Hands up who does their grocery shopping online? I just can’t really fathom what we used to do before this was a thing and it is one of my top time saving life hacks for busy mums. It saves so much time and money and also stops you having to trawl the supermarket with a shrieking toddler or two. Such a great invention so big thanks to the online shopping Gods for this!
If you follow me over on the big I-Gram then you’ll probably know that I’m big into healthy eating with a bit of a vegan slant. That’s ok for myself but it’s often a challenge to feed my family in this same way and so I struggle in most stores to find a good balance of products that suit us all as a family. Ocado has of late become my go-to store for all things food shopping because of their varied products – they always have the old family staples but they also stock new and exciting, perhaps more alternative brands which I just L-O-V-E.
The Ciao Gusto range is a fantastic example of this. We adore Italian food in our house (I mean, who doesn’t?!) and I have spent waaay too much time scouring supermarket aisles or even online shops for the right olive oil (It always has to be extra virgin if you want to know), pasta ingredients or even a vegan alternative! Ciao Gusto has solved this issue nicely however – they have all of our favourite, authentic Italian goodness in one place, making it really easy to pick up the right ingredients. You can find it on the Ciao Gusto Ocado tab and inside you will find a full range of over thirty of Italy’s most popular brands. All the family favourites of course but also it’s full of new and exciting ingredients ready for you to try at just a click of a button. Simple and easy just how I like it.
So naturally we had to give it a try to see how it would fare between my fussy family and my vegan bias…
First up, I was totally delighted to find that the Ciao Gusto range includes Valsoia, a range of delicious vegan meals such as the Valsoia Dairy Free Pizza with Grilled Vegetables and the Valsoia Lasanga. These are two meals that are super easy to make at the end of a long day but are usually foods that I can’t eat due to my dairy allergy. Not so with the Valsoia range as it’s completely vegan. I really enjoyed both of these meals and will definitely be going back to stock up for those busier weeknights when I don’t have much time.
At the kids request, we also tried out the Santa Rosa range of jam. The absolute classic is jam tarts – these are a staple treat round these parts due in part to how easy they are to make (shortcrust pastry ready rolled and a scoop of Santa Rosa jam – 15 mins in the oven) and also how delicious they are of course! We often make them on the same night as GBBO so that we can have a little treat whilst watching it. That’s if we can wait that long – they are ridiculously moreish when the jam is still warm and I am totally guilty of snaffling one (or five) before the opening credits even roll round.
But if like me you sometimes hit a brick wall with recipe inspiration the Ciao Gusto tab on the Ocado website is going to be your best friend when it comes to meal planning. You can search for recipes and then add exactly the right ingredients into your basket without having to search high and low for the items you need. You can browse the whole list according to ingredients, preparation time, meal course or even occasion if you fancy something a little bit more, well, erm fancy. There is also a wealth of tips, advice and information on each product if you get a little stuck.
We have tried the Valsoia range and the Santa Rosa this time around but there are so many more brands to choose from including familiar names such as Ponti, Barilla, Cirio, Lavazza and Riso Gallo as well as lots of exciting products new to the UK.