In this week’s Friday Dish: why we’re mad about our Jim Jams, a range of low sugar jams and spreads; got a budding chef in the family? These kids’ cooking sets will make the perfect Christmas gift; and, put a ring (pull) on it – coconut water as nature intended.
The Friday Dish is now live on Periscope every Friday at 2pm UK time. I’ll be talking about all the products in our weekly review. Come and say Hi!
MORE JAM, LESS SUGAR
One day Kevin Bath was sitting with his family eating breakfast when he casually started reading the ingredients list on his regular jar of jam – the jam his kids usually ate. Shocked by how much sugar he discovered in a standard serving, he set about creating his own range of low-sugar jams and marmalades. The result: Jim Jams.
Jims Jams is now a full blown range of award-winning low sugar, healthier jams and spreads available in a growing number of shops and supermarkets as well as online. From 2016, it will also be available from Ocado.
The range includes strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant jams and orange marmalade which typically have around 5g of sugar per tablespoon of jam compared to 8g per tablespoon in a regular jam. There are also two chocolate spreads: Milk Chocolate Spread and Hazelnut Chocolate Spread, both of which give Nutella a run for its money.
My kids tried the Hazelnut Chocolate Spread and were quickly addicted – proof of which is the almost empty jar that’s currently in my kitchen cupboard. In other words, it’s delicious. With 83% less sugar per spoonful than Nutella however, I feel slightly better about allowing it as a treat. Jim Jams chocolate spreads use a sugar substitute called maltitol (Kevin says they tried using Stevia but it left an aftertaste). Maltitol has half the calories of normal sugar and does not cause tooth decay.
Another concern of mine as a consumer, in addition to sugar content, is the use of palm oil as an ingredient. Palm oil is used in products like nut butters and chocolate spreads to make sure the oil doesn’t separate but its extensive production is causing the widespread destruction of our rainforests and the habitats of hundreds of species of animal.
Kevin tells me that Jim Jams has managed to replace most of the palm oil in its chocolate spreads with rapeseed oil, and that from next year they will have a completely palm oil free chocolate spread. I think that’s great news – I’ve stopped buying Nutella because of its sugar and palm oil content – so this Jim Jams spread is a great replacement.
For now, you can find Jim Jams at Co Op branches in Essex, along with a number of small independent shops and online from Protein Pick and Mix. Check out the Jim Jams website for stockists and some delicious recipe ideas too. Jim Jams spreads have an RRP of £2.29 (though I notice they’re £3.99 on Protein Pick and Mix) and the chocolate spreads are £2.79.
BUDDING CHEF IN THE FAMILY?
The perfect Christmas present for the budding young chef in the family, these kids’ cooking kits from Curious Chef are fantastic. You only have to read the reviews on Amazon – there are a lot of satisfied customers and I can see why. Everything in these kits is well made, robust enough for repeated use and just generally fun for kids and easy to use too.
There’s a great 16-Piece Cupcake and Decorating Kit (my daughter made Christmas cupcakes for her school fair with this kit last night and we had a lot of fun with the icing syringe and all its nozzles), a 6-Piece Cookie Kit with rolling pin, spatula and cookie cutters, and we really love this 16-Piece Cookie Cutter Set which has a range of cutters from butterflies to bears along with some seasonal cutters too: there’s a gingerbread man, snowman, Christmas tree and star just in time for Christmas. You could also use these on sandwiches to make lunch boxes more fun or on brownies or other tray bakes.
We’ll be offering this Cookie Cutter Set to one lucky reader in our December giveaway so pop back next week when the giveaway goes live.
These kits are really good value at £24.95 (available on Amazon) – they’re very good quality and look like they will last. (I put one set in the dishwasher last night and it came out looking like new). Curious Chef also do a wide range of other kids’cooking equipment so it’s worth checking out their website for ideas. I just hope my daughter won’t mind Mum borrowing this in future.
CRACK OPEN A COCONUT WATER
An unusual way to drink coconut water? Or perhaps not – one entrepreneur realised that a coconut is actually the perfect way to store coconut water. Who knew? So he added a ring pull and Bob’s your uncle. Coconut water at your disposal. Stick your straw in and you’ll have an instant healthy drink. There’s over 400ml of coconut water per coconut – so more than your average can of drink.
The added benefit of keeping the water in its original packaging, so to speak, is that it’s completely aseptic, and 100% free from microbes. The coconuts themselves are from organic crops and are 100% organic certified.
I saw this product at the BBC Good Food Show a couple of weeks ago and I’m still trying to find out more – where you can buy it and for how much – as soon as I know I’ll post it in the Friday Dish. But I couldn’t resist sharing it in this week’s review.
Yes, maybe a bit of a novelty and I can’t really see myself carrying a bunch of these around in my kids’ bags – can you imagine the look on their teachers’ faces if you sent them off to school with this in their lunch box? You can find out more on the website. www.genuinecoconut.com
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