“ Brand: Innocent / Type: Other Ready Meals „
** A little about Innocent **
Innocent are a company whose USP is that they strive to be ethically aware, using sustainable and natural ingredients, recyclable packaging and sharing 10% of their profits to charities each year.
Browsing the website, I really loved the story of how they started out - selling smoothies from a stall at a music festival out of £500 worth of fruit that they had bought. They put up a big sign saying 'Do you think we should give up our jobs to make these smoothies?' and put out a bin saying 'YES' and a bin saying 'NO' and asked people to put the empty bottle in the right bin. At the end of the weekend the 'YES' bin was full so they resigned the following day!!
12 yeas on and their range has expanded from just smoothies to also include: Thickies (with yoghurt), Juices, Fruit Tubes and most recently Veg Pots, all of which are made out of 100% natural ingredients. This means that the fruit juice for instance, contains purely from fruit (and sometimes vitamins) with no added concentrate, water or additives.
I'm not really a smoothie drinker but I was intrigued when their Veg Pot range started appearing on supermarket shelves.
** Innocent Veg Pots **
There are 7 varieties in this range, all vegetarian (some vegan) and each 400g pot contains 3 out of your 5 a day.
Varieties include Thai Coconut Curry, Moroccan Giant Cous Cous, Mexican Sweet Potato Chilli and the one I am reviewing today Woodland Mushroom Risotto.
It costs £3.79 at Sainsburys which is quite an expensive lunch but I soon found that I didn't need any extras (crisps, choc etc) as these are extremely filling!
Now it's called a risotto but as the website states, it's a bit of an impostor, as to be officially classed as risotto, it must be fried in butter, doused in wine, simmered in stock and served with lots of cheese! Replacing the rice with barley, Innocent have also left out all the other unhealthy stuff and instead used 5 different types of mushrooms, spinach, crème fraiche, tarragon and all sorts of other delicious morsels. As with their other products, this contains no colourings or additives.
It fares well nutritionally too, with a 400g pot coming in at a mere 260 kcals, 9.2g fat, 0.48g salt and a not amazing, but could be worse 31.2g carbs.
To cook, you take off the cardboard sleeve (have a read of the inside as it's quite quirky), pop the lid off the plastic tub, loosely replace it and cook for 3 mins on high in the microwave.
This is equally as tasty as it is nutritious, the sauce is really mushroomy and creamy and the texture of the barley / spinach compliment it perfectly.
I admit I do add a pinch or two of salt, I can't help it I have salt cravings which I know is bad for me! It's just down to personal taste though I'm sure not everyone would feel the need to add.
As I mentioned before the pots are very filling for a lunchtime and fills me up until I eat my evening meal. And because it's healthy you don't get that post lunchtime slump you can get with eating a very carb heavy meal.
Overall I would highly recommend this pot especially in winter when you want something a bit more comforting (yes I know it's summer but someone forgot to tell Manchester!). This does the trick perfectly without piling on the pounds or eating any nasty additives. For these reasons, I personally think they are worth the price and I am definitely going to try out others in the range.
If you are bored, have a browse around their website, I found the "our story" and "our ethics" sections particularly interesting. Also the descriptions of their veg pots are cute and raise a chuckle...:)