A special thank you to Namaste Foods for sending GFree Genius a chocolate cake mix, waffle & pancake mix and sweet brown rice flour to sample and review. While I did receive free products to review, I received no compensation for this post which reflects my own opinion, as well as the opinions of my test panel. BE SURE TO ENTER THE NAMASTE FOODS GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.
You might be a celiac if... you drive 10 hours to visit your best friend and take your own pots and pans, waffle iron, and ingredients for all meals. Luckily, my bestie, Jan, was willing to allow me to take over her kitchen for a couple of days during our long overdue visit! I packed up my usual travel kitchen necessities and decided to take along the Namaste Foods products to provide a safe food option, but to also get the opinions of a gluten-eating family. I was a little nervous--especially since I had never tried any of Namaste's products. Most of my friends are really skeptical when they know food is gluten free, but these great friends were willing to try something new and give me honest feedback.
Namaste Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix
When the kids (Lauren B. 12, Lauren E. 12, Nathan, 10, and Allie, 9) saw me take the Namaste chocolate cake mix and waffle mix out of the bag, there were mixed reactions and lots of questions:
Nathan E.: Mom, are you making chocolate cake for dessert?
Lauren E.: Ooh, yum! When will be cake be ready?
Lauren B: Mrs. Belinda, is this gluten free? How will it taste?
Allie B.: How do you say 'Namaste' as she pointed to the brand name printed on the box.
So I answered their questions in rapid succession.
"Yes, I am making chocolate cake. It will be ready after dinner. I can't wait to see how it tastes and to get your opinions, and it is pronounced Naa-Maa-Stay. It means 'The Spirit within me honors and respects the Spirit within you.' I think it will be really good."
They all seemed happy with my responses and impatiently waited for me to bake the cake. I used a bundt pan for this cake mix and it turned out beautifully. After the cake cooled a little, I drizzled chocolate frosting on top, then served it warm (these kiddos couldn't wait another second). It was super easy to make, only adding eggs, oil and water. Using a cake server, I tried to cut the cake and it was a bit springy and spongy, but after I put it on plates, the texture was fine. The response? Overwhelmingly positive! Eight out of eight test panel members were impressed!
Jan's husband, who doesn't eat gluten free, said, "Gluten free or not, this is a good cake."
My daughter enjoyed the cake so much that she asked for more during the long car ride home. I told her that we left it at our friends' house and she looked at me like I had lost my mind and asked, "Why would you do that?" I reminded her that it is rude to take things back home and that I could always make another one.
The chocolate cake mix is large enough to make a two-layer cake which is what I'm planning to do for Nathan's upcoming birthday!
Namaste Gluten Free Waffle & Pancake Mix
I got up early the next morning and started making gluten-free waffles on the waffle iron I brought from home. The Namaste Gluten Free Waffle & Pancake Mix contains enough to make two batches, so I added eggs, oil and Lactaid milk (what the hostess had on hand) and starting making waffles one by one. When I had four waffles ready, I called the kids downstairs to eat breakfast. They devoured them and said they "tasted like waffles" which is great because that's what I had made! When my friend's husband entered the kitchen, he was afraid that there wouldn't be enough for me to eat all I wanted, so he mixed up a batch of regular waffles to make on their waffle iron. His daughter ate one of each and announced that the Namaste waffle was better in taste and texture! Success!
I was so excited that the two Namaste mixes that I tried were so good! My son and I must eat gluten free and we are always happy when our friends can't tell the difference in the way our food tastes or when they think our food is better!
If you're looking for a great chocolate cake mix or waffle & pancake mix that is gluten free, all natural, whole grain, vegan friendly, kosher, no preservatives, nut free and made in dedicated facility, these products are a must buy!
Namaste Raw Goods Sweet Brown Rice Flour
Namaste Foods also sent me sweet brown rice flour from their Raw Goods line and I wasn't really sure what I was going to make. I haven't had much success cooking with rice flour in the past, and honestly, if a recipe calls for more than one variety of flour, I will admire it, but will probably never make it. But I stumbled upon a recipe for a chocolate mug cake and decided to give it a try using the sweet brown rice flour.
Chocolate Mug Cake
2 Tbsp. sweet brown rice flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. baking powder (gluten free)
1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. coconut milk (or non-fat milk)
A few drops of vanilla extract (gluten free)
*Optional-powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
Whisk together all dry ingredients in a small microwave safe mug (I used a 6 ounce tea cup). Add wet ingredients and use a fork or small whisk to mix until batter is smooth. Cook in microwave for one minute. If cake isn't done, heat for 15 more seconds. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately. Serves 1.
After trying this recipe, I felt guilty for letting Pinterest down for so long for not trying "mug cake" recipes sooner. This was super easy. I already had all of the ingredients at home and it took only one minute to cook. To top it off, it was a single serving so I didn't feel guilty for over indulging or for not sharing.
I still have some sweet brown rice flour, so I am going to find something else to make with it and will update soon!
Namaste is a family-owned, women-operated company and uses a grassroots approach to reach out to people who have a passion for good food for all people by using old fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. Their facility is owned by Namaste and is free from the Top 8 allergens. In addition to baking mixes, Namaste also offeres pasta dinners, soups, coating mixes, and a line of "Raw Goods" that includes an expansive list of flours. Their products can be found in a variety of U.S. independent and chain grocery stores, as well as online.
How would you like to win a Namaste Giveaway Tote filled with four Namaste Food products, a copy of Gluten Free & More Magazine, and an assortment of recipe cards?
There are three ways to win:
1. Comment on this blog post naming which Namaste Foods product is your favorite or which one you'd like to try.
2. Subscribe to my newsletter at www.gfreegenius.com
3. Tag a friend and share my Namaste post on my GFree Genius Instagram or Facebook page.
The deadline to enter is September 17th at 11:59pm. The winner will be selected on Sunday, September 18th and Namaste Foods will ship the prize directly to the winner! This is a giveaway you don't want to miss! Share with your gluten free friends and enter today! This offer is available only in the United States. Mix variety and bag contents vary. Thank you for supporting Namaste Foods and GFree Genius!
Click here to learn more about Namaste Foods and check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NamasteFoods.