Product: Pillsbury Gluten Free Banana Quick Bread & Muffin Mix – $4.49+
You know…I don’t shop at Wal-Mart often. I don’t. But, there is this gorgeous Neighborhood Market version of Wal-Mart (it is all groceries!) in Louisville, and if I happen to be on that side of the city, I’ll stop in for some essentials that. I mean, the prices are right and it’s not all sketchy like some other Wal-Marts are. Nor is it busy, so that is also a plus!
I rarely go off my grocery list these days…but one day while searching an aisle for something, I spotted a box of gluten-free banana bread. We all are aware that my forays into gluten-free banana bread have been epic fails…every single time. And here…here was a mix that would do all the difficult stuff for me…and all I had to do was add a few things and pop it in the oven.
Easy peasy, right?
So, yeah…you better believe that box came home.
For the record, the box just happened to be a new baking mix from the amazing Pillsbury, who seems to have embraced the gluten-free market as of late, having started with refrigerated dough for pizza, cookes, and pie. Since then, it has introduced gluten-free funfetti cake mix (I have some of this in my pantry), gluten-free funfetti cookie mix, gluten-free multi-purpose flour, and gluten-free quick bread and muffin mix. They also have already made gluten-free muffins out there…I have yet to find them though.
That being said…the great pantry purge is underway and this weekend, with all the horrible events going on in the world, I needed to comfort myself with a little baking. So, I pulled out the box of the Pillsbury Gluten Free Banana Quick Bread & Muffin Mix and decided I was going to give it a try. But why just bake it up as bread? Why do the easy thing? Instead, there was a recipe on the side of the box for Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. Which sounds…frickin’ fantastic. I didn’t have any chunky peanut butter on hand, so I used my PB2 powder from the pantry and it worked out just fine. No peanut chunks…but…hey, I saved some calories and fat, right? HA!
So, this recipe was really, really easy.
Simply preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the mix into a large bowl and add water, extra crunchy peanut butter (I used PB2 and it worked great! No little peanut chunks though…so there is that…), vegetable oil, 2 eggs, and some miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips…which is what I used) and beat the conglomeration of ingredients into a thick batter. Spoon it into 18 muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes until they are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them cool for about 10 minutes in the muffin tin before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
I get a little skeptical, at times, when it comes to big-name companies jumping onto the gluten-free bandwagon. But Betty Crocker managed to do it well, and, to be honest, Pillsbury really hit it out of the ballpark with this particular mix. I was beyond impressed. The muffins fluffed up and cooked to a beautiful golden brown. So often, these mixes turn out pale products, regardless of sitting in the heat of the oven. They centers were moist and rich. The muffins themselves bold with banana flavor, and the PB2 gives it a nice peanut butter thought, without overpowering the banana. Because, after all, I bought this because I suck at making gluten-free banana bread. The dark chocolate morsels (I used Enjoy Life, for the record), were a nice, sweet touch. I had to make myself stick to just one of the muffins, because I easily could have eaten three right then and there. So good. Moist, rich, and delicious!!
So, as we all know, I usually steer clear of mixes like this due to ingredients and trying to eat a bit cleaner. But we all have to indulge a little bit, right? Right! So, Pillsbury makes its Gluten Free Banana Quick Bread & Muffin Mix from rice flour, sugar, tapioca starch, potato starch, dried banana, dextrose, and it contains 2% or less of: leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, calcium phosphate), canola oil, cellulose, propylene glycol esters of fatty acids, distilled monoglycerides, xanthan gum, salt, natural and artificial flavors, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, nonfat dry milk, citrick acid and bht (antioxidents). Whew. A lot of preservatives and the such, but I don’t make this stuff often…and I just really wanted to see how it worked out. Totally worth it for an every-now-and-again fill-in, especially if I want banana bread. At least until someone can give me a recipe that I can actually master and make without it being…gross.
As for nutritional information…the Pillsbury Gluten Free Banana Quick Bread & Muffin Mix makes 12 servings. Each serving will dish up 120 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 28 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams sugars, and 1 gram protein. If prepared (as the banana quick bread or plain banana muffins), the calories per 12 servings goes up to 170 calories, 6 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, and 2 grams protein. Not too bad for a quick bread mix…and really not bad for a gluten-free product!
I have to say, I was beyond amazed with the quality and the taste of the Pillsbury Gluten Free Banana Quick Bread & Muffin Mix. These muffins were moist, delicious, and so easy to prepare and make. I would be more than happy to try other Pillsbury mixes (I guess the funfetti cake mix is up next), because this blew me away. The texture was perfection. The flavors were bold and pronounced. And it only took me 10 minutes of prep time at most. Can’t beat that convenience. Way to go Pillsbury! Thank you for your gluten-free awesomeness!