We've never been Sam's Club members. Being a household of only two people, both with food allergies, and no children, there hasn't really been a need for it. And after an amazing visit to Costco in Grand Rapids this past summer, I was even more convinced that Sam's would never hold anything for me.
Then someone told me about the new Krusteaz
products at Sam's. Well, maybe Sam's is worth a look after all.
So, a friend of mine agreed to take me to Sam's, as we don't have a membership, and I went on a shopping adventure. We went aisle by aisle, looking at what gluten free food items they have to offer. All gluten free items have a teal sign, and all organic items have a green sign. I was pretty impressed.
I found what I came searching for- the 3 lb box of Krusteaz Fudge Brownie Mix and the 5 lb bag of Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. The cost was incredibly reasonable-$7 and $10, respectively. I was shocked at the low price of the brownie mix- I think one package at Meijer is $4-$5 alone, and this large box has THREE packages in it. I quickly put these in my cart and continued shopping. (I also found some great, lean gluten free turkey meatballs. At $10 for a 4 lb package, I thought they were a great deal. They'll be reviewed on February's Love It, Like It, Leave It.)
I quickly put the All Purpose Flour to the standard test- pancakes. I followed the recipe on the back of the bag. I'll admit, at first I was skeptical because it called for WAY more baking powder than I'm used to, and I had concerns about the xanthan gum in the flour blend. The last big bag blend (not Krusteaz) that I bought made awful pancakes, which I blamed on the gum. Plus, this pancake batter was incredibly thin.
But they were AMAZING. Light and fluffy, no grit, delicious. Daresay, I think I like them more than my Bob's Red Mill pancakes. One batch made close to 18 pancakes with only one and a quarter cups of flour. I even made a few with chocolate chips in them, in honor of the hubby's birthday.
Now, the bag says that this flour can be a cup for cup replacement for wheat flour. Again, I was skeptical. So since we were snowed in from an early February snow storm, I decided to make muffins. Well, muffin tops anyway. I found this dairy-free applesauce muffin recipe on dinner-mom.com, replacing the whole wheat and all purpose flour in the recipe with the Krusteaz flour, and subbed Larabar's new Cinnamon Nut Renola for the granola called for in the recipe.
These are SO good. I originally shared half a muffin top with my husband, and he immediately came out to the kitchen for a second one. Super, super yummy. I might just need to go eat another one right now....
One of the things I like about this flour, other than the super reasonable price, is the ingredients. It is loaded with whole grains. Check out this list:
"Whole grain sorghum flour, brown rice flour (rice flour, rice bran), whole grain millet flour, rice flour. Contains 2% or less of the following: food starch-modified(tapioca), whole grain quinoa flour, xanthan gum. May contain milk, soy and eggs. "
I think I'd still l like to try a few other things, especially things that you want light and fluffy. I'm thinking a two layer cake is in order and we will see how well it rises. Leave a comment below as to what type of cake you think I should make.
I wasn't quite as impressed with the brownies, but my husband thought that they were great. I made two separate batches. For my first batch I made one package and mixed in a 1/2 cup of each - coconut, butterscotch chips, and peanuts. I also added 2 more tablespoons water, because it was extra thick with all the add-ins. If you want to get creative with the Double Chocolate Brownie mix, you can find recipes
on their website.
I was surprised that the grains used in the brownie mix were different than the grains in the all purpose flour. The only grain in the brownies is rice flour, with the first ingredient being sugar. I'm tempted to make brownies with their all purpose flour to see how they stack up.
I baked these in my jelly roll pan, so they were super thin and almost came out more like chocolate brownie brittle than brownies. Which my husband really loved and was super excited that there were leftovers.
I made the other two bags and baked them again in the jelly roll pan. I made no recipe substitutions and baked them according to the package. We took them to the free community family film night at our church, and all 35 of them were quickly consumed.
So, in general the All-Purpose flour is something I'm willing to buy again. The brownies are good in a pinch, and because of the large quantity, I might only purchase them if I'm making them for a large function.
For a smaller batch of healthier brownies, check out the one I created Delight Gluten Free Magazine!
Have you bought these products? What do you think of them?
Labels: product review