Product: gfJules Cornbread Mix – $6.26+
I am a stranger in a not so strange land. Seriously. Because for the past three three years that I’ve had to be gluten-free…I’ve followed, discussed, and even met the infamous Jules Shepard, AKA: Jules Gluten Free, AKA: gfJules. And, despite all of that…it has taken me up until now to actually try one of her products! Hard to believe, right? Truth of the matter is…no store in my area currently carries any of the Jules line. I hope that changes.
So…it was due to my November 2014 Cuisine Cube (aka: the Thanksgiving Cube) that my Jules drought finally came to an end. Thank you, Cuisine Cube. Because, honestly, I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to be able to give this an easy try, without it involving some online ordering and shipping and…yeah. So, yes, Jules brand is not new to me…but it is. Confused yet? Don’t be.
Jules Shepard is one of the biggest advocates and leaders that I know in the gluten-free community. She was diagnosed with Celiac back in 1999 and embarked upon her new diet. As a former attorney who was unwilling to accept the dry, gritty, vacuous foods that the gluten-free community was limited to. Two years later, Shepard perfected an all-purpose flour blend that allowed her to continue her passion for baking. Soon, people were begging for her to sell it commercially…which she did. She introduced this flour blend back in 2008, with her former company, Jules Gluten Free, and now exclusively through her new company – gfJules. Not only is she an entrepreneur, but Shepard has written three highly regarded books and attends various speaking engagements at gluten-free consumer, business, and trade gatherings. She is the mother of two children, hosts a weekly radio show, pens one of the gluten-free community’s most active blog, organizes an annual Gluten Free Cookie Swap, and personally monitors all forms of her social media network. She’s doing it all…but not letting her high standards slip in the slightest.
So…here I was, three years after having discovered Jules via Facebook and Twitter, having met her in person last year at a Gluten Free Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana, and having spent forever longing to try her flour and mixes…it finally happened. Thanksgiving. A time for giving thanks and eating comforting and hearty foods. Like…cornbread. And that is what Cuisine Cube sent me!
The gfJules Gluten Free Cornbread Mix is a gluten free cornbread mix that “will put a smile on anyone’s face.” Or, so I was told by the Web site. As cornbread is one of Jules’ favorite sides, she took extra care when she crated this mix, making it so authentic, some restaurants even serve it and don’t promote it as being gluten-free. It’s really easy to prepare and make too. Simply whisk together sour cream, milk and an egg. Stir in the mix using a fork or whisk until smooth. Spread into a hot buttered pan (or into muffin cups) and bake for 25-30 minutes. The cornbread is done when the edges are crispy and brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. That is…if you bake it according to the instructions on the box.
By now, you should know…that’s not what I do.
Before I get to the recipe I used this amazing product in, let’s discuss it, shall we?
I loved how a light and airy this batter was once I had it all mixed together. It just whisked up beautifully and perfectly. I had a good feeling that this wasn’t going to bake up heavy and dense like most gluten-free cornbread…and I was right. The cornbread turned a perfect golden in the oven, the edges browning perfectly. And it had this amazing crust that gave it some great texture. And the inside was light and soft and moist and…so good. It ranks up in my top gluten-free cornbreads I have made and tried. I am blown away by just how delicious and perfect this bread was. Now I want to try more of her mixes…and will have to skip over to her Web site and make it happen. This was one of the best parts of this entire dish.
The gfJules Cornbread Mix is made from the following ingredients: yellow cornmeal, modified tapioca starch, cane sugar, potato starch, cornstarch white rice flour, corn flour, baking powder, flaxseed meal, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, tocopherols (vitamin E). It is made in a certified facility free of gluten, wheat, dairy – all of the Top 8 food allergens. All her ingredients in the cornbread mix are also non-GMO. Love it.
The gfJules Cornbread Mix makes 8 servings per box. In each serving, you will be provided with 160 calories and 1 gram of fat. This serving will give you 490 mg sodium and 5 grams of sugar, which is really good for cornbread, if you ask me! And, finally, you will be taking in 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.
And now…how about the recipe that featured the always amazing gfJules Cornbread Mix? I won’t keep you waiting any longer, I promise…
Recipe: Gluten Free and Vegan Cheddar Chili Cornbread Pasta Bake
Time: Prep 4 hours; Cook 30 minutes
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked gluten-free elbow noodles (I used Meijer Gluten Free Corn Pasta Elbow Noodles)
- 3/4 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds (if you do dairy…freshly shredded cheddar works!)
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups of leftover chili (I used Mary Ann’s Beans Gluten Free White Chili)
- 1 batch of your favorite cornbread (I used gfJules Cornbread)
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Bring the water to a boil and prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package, taking about 1-2 minutes off of the cooking time, as the noodles are going into the oven.
While the noodles are cooking, mix up a batch of your favorite cornbread (just the batter…do not cook it!) and get the cheese prepared.
Drain the pasta when it’s ready.
In an 8 x 8 inch baking dish, spray non-stick cooking spray. Add the pasta to the botom of the dish. Then top it with a layer of cheese. Then add the chili. Top with the cornbread batter, spreading it evenly over the top with a spoon. It’s okay if it doesn’t reach the edges.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden on top and cooked all the way through. You can use a spoon to lift up the cornbread layer to make sure that it is completely cooked. Cooking times may vary with the cornbread mixture you use, but keep an eye on it and check it. The cooking time might increase due to the “wet” layers that are underneath the layer.
I don’t think a better upper crust could have existed. No doubt about it. gfJules lives up to the high pedestal that I have regarded it on since I first discovered Jules Gluten Free three years ago. So happy that, because of Cuisine Cube, I finally got to try one of her amazing products. It was everything I thought it would be. Maybe even more. Count me one happy cornbread loving girl!
And, if you have yet to give gfJules a try, or Cuisine Cube for that matter…head over to the Cuisine Cube page and sign up for at least a month. If you aren’t impressed (but, trust me, you will be), you can opt out after that. With plans starting as low as $29.99/month for each cube, you get the convenience and amazing pleasure of having box of gluten-free goodies arrive each month, featuring lesser-known and smaller gluten-free artisan products. I have been amazed, wowed, and completely blown away at times by the items I have had the opportunity to find out about and try thanks to Cuisine Cube. We aren’t talking sample sizes either…you get a full size product, as you would purchase it in the store. So…what are you waiting for? Go sign up!
And, gfJules…I loved meeting you this past year…and I have really enjoyed finally getting to try one of your outstanding and top-of-the-line gluten-free products. I hope more people hop over to your site and order. Now that I have tried it…there’s no stopping me now!