August recommendations

I had plans for the August recommendations post to be full of summer vibes and summer products, but lets face it, August has been anything but summer.

Nonetheless, I have come across some new products I think you’ll enjoy, and decided to recommend a couple of old favorites. You’ve got two food products, my favourite chain restaurant and new love of my life: MY NEW BLENDER.

PB Fit

I like (love) nut butter as much as the next instagrammer, but I’ve always used it sparingly with the knowledge of its high fat and calorie content.

PB Fit gives a good alternative, it’s 2/3 of the calorie content gram for gram, but also requires less to create the same amount peanut butter (e.g. 12g PBfit powder = 32g Peanut Butter). So it’s a good alternative, especially for anyone who’s been caught a few spoons deep into a nut butter jar…

I won’t pretend the taste or texture is comparable to a good nut butter, but that is to be expected. You add water to it make the paste, and it can often be slightly runny. It also does not have as strong of a flavour. That being said it is tasty and I have enjoyed/will continue using it.

I also tried it in some banana blondies, and the effect was that they were less dense and more fluffy. This may be ideal for some and not for others, depends on how you like your blondies – but they fact being that it worked and they tasted great.

I have also used it in oats and smoothies and it adds a really nice flavour but with less calories and fat, which made me more inclined to use it.

Lastly, by needed to use less, it lasts longer, and I bloody love a bargain so that is great by me.

Pho Cafe

Pho is a Vietnamese food chain, with a few locations around the UK. I have been to the Manchester Corn Exchange branch a few times, and it is still one of my favourite places to go for dinner, and usually my first choice.

I am utterly obsessed with the range of flavours Pho provides, and the variety of dishes. Each dish is incredibly flavoursome and filling, whilst feeling light and nutritious.

Pho lists all their nutritional information on their website and you can see that the content is great, with most dishes being healthy and lower in calories purely down to nutritious ingredients and vegetables, rather than as a deliberate reduced calorie attempt.

It is good, nutritious food, that can be enjoyed by everyone and it packs in the flavour. You never leave feeling hungry, or lethargic. You can always try something new, and there is tonnes of variety.

For anyone who is gluten or dairy free, this place is a dream – they actually list the three dishes that contain gluten rather than which don’t, which sums up the menu. It is by no means a ‘gluten free’ brand, it is merely that Vietnamese food is naturally gluten free and rice as opposed to wheat based. They use tamari soy sauce, rice noodles, and rice paper in all their dishes (aside from the spring rolls, but the summer rolls are gf). They even have fried squid which are gluten free and basically a healthier calamari –utterly delightful.

Dell’ Ugo Chickpea Pasta

This is my favourite pasta, and one of a very limited few gluten free pastas I enjoy. I am not a big pasta fan (sorry) I find it quite boring. However, the nutty taste to this chickpea pasta is really delicious. The pasta swells and is fluffy and filling like regular fresh fusillli and absorbs all the richness of sauces, just as it should.

Additionally, as this pasta is made solely from chickpeas and water it has unrivalled nutritional content for pasta.  It has a similar calorific value to regular pasta, but I am satisfied in the knowledge that they aren’t empty calories.

Not to mention, it cooks in 4 minutes, so you can have a comforting and healthy meal in no time at all.

Ninja Blender Duo

I was sent the Ninja Blender Duo a couple of months ago and I was little sceptical. I have had many smoothie makers, but I always find them too much hassle: difficult to get the smoothie out; lumpy smoothies; lots of stopping, starting and mixing; and hard to clean. However, I LOVE my Ninja Blender Duo.

From the outset the ergonomic design is incredibly pleasing. Everything smoothly slots together, attaches and detaches; handles and clips move in a very satisfying way. It is easy to connect the cups and jug as opposed to the frustrating ritual of jiggling various instruments into place that’s experienced with other blenders. The Ninja duo is intuitive, easy to put together and use.

There are two sizes of smoothie cup which is useful, and the wide rim and grooved edges mean the mix doesn’t get stuck at the bottom or sides, making it easy to clean. There is also a large jug with a big blade set, which is great for larger mixes and soups, but is more difficult to clean.

The ‘intelligent blend systems’ sound like a gimmick but are actually a great feature. You can leave it to blend, or extract in either smooth or normal mode, which involves pulses and intense blending periods, without the need to manually stop and start to shake those bits out of the corners. It does it all itself. Great for the lazy smoothie maker or anyone who fancies a game of how-many-tasks-can-I-complete-before-the-appliance-timer-runs-out

The suckers on the bottom of the machine are a precursor for the greatest asset and detriment of this blender. They are there to stop it vibrating itself off the surface, which is only an issue because of the power, which means it does its job well, but is very loud. My only dislike is the volume. I would say comparable to other blenders it is as loud, if not slightly more so. For me, that’s not a big issue, it does the job well so I don’t mind if it makes some noise doing it, but I could see it being more of a problem in flats, or if it was being used early in the morning. So it’s worth noting if you’re thinking of buying one.

So if you’re looking for something to make all your summer (lol) smoothies or more likely: soups for the cold weather, then I would really recommend this blender!