Bear Claws Snacks For Autumn

Bear Claws

I do love ‘happy post’ – that’s what we call mail the postman has to ring the bell for!  A few weeks ago we received this fab parcel from BEAR, containing their Halloween/Autumn themed bear claw snacks.
Bear Claws

I loved the personalised bag that comes as a perk of working with Bear, and did immediately pop the little squashes into the oven, then demolished them with slatherings of butter. And I didn’t even share! 😉

For the kids, the box contained Strawberry and Butternut BEAR Claws and Apple, Pear and Pumpkin BEAR Claws.

Each box contains 5 lunch box sized bags – convenient, since I have two kids, so they can have a two bags each and there’s a spare for me!

As with all BEAR snacks, these flavouris are 100% fruit and veg and contain no ‘added nonsense’. Bear Claws

The flavours sound rather… unusual… and I wasn’t sure what to make of them, but after playing with my food for a while, I did try them.

When you open the Strawberry and Butternut package you’re immediately met by the sweet aroma of the strawberry. Pop one in your mouth, and the overwhelming flavour is of strawberry. I struggle to identify the pumpkin flavour in these at all, but from a child’s point of view, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Apparently there’s 230g butternut in a finished (dehydrated) 100g of BEAR Claws, so if a bag is roughly 20% of that  – each bag contains roughly 45g of butternut (I’m guessing) – so it’s an ideal way to get those hidden veggies in!


The Apple, Pear and Pumpkin flavour on opening has a sweet apple aroma, and while it has distinct pear and apple flavours, you again can’t really taste the pumpkin despite the presence of over 240g of pumpkin to each 100g of finished product.  Bear Claws

While the BEAR claws are great to play with, they are also delicious to eat, and my kids love them. In fact, it’s getting them to save some for later that’s the problem!

Bear Claws are available online from Amazon and Ocado though you can pick them up in shops like Waitrose too.

We were sent this box of goodies free to review as part of the BEAR ambassador programme. Opinions and views are my own (or those of my children.) Links in the post may be affiliate links – you will not be charged for using them. 

Snackeez Snack And Drink Cup


Snackeez is a new product on the market – a snack pot and drink cup in one. It’s the kind of thing I can imagine was dreamt up at a cocktail party, when someone was holding their champagne glass and serviette of finger foods in one hand, while shaking hands and hobnobbing with their free hand.

I don’t think Snackeez will be taking over from Champagne flutes at posh events, but I do think it’s a super useful product for busy parents and active people. Snackeez

The Snackeez Snack pot is a three-part construction: the standard reusable drinks pot, that you fill up to the top of the cupholder, with a pot that fits inside. It has a flip top lid and a movable and removable straw – ideal for washing up.

The pot fits inside the cup, screwing tightly in so that there (doesn’t appear to be!) any leakage, unless you tip it upside down and liquid gets in the straw.

While the snack pot looks quite small from the outside, it holds a substantial amount of snackage. As you can see in the picture I had a fair portion of grapes and a whole clementine in there, and there’s plenty of room to spare.

When would you use the Snackeez Snack and Drink Cup?

I use mine when I’m leaving the gym. I go to the gym after dropping my children in the morning, so they’ve been up, gotten dressed, had breakfast and we’ve driven a half hour to anywhere, then I go to the gym and aside from coffee and maybe a small snack, I’ve not eaten anything yet. I finish in the gym around 10:30 or 11, and by that time I can be light headed and starving. It’s really hard then, to walk past the cafe (who decided it was a good idea to sell cakes in the gym? Is that their way of making sure you come back?!) and not buy something.

Now, I keep the Snackeez pot in the car with fresh water or smoothie and some nuts or other fruit in the snack pot.

The flip top lid makes it easy to get the fruit out while I’m driving, since I don’t have to take both hands off the wheel to open it.

My children also like using it for their pretend picnics – I guess it’s the novelty factor, but it means they’re drinking water and enjoying healthy snacks.

I think this would also be super useful if you were one handedly pushing a stroller or pushchair, and still wanted a hand free for a drink and snack.

What don’t we like about the Snackeez Snack and Drink Pot?

I love the flip top lid when I’m driving, but it does mean I can’t put the cup in my handbag and you can’t put it in the kids’ lunch box, because it doesn’t seal. If they could find a way to make it sealable, it would be superb for an on-the-go lunch idea.

It’s not suitable for hot drinks, so I can’t put coffee in it. I have a problem with anything I can’t put coffee in!

It’ll be good come summer though – iced coffees are so refreshing!

Where can you find the Snackeez Snack Pot and Drinks Cup?

There are a variety of distributors for Snackeez cups  – you can buy through Amazon, Argos, eBay or Character Online at the moment (£9.99) and they come in a range of colours too.

See Snackeez in action!

