Product: Ian’s All Natural Allergy Friendly Cinnamon French Toast Sticks – $4.99+
It was the morning before the biggest race of my life. My first marathon. THE CHICAGO MARATHON.
I had just run an easy 3 miles before showering, getting dressed, and trying to find something a little substantial for breakfast for me, Cathy, and our friend Jenn before the three of us hit the road to Chicago. Lunch was not going to happen…so our food was going to be the snacks I made/packed and then a nice dinner at a restaurant that does gluten-free options out the wazoo for dinner. So, along with a bowl of Chocolate Chex…I reached into the freezer and pulled out the box I had of Ian’s All Natural Allergy Friendly Cinnamon French Toast Sticks.
I love French toast, and being gluten-free…I don’t get it unless I make it. BUT…that normally means that it’s French toast made with sandwich bread. Not delicious brioche or some other fancy-schmancy bread like all the “regular” people get to eat. Prior to these…I had been spoiled by the gluten-free delicious awesomesauce that is Van’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon French Toast Sticks. I mean…those blew me away. So, when I spotted Ian’s own version at my local natural foods, I picked them up for the occasion where I couldn’t cook an elaborate breakfast (which I am known to do…even on weekdays). The morning before a long-ish road trip seemed like the perfect time to break these out and give them a try. I was excited…because the pizza I had from Ian’s was SO amazing and good. I only expect good things now from them.
I noticed that the box indicated these were best cooked in the oven…which is what I intended to do regardless. So, I preheated the oven as directed by the box and then opened up the package to get a look at the contents.
Here is where my first issues with this product fall. Obviously, this product is geared more toward kids, however, I still think that the French toast sticks could be normal bread size. Van’s French Toast Sticks are the size of regular bread. The version by Ian’s…about the length of my thumb…maybe a little longer, but not by much. Strike One. The box also says that there are 5 servings inside. A serving is 4 sticks. I had enough for my friends and I to have 1 serving each and then split one lone stick into thirds to make it even-Stevens. Five servings my marathon-running behind!! So aggravating. So…Strike Two.
What did intrigue me about these miniature French toast sticks is that they had this white crust of sugar on them. Okay…this was new. I figured that would cook up and melt down in the oven and be a delicious part of this, so far disappointing, product. My faith went all to Ian’s here…I trusted them. So…into the oven they went…cooked as directed, and removed when done.
I dished up a serving and 1/3 for each of us, warmed up some maple syrup, and breakfast was served.
I really, really, really wanted these to be good. Two strikes so far…they needed to taste epic. But…they didn’t. That white sugar-like coating did nothing to enhance the flavor of this bland product. In fact, when it cooked, it didn’t melt and give that warm cinnamon-sugar feel I was hoping for. Instead it created this hard crust around each little piece of French toast. Not impressed. The maple syrup, I hoped, would soften it up. I always warm my maple syrup…but that didn’t even help. And the flavor, overall, very, very bland. I hated the fake sugary flavor that these had. I hated the texture…so tough on the outside thanks to that coating of sugar. Yep…Strike Three.
You better believe these will never find their way into my freezer again. So disappointing coming from Ian’s.
Regardless…I still feel I need to discuss the ingredients and the nutritional worth of this product. Ian’s All Natural Allergy Friendly Cinnamon French Toast Sticks are made from cinnamon brown rice bread, tapioca starch, cinnamon, yeast, cane sugar, and a batter consisting of water, white rice flour, cane sugar, tapioca flour, potato starch, cinnamon, sea salt, and xantham gum, While I admire and approve of the fact that I recognize every single ingredient on that list (no preservatives, no chemicals, nothing fake), I just wish this product tasted good. Because…it was a rather epic fail on the food scale. This product also contains no wheat or gluten, no milk or casein, no eggs, no nuts, and no soy. It is vegan safe…but not vegan tasty.
As for the nutrition information…as I mentioned earlier, a serving of Ian’s All Natural Allergy Friendly Allergy Friendly Cinnamon French Toast Sticks is 4 of the little mini pieces. These four bites (seriously…bites) will serve you up 170 calories (NOT WORTH IT!) and 6 grams of fat (NOT WORTH IT!). You will also be supplied with 95 mg sodium and 2 grams of sugar. You only receive 2 grams of protein and absolutely no fiber from these. So, these will not leave you feeling full or satisfied for hours. Nope. In fact, we were all reaching for the homemade gluten-free madeleine cookies I baked up about halfway to Chicago. So annoying.
There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this product. It was a total and complete disappointment from the moment I opened the box. I was hoping it would only get better from there…but it was a false hope. And the three of us who ended up eating them despite not really caring for them…were not impressed nor happy with our breakfast that morning. It was a good thing dinner was fantastic. And it’s a good thing I bake a mean gluten-free madeleine!!
Never…ever…again. Sticking with Van’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon French Toast Sticks forever and always!
Sorry, Ian’s…but you lost me on these. At least your pizza is still good…