“ Brand: Innocent / Type: Other Ready Meals „
Following on from the highly successful smoothies the company Innocent has launched into the world of the ready made meal.
It isn't the traditional microwave fatty treat though, this one is actually going to give you 3 portions of vegetables, which is over half the way to your 5 a day target, if you are following the government guidelines for healthy eating.
Who Are Innocent?
They are an ethical company formed when the idea of two uni graduates to make smoothies was tested at a rock concert, and the fans said yes! From then the company has gone from strength to strength and is the market leader having more than 70% of the sales of smoothies. They are incidentally working very hard to cap their prices and to buy a bottle of their smoothie in a litre size is £2.99, the same price as it was 5 years ago. So following on from this success the company have a new product-"The Tasty Veg Pot"
What is in it?
The one I chose to try this week is called Pea Broccoli and Mint Tasty Veg Pot and I am gradually working my way through the entire range which currently totals 4.They also have a winter only version called Sweet Potato Chilli which I am on the look out for.
This one is made from peas, water, cooked brown rice, broccoli, spring greens, borlotti beans, kidney beans, onions, spinach, black turtle beans, crème fresh, potato, vegetable oil, parsley, garlic, mint, cornflour, sea salt, lemon juice and black pepper.
It contains 303 calories.
What does it look and taste like?
First The packaging.
The pot looks gorgeous. It is bright, cheerful happy looking, and the cardboard sleeve is decorated with little veg. It is brilliant.
Second The Contents!
Well it is a minty pea risotto crammed full of the most delicious beans, and it tastes absolutely divine. At last- a range of wonderful ready meals for the vegetarian market when we need something on the occasions we can't cook.
The portion size is generous and filling and you probably won't need desert, but if you eat it with a glass of their smoothie you have already reached the 5 portion recommendation.
As the US cancer agency recommends you eat 10 portions of fruit and veg a day all you need to do is to add some more fruit during the day and a salad at lunch and you would be well on the way.
The meal is easy to heat in a microwave but you can also just prepare gently on the hob.
It is quick, healthy and a brilliant standby to have in the fridge, and a great "stop that takeaway I am too tired to cook"moment. I like to have them in the fridge and they now have real uses. My husband works late and by the time he returns home from London it is often three hours after my son and I have eaten. I often make stews and healthy meals for him, but if I have made something which can't be kept or reheated these are fantastic.
They really do replace the takeaway or unhealthy quick snack scenario. Also to buy the ingredients to make this would be quite time consuming, and risotto in general is a meal which needs watching as it cooks.
Currently it is on offer at £2.34 (normal price £3.49) at most major supermarkets.
This is a good price for the quality of the ingredients contained within it but it is something I would not have bought at all when I had four children at home. Obviously to buy 6 of these would be pushing £20 so totally not for a growing family. I also like to cook meals from scratch using organic ingredients and these are not organic.
I am also concerned about the use of plastic in which these meals are kept. I have some concerns about plastic in general in relation to the current thinking that they may have an oestrogen mimicking effect. This may be implicated in reproductive cancers so again I wouldn't eat these every day.
Innocent are looking into making the plastic in these veg pots recyclable as soon as possible as they have succeeded with the plastic pots of smoothies.They also give 10% of their profits to charity.
The Future Of Innocent.
In a recent interview the co-founder of Innocent, Richard said that sales of Innocent are falling, and like every food retailer of luxury items it is a hard and difficult time. The company are committed to slicing their profit margins as much as they can to peg prices and so make these products affordable for consumers.
I think for the right circumstances these meals make a superb contribution to real life. There are times when we are all too buy or too tired to cook, and these meals are as healthy as they can be without being organic. I would,however, like to see them in packaging which is not plastic.
It's a great day for vegetarians though because the range of options open to us is growing and this is one example where we have an option to choose on a day when life is very busy. They are new to the market but when my mum had a stroke lat year and I was at her bedside day and night for 3 months it would have been a godsend to come home to this at the end of the day. The emotional upset was so bad I lived on sandwiches and not much else, and to be honest I think my father lived on red wine. Something like this would have been perfect and would have been ideal nourishment to keep our strength up.
So good luck to Innocent with these and I can't wait to try the next one!