Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Energized by Ener-G Sampling

I had the awesome experience of receiving a bundle of samples from one of our most used allergy-friendly companies, Ener-G. As you can see, they were more than generous in what they decided to send to me to try out.


The box that we received included Powdered Egg Replacer, Bachman Gluten Free Puzzle Pretzels, Wylde Pretzels, Yeast Free Rice Pizza Shells, Rice Vermicelli, Focaccia Crust, Chocolate Chip Snack Bars, Brownies, Cinnamon Cookies, Sunflower Cookies and Yeast Free Flax Meal Loaf....fyew! That's a mouthful (literally)!

Powdered Egg Replacer
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Yeast, Egg, Soy & Nut)

For those of you who are not able to use egg, I recommend the Powdered Egg Replacer. I have used it for over 9 years with great success. I do caution that sometimes it seems to work better on recipes that require 3 or less eggs but that's just with what I have made. The ingredients are Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch Flour, Leavening (Calcium Lactate [not derived from dairy], Calcium Carbonate, Citric Acid), Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose and Methylcellulose. The directions to use it are simple, just add water and stir but I myself have found that it also seems to work just as the unmixed powder in recipes where moisture is not an issue.

Bachman Gluten Free Pretzel Pieces
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Egg, Soy & Nut)

The Bachman Gluten Free Pretzels were a very yummy, crunchy treat that we enjoyed. My son eats pretzels once in a blue moon but he actually asked for seconds on this one. They are thinner than regular pretzels but that's what makes them nice and crunchy. And nothing is funnier than watching your kids trying to actually piece them together. Ingredients include Potato Flour, Corn Starch, Rice Flour, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Hi Maize Corn Starch, Corn Glucose, Ener-G Baking Powder (Sodium Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potato Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Cellulose Gum, Bamboo Fiber, Salt and Yeast.

Wylde Pretzels
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Egg, Soy & Nut)
There is an allergy statement that they may contain Sesame Seed and Poppyseed so use caution.

Wylde Pretzels are these crunchy little ring pretzels. My daughter kept wearing them on her fingers and then eating off her "jewelry". In  the past, we have had these and although they are a good treat alone, they also do well as a dessert ingredient. Chocolate covered Wylde Pretzels can be used if you need a round shape on a dessert, maybe chocolate arms on an edible person or whatever else you can come up with. As most food allergic moms would probably agree, having a food that can be used in multiple ways makes our life just a little bit easier.  Ingredients include Potato Flour, Corn Starch, Rice Flour,Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Hi Maize Corn Starch, Corn Glucose, Ener-G Baking Powder (Sodium Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potato Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Cellulose Gum, Bamboo Fiber, Salt & Yeast.

Yeast-Free Rice Pizza Shells
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Yeast, Egg, Soy & Nut)

Because I have many clients with allergies to Candida (yeast), I have been on the hunt for a pizza alternative. I was very excited when these arrived- I didn't know they existed! The texture was similar to a slightly stale pizza crust when I tried it on the first night. However, I quickly realized that it was easily fixed by simply brushing a small amount of oil on the bottom before you bake it. Viola! Definitely a pizza that I can eat without wishing it was something more. I am excited about using the rest to make other foods, maybe a garlic bread toast or even cutting it into triangles and making a quick baked cinnamon and sugar snack. Ingredients include Filtered Water, Brown Rice Flour, White Rice Flour, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Leavening (glucono-delta-lactone, sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate & monocalcium phosphate), Methylcellulose, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Orange Citrus Fiber & Salt.

White Rice Vermicelli
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Yeast, Egg, Soy & Nut)

I have had my share of rice pastas over the past 10 years. I have to say, Ener-G has some of the better tasting gluten free pasta. I am very picky about taste, consistency, if it stays together or mooshes too easily. Nothing is worse than overcooking rice pasta when you are starving and then having to start the meal all over again, which is what I did with half of the bag that they sent to me. Rule of thumb with any gluten free pasta- watch it carefully, don't overcook it, always rinse it with cool water and do not leave it in the strainer for too long or you will be left with one formed ball of rice..ugh! The second half that I made was much better- not too starchy and the noodles were like any other non-gluten noodle. Ingredients include just White Rice Flour and water.


