When Izzy was first diagnosed with multiple food allergies, I researched how to bake treats like cookies, cupcakes, and brownies. I had grand plans of finding her favorite recipes and making batches of treats ahead of time so I’d always have some on hand (or in the freezer). Since then, reality has set in! 🙂 I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not a creative baker or cook; I sometimes get overwhelmed or tired of all the alternative baking/cooking methods required with multiple food allergies, and I plain get burnt-out prepping allergy-safe foods. Anyone with me?
While I’m still certainly a huge advocate of making food from scratch and freezing it—that is our bread routine, after all— I have grown to appreciate a good, allergy-free (or adaptable) baking mix in a box. More than once, a box mix has been a lifesaver. Preschool parties, daycare parties, birthday parties: sometimes you need a treat you can whip up in 20 minutes, bake, and be done with it, food allergies or not.
The problem with allergy friendly ready mixes is 1) they are uber-expensive (hello, $8 for a box for many brands!) and 2) they may still need substitutions for things like eggs, butter, etc. that can mess with the final product.
In Izzy’s five years of life, we’ve tried a handful of mixes, and are still experimenting with new brands. In this particular post, I’ll continue my series reviewing the liveGfree products offered at Aldi stores. In my previous Aldi review post, I explained my love of Aldi: quick shopping, great quality on select items, and lifesaving prices. Here, I’ll share our thoughts on a few of the box mixes we’ve purchased at the store.
- liveGfree Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix – We love this mix! We’ve used it to make cupcakes, and they come out wonderfully every time…not too crumbly or dense & heavy, the way many allergy-free mixes do. I’ve used different substitutions and the end result has not changed. Izzy will often request these if we need a quick treat. And at the $2.99 price tag, we can buy almost three boxes for the price of one box mix of another name brand mix. I try to keep two boxes of this mix in my pantry at all times. Recommendation: pantry staple.
- liveGfree Gluten Free Chocolate Cake mix – Similar to the yellow cake mix, this mix produced beautiful cupcakes. The cupcakes fluffed up and held together well…very impressive. Also, they tasted so yummy. The down side? This mix is not a regular product offering at Aldi at this time. In fact, I can’t even provide you a link to the product, as it is not currently on the company site. I contacted Aldi to see if the company has plans to add this mix to the shelves down the line, and I’ll keep you posted. Here’s hoping…because it would be a pantry staple for us!
- liveGfree Gluten Free Cinnamon Streusel Muffin mix – So…did you see those delectable looking streusel-y (like that word?) treats in the top part of the photo above? Yeah. Those muffins were the bomb. I made them for a Memorial Day gathering at my daughters’ babysitter’s house. De-li-cious. Even people who do NOT eat allergy-free or gluten free absolutely loved these muffins. Granted, this mix was loaded with sugar, and I didn’t even use half of the streusel topping it made. But still, for special occasions, I would definitely recommend using this mix. Problem again, though, this mix was another limited time offering. GRRRR! I’m crossing my fingers this one gets added to the inventory eventually. Just like the chocolate mix, I would keep at least one box in my pantry, if I could. Recommendation: pantry staple, if Aldi brings this product back!
- liveGfree Gluten Free Sugar Cookie mix – These cookies were very easy to make and retained a nice consistency for the first couple days: a mix between a chewy cookie and a shortbread-style cookie. I thought they were tasty, so I held myself back to allow my girls to eat them (they are the ones with the food allergies, after all)! Izzy claimed to enjoy them, but didn’t really eat them past the first day. After a couple days though…watch out! These cookies went rock hard. I know this can happen easily with allergy-free stuff, but these could have broken a window! 🙂 Once again, Aldi seems to have offered these as a limited time item. We’ll see how the company responds to my inquiries. Recommendation: may use every once in a while, if Aldi adds them to their permanent product offerings.
- liveGfree Gluten Free Brownie mix – I’m really not sure what we’ve done wrong with this mix (or most brownie mixes, for that matter). I’ve bought this a couple times and used different substitutions for the eggs and oil, as we do for many mixes. However, it always starts out the same: the brownie batter looks great going into the oven, and even for the first half of the baking time. They start to rise & fluff up…and they smell amazing. Then inevitably the brownies start collapsing, and before I know it, they are swimming in oil. Swimming? Yes, swimming. I’m not exaggerating; in fact, two times I had to pull the brownies out of the oven to awkwardly drain the oil off the top of the baking pan. Ewww. Then they end up getting hard, with gooey chocolate centers. A bust. So, it is with a disappointed heart that I give this mix a bad review. Recommendation: DO NOT BUY if you have to make substitutions for eggs, etc.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more liveGfree product reviews in my allergy-free Aldi series. 🙂
Have you tried any of these mixes? What was your final verdict?
*** DISCLAIMER: Please note that every person’s sensitivity to their given allergen(s) varies. Some of the items that I review or use may have been produced in a facility that manufactures other products with certain allergens. The items may also contain ingredients which cannot initially be confirmed as allergy free (such as “natural flavoring”). You should always check with the manufacturer to confirm that you or your children can have their product(s). The products that I review or list are items that I have used and have proven to be safe for my two girls (for wheat, soy, milk, egg, peanut, & tree nuts).***