Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gluten Free??!!

I am finally back! It has been another crazy few weeks of waaaay toooo much to do, and I am finally getting to a post that I have needed to finish for several weeks.

Last summer, as my husband was recovering in the hospital from back surgery, I spent a great deal of time on my iphone (very possibly too much time!) to relieve the boredom of sitting all day. I found several blogs about gluten free living, which I found very interesting, as I have a condition called Celiac Disease. To make a long story short, I cannot eat anything with wheat, barley or rye. I can eat oats only if they are certified "gluten-free." As you can imagine, it makes eating a real challenge. I have to bake most of my own breads using rice flour as a base, and I haven't eaten a slice of real pizza in over 6 years! You can imagine how excited I was to find information on a website called MyBlogSpark. It allows you to place an application to review products on your personal blog. I decided to give it a try since I had heard that I would probably be able to review the new Betty Crocker Gluten Free dessert mixes, which I was eagerly awaiting.  They sent me the four products to try and review, and then one of my readers will win a set of the dessert mixes as well.  It's a great deal!

The new Betty Crocker Gluten Free mixes are as follows:
Yellow Cake Mix
Devil's Food Cake Mix
Brownie Mix
Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Yellow Cake- This cake had a good flavor, but was quite grainy from the rice flours in the mix. I was not happy with the mix, so I experimented. I decided to use it in a Pineapple Upside Down cake. The results were amazing! It made an excellent cake which was moist, sweet and delicious! I used a couple of different recipes, and the results were great each time. I served the cakes at picnics and the guests loved them as well. This gave me an idea as autumn approached and the blueberries were ripening. What about a Blueberry Pineapple Coconut Upside Down cake? I replaced the marachino cherries with lots of blueberries, and added coconut milk as part of the liquid along with coconut flakes. The result was not very pretty, as blueberries turn very dark when cooked, but it tasted wonderful! The cake was gone in a flash from the countertop!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Layering the blueberries

Devil's Food Cake- This cake had a better texture, but could use a bit more chocolate flavor. This cake makes a great base for an ice cream cake. Simply bake and freeze. Top with your favorite flavor of ice cream and refreeze.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix- We experimented a great deal with this mix. It has a good flavor, but the cookies crumble too easily. Tried adding another egg. Didn't help. Tried using applesauce in place of liquid. Didn't work. Maybe it would work as a cookie bar?

Brownie Mix- Good results here. This makes a nice brownie. Also tried adding another egg, with great results. Makes an excellent dessert. Feel free to get creative with this one by topping with ice cream, syrup and nuts for a brownie sundae. 


Overall, I would say that Betty Crocker could have done a better job researching before launching these mixes. There are other gluten free dessert mixes in the Natural Food section of the grocery stores that are much better quality. However, the other mixes are approximately $7 each. The Betty Crocker Mixes, found in the regular baking aisle, are around $4 each. I would like to sincerely applaud them for diving into the gluten free market, however. There are MANY people who must live wheat free, and our food choices are so limited at this time that we welcome any new items on the shelves.  I am thankful to see this new competition in the gluten free arena.

Now, for my blog readers. How would you like to try these mixes for free? I would bet that many of you know at least one person who cannot eat wheat, or limits it. Or maybe you are interested in trying something new yourself? If so, leave a comment, or drop an email ( if you would like to be entered in the drawing to win all four of these dessert mixes. No cost to you, no obligation. Can't wait to hear from you!

And lest I forget, these recipes are all Bloodhound/Coonhound Approved. How do I know? Place dessert on your plate and you have exactly 1.3 seconds to get to a safe area to enjoy it... just ask my kids!


Tobi said...

I had no idea they made gluten-free mixes. Thanks for the tip and the testing!

Bernie said...

Oh poor you! We are all carb fiends at our house, although bread is not on my prescription diet. Glad this gives you some dessert options.

Taffy said...

So good to hear from you! Those desserts look very yummy! I never thought about adding blueberries to pineapple upside down cake. Might have to try that one out.

Bentley said...

Good to know some of the more commonly available brands are making these products. There was a student last year at the school I work at who had celiac disease and it is hard to find products that taste good and fit the requirements.

Marguerite said...

That Blueberry Pineapple Coconut Upside Down Cake looks dee-lish! And your hounds are beautiful. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and adding me to your reading list.