Product: Aldi liveGfree Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes – $2.69
Thanks to a lot of really good friends and some coworkers, I found out that in the beginning of May (also Celiac Awareness Month…which I had every intention to blog about…and then May got insane and my blog got backlogged with all the traveling I was doing), Aldi was going to be test driving a line of gluten-free products in their stores.
The brand is currently being called liveGfree…and I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I stepped into Aldi that afternoon with my roommate. Almost immediately, we were surrounded by the white boxes that held the gluten-free products. From brownie mixes to bread mixes to snack bars to pastas to baking mixes, cookie mixes, and…gluten-free wraps. It was almost overwhelming.
If you’ve ever bought gluten-free products, you understand that they can be rather pricey at times. Gluten-free convenience foods, prepared foods, baked goods, and (especially) bread can cost up to twice as much as the regular gluten-filled products on the market. So imagine my glee and the happy gleam in my eyes when I noted the Aldi liveGfree price tags. Seriously, a gluten-free budget shoppers dream. I never have bought gluten-free products for these prices. Even more importantly, however, is that the entire line of liveGfree products are certified gluten-free. YES!
But an even happier dance happened after stocking up on some of the boxes and bags of items at the front of the store…because in the freezer section there was more! YES! MORE! And one of those items just happened to be the liveGfree Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking…why can’t you just make your own gluten-free blueberry pancakes from scratch. Well…I can. And I have. And I will again. But this was a new product. I had to try it. I just had to. Even more so when I spotted the phrase “light and fluffy” on the box itself. Hmmm…really? Needless to say, the freezer I had worked so hard to clear out…is back to being full. HA! Same goes for the pantry.
I am not ashamed.
Well, Monday morning came around. And Monday morning is a busy morning for me. Not only do I run bright and early, but I also have a 5:30 a.m. spin class. So, I eat something before I run and then something after spin class. But, there isn’t a lot of time in between getting home from class, showering, and getting to work. The more convenient the breakfast the better. Especially since Cathy (the roomie) is nothing but a slug in the mornings…and really just sits on the couch and reads instead of fixing up something while I shower.
That being said…this was going to be perfect. There are three ways to cook the liveGfree Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes. Yep. Three ways. One way I can negate because it involves a toaster oven…and I don’t have one. On Monday morning, I decided to cook them up in the conventional oven. So, I walked through the door and tossed my spin stuff to the side, hustled into the kitchen and preheated the oven to 375°F. While the oven was heating, I removed the box from the freezer and pulled out two of the pre-packaged stacks of three pancakes. Wouldn’t you know it…a serving size was three pancakes. Perfect. I opened up the packet and placed the pancakes on a baking sheet. I covered the pancakes loosely with foil and tossed them into the oven while I went to shower.
They were just finishing up when I emerged from my room, clean, clothed and ready to eat. I got out my maple agave syrup and gave it a little warm-up in the microwave. Then, I took the pancakes out of the oven and served them up with a little butter and hot syrup.
I wasn’t sure what sort of quality to expect from Aldi’s liveGfree Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes. But I delivered a plate of them to Cathy, who dug in. I asked her how they were and got the typical, “They’re pretty good!” Which I never know what that actually means. But she was diving in for more, so I took that as a good sign. I settled in with my own plate and gave them a try.
They really were light and fluffy. Seriously. Almost like they were homemade. You gotta love that. They are a bit small in size, but all frozen pancakes are, let’s be honest! They weren’t gummy or gritty. They were soft and light and packed with a buttermilk flavor with a delightful sweetness from the bits of dry blueberries that are incorporated throughout the little pancakes themselves. They were steamy and honestly tasted like I had just pulled them off the griddle.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning. This is a gym morning for Cathy and I. So, I bring breakfast to the office to do up quickly before settling in for a long day of paper pushing. Without the convenience of an oven at work, I was going to try the other way too cook these up – the microwave. For three pancakes, the box said to simply heat on high for 1 minute. Additional time might be needed depending on the microwave, but that’s never the case with the one at the office. Trust me! I heated them up for a minute, gave them the schmear of butter and the drizzle of the syrup…and they were served. I was actually more concerned about how these would taste after being nuked for a minute instead of toasted in an oven. They didn’t have that light crust that I love…but they were soft without being soggy. They remained light and fluffy and didn’t crumble because they were steamed or anything in the confines of the microwave. I was beyond impressed.
I admit…these definitely are not clean eating. But they are convenient. Ingredients in the liveGfree Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes include: water, rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar, soy flour, potato flour, blueberry bits, whole egg powder, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. I have seen longer ingredient lists than this…but you know the blueberry bits contain sugar, rice flour, dried blueberries, corn starch canola oil, fructose, natural colorings from concentrated juices (which include elderberry, watermelon and huito), natural flavor and sodium bicarbonate.
As for the nutrional information…it’s really not too bad. A serving size of liveGfree Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes is three pancakes (1 package). This serving provides you with 210 calories and 4 grams of fat. You will be taking in 40 mg cholesterol, 390 mg sodium, and 10 grams of sugar. Yep…I know…that’s a lot of sugar. You will also be taking in 1 gram of fiber (so they aren’t too filling) and 5 grams of protein.
As this is a trial run of a product line being done by Aldi, I really hope they decide to keep these in stores. With this being my first taste of all the products I purchased that day in Aldi, the liveGfree brand is already impressing me. Great flavor. Easy to make, and fantastic texture. While I prefer to make things from scratch, these are awesome for those busy mornings or evenings when you are in a hurry and short on time. Seriously. And you definitely can’t beat the price.