per 36g serving! Incredible! The burger mix comes in a re-sealable bag and will store in the cupboard saving you fridge and freezer space. To make the burgers simply add 50ml of boiling water per 36g of burger mix, stir, wait for a few moments for the water to fully absorb and then make your burger patties and fry. I made 3 small naked burgers on a bed a spinach as a mid-afternoon snack. They also work well as meatballs!
I was seriously impressed with how easily the mixture came together, that it didn’t fall apart whilst cooking and how deliciously crunchy the outside of the burger went once cooked. I’m not sure how these would work on a bbq as they may fall through the gaps in the grill but they work exceptionally well in a frying pan and I imagine would bake well in the oven also.
The Piri-Piri flavour was subtle and not overly spicy but still discernable even after a generous squeeze of lemon. For those looking for meat alternatives I highly recommend giving them a try. There are 14 large pattie servings in a bag (42 minis) and the fact it stores in the cupboard is a big win for me.
I think Nutreelife is a breath of fresh air in the free-from health food world. Championing truly natural ingredients and creating great flavour combinations, I hope to see them in more supermarkets soon!
*I was kindly gifted these products by Nutreelife in order to write a review. All opinions and thoughts on the products are my own. I wouldn’t want people to buy something I wouldn’t buy myself!