There’s a lot to be said for shelf-stable mixes. Easy to keep on hand and convenient to use, they’re great pantry staples, especially when they’re made with real ingredients. These days many are gluten-free as well.
Birch Benders “Micro-Pancakery” makes over a dozen pancake and waffle mixes that are as simple as possible to use. Just add water. Truly. That’s it. We tried the Paleo mix. It’s grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free. My not-Paleo, not-a-fan-of-“diet”-food husband said, “These are great pancakes.” That was high praise indeed. Birch Benders also offers traditional mixes like buttermilk, organic mixes that come in flavors like six grain cinnamon and chocolate chip and specialty flavors like their pumpkin spice mix. They’re packaged in a resealable pouch so you can make enough for two and save the rest for another day.
$3.99 to $5.99 per 16-ounce pouch. Available at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Target. http://birchbenders.com
Easy Pizza Crust
Simple Mills makes a range of gluten-free baking mixes including pancake and waffle, pumpkin muffin and bread, chocolate muffin and cake and artisan bread. Recently we tried their pizza dough mix, made with almond flour, arrowroot, flax meal and cauliflower. Seasoned with oregano and garlic, the mix just needs vinegar, water and a little oil to come together into a crust that can be patted into a pizza pan and then covered with your favorite sauce and toppings. It won’t replace a yeast-raised crust in your pizza repertoire, but for pizza in 15 minutes from start to finish, it’s just the thing.
$7.99 per 9.8-ounce box which makes two 8-inch or one 12-inch pizza crust. Simple Mills mixes are available at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Target, Kroger and Earth Fare. The pizza crust is available at the Briarcliff and West Paces Ferry Whole Foods Markets. Or online at Amazon or http://simplemills.com.
Press-in Pie Crust
Shannon Aldridge of Canton, Georgia, created her gluten-free dessert, biscuit and pizza mix company, Abundtant Love, after her husband was diagnosed with celiac disease. Disappointed with the gluten-free options she found on the market, she decided to create her own mixes. We tried her pie crust mix using the chocolate-pecan pie recipe found on their website. The mix is made from almond, rice and tapioca flours along with potato starch. You add butter and an egg, then pat out the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Gluten-free pie crusts don’t generally roll out well, and patting out a crust is much easier than rolling anyway. The verdict on the pie? Delicious.
$8 per 9.6-ounce package that makes one crust. Available at http://algfmixes.com.