|Edible letters- who knew pancake mix could be so much fun?!|
This time around, I received a package that contained a box of their Free Oats Quick Oats Berry Delight, Smudge Cocoa Spread, Pancake Mix and Pancake Mix with Quinoa. Why was I so excited? Because Freedom Foods products are free from (ready for all of this?!) Gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, sesame and GMO's...need I say more? A Food Allergy Consultant/Blogger/Author/Mother's dream come true wrapped up into neat little packages if I do say so myself.
Now, looking at this picture of wonderful products and knowing my habits, I will give you one guess which item we tried first. I'll give you a hint-
Smudge- What is it? Smudge is a nut and dairy free cocoa spread (kind of like Freedom Foods version of a nut-like spreadable chocolate product that we don't need to name). Upon the initial smell test, the cocoa didn't seem, well, very chocolaty and even my initial first ten seconds of tasting it left me waiting for it. But then there was a delayed chocolate catch-up and in came the taste. The Smudge is not as thick as fudgy topping but it is thicker than your usual chocolate syrup. I also recommend giving it a tiny stir prior to use for best consistency. I also tested it out by covering some gluten free pretzels and freezing it to see how it held up. Freezing was fine- it did not alter the taste but if you are going to use it as a fast way to make chocolate covered treats, it must be kept frozen as placing it back into the fridge or on the counter top will return it to it's usual, smudgy self.
And What Did Nutrimom Do With Smudge? What do I always stress to people? Utilize the items that you can use and rethink how you are using them. Chocolate treats are nice but what about using it to make an even better, healthier treat that will not only capture the chocolate flavor but add some protein as well? I'm talking about a Chocolate Hummus! Sound good?
1/4 Cup SunButter Sunflower Seed Spread
3 Pitted dates
2 Cups of prepared chick peas
5 Tablespoons of Freedom Foods Smudge
2 Teaspoons raw honey
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Cup of non-dairy milk of your choice
Using a food processor, add all of the ingredients and process until completely smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Makes 6 oz.
I did some more investigating. Did you know that chocolate brings out a kind of deep, hearty flavor when paired with tomatoes? When I saw this, I saw a challenge! Dinner time, meet Smudge. Smudge, meet dinner.
SmudgeTastic Pasta Sauce
1/4 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
4 Tomatoes (cleaned and chopped)
1/2 Teaspoon basil
1 1/2 Teaspoons Freedom Foods Smudge
1/4 Teaspoon EACH ground coriander, oregano and sea salt
3-4 spinach leaves, sauteed
4 Ounces cooked pasta of your choice
In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add the oil and the other ingredients. Stir until combined, then top over your choice of pasta.
Makes 1 hearty serving
Pancakes, We Love Pancakes So does my family so I tried out the Pancake Mix that Freedom Foods sent over. Now, I do have to say that it's quite possible I did not mix it well or maybe I am so used to making my pancakes with added ingredients but I did find the pancake mix to come out a bit on the loose side. This being said, I still recommend the mix for a few reasons. A- The flavor is outstanding! The pancakes tasted like vanilla cake (well, at least to me and to NutriDaughter) B- having smaller pancakes is not necessarily a bad thing as younger children and even some adults prefer to have a smaller item to grab and go and C- if you don't succeed, try try again! I would definitely welcome another chance to use this mix as my go-to pancake flour to add my usual ingredients to and see if they perk up just a bit more. But come on, don't they look like yummy pieces of dessert breakfast?
Then, There Was Quinoa Yes, there was Pancake Mix with Quinoa...did I make more pancakes? No! But I did use it to make some really good breakfast potatoes. What? Yes- why not? Get that protein into whatever you are eating! Simply clean and slice a potato, mix it well with 1/2 teaspoon EACH onion powder, garlic powder, ground coriander, sea salt, paprika and 1 teaspoon Freedom Pancake Mix with Quinoa and you have yourself some potatoes with protein. (Did I mention that I like protein?!)
But I still had a bunch of mix leftover so how else did I use it? Well, lets just say that we had some of the best oven-fried chicken ever! The pancake mix made it taste a bit on the sweeter side but it also gave the chicken somewhat of a milky flavor. Yum!
Pancake Protein Chicken
1 Cup Freedom Foods Pancake Mix with Quinoa
1/2 Teaspoon EACH paprika, dill and rosemary
3 Pieces chicken (cleaned)
Spray oil (I use Winona Pure)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add the chicken, one piece at a time and coat it evenly with the mixture. Place into a casserole dish and spray with baking spray. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake until juices run clear.
Makes 3 servings
Don't Forget the Oats! Of course not, don't be silly! I was just having so much fun testing the other products that I couldn't help myself. The Free Oats are fast cooking oats and super easy to make. They cook quickly, have a great consistency (not too thick, not lumpy) and they actually taste..clean or pure, if that makes sense. They are plain, with the exception of the freeze-dried berries added into the oats but all I had to add was a bit of fresh fruit and some raw honey to make me want another helping. I even tried using them for soaked oatmeal and they were amazing!
I have to say thank you again to Freedom Foods. Not only for giving me the honor of trying out their products but also for realizing how important allergy-friendly, healthy foods are much needed. Even their labeling goes above and beyond what is usually found on your typical label. Not only are they nut free but additionally, they test for peanut, almond, hazelnut, Brazil nut, cashew, macadamia, walnut, pecan and pistachio. They have been committed to keeping a high standard of their products for over twenty years and maintain a dedicated facility to ensure that promise. For more information or to see what other products they have to offer, visit them at http://www.freedomfoodsus.com/.
The only thing that they may need to worry about are those Smudgestash copycats!
*I did not receive any compensation for this product review nor do I accept any compensation for product reviews. All product reviews are always written with my honest opinions, good or bad.