WOWButter - Holland & Barrett Product Review


I think out of all the products I brought back from Holland & Barrett, I was most excited to try the WOWBUTTER! I'm not allergic to nuts and absolutely love the taste of every kind, but, unfortunately, my skin doesn't love them and comes out in spots if I have more than 2 single nuts of any kind! Needless to say, peanut butter has been off limits!! I don't know if you get used to not having a certain food after a while, but you certainly have to accept it but today I didn't have to! Today, I got to have myself a triple decker wowbutter & jelly sandwich!!

 


So, what was it like!?

Well, the texture was the same and as I was making the sandwiches I couldn't help but lick bits off my finger and that sure tasted extremely similar... Even the smell was familiar as both products contain palm oil (WowButter uses sustainable palm oil) and I know this may sound unbelievable, but it even smells like peanuts!!
I can't tell you how excited I was getting whilst making the sandwiches. The anticipation! I was suddenly transported back to my childhood, in the lunch hall at school, looking forward to opening my clingwrapped PBWJ sandwiches!

As you can see, you can add so many different toppings to your WOWButter sandwich- bananas, coconut, avocado, honey, apple, jam and chocolate spread.
I've seen people add berries and pomegranates and seeds. Seeds, I get but I draw the line at pomegranates & berries, I'd rather have their jams!


With all these topping choices, for me and my inner child, today I enjoyed my WOWButter the traditional way - with jam and washed it down with a nice cold glass of milk! (again, that milk can be soya, coconut, almond, rice or any other alternatives one may desire)


It gets a 10 out of 10 for me! :D


*WOWButter is made in a 100% peanut, nut, gluten, dairy and egg free environment.

The Largest Holland & Barrett Store in the UK Open!

I have always thought of myself as a regular Holland & Barrett customer. I pop into my local store or any other I may pass, every couple of months for my evening primrose oil, porridge oats, vegan cheese (not that I'm even vegan but it's delicious!), aromatherapy oils & some teas. So, when I was invited to have a look around the largest Holland & Barrett store in the UK and to try a few of their products I was very  keen to see all that the store had to offer.
Although I'm a food blogger, when I heard about all the beauty products in the shop, it reminded me that due to my life being very hectic for the last few months, I have not had time to pamper myself, let alone think about it! Therefore, I was also intrigued to see the beauty products available and to get a chance for some much needed and frankly well deserved pampering, inside and out!!

On the day!

As I approached the Holland & Barrett store, Marble Arch, outside, I saw a gentleman happily volunteering to cycle for customers who wanted to try out some free smoothies with The Smoothie Bike Company. Of course me, being me, wanted to make my own smoothie, so I 'got on my bike' and within a few seconds had blended my delicious smoothie!! (I need to ask where they bought their strawberries from- you could taste their delicious sweetness through the smoothie! Mine was banana & strawberry)



After my few seconds' cycle, I started making my way through the store, enjoying my smoothie along the way! The first thing that hit me was how open and airy the space was and although there were so many products on show, it didn't feel overwhelming and the items were all displayed clearly and within easy reach.
Everything looked so fresh and clean and the atmosphere enabled you to breathe, relax and concentrate on all the goodness that was on offer.
Being near the door, I went straight over to the help yourself buffets. They had an olive bar which included olives such as Piri Piri tabil stuffed olives, Atlas olives and Sicilan pitted olives and to my delight, accompaniments such as delicious tapenade, harisa paste (!!!), semi sun dried tomatoes, grilled artichokes and much more! And yes, I tasted absolutely everything and was very impressed by the freshness, quality and tastes.





They also had a cereal bar with all kinds of milk & alternatives & both healthy & naughty toppings!  And an extensive selection of pick n mix which included snacks such as 'satay broad beans', 'punchy pumpkin & spicy sunflower with a twist', 'choccy ginger', 'Zingy chilli & lime pistachios' and much much more! My only regret is, for fear of looking too greedy, I didn't try all of them! (Note to self, go back and try them all!)




 
A few months ago I was told I could possibly have celiac disease. It turns out that wasn't the case. However as soon as I thought it may be, I went all gluten-free. I was impressed by how delicious gluten-free foods were and that all supermarkets had a basic selection. Had I known what a huge selection H&B stock (the most I have seen anywhere - They have enchiladas for goodness sake!! :D ), I would have come here.  Again the same goes for vegan foods and vegetarian foods- rows and rows of items ranging from Tofurkey smokey maple bacon to beef style pieces!
As a previous vegetarian I found it hard as a lot of products used nuts (most nuts give me spotlike reactions!) and for other friends, they found it hard as they were allergic to soya! Holland & Barrett have it all! They have vegan & vegetarian products that are also nut free& soya free - You name it, they've got it! For example I haven't eaten peanut butter sandwiches for years and am so looking forward to trying the Wowbutter and if it tastes similar to peanut butter, then I can not wait to have a Wowbutter and jelly (jam) sandwich washed down with a nice cold glass of milk! :D
Now, I want to reiterate that although I was invited by Holland & Barrett I want to write about everything honestly, so the praises I am giving here are totally genuine and I could go on, but this would make for a very long blog! So, without further ado, these are what I came back home with and for the next few weeks, I shall be trying them all out in recipes or on their own and letting you know how I find them!

and yeah, as you can see I've already tasted the cheese and mayo in between taking these pics!


