Sunday, 26 March 2017

Review: Tru-Nut Powdered Peanut Butter

I have a major problem with almond butter, and also sometimes cashew butter. Once the jar is open I can't stop myself and before I know it I'm sat on the sofa with nothing but a spoon and my shame. I can restrain myself around peanut butter, but I still make the mistake of having a few scoops alongside my toast which means that it never hangs around for long.

My addiction something I've made my peace with; we all have our vices. In the interests of my figure, however, I don't buy nut butter very often, so the opportunity to gloriously indulge is infrequent. This window into my life has a purpose, it's the grounding for why I bought powdered peanut butter in the first place.

The product is made by pressing peanuts to express their oils. This creates a powder which can be mixed with water "to create spreadable peanut butter" (aka paste). It can also be sprinkled onto foods or added to shakes. I mean, it doesn't sound appetising, does it? It sounds like a wartime ration. But it has a significantly lower fat content than regular peanut butter so concessions have to be made. Here's how it fared.

It's American style peanut butter, which in this instance
means that it contains added sugar, not that it's deep fat fried

As a spread: To make the spread you mix a few spoons of powder to a spoon of water. It comes together fairly easily, roughly 15-20 seconds. Add the liquid slowly so you don't drown the mixture. Top tip, try using milk instead of water for more flavoursome results. The spread is incredibly smooth and it tastes like regular peanut butter.

As a topping: It doesn't work as a topping, it just gums to the roof of your mouth.

With a spoon: It was fantastic, in that it was impossible to get through more than half a teaspoon because it absorbs all the liquid in your mouth. I literally cannot overeat this stuff.

Price: I picked up this jar for €5.99 from TK Maxx, but I've seen other brands retail for over a tenner. It's certainly not worth that kind of money.

Verdict: It's the methadone of the nut butter world. By this I mean it's fine, but it doesn't hit the spot in the same way. 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Review: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

A lot of the reviews I read before purchasing the Dyson Supersonic were written by women who had tried the machine for the first time, but the claims made by Dyson regarding the protection this hair dryer affords your hair wouldn't be apparent after only one use. This is why my review follows 6 continuous weeks of usage.

Design: It's a futuristic and beautiful piece of kit which is available in two colours: fuschia & dark grey and silver & dark grey. Both are metallic.
Weight: 1.8lb....if that means anything to you. It's not light, let's put it that way, but because the motor is in the handle it's easier to hold than a traditional hair dryer.
Heat control: There are 4 heat settings ranging from cool to hot. As much as I would like to use setting 2 (setting 1 being cool), because it would minimise heat damage to my hair, it would take to long to dry my mane.
Airflow control: There are 3 airflow controls, the most powerful of which should come with a red wind warning and a notice to the elderly to remain in their home. A tip if you're going to buy this hair dryer is never to use it on full blast without a styling attachment and a hairbrush to guide the air flow because it will leave your hair in knots.
Ease of styling: It comes with three styling attachments. These include a smoothing nozzle which dries and styles your hair at the same time; a styling concentrator which is for precise section-by-section style; and a diffuser which is meant to reduce the frizz of curly hair. Because all the attachments are magnetic it's easy to clip them on and to change their angle mid-styling.
I use the styling concentrator most often, but I must confess that my blow drying skills are sub-par. Because my hair is naturally straight I tend to just dry it and go.
Hair care: One of the main reasons I wanted to buy this hair dryer was because of its promise to better protect my hair during the drying process. It does this through intelligent heat control which ensures that your hair doesn't get too hot and dry out. I have long hair so it's really important to me to take good care of it because it has to last longer.
Following 6 weeks of usage, I definitely have noticed a difference. It feels healthier, like less of the oils have been stripped out through styling. My hairdresser asked what conditioner I've been using, which I think says a lot about how well this hair dryer has treated my hair. I also used to experience a mild degree of frizz which has now stopped.
Price: £299/€399

Verdict: Let's talk about the elephant in the room, it is very expensive. But it's also very good. If you have hair that needs extra care, maybe because it's long or requires a lot of styling (read: heat which causes damage) then it's probably worth you investing. Whilst the price tag is eye-watering, you'd spend more on a smartphone or a year's subscription to a television service. Through a utility and benefit perspective, this is a very sensible thing to wallop the cash on.
If you have short hair that gets cut regularly then you'd be as well off with your standard £30 hair dryer.