Monday, May 9, 2011

Food vs Face-Off: Gluten-free Waffle Thunderdome

In order to get my warm weather figure back on track, I decided I had to start eating breakfast again to get my metabolism going in the morning.  I'm not the world's biggest yogurt fan, have teeth too sensitive for cold cereal in the morning, and refuse to leave myself time to make a proper breakfast.  Pile that on top of my body's general disdain for wheat products, and I'm a bit short on options.  A few weeks ago when I was passing over the crunchy hippie in Kroger - y'know, that small area between produce and the bakery where you assume nothing tastes good - I noticed more than one option of gluten-free frozen waffles.  Van's has bold, clever packaging and caught my eye right away.  I'd always known Van's products to be superb to most frozen varietals from my dieting days, so I was amped to try it. And the magic word - SALE.  Kroger has pretty much consistently had these waffles on sale for over one month - 2 for $5.   I picked up a box of the Van's g/f Blueberry Waffles and decided to give them a whirl.

The next morning, I recalled from leaner times (not with weight, just with money) that frozen waffles never really get warm enough in the middle from toasting alone, so I nuked it for about 10 seconds first.  A little butter and some maple sizzurp and you've got yourself a fine breakfast, even for the tenderest bellies.  These waffles not only have blueberries in them, but are also sweetened with fruit juice, so it is actually apparent that you're consuming a blueberry product.  As for the texture, a gluten-eater wouldn't know it from an Eggo.  It's crisp on the outside, soft and chewy inside.   In the following weeks I also tried the plain (too plain for this gal, even dressed up) and the apple cinnamon, but neither won my heart like the blueberry.

The photos below aren't mine - I had to steal them from the interwebs because the last thing I'm thinking of in the morning is taking photos of my food for you guys.  I need that time to saddle up these sweater monkeys and clean my shotgun.  More importantly, I'm pointing out the source because this philistine put peanut butter on a blueberry waffle.

The following week, I was equally tempted by the sales price of another brand - Kinnikinnick.  You have no idea how long it took me to type that shit.  I grabbed a box of their Brown Sugar & Cinnamon G/F Waffles for just under $3.  Out of the box, they were visibly wimpier than the Van's, but I was willing to let that go if they had the flavor and texture on lock.  Prepped one the exact same way as the others, nuking it just slightly beforehand, then toasting.  Buttered, sizzurped, and dove in expecting a whirlwind of rich cinnamon & brown sugar flavor.

No dice.  The hint of flavor was just that - and the texture was all wrong.  Was I sleepwalking at Kroger again and picked up some kind of fancy dog food waffles?  These were rubbery and spongy, nothing like my beloved, buttery, crispy Van's.  That's what you get for buying Canadian, kids.

G/F Waffle Thunderdome:  Van's is victorious! 


Joe said...

Option 3:

1. Invest in a waffle maker.
2. Make a batch of Pamela's Pancake Mix with an extra egg in.
3. Make waffles with the batter.
4. Cackle in victory.

Nothing I've tried has come close to this. Waffles made like this are better than the best frozen waffles, with or without gluten.
This is my waffle iron. I recommend it without reservation.

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