Product: Choice Batter Gluten-Free Allergen-Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Mix – $5.99+
I am going to be the first to admit that I get really, really, REALLY excited when I spot a product that sounds like something I would eat, or would have eaten before Celiac struck, and usually, despite trying to clean up the diet a little more, purchase it and stuff it into my pantry and fridge for use at a future date. I mean, you just never know when some sort of celebration is needed. Always be prepared.
Well, I was happily prepared a few weeks ago when my parents, after not visiting me for 5 years, came up to the area for the weekend. We had big plans, to drive up to Indianapolis and check out the Gluten Free Food Allergy Expo and then tour Indy before stopping by Cheeseburger in Paradise (Gluten Free Veggie Burger & FRIES). The expo was in-freakin-credible. Seriously. So many good vendors, freebies, and samples. It was totally amazing. In fact, my parents vowed to come back next year and make it an annual event. SO glad.
The following morning, I had every intention of introducing them to my favorite Louisville food truck, Sweet ‘N’ Savory, as it was the truck’s last outing at the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Cancer event. After that event and one final one that evening (which we almost went to, but were too late), they were packing up for the winter and heading back to Louisiana until next April. However, my parents needed to hit the road before the event actually started, so no gluten-free crepes for them. Bummer. I was really looking forward to introducing them to Ashley and Richard, the food truck owners, and people I consider good friends!
With the plans I had come up with for breakfast now scratched, it was time for a backup. That would be…I would cook something for them and Cathy and I would hit up Sweet ‘N’ Savory for gluten free crepes when the event started. So, as my dad is not a big breakfast eater (and I am!), I asked him what sounded good. I had the gluten free harvest muffins that I baked previously in my freezer that I could thaw and warm up. I have SO MANY gluten-free pancake mixes, it’s ridiculous (but, I LOVE pancakes and waffles!). I had cold cereal, hot cereal, I could cook up eggs, make my famous breakfast hash, or…I had a muffin mix.
He said, “Muffins are fine.” And was not prepared for the, “Harvest Muffins or Lemon Poppyseed Muffins?” He decided that if he was driving home and was pulled over, he might as well fail the drug test…Lemon Poppyseed it was.
That morning, after my mom and I took a long, brisk walk together, I returned to the apartment and set out to bake them breakfast. I had found at my local Meijer store, a new brand I had never seen before when it came to some items.
Tucked into their gluten free section were these yellow and blue boxes with the name Choice Batter on them. Que the moment when I see a new product, get super excited, buy it regardless of it not being on my grocery list, and then bring it home and shove it into the pantry. I do this every freakin’ time. My pantry has a shelf dedicated to cake, muffin, brownie, cookie, all the sweets mixes! I know I’m big on dessert, but I do get carried away at times.
Regardless, this was the box I pulled out that Sunday morning and set out to bake up some muffins so my parents could hit the road with some breakfast in their tummies. Usually gluten free mixes require a lot of stuff to be added to them, but Choice Batter prides itself on being not just gluten-free, but allergen-friendly. This means that they are completely free of the Top 8 food allergies (egg, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy). LOVE that. But, with that in mind, you also have to live up to the flavor and texture test…and that, with gluten-free and allergen-free, is the ultimate test. I hate baking up something only to have it be heavy, dense, and tasting of cardboard or some other unappetizing packing material (not that I’ve had packing material, but sometimes, I think that some products must taste like it).
So, I pulled out my large muffin tin and mixed up the Choice Batter Gluten-Free Allergen-Friendly Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Mix, per my dad’s request. This was SO easy!! All I needed was a mixing bowl. Into this bowl went the baking mix from the box, 1 cup of water, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. That’s it. Preheat the oven to 400°F, stir together the mix, then divide among muffin cups. Bake for 16 minutes until done. Let cool for 1 minute. Then I turned them on their side in the muffin tin (a trick I learned from Annie May (of Annie May’s Sweet Cafe in Louisville), and let them cool slightly more. By this time, my dad had emerged from the bedroom and I poured him some decaf coffee and invited him to the big plate of muffins (I baked 10 muffins total). He took one to start with and settled in to eat. My mom did the same. As Cathy and I had breakfast plans, I cut one muffin in half and we shared it…because I had to taste these fresh from the oven, of course.
Let’s start here by saying, I loved that these muffins didn’t require milk, butter or eggs. Let’s hear it for vegan baking! WOOHOO!! Second of all, I loved how well these baked up. So often, especially in gluten-free baking, baking times have to be adjusted. Not these muffins. The Choice Batter Gluten-Free Allergen-Friendly Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Mix baked up perfectly the first time. Not surprising, with all the science that goes into all of Choice Batter’s mixes. These mixes are created with a special blend of rice flours developed by the USDA – Agricultural Research Service scientists to minimize the amount of oil that is absorbed into the batter while still creating a delicious and perfect result. SCIENCE. I love it. And, it actually works. The muffins were soft, moist, and delicious. One bite and I got a small tinge of lemon flavor, but all the spongy and with that thin golden crust and that slight rise at the dome. Ah…that’s muffin perfection! And that is, quite honestly, what emerged from the oven. Happiness is a gluten free mix that delivers what I expect from a product.
The heft and texture of these muffins were great. Not too dense and heavy, but not airy and light either. The perfect muffin. I loved when I sliced it in half, the little pockets that were visible in the cake, but without being too big or too much. They weren’t sticky or heavy or dense. In fact, it was everything I expect from a muffin. These went above and beyond most muffins that I have cooked up from a mix. I was impressed. In fact, if I had only one complaint, it would simply be that there wasn’t enough of a lemon flavor to these. The lemon was there…but not enough for my liking. But, then again, I like my lemon eats to be…LEMON. Give me bold or don’t bother, right? Regardless, I thought this was a phenomenal mix and was impressed with the way these turned out. My parents took some of the leftovers home with them. I count that as a win.
So, let’s talk about ingredients in the Choice Batter Gluten-Free Allergen-Friendly Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Mix! This mix is made of a combination of rice flour, sugar, potato starch, baking powder (sodium pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), contains less than 2% of the following: poppyseeds, citric acid, cellulose, xantan gum, lemon oil, lemon juice, salt. This muffin mix, as well as all of Choice Batter’s products are free from the top 8 allergens, including egg, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy. These muffins are gluten-free and vegan, free of MSG, cholesterol and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
As for nutritional information, the Choice Batter Gluten-Free Allergen-Friendly Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Mix does really well for all you calorie and fat watchers. Truly. A serving is 1/14 of the mix, and the mix makes…14 servings. One serving, when prepared per box directions, will give you 140 calories 2.5 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grans trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 30 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 13 grams sugars, and 1 gram protein.
Now that I know about Choice Batter and the good results I had from the preparation of the Gluten-Free Allergen-Friendly Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Mix, I can’t wait to try more offerings from their product lineup. And with a company founded on a desire to develop healthy, great tasting, gluten-free and allergen-friendly so everyone can enjoy food together…their promise to deliver a taste you can love in a brand you can trust is right on the mark!
Choice Batter was founded with a desire to develop healthy, great tasting, gluten-free and allergen-friendly products the entire family can enjoy. Our promises is to deliver “A Taste You Will Love, a Brand You can Trust.”