We’ve all read the memo on the dangers of eating too much sugar, but thanks to the clever folk at Free’ist we can now tuck into a range of sweet jams, popcorn, marshmallows and chocolate – without the sugar that typically comes with it.
Let’s start with the jam.
Containing no added sugars, colours or flavours, Free’ist Strawberry and Raspberry jams contain a staggering 117g of fruit per 100g – of which 102g is strawberry or raspberry. No surprise then that this is a properly fruity jam with as much all-natural sweetness as you could want, as well as an appealing vibrancy and silky smooth texture.
Sugar-free jam is one thing, but sugar-free chocolate? It certainly doesn’t sound all that appealing, and yet each of the four no-added-sugar, gluten-free chocolate bars from Free’ist (Milk, Dark, Hazelnut and White Chocolate with Strawberries) are so sweet, smooth and moreish the only real problem is knowing when to stop. This is particularly difficult with the White Chocolate with Strawberries. Rich and creamy with flecks of dried strawberries, this is as milky and almost sickeningly sweet as white chocolate gets with no added sugar and fewer carbs. The Milk and Hazelnut are equally indistinguishable from their sugar-laden counterparts, the use of cocoa butter, milk powder and the sweetener Maltitol creating a chocolate that’s scrumptious and sugar-free – in that order.
Free from sugar, fat, gluten and anything remotely naughty, Free’ist pink and white marshmallows are so light and nothingy you could practically inhale the bag without noticing. It’s impressive albeit disappointing, and far better saved for baking rather than eating on their own.
The popcorn is similarly ‘meh’. Available in Caramel Crunch, Sweet & Salty, Lightly Sea Salted and Nacho Cheese, each bag is entirely sugar-free with a delicate texture and lightness that again does little to satisfy any sort of cravings. Evidence that sometimes a little sugar and fat really is a good thing.
This seems to be the general story with Free’ist. Removing sugar, fat and calories is all well and good, but only when there’s enough of it there in the first place. Popcorn and marshmallows are both naturally gluten-free and low in calories, so by removing what’s left is always going to be a little disheartening. However, the two jams and range of chocolate bars are not to be so easily dismissed. Minimum sugar but maximum taste, there’s really no telling either of these sweet and satisfying treats is a free-from product – and what’s not to like about that?