Focaccia Crust
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Egg, Soy & Nut)

I can safely say that this is the answer to a great gluten free bread item. I made it into a garlic bread with the pasta (picture above) and it was so scrumptious, I ate every single bite. It was flaky, it was soft and it was wonderful. There was no dryness to it like you get with some gluten free breads and the only complaint I have is there are too few in the package. I'm sure this would have also made a great alternative to a flat bread as well...goodness, I would have been dipping it into all sorts of spreads! I think someone would have found me beneath an empty pile of Focaccia packaging. Mental note- when ordering, order multiple packages.  Ingredients include Filtered Water, Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Pear Juice Concentrate, Bamboo Fiber, Modified Cellulose, Salt, Potato Flour, Orange Citrus Fiber, Invert Sugar ( from cane), Yeast, Calcium Phosphate & Baking Powder (Glucono Delta Lactone & Calcium Carbonate).

Chocolate Chip Snack Bars
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Yeast, Egg, Soy & Nut)

I will admit, in all of my years of making different kinds of allergy-friendly foods, I cannot seem to find a recipe for snack bars that stay together without using marshmallows. These snack bars are a great product for people like me. To me, they taste almost like a mixture between a cookie and a crispy marshmallow treat. A bit of chocolate, a bit of sweetness but not too sweet and the size is good- a little larger than your average snack bar (which is usually too small). I think it's safe to say that they may be the best prepackaged snack bars out there. Ingredients include Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Crisp Rice Cereal (rice flour, rice bran, honey, calcium carbonate), Corn Starch, Ener-G Chocolate Chips (evaporated cane juice, unsweetened chocolate, tapioca syrup), Organic Tapioca Syrup, Plum Puree (prune juice concentrate, dried plums), Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Filtered Water, Ener-G Egg Replacer (tapioca flour, potato starch, leavening [calcium lactate, calcium carbonate, glucono delta lactone], cellulose gum), Vanilla Powder (vanilla bean extractive & dextrose from corn) & Salt.

Brownies
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Yeast, Egg, Soy & Nut)

Ener-G also sent us some brownies. In our house, this is dangerous. We are all chocolate lovers and we will fight over the last morsel left. What makes it worse is that I limit the amount of chocolate that we keep in the house to avoid temptation but here they were, staring us all in the face. The brownies were fudgy, chocolaty and heavenly. But, I do have to mention something that we noticed so that my readers just trying them out do not think I am giving out misinformation. I am not quite sure why but the brownies should stay in the refrigerate. When we first opened them, they were at room temperature. My daughter and I snuck a piece out and we both got a very dry, undesirable mouthful of which we were completely disappointed. As I have said before, as a food allergy mom, I waste nothing. I put the rest in the fridge to figure out what else I could use them for. Later that night, my husband was wolfing down large amounts saying how good they were. I was confused but I tried them again. The magic is in the temperature- like I said, fudgy and heavenly. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe others have not found this to be true but I always post what is true for me. Ingredients include  Filtered Water, White Rice Flour, Hi Oleic Safflower Oil , Cocoa, Tapioca Syrup, Evaporated Cane Juice, Flax Meal, Methylcellulose, Ener-G Baking Powder (calcium carbonate,magnesium carbonate, glucono delta lactone,citric acid),Pectin, Salt & Guar Gum.

Cinnamon Cookies
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Yeast, Egg, Soy & Nut)

If you are a cinnamon lover, your taste buds will melt when you try these cookies. Crunchy but not too hard and they are coated with cinnamon goodness. They are good alone but we also had some with a side of our non-dairy ice cream. The best thing that we discovered was that they make the ultimate pie crust. I had some leftover pumpkin from another recipe so my waste-nothing attitude kicked in. Granted, I only had 7 cookies left when I thought of this so our pie crust was a small, 2 serving crust but it was still simple and really, really good. Ingredients include Potato Starch, Evaporated Cane Juice Sugar, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Filtered Water, Rice Starch Flour, Cinnamon Powder, Sunflower Lecithin, Calcium Carbonate & Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose.

Pie Crust:
7 Ener-G Cinnamon Cookies
2 tablespoons shortening (I used Spectrum Palm oil).