[youtube GnapQw0kC60]

Nutella Banana Muffin Recipe

Nutella Banana Cupcakes

It’s nutella and banana. Do you need any more convincing? I have a banana bread recipe that I love and use often, but sometime a little something different doesn’t hurt!

Nutella Banana Cupcakes

I would recommend using deeper muffin pans than the ones I used for these, as being able to cover the nutella completely is a bit more ideal, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t.

Leaving the chocolate exposed will give it a crunch top layer, covering it will give you more oozy, yummy chocolatey goodness.

Nutella Banana MuffinsNow, I’m saying use Nutella here, because it’s a name most people recognise, but you can of course substitute for other chocolate spread, including a home made one. 

These are really delicious, moist and tasty. I hope you enjoy them too!

Nutella Banana Muffin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adjust the Nutella, or home made Nutella, for more or less chocolatey centres.
Recipe type: Treats, Snacks, Deserts
Serves: 12
  • 180g self raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 100g sugar
  • 80g oil (not olive)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bananas
  • 100g milk
  • 120g Nutella
  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Prepare your muffin pans
  3. Add all the ingredients except Nutella and mix at speed 5 for 10 - 15 seconds to make sure it's all blended.
  4. Spoon into muffin cases, and drop a little less than a full tablespoon of Nutella into each muffin case.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes to 45 mins, sticking a skewer in every 10 minutes after 20 minutes till it comes out clean.The size of your muffin tray is going to determine how long these takes, hence the variable time.
  6. Remove from muffin trays onto a wire rack, and leave to cool.


Balsamic Onion Pastries Recipe

Oh, I love puff pastry. I know I could make it, but I really love having a few boxes of it in the fridge because it makes the whole ‘quick dinner’ thing really easy.

Balsamic Onion Pastries

To make these pastries, cut the raw product into squares, then once the filling is in take the corners and fold them to the centre. Don’t press them down just leave them loose and pop some filling on top. That way the filling is inside and outside. Lovely.

Balsamic Onion Pastries Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A pretty forgiving recipe, and while beginning to end it'll take about an hour, your hands on time is very little, especially if you're using a bought or premade puff pastry.
Recipe type: Snack, Pastry
Serves: 8
  • 1 Portion of puff pastry
  • 600 grams onions
  • 20 grams olive oil
  • 40 grams balsamic vinegar
  • 75 grams brown sugar
  1. Roll out your pastry into a large square
  2. Cut into 8 squares
  3. Peel the onions and chop 3 seconds speed 5
  4. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar
  5. Cook for 30 minutes, Varoma Speed 1 with measuring cup off.
  6. Spoon onto the pastry squares and fold the corners in towards each other. Add a tablespoon of the caramelised onion to the centre of the folded pastry.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 180C


Brie & Cranberry Bites

Brie & Cranberry BitesYou know it’s Christmas time when the brie and cranberry starts coming into play. It’s not something we have a lot of at home as my other half isn’t a fan, but brie is the only thing I ever craved in pregnancy!

Come Christmas time, I often find myself simply short of time, and in a hurry. While I’d normally make my own shortcrust pastry – with the Thermomix® it’s just so easy – but sometimes it’s really good to be able to grab a roll of ready rolled pastry and have your snack ready in 20 minutes.

(Do yourself a favour and get an all butter pastry though. They’re so much better!)

Brie & Cranberry Bites
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I haven't put much by way of measurements into this recipe since it'll depend on your personal tastes, to a large extent, and how much you're planning on making. A single sheet of 300g pastry will make roughly 18 bites.
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 18
  • 300g short crust pastry
  • 150g Brie
  • Cranberry sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Roll the pastry to a thin and even layer.
  3. Cut the pastry into 18 squares - rounds will do fine too.
  4. Place each square into a muffin case and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
  5. In the meantime, slice brie into squares large enough to fit inside the muffin trays.
  6. As the pastry comes out of the oven, while it's still piping hot, drop the brie onto it so that it begins to melt. Top with the cranberry sauce.
  7. These are best served hot, but can be eaten cold too.


Good For You Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

No bake chocolate macarroonsNo bake chocolate macarroons

I love chocolate way more than I should and a lot more than I wish I did. I’m always looking for ways to indulge the craving for cocoa without piling on the sugar, largely because when I do, my kids do and the whole harmony of the home kind of falls apart.

This recipe is originally from Oh She Glows|, but I’ve been playing with it to both adapt it to our tastes, and change the recipe for the Thermomix®, meaning it’s in grams rather than cups, which makes it easier for me and my Thermie friends to use.

No bake chocolate macarroonsNo bake chocolate macarroons

I’m pretty sure you could be really flexible on it too – we made something similar from a cook book I had as a child, which used boiled sugar and tasted amazing, but added oats. You could probably add raisins quite successfully too, or other dried fruit. the options are rather endless. I imagine candied orange peel would make a perfect Christmassy – slash -winterry treat too.

