When I was asked to review the Freshly Spicedbest range of homemade spice blends, I jumped at the chance. Tom, the mastermind behind Freshly Spiced, wanted to provide natural spice blends and spices without additives. Tom creates all his blends from scratch, in his home, and chatting to him I could feel his passion and love for the brand.
He says “I have always had a passion and interest in cooking and trying new dishes, but have tried to keep things simple whilst retaining maximum flavour”
He has certainly done this.
With a range of blends including a BBQ rub, a kebab blend and a spicy vegan burger blend I just wanted to try out everything. From as little as £1.80 a pack, they are great value for money.
Tom kindly provided me with the
‘My spiced ice cream blend’
‘My tandoori inspired blend’
‘My spicy egg blend’
‘My fajita blend’ and
‘My spiced burger blend’
The spice blends are all called ‘My’ as Tom says it’s important to understand that this is his interpretation of a perfect blend of delicious spices.
I loved the packets. You are able to reseal them so that the spice doesn’t react with the air and lose the flavour quickly. This is a fantastic idea and one that isn’t used enough in my opinion. I was getting fed up with only using half a spice packet, especially if I only cooked for myself and this is a great way to preserve the spices. Spices should only have a shelf life of six months anyway, and although these won’t last that long in my house, I know that they will stay fresh for longer than most.
Although I love to cook, working full time means that during the week I need meals that are tasty, easy to prepare and cook, and healthy.
The first thing I tried was the ‘my tandoori inspired chicken blend’ using a mix of coriander, cumin, Tumeric and black pepper This was packed full of flavour. I used two chicken breasts, 4 tablespoons of natural yoghurt, two cloves of garlic, the juice of a lemon and 2 teaspoons of the spice. Following Tom’s recipe I marinated the chicken breasts in the lemon juice and garlic for about 15 minutes (Tom suggests leaving for 30, but I was hungry)
I then added the natural yoghurt and spice blend, mixed together, and left for half an hour (again Tom suggests an hour that I was too hungry to wait)
I then cooked it over a high heat for about 10 minutes and paired with some Basmati rice and a garlic and coriander naan bread. This was absolutely incredible. I’ve never tasted something like this that I’ve created at home. The chicken was tender and so tasty, the flavours came alive in my mouth. My housemate said that it was one of the best meals that I have cooked for her, and I have to agree, it was quick, easy and delicious. I wish I had made a big batch as we polished it off and I wanted to take some to work the next day.
I would suggest making a Riata dip to go with it and would eat this time and time again!
The next thing I made were the fajitas. Again I followed Tom’s recipe, cooking an onion, a red pepper and a yellow pepper and two chicken breasts and sprinkling on the fajita blend. I followed the recipe to the letter which was 2 teaspoons of the spice and would suggest using more rather than less. It has a really lovely flavour but can be quite delicate, especially when paired with a home-made guacamole. I was concerned that it would be full of heat but it was lovely and mild, perfect for me as I can’t handle a lot of chilli.
Last but not least I tried the spicy egg blend. I eat scrambled eggs every day without fail for breakfast, and it can get really boring so I thought I would mix it up and try this. Tom’s recipe combines egg, onion, red pepper, tomatoes, coriander, garlic and chilli along with the egg mix. I missed out the chilli, as it was 7 AM on a weekday and I didn’t think that would be the best start to the day. The smell when I opened the packet was really enticing, warm and mildly spicy. I think I may have underestimated the spice, even without the chilli it had a kick. It was really good and I would definitely have this again but as a lunch or evening meal, served on toast or with chapatis. I wouldn’t have it again for breakfast, but it’s my own fault for doing so. Tom did advise to have it as an evening meal.
While chatting with Tom I found out they have numerous other products under development, including a spiced coffee blend, The idea is to brew it with dark roast coffee beans, but can also be used with instant. It’s under testing at the moment and the flavour combinations sound amazing. The other thing I’m really looking forward to trying is the prawn spaghetti spice. This contains, among others, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon – intrigued? Keep your eyes peeled on the blog for more info.
If you are looking for quick, tasty dishes with great seasoning definitely try the Freshly Spiced blends.
Meet the Freshly Spiced guys down at Beeston market next Saturday, 20th of August. They also showcase at the Park Farmers Market, held on the last Sunday of each month at Newcastle Circus NG7.