The lovely folks at Realfoods.co.uk asked me to review a couple of their new products so here it is, my first blog review! Both products are gluten-free porridges from Alara, a Scottish company who pride themselves on their organic status and traditional stone-milling process. Alara produce a range of cereals that are suitable for coeliacs and affordably priced, without compromising on their environmental status. Almost all of the cereals in the range are vegan too, with the exception of Crunchy Oats Granola which contains honey. Additionally their packaging is beautifully designed, giving a good indication of the quality and organic nature of the products.
First up is their luxurious porridge, a mix of rice, millet, buckwheat and golden linseeds. This porridge is particularly good for those with coeliac disease as well as sensitivity to oats because of its use of alternative grains. This also gives the porridge a much creamier texture than regular oats, however it requires a little more liquid to get the porridge to the right consistency. The addition of the linseeds is a lovely touch, adding texture and a slightly nutty taste whilst also bumping up the nutritional content with iron and omega 3. Similarly, millet and buckwheat are both high in iron and calcium as well as other essential vitamins and minerals so this is an excellent breakfast for vegans or anyone trying to eat a balanced diet. I served mine with Koko dairy-free milk for a hint of coconut along with a sliced banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon - delicious! Despite being marketed as a luxury product, at £2.60 for 500g this porridge is within the average price range for gluten-free cereals but with the added advantage of being 100% organic, which normally increases the price. This makes it great value for money so I would definitely recommend this for everyday breakfasts.
Up next is the traditional Scottish oats. Even before cooking it is clear that these oats are high quality - they are large, thick grains with a soft golden colour - and it is difficult to tell them apart from non-gluten-free oats. This makes them wonderful for porridge (try them with hazelnut milk and a handful of chopped dates) but also for baking. Using these in flapjacks, oatmeal cookies or on top of an apple crumble is surely a great way to get the health benefits of oats whilst indulging in something sweet. The price of these oats is considerably higher than the luxurious porridge, £3.95 for 500g, so perhaps better suited to baking or those with a higher budget.
Overall these products were both tasty and nutritious which in my books (and the bear's) is: