While I love baking and trying new recipes, I’m not above using a good gluten free baking mix when I’m craving gluten free muffins, breads, cupcakes or brownies. However, if you’re following a gluten free diet, you need to know that not all baking mixes are created equal. Many gluten free mixes are loaded with not-so-great ingredients – including tons of white flours – and they also contain excess sugar, artificial ingredients, GMO-laden ingredients, and preservatives. When it comes to good GF baking mixes, you most certainly get what you pay for!
Take a look at a few not-so-good-for-you gluten free ingredient lists from products you may have seen at your local grocery store. (Note: I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy these mixes; I’m only saying you should know a little more about what you’re eating.):
- Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix contains: Rice Flour, Sugar, Potato Starch, Leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), Xanthan Gum, Salt.
- Krusteaz Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Mix contains: Sugar, whole grain sorghum flour, whole grain millet flour, food starch-modified. Contains 2% or less of the following: arabic gum, sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, propylene glycol monoester, mono-diglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate, soybean oil, salt, natural and artificial flavors (contains milk derivatives), guar gum, xanthan gum.
- Glutino Muffin Mix (which has been discontinued) contains: White rice flour, sugar, potato starch, corn starch, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, tricalcium phosphate), salt, sodium bicarbonate, xanthan gum.
When I first went gluten free, I was enamored with many of these gluten free baking mixes because they were from brand names I knew and were available at my local grocery stores. However, my love soon turned to distaste when I realized the ingredients were not good for you – many unrecognizable to me. It’s a problem in the gluten free industry – to make gluten free foods taste better, brands pump up the amount of white flours and sugars to make it taste better, leaving nutrition in the dust.
As I grew in my gluten free knowledge, I came to realize that there are better gluten free mixes from quality gluten free brands. In fact, I found four gluten free brands that make various gluten free mixes that are amazing! Each mix is made from quality ingredients that I know. You can also see that these mixes were developed to minimize sugar and white flours, GMO-laden ingredients, and chemicals and preservatives. Best of all, I’ve also tasted each and every one of these four Amazing Gluten Free Mixes – so they not only offer quality ingredients, but they are also delicious too!
(Note: Some of these companies sent me free product to try. I also include affiliate links where you can buy these great gluten-free baking mixes online.)
4 Amazing Gluten Free Mixes You Have to Try:
(1) Simple Mills: Simple Mills is a new baking mix brand with a focus is on simple, healthy and delicious ingredients. The centerpiece ingredient is protein-rich almond flour, and the company also uses natural ingredients like coconut sugar and flour, arrowroot, and cocoa. It’s evident this company takes pride in its ingredients!
The side of the box clearly lists all ingredients – and each ingredient is recognizable. For example, the pumpkin muffin mix contains just eight ingredients, including almond flour, organic coconut sugar, pumpkin, arrowroot powder, organic coconut flour, organic spice mix (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves), baking soda, and sea salt. Simple Mills mixes are paleo-friendly, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free and contain only 5 grams of sugar per serving – nice!
You can buy Simple Mills baking mixes on Amazon. They taste yummy (not too sugary, which is nice!) and are completely satisfying.
(2) Whole Note Gluten Free Baking Mixes: I have talked a lot about my love for Whole Note Gluten Free Baking Mixes. I’m anxious for this brand to really gain steam in Denver and across the country because the gluten free community deserves such a tasty and well thought out go-to gluten free baking mix.
Each Whole Note gluten free baking mix contains a blend of seven whole grains, ditching many of the white flours you find in most gluten free baking mixes. I am obsessed with Whole Note’s Pumpkin Bread, and also really enjoyed these gluten free Lemon Ginger Muffins. A sampling of ingredients include Whole-Grain Brown Rice Flour, Whole-Grain Millet Flour, Whole-Grain Buckwheat Flour, Garbanzo & Fava Bean Flour, Whole-Grain Sorghum Flour, Whole-Grain Teff Flour, Whole Flaxseed Meal, and Evaporated Cane Juice Sugar.
You can buy Whole Note Gluten Free Baking Mixes on Amazon. You just can’t go wrong with this brand – promise!
(4) Namaste Foods: I once contacted Namaste Foods to tell them I wanted to work with them (shot down though 🙂 but I still have nothing but love for this company. I bought Namaste’s chocolate cake mix and made these cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday party. They were a huge hit!
Namaste makes a variety of baking mixes (muffins, cakes, breads, etc.) and they are free from the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, milk, fish, soy, and shellfish) and more. The top 8 allergen foods account for 90% of all food allergic reactions. Namaste’s gluten free chocolate cake/cupcake mix contains high quality ingredients, such as evaporated cane juice, sweet brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, and rice milk powder.
You can buy Namaste’s gluten free chocolate cake and other mixes on Amazon. Namaste makes some good gluten free eats – go and stock your pantry with these gluten free mixes now!
(4) Enjoy Life: This brand makes only a handful of baking mixes – but they are so versatile you can use them in various ways. For example, my friend Shayna used her Enjoy Life gluten free brownie mix to make these cute gluten free chocolate donuts using her donut pan! Like Namaste Foods, Enjoy Life mixes are free from the top 8 allergens (and more), and contains quality ingredients such as sprouted brown rice, teff flour, flaxseed meal, and probiotic. The packaging includes easy to follow instructions and they are quite tasty too – perfect for families dealing with multiple allergens who still want to enjoy a treat (or two!) every so often.
You can purchase Enjoy Life Baking Mixes on Amazon. These are must have mixes to keep on hand – perfect for you and any friends who come over that have multiple food allergies. I always keep these mixes on hand.
Remember, when buying a gluten free baking mix, look for:
- Quality Ingredients. Look for ingredients you can recognize – not ingredients that make the product shelf-stable for 20 years! Look for organic and non-GMO ingredients – that is a sign of a company that cares about what it feeds its customers.
- Healthier Ingredients: Look for whole grains and alternative flours (like coconut and almond) and remember that you don’t want sugar or rice flour to be the first listed ingredient because that means it is the #1 ingredient in the product.
- Forward Thinking Brands: Don’t just buy what’s convenient or brands that have the deepest pockets so they can buy the most shelf space; rather look for brands that care about the products they put out. You might have to shop online or in speciality, natural grocery stores. You can make a statement by voting with your wallet, not by convenience.
- Allergen Statements: Truly understand how the ingredients were sourced, manufacturing processes (is it a dedicated gluten free facility?), and clear allergen statements. Companies that take pride in their ingredients are ones worth supporting.
Shop for these 4 Amazing Gluten Free Baking Mixes on Amazon.com!
Disclosures: This post contains affiliate links. Simple Mills, Whole Note and Enjoy Life (via a Food Allergy Bloggers Conference) products provided complimentary; however opinions and recommendations are my own.