I first stumbled upon the bold and bright packaging of PERK!ER products back in October while in Tesco. Being wheat intolerant for almost 10 years now, their cute little colourful tubs of gluten-free Rocky Road and Tiffin bite-size treats immediately caught my eye. The wording on the tubs made me laugh – “Share if you dare!”, “A mini riot of flavours and textures, fun, fun, fun!” – an immediate winner for someone who works in the marketing industry and appreciates a brand with a likeable identity; I instantly fell in love with PERK!ER and their mission: “A small, young British company following our passion to create delicious gluten and wheat-free food in our Yummery”.
Out of pure coincidence, I entered a competition on their Facebook page and won a box of goodies, including my own PERK!ER mug for my desk at The Media Octopus and both tubs and full size bars of the Rocky Road and Tiffin treats – you can read my review on them here. (Here’s a clue, they were bloody amazing!)
Since then, I’ve been an avid follower of what Ann Perkins and her partner, Steve Turner, get up to with the brand. Established in 2012 after Ann was diagnosed with coeliac diseases and frustrated by the lack of gluten-free foods available, the pair decided to launch a brand to cater for this market and offer tasty alternatives. Across their website and social media channels, they’ve created an energetic, fun and friendly personality for PERK!ER and one which I couldn’t recommend enough.
This extends to them encouraging bloggers to get involved and be part of their community. Again, from a marketer’s point of view, food brands which embrace their loyal customers who write about products, effectively becoming brand ambassadors, is a commendable move and one which more should adopt.
I was thrilled when I was invited by Ann to take part in the PERK!ER Breakfast Blogger Challenge, to help promote their gluten and wheat-free Breaky range, made from the finest, natural ingredients. Here’s what the range includes (those in bold and italics are the ones which I am reviewing):
- Cereal Flakes – ‘Red Berry’ and ‘Fruity’, made from brown rice and buckwheat, with just 8% added sugar.
- Porridge Pots – ‘Golden Syrup’, ‘Fruity Berry’ and ‘Apple, Raisin & Cinnamon’, simply gluten-free oats with natural flavouring
- Porridge Boxes – ‘Fruity Berry’, ‘Apple, Raisin & Cinnamon’ (also available oat-free, made with millet and buckwheat flakes), ‘Gingerbread & Raisin’
Check out the fabulous nutritional benefits of the range too:
- A great source of fibre
- Low in saturated fats
- Low GI, keeping you fuller for longer
- Made from all natural ingredients
- Gluten-free oats help to lower cholesterol
- Many of these products have no added sugar
- No artificial colours, preservatives or flavours
FRUITY BERRY FLAKES
I’ll start with the Red Berry Flakes, made from organic buckwheat and brown rice flour, plus freeze-dried strawberry and raspberry pieces. These little flakes of goodness were crunchy, tasty and filling, while the addition of the berry pieces offered an extra element of fruitiness and natural sweetness. I really enjoyed these, as usually the only options for wheat-free cereals are limited to corn flakes, rice crispies or porridge, so these flakes made a tasty and substantial change.
Serving ideas: Serve with milk and fresh sliced banana and blueberries for a breakfast bursting with flavour, or why not sprinkle a handful of crushed flakes over fresh fruit and yogurt for a healthy dessert with added crunch? Just as Cornflake Cakes are an awesome tasty treat, using these flakes would make a great variation!
The Fruity Berry Porridge has already been recognised as a tasty porridge option, having won a ‘Great Taste Award’ in 2013. Offering 10 x generous 45g servings per box and made simply from gluten-free oats, raisins, cranberries and natural strawberry flavourings, this made for a substantial, fruity and tasty bowl.
Depending on whether you make it with water, milk or dairy free alternative, plus whether you use more or less liquid, the result is a winner for those craving a comforting bowl of porridge full of goodness, ready in 3 and a half minutes. You may want to add an extra bit of powdered sweetener, or spoonful of honey if you have a sweet tooth, but just as it is is equally satisfying.
I was intrigued to try the Oat-Free Apple, Raisin & Cinnamon variety as I’d never had porridge made from anything other than oats. Made from millet and buckwheat flakes, plus raisins, dried apple and cinnamon powder, this one tasted like Christmas, the sweet smell of cinnamon and the addition of dried apple pieces gave it extra oomph. The texture and taste was different, more ‘grainy’ and ‘wholesome’, if that makes sense; a nice change from oats and also a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate them.
Serving ideas: Whether you want a fruity, berry flavour or fancy the apple and cinnamon tastes, both of these work well sprinkled on top of fruit and yogurt for extra crunch and nutrition, as a breakfast choice or dessert. These porridge mixes are so versatile, both could be used when making homemade muesli or granola, plus would work amazingly in flapjacks or crumble toppings.
When you’re on the go but still want a healthy, substantial and healthy breakfast, these Porridge Pots are an ideal choice. Made from gluten-free oats and skimmed milk powder, the Apple, Raisin & Cinnamon and Fruity Berry varieties contain the fruity flavours (as above) with the natural sweetener, xylitol, while the Golden Syrup one contains sugar and natural flavourings.
The pots were so quick to make, simply boil the kettle, fill to the marker point, replace the lid and leave for 2 minutes then, voila, you have the perfect porridge! All varieties are packed full of flavour, filling and are perfect to take to work for breakfast at your desk, or if you’re staying in accommodation somewhere. While many instant and individually packaged porridges come in sachets which aren’t the most convenient, especially when you also need a bowl, these pots are a very handy and delicious alternative.
BREAKY PRODUCT RANGE VERDICT:
Overall, the porridge boxes, pots and cereal flakes all get the thumbs up from me, as someone who understands the importance of having a healthy, substantial breakfast to set you up and keep you going throughout the day! Fantastic options if you follow a gluten or wheat-free diet, PERK!ER breakfast products can be easily found at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda stores, plus you can order and buy online. I’m keen to try the Gingerbread porridge flavour, but I’d especially love to see in the future a healthy cherry variety with the cheeky addition of chocolate!
Watch out for part two of my blogging challenge coming soon: experimenting with RECIPES using these breakfast products! You can check out the website for those which I have mentioned above plus others for extra inspiration. In the meantime, start your day the PERK!ER way!.