For those who want to see a bit more of the shop, foods, items, including the gorgeous beauty products, plus see the results of the Beauty Kitchen 60 second manicure scrub on my hands - do continue reading below! *I have not covered all that is in the store- this blog has probably shown you around half of what there is, if that!
Raha x
 



Me trying one of the beauty kitchen 60 second Himalayan salt manicure scrubs
They claim they hydrate & clean for making younger looking hands and they weren't kidding!! I couldn't believe how smooth my hands looked after just a bit of scrubbing! Lovely!

I  wish I had had a closer look at these wonderful colors! I wasn't sure why nail polish had to be vegan but after googling, have found that companies use extracts from beetles and fish scales to help make metallic nail polish!! EWW!
Largest selection of dr.organic products I have seen in any shop
Pretty bath bombs, soaps & scrubs
Pumice Soap

Put together your own body scrub :)
Grab your jar! (ooh Rose Petals please!)


Choose the scrub


And finally add your own oil! Nothing makes you feel better than when you can choose what to pamper yourself with! The oils have something for everyone. I feel like the Brightening & Toning today!
Ingenious!! Coconut jam!! & coconut & Cacao spread!! :)

Some soya products

The whole downstairs dedicated to Sports Nutrition
Of course there are rows & rows of vitamins & supplements but I didn't concentrate on those


Aztec Clay Mask with Rose Water (I'm going back to buy this!)

Burt's Bees - including products I've never seen such as body washes and night creams

I really love and believe in aromatherapy. I always make my own little concoctions for myself & friends- whether to use in massage, put in the bath or in diffusers

A few of the aromatherapy oils on offer
And finally look at these colorful scented chips! They have some interesting scents! Apart from the usual, such as jasmine & honeysuckle, and the pretty such as magnolia, petal and sweet pea, they have the slightly more unusual, such as rain, ocean and Mediterranean fig and cucumber and then there were others I hadn't heard of in scented products such as Rustic Cabin!! Going back to try that one for sure!




Pancakes



The other day I had absolutely nothing in the fridge and I just couldn't be bothered to go outside to shop so I looked in my bare cupboards and found some flour. I was sure you could do something with just flour - just what, I couldn't think of! I'm talking no milk, eggs, bicarbonate of soda, oil or anything else to add. So, I googled and found some pancake recipes that involved just flour and water. As this just didn't whet my appetite, I decided to go out and buy ingredients for a 'real' pancake. After scoffing all these delicious pancakes (pic above ^)- yes, I ate them ALL :D, I made a mental note to try the flour and water pancakes and compare the tastes and consistencies.
Well, today's the day I tried it and I have to say they were pretty good!! I highly recommend this for vegans or for anyone allergic to dairy and eggs. You don't have to miss out on pancakes! YAY!
The only thing I will say is that I felt the taste got a whole bunch better with two teaspoons of sugar added to the mix and strongly advise that! (I personally thought it was horrible without the sugar)

*reason there are blueberries in this pic is because I experimented by making some blueberry pancakes as well - my first ever and they were soo good! :D





 So here we go for both pancake recipes!!

 Pancakes that include eggs & milk

Ingredients:

150g self-raising flour (I've used gluten free flour as that's what I had in the cupboard!)

350 ml of semi-skimmed milk
2 medium sized eggs
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
5 sprays of sunflower oil spray initially and spray more whenever/if you see the pan is drying along the way (some people just wipe oil with a kitchen towel on the pan or use a knob of butter if you prefer)
A pinch of salt

What to do!

Blend the flour and salt in a large bowl
Once done, make a well in the middle of the bowl and crack the eggs in the middle
Add 50ml of the milk and the 1 tablespoon of oil
Start whisking from the centre so the flour gently blends in, this will take a few minutes
Once all is whisked and mixed well, start beating the mixture until you get a good paste
Do feel free to keep adding milk whilst whisking and then later if you feel the batter is too hard
The consistency should be the same as thick single cream

Heat a non stick frying pan with your 5 sunflower sprays
grab a ladle and fill it up with the mixture
If it's hot enough (medium heat is best to avoid burning - this way you can measure how it's going) the pancakes will start going golden in around 30 seconds - all you need to do is grab a spatula like this one
and flip the pancake over!! Another 30 seconds or so and voila, the first pancake is ready!
I'm afraid I haven't tried flipping pancakes just using the frying pan but might give that a try soon and put it up on my youtube channel!

Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten Free Pancakes

Ingredients:

150g Gluten free self-raising Flour
500ml water
2 even tablespoons of Demara brown sugar (you can use white castor sugar instead)

What to do:

Blend the flour, water and sugar
whisk for about 3 minutes (if using an electric whisker - longer if using a hand mixer) or until all the lumpiness goes - you will notice the consistency is more lumpy so it will involve more whisking
Now blend the mixture together for a couple of minutes (you can use an electric blender or just blend by hand)
Fry and flip exactly as above and honestly they taste really good!!

For toppings, pour over maple syrup or just squeeze some lemon and sugar or try my ultimate favorite of banana, rum, chocolate, nuts and cream!! OH MY!!!





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