Just remember that it’s held together by coconut oil, which means if it gets warm it’ll start disintegrating. They recommend freezing it over on Oh She Glows, but popping it in the fridge or in a lunch box with an ice block seems to work just fine for us.

No bake chocolate macarroons

Since this is no cook, no bake it’s perfect for kids to help with too.

Good For You Chocolate Macaroons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is an adaptation from another, and I've made a few changes to it. The recipe below includes the ingredients from the original recipe as optional extras. It's delicious, but a little too much banana in my chocolate fix, though I do tend to make it that way for the children.
Recipe type: Snacks, Sweets
Cuisine: Thermomix®, Paleo
Serves: 15 - 24
  • 50g Coconut Oil (1/4 cup)
  • 70g honey or syrup (1/4 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30 - 50g cocoa powder (1/3 cup) (Cacao for Paleo)
  • pinch of fine sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 150g shredded unsweetened coconut (1.5 cups)
  • (optional) banana
  • (optional) tablespoon chia seeds
Regular Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a pot - this requires 37C, i.e. body heat, and is still considered raw, or uncooked.
  2. Add the honey or syrup and stir till it's all mixed and liquid and remove from heat
  3. Add the vanilla extract
  4. (If using banana, mash it and add to the mix)
  5. Add 30g cocoa first then add the coconut
  6. (Add chia seeds if using)
  7. Stir till it's all combined
  8. Taste the mix too see if it's the right amount of chocolatey. If you want it 'darker' add more cocoa powder till it's right for you. Mix again.
  9. Scoop out onto a tray, or into moulds and refrigerate until it hardens.
  10. Keep cool as it will fall apart if the coconut oil gets too warm.
Thermomix® Instructions
  1. Put the coconut oil in the bowl, and melt 37C/Speed 1/ 20 Seconds
  2. Add the honey or syrup and mix 37C/Speed 1/ 30 Seconds.
  3. Add the vanilla extract
  4. (If using banana, add it now in three pieces, speed 5/10 seconds - make sure to put the MC in place!)
  5. Add 30g cocoa first then add the coconut
  6. (Add chia seeds if using)
  7. Mix speed 2/ 15 seconds
  8. Taste the mix too see if it's the right amount of chocolatey. If you want it 'darker' add more cocoa powder till it's right for you. Mix again speed 2/15 seconds.
  9. Scoop out onto a tray, or into moulds and refrigerate until it hardens.
  10. Keep cool as it will fall apart if the coconut oil gets too warm.


Grain-Free Gluten Free Almond & Black Onion Seed Crackers

Black Onion Crackers

These are such lovely crackers. You can vary the flavour to suite your tastes and the dip you’re using. This one as written is exquisite with Wild Garlic Dip

Keep them in the freezer and use as required, or keep them in an airtight container and use in a day or two.  You’ll find them very filling and absolutely delicious and nutritious.


Grain-Free Crackers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The beauty of these crackers is that by changing the black onion seed and oregano, you can make pretty much any flavour cracker - olive, rosemary and thyme, or cheese, just to name a few.
Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Grain Free, Gluten Free
Serves: 30
  • (300g) 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp black onion seed, onion powder or other preferred seasoning
  • ½tsp oregano
  • ½tp sea salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp filter water
Thermomix® Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Put the almonds in the Thermomix® Speed 10/ 10 seconds - you want flour, not butter!
  3. Add the black onion seeds, oregano and sea salt, mix Speed 4 / 5 seconds
  4. Add the oil, egg and water, and blend till all mixed (speed 4/ 10 seconds)
  5. Put the dough onto the baking try it'll go into the oven on.
  6. The dough is quite sticky, so if you can, roll it out between two sheets of baking paper, or flatten by hand.
  7. Cut the flattened dough into squares and place in the oven.
  8. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, watching from about 10 minutes till the edges start going brown.
  9. Turn off the oven, and leave the door open, but leave the crackers to crisp up.
  10. Leave them on the tray for another half hour to cool down.
  11. Store in an airtight container. Can also be frozen,
Regular Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Add Almond flour, black onion seeds, oregano and sea salt in a bowl, and mix.
  3. Add the oil, egg and water, and stir till well mixed.
  4. Put the dough onto the baking try it'll go into the oven on.
  5. The dough is quite sticky, so if you can, roll it out between two sheets of baking paper, or flatten by hand.
  6. Cut the flattened dough into squares and place in the oven.
  7. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, watching from about 10 minutes till the edges start going brown.
  8. Turn off the oven, and leave the door open, but leave the crackers to crisp up.
  9. Leave them on the tray for another half hour to cool down.
  10. Store in an airtight container. Can also be frozen,


4 Fabulous ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker Recipes

CaptureSummer is coming, and I for one am looking forward to afternoons spent in the garden with my girls, enjoying the sunshine.

