Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Gluten-Free Manischewitz Review

The kind folks over at Manischewitz were kind enough to send me some amazing and delicious gluten-free treats around the holidays last month. Although I didn't have the time with my big aliyah move to cook with all of them, I did have time to sample a few items, including the Guiltless Gourmet All Natural Snack Crunches: Roasted Cashew Crunch, the Mishpacha Gluten Free Flavored Coating Crumbs, and, of course, the Manischewitz Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix.

My thoughts? Well, the first thing I dove into, of course, was the cake mix, which happened to come conveniently with the pan to bake it in and the frosting mix. Now, for someone who lives alone, this was the perfect size cake -- roughly the size of the box when made. Yes, I happened to indulge in the entire thing, and yes I got a little sick from the sugar, but honestly this was one of the better gluten-free cake mixes I've happened upon. It was incredibly moist, the chocolate was thick and dark, and it hit the spot. If I liked yellow cake, I probably would have made the other box, too, but my waistline thanks me for not enjoying yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Find all their sweet treats here.

The next nosh? The All Natural Snack Crunches: Roasted Cashew Crunch (yes, they come in other flavors). The first thing I did with this was look at the ingredients, because when you're eating something that says All Natural, you really want it to be All Natural. I think that Guiltless Gourmet does a pretty good job of sticking to it, and I appreciate them explaining what inulin is. The ingredients?
Dry roasted cashews, pure cane sugar, tapioca syrup, inulin (chicory root fiber), sea salt, natural flavor.
I'm not sure whether tapioca syrup, inulin, or "natural flavor" are good for you, but by and large for having no GMO ingredients and being vegan and gluten free, I'm hesitant to complain when they tasted so so so good. I topped off the package without batting an eyelash over a few days. It was the perfect snack to hit the spot -- the kind of thing you buy and keep in your car, because these are better for you in a million ways than stopping at Starbucks for a super venti mega sugar carb loaded beverage to hold you off until dinner.

And last, but not at all in the least, are the Flavored Coating Crumbs, which are surprisingly produced in Israel, my new home! I used these in making a batch of Spaghetti (Squash) and Bean "Meat" Balls as a binding agent. I've done these before, but never with a coating crumb (aka "bread" crumb) before, and the honest truth is they kept their shape a lot better than without. There wasn't a huge flavor shift, but I was extremely happy that they kept my delicious little Italian-style bean balls together in one piece for my makeshift vegan version of a classic. (And, if you're really, really religious, you'll be pleased to know there is not one but three hechshers on the package!)

Overall? I was pretty happy with the new gluten-free products out by Manischewitz  I really wish I had gotten a chance to try their gluten-free noodles, so I'll have to see if I can't manage to find them here in Israel.

If you hit the store and try out any of their gluten-free nosh, let me know what you think!