This review is part of my coverage of the launch of Enjoy Life Foods' new line of allergen-free baking mixes. For more information about them, click here.
One of life's little luxuries is a stack of fresh-made pancakes or a nice, big Belgian waffle to start the day. For those of us avoiding gluten, dairy, or other allergens, these breakfast staples are so often off limits at restaurants. Luckily, allergen-conscious pancake/waffle mixes are pretty user friendly and make recreating these griddle cakes easy and delicious.
Already a fan of some other brands' pancake/waffle mixes, I couldn't wait to see how Enjoy Life Foods' new pancake and waffle mix would compare. Packed with protein, probiotics, and ancient grains, the mix definitely made an impact before I even pulled out my waffle iron.
Since the mix is top eight allergen free, the only ingredients needed to bring it to life are water (totally allergen free!) and oil of your choice. For the purposes of my own test kitchen, I used canola oil for both the pancakes and the waffles.
The box contains about three cups of mix, which renders one and half batches of mix (or three half-batches). From my calculations, the mix makes 27 pancakes (using 1/4 cup of batter) or 6 big Belgian waffles (per my waffle maker). These estimates are a bit rough, and definitely depend on equipment and ratio of water to mix.
For the first trial, I decided to make chocolate chunk pancakes, using Enjoy Life's mega chunks for added cross-brand experimentation. Once mixing up half of the batter recipe, I found the mix to be on the liquidy side, and added some flour to thicken it up, which helped thicken the batter. Tossing in the chocolate chunks, the mix came together in less than five minutes.
Once poured on the griddle in 1/4 cup portions, the pancakes spread nicely and cook up to be more thin than thick. Coming off the griddle, the pancakes have a nice texture, and the chocolate chunks melt nicely into pools of decadent molten chocolate. I liked that the pancakes were hearty, but not heavy, and slightly sweet. I do think that the base needs a mix-in or seasoning (such as cinnamon) to enhance it, because the pancakes alone were very simple.
For my next taste test, I employed my trusty Belgian waffle maker, and opted to test drive the mix without seasonings or mix-ins. Knowing how watery the pancake batter was, I decided to wing it and find the liquid to mix ratio by feeling it out. I started with a cup of the flour and mixed in water in increments until it was thick, yet pour-able.
Once pouring the batter into the griddle, I waited until the steam completely disappeared before revealing the golden, crunchy waffle. The cooking time was longer than "normal" but the end result was pretty good. I found that the waffle varied in consistency from crunchy on the edges to softer towards the middle. I suspect the amount of water in the mix produces a higher amount of steam, which makes it harder for the waffle to crisp up. Slightly sweet and "golden" in flavor, I liked the taste, and would definitely consider making a waffle sundae with vanilla non-dairy ice cream, chocolate chips and/or berries.
Despite my mild difficulty with perfecting the batter, the Enjoy Life Foods pancake and waffle mix is definitely a good pantry staple for whenever a breakfast (or breakfast for dinner) craving strikes. I love how the mix requires minimal extra ingredients and features health-boosting features that add nutrients to jump start my day.
To order this mix online, click here, to visit Enjoy Life Foods' online store. To get an overview of all five of these new allergen-friendly vegan mixes, click here.
Disclaimer: This review is current to the original publication date. Updates will be noted. Ingredients and manufacturing processes can change without notice. Each product should be reviewed for individual nutritional needs. Feel free to to contact me with any questions or comments. Enjoy Life Foods sent me samples of the mix free of charge for review purposes, but the review is a reflection of my personal opinion.