My girls love ice creams and ice lollies, and I generally choose to make my own yoghurt based or simple water based juices for them. We recently received a ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker for review, and I was very excited to try it, so popped it in the freezer immediately, eager to try it out.

The  ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker comes as a cup with the magic freezing bit inside, a leak-proof seal, lid, and a spoon-slash-straw. The way it works is fabulous for children. Total ‘magic’.

You need to pop the slushie maker into the freezer for four to six hours before use, so ours actually just lives in our freezer, rather than a drawer. That way whenever we want to make a quick frozen treat, it’s ready to go.

 ChillFactor Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker I particularly love the fact that I know exactly what goes in to these Slushy treats.There’s no colouring, sugar or preservatives unless I add them myself. It’ so easy to do, literally, even a child can do it. Here are some of  our favourite snacks to make in the Slushy maker:

Vanilla Ice

  • 200ml whole milk
  • 1tbs vanilla essence

Pour into the Slushy maker, squeeze for about 2 minutes, enjoy.

Chocolate Milk Slushy 

This is so incredibly good, it rivals and beats another brand of chocolate milk hands down. While doing it this way didn’t actually make a Slushy, it did make a beautifully thick chocolate milkshake. So delicious! (Apparently when they have ‘bits’ in them, the liquid doesn’t make a proper slushy.)

  • 3 tbs hot chocolate powder
  • 3 tbs boiling water
  • 200ml whole milk

Boil the water and add it to the hot chocolate. Stir to make a paste. Add the milk and stir it into the paste.  Pour it into the Slushy maker and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Use your straw to drink this one if it doesn’t freeze up entirely. Delicious.

Cola Slushy 

It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like… a cola slushy. Not a healthy treat, and more one for me than the kids, but yummy anyway.

  • 200ml coke

Pour. Squeeze. Eat/Drink. Yum.

Fruit Juice

If you use a juice with ‘bits’ in it, it doesn’t slush properly. Choose a smooth juice. Make as above.

It’s that easy.

The only thing I don’t like is that there’s no real immediate reuse option – you have to refreeze after every use – and I would love if they made a family sized version, so I could do more than single person portions. I’ll definitely have to get a second one for my other daughter soon too.

They’re around £15.99 each, which is a lot, but if you think what it can save you in ice cream van purchases, dental treatments down the line and general sugar intake… it’s a bargain!

Raw Lime Coconut Chocolate Bliss Balls

Raw Lime and Coconut Bliss Balls

It’s Valentine’s Day next week, and while don’t particularly celebrate – not my choice, I love an occasion! – there’s no reason why I can’t treat myself with something tangy, sweet, smooth and delicious, while staying guilt free.

Raw Lime and Coconut Bliss BallsI tested these on a few friends who were surprised when I revealed the lime. It’s not overpowering, but all works together in a beautiful ensemble of flavours. I think so anyway.

These can be rolled into balls by rolling a small ball of white, then rolling a ball of chocolate mix, flattening it in the palm of your hand, and then working it around the white ball before refrigerating. If you use a mould, a silicone one works well as you can just pop the shapes right out. We use a silicone mould similar to this one.

Raw Lime and Coconut Bliss BallsYou don’t need a Thermomix® for this recipe, but any high powered blender will make it a quick and easy recipe to make. A regular blender or food processor will do the job too, but you may need to do it parts. I think a big part of this recipe is having it smooth.

For more flavours, perfect for Valentine’s day (like chilli and chocolate, rum and raisin, salted caramel, all sugar free and raw. There’s even a chocolate chip cookie dough one for those not feeling the love) have a look at Bliss Balls For Beginners.

Raw Lime Coconut Chocolate Bliss Balls For Valentines Day
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Ideally keep these in the fridge, they are lovely cold. It's not a deal breaker though.
Recipe type: Snack, Gift
Cuisine: Raw
Serves: 20
Top Layer
  • 150g Cashews
  • 40g Shredded Coconut
Second Layer
  • 10g Cocoa
  • 40g Coconut Oil
  • 60g Shredded Coconut
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 6 Dates
  1. Add 150g cashews and 40g shredded coconut to a bowl.
  2. Mix until smooth - speed10 /30 secs
  3. Remove from bowl and spread on a tray or in shapes.
  4. Add the cocoa, coconut oil, shredded coconut, lime juice, and dates to a clean bowl.
  5. Mix until smooth - speed 10/30 secs
  6. Remove from bowl and spread over the white layer.
  7. Store in the fridge for long enough for the coconut oil to set, about half an hour, and serve. If gifting, keep these cool. They should be kept in the fridge if it's really hot where you are.