When I attended the Celiac Awareness Tour in Louisville, KY a new product line by Bloomfield Farms caught my eye. This family owned and operated company produces a line of gluten-free mixes designed to give you the most value for your dollar by having one of the largest boxes (on average a pound in each box) of mix for a low cost. You could say they are the 'blue light special' of gluten-free mixes, but with a dedication to taste and quality.
Bloomfield Farms® Gluten Free Mixes are blended, packaged and warehoused in a dedicated gluten-free, peanut free, Kosher facility in Bardstown, KY. Although the plant does manufacture wheat-based mixes, they are made in a separate facility that is more than 13 miles away. Their facility and products are certified by the Celiac Sprue Association. Products bearing the CSA Recognition Seal meet the strictest criteria for absence of gluten in product ingredients, processing and packaging.
First up was the cookie mix which is also free of dairy/casein. The box contained a number of alternate recipes, so we choose to make the Thumb Print cookies. Butter, egg, and vanilla are combined with the mix, then rolled out into 1 inch balls, flattened slight and an indentation is made in the center of the dough. Add ½ tsp. of jam to each cookie and bake for 13-15 minutes. We let the cookies sit on the tray for a minute or two before transferring over to a rack to cool. The result is a soft cookie with a great taste and texture that doesn't crumble. Make sure to use a great tasting jam when preparing. We used fig, apple and peach, which were made and purchased at local farmers markets.
Next we tried the muffin mix, which is also free of dairy/casein. We chose to make blueberry muffins and after adding eggs, almond milk, oil and blueberries to the mix we spooned the batter into a muffin tin ¾ full. We also smoothed out the tops of the muffins with a spoon dipped in water. These muffins really rose in the oven while baking, but shrank considerably when they came out. We immediately transferred them over to the rack to cool to allow the moisture to escape. The muffins tasted fine, but they were really average.
One thing that is puzzling to me is that some of the mixes contain dairy and others don't. It would have been better to keep the whole line free of an allergen like dairy, so it could reach a larger audience. I really could only try a few mixes from their line because of this issue.
I also wish they would have used more fiberful flours because most of the mixes have very little fiber and protein. You could add chia or flax seed to the mixes to boost their nutritional value. My guess is they used the standard rice flour and potato starch blend to keep the costs low.
This line of mixes will be very appealing to the newly diagnosed and/or those who are looking to save money on gluten-free mixes. Don't get me wrong, the products are quite tasty, but very average to me, so anyone who is new to the diet would really enjoy them and find them to be a great value for the money.
These mixes can be purchased online via their website with a nominal shipping fee and they are definitely worth a try!
Article Courtesy: Jennifer Harris