Namaste Foods – Flour Mixes
Tested: Gluten Free Brownie Mix
One year ago, my husband Dayv and I were on our honeymoon in Greece. We traveled the islands, climbed to the top of the Acropolis, and spent time venturing through Athens. On one of our excursions we climbed to the highest point in Athens, Lycabettus Hill. On top of the hill was a bell tower, a church, and a cafe. Not just any cafe, a very expensive cafe. I ordered nothing, seeing as though there was absolutely NOTHING gluten-free vegan on their limited menu. However, Dayv, the non-gluten-free-vegan at the time, ordered a $16 brownie sundae. Now, I’m all for being a little frivolous with money while on vacation, but I even thought this was a little extreme. But my husband loves brownies, and since he was in a land with food he was unfamiliar with and didn’t want to eat, he picked the one thing he knew would make him happy.
Fast forward a year. Although Dayv isn’t in the foreign land of Greece, he’s in the foreign land of Gluten-free Vegan, and has been for the last seven months. He is still hesitant to try new foods, and sticks with things he knows he likes. And what does he often request? Brownies. Although I’ve gotten progressively better at making xgfx baked goods to please his sweet tooth, I had yet to try brownies. So when I saw that Namaste Foods had a gluten-free brownie mix, I knew I had to give it a try.
Whole Foods carries Namaste Products, and this particular mix runs $5.99. All of the ingredients in the mix are familiar to the xgfx baker- evaporated cane juice, sweet brown rice flour, cocoa, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, salt, and xanthan gum. According to the nutritional facts, one serving size, or 1/24th of the package prepared, is 190 calories, with 12% daily value of fat and 20 grams of sugar. I suspect the numbers dropped slightly for me, considering the fact that I used a flax-egg in place of the egg it calls for. These nutritional facts seem fair for what you’re eating, perhaps even a less than a regular brownie!
When I first got my hands on the product the first thing I noticed was the fact that you have the option of making one 8×11 or two 8×8 pans. This made me happy because I prefer making smaller batches of treats for Dayv in case he doesn’t like them, and also so they have less time to go stale. The second thing I noticed, and liked, was that all I needed to add were oil, “eggs”, and water. This was definitely convenient for me considering that I often bake in the middle of the week after the end of a long day, and sometimes I’m not up for a 2 hour baking extravaganza complete with 10 different ingredients. I was sold.
However, when I presented the brownie to Dayv, he really liked it! He said it tasted just like a non-xgfx brownie. He said they were gooey and very chocolaty. Xgfx brownie success! We even replicated his expensive brownie sundae from our honeymoon a year ago. And, you know what, he liked this one even more! Yay!
When I made the brownies, I substituted the eggs for flax-eggs, and was pleased that the batter was in the oven in less than 15 minutes. The cooking time was 30-35 minutes, and it took my brownies the full 35 minutes for the toothpick to come out clean. After they cooled, I went to cut the first brownie out and was faced with immediate irritation. Even though the brownies were fully cooked and cooled, they were very difficult to remove from the pan. Not because they were stuck, but because they easily fell apart when removing. I had to first cut the brownie out, making sure to also run the knife against the pan. Then I used a fork to wedge underneath the brownie and very slowly remove it. I felt like I was doing surgery!
- One serving prepared is 190 calories with 20 grams of sugar, which is on par, or even less, than other brownies.
- You have the option of making one 8×11 or 2 8×8 pans.
- They only require three additional ingredients.
- The batter is ready in 15 minutes or less.
- Ooey, gooey chocolaty goodness.
- Tastes just like a non-xgfx brownie!
- Very difficult to remove from pan, even after cooled.