Puree the cookies in a mini chopper until they turn into a flour, then add the shortening, using a fork to mix evenly. Gently press into a small casserole dish (6x4) and add pumpkin pie mixture of your choice




Pie Mixture:
(This is for a full pie, you will have leftovers) 

1/2 Can Organic Pumpkin
1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Milk of Your Choice
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Teaspoon Ener-G Powdered Egg Replacer
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare a casserole dish or pie dish with the crust of your choice.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients with an electric beater. Using a flexible, plastic spatula scrape into the prepared dish.

Bake for 45-60 minutes. The pie will still be a littler jiggly when it comes out but this will firm up upon cooling.

Sunflower Cookies
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Yeast, Egg & Nut)
There is an allergy warning that the Sunbutter is made on equipment that processes soybeans

If you have food allergies, I am sure that you have heard of Sunbutter Sunflower Butter. These cookies are like little mounds of sunflower butter but crunchy. I will admit the taste is on the stronger side but this does not mean in any way that it takes away from their great taste. These are great cookies to pack into lunches because they are not only peanut free but an extra punch of protein due to the sunflower. I am constantly looking for ways to get as much protein into my family as possible to balance out the foods that we cannot have. Ingredients include Natural Sunbutter ( Sunflower Seed, Dehydrated Cane juice,Salt,Natural Mixed Tocopherols ) *, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Ener-G Egg Replacer [tapioca flour, potato starch, leavening (calcium lactate, calcium carbonate, glucono delta lactone), cellulose gum], Potato Starch & Salt.

These cookies also kept giving me some type of familiar taste that was bugging me...what could I do with them to figure it out? I decided to make banana muffins topped with some bits of the Sunflower Cookies and chocolate chips. The result was a combination of a special treat with an bit of a crunch.


Banana Muffins With Sunbutter & Chocolate Crunch
3 Very ripe bananas
Ener-G Powdered Egg Replacer (or) 2 eggs
2 Cups Brown Rice Flour (can also use white rice flour)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Hain's Gluten Free Baking Powder
1 (4 oz) Applesauce of your choice
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Allspice

Crunch Topping:
Ener-G Sunbutter Cookies, broken into chunks
Allergy-friendly Chocolate Chips (I used Enjoy Life Foods)
  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan by spraying it with baking spray.

In a large bowl, mash up the ripe bananas until smooth and very few lumps (unless you like chunks). Add the remaining ingredients (minus the Crunch Topping) and mix well. The mixture should resemble cake batter. If it's too dry, try adding a little bit more applesauce or milk of your choice but add little by little as not to make it too watery.

Spoon into the muffin pan, filling no more than half way.

Sprinkle on top of each muffin. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean (approximately 30 minutes).

Cool completely on a wire rack to avoid the muffins from getting soggy, then keep in an airtight container.

Makes 12 Muffins

Yeast Free Flax Meal Loaf
(Free of Gluten, Wheat, Casein, Dairy, Yeast, Egg, Soy & Nut)

Trying to find yeast-free bread is difficult. To be honest, most of them are not very good. I will say that the bread from Ener-G toasted up very well and was better than others that I have tried. It stayed together more like regular bread and I am confident that it would also work well for meatloaf, gluten free stuffing, gluten free croutons, etc. Now although our home is peanut free, we are almond eaters (don't judge) so my go to snack with this bread was toasted with some almond butter (we use Barney Butter Crunchy). I say it's my go to snack because that's one of the things that I miss the most is toast. Ingredients include Filtered Water, Brown Rice Flour, White Rice Flour,High Oleic Safflower Oil,Flax Meal, Leavening (glucono-delta-lactone,sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), Methylcellulose, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose,Orange Citrus Fiber & Salt.

As I have said before, I have used many of Ener-G's products over the past 9 years. Most of their products are free from most of my son's food allergies and we, as a family, trust them. Their packaging is clearly marked as well as their website which can be viewed at http://www.ener-g.com/. There product line includes breads, crackers, snacks, cookies, cakes, pastries, pastas, egg substitutes, cereal, flour mixes, baking ingredients and specialty foods. Keep up the good work Ener-G, we appreciate what you do for us!

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