This review was written by Annsley Klehr, a mom, teacher and owner of Gluten Freedoms, a gluten-free consulting business.
After becoming gluten-free, I make EVERYTHING from scratch . . . well, almost. So, I had a craving for falafels, and when I have a craving, I have to make it. I did a bunch of research and decided to use dried beans to keep the mixture from being too moist. I made several different batches with and without gluten-free flour, but no matter what I did, the falafels fell apart. That’s when I decided there are certain things that are better from a mix. I searched high and low for a gluten-free falafel mix until I found Authentic Foods brand. Of course I had to experiment with more than just one of their mixes! I also played around with their Superfine Brown Rice Flour, too.
Authentic Foods Gluten-Free Falafel Mix
The falafel mix was actually the first gluten-free mix they created, but they have expanded to over 20 other gluten-free mixes, flours, and baking supplies: brownie, chocolate chunk, pie crust, pizza crusts, cake, bread and muffins mixes. It all began when founder Steven Rice was a boy working in his father’s deli. From there, his love of food and food science grew as he immersed himself in his studies. With culinary and food chemistry classes under his belt, he opened his own restaurant in the Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles. Realizing he could not meet the needs of his gluten-free clients, he began Authentic Foods in 1993, and it has continued to thrive. All of their products are produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility and some of them have been certified kosher as well.
How could I resist trying out this mix for which I had been searching high and low? The perfect opportunity came while visiting my in-laws in Atlanta, GA. For the past four nights, my mother-in-law had taken great pains to make sure there was a gluten-free dinner on the table. I decided it would be nice to actually make them dinner at least once in an effort to say thank you. I rummaged through my suitcase to find the falafel mix I had been coveting. I crossed my fingers, hoping that it would be a simple and quick addition to our meal of collards and sautéed potatoes. It was every bit as quick as promised.
While I mixed just a few simple ingredients together, I got the oil all warmed up for some frying. I had to let the falafel dough rest for a few minutes before forming the balls, so I tended to my other sides.
The balls held together in shape without a single glitch. I placed them in the oil and watched them turn a golden brown in a matter of minutes. I would say from beginning to end, I spent no more than 20 minutes total on the preparation and the cooking. They were crispy on the outside, warm and moist on the inside. Before we swathed them in gluten-free pitas and slathered them with tzatziki sauce, we just tried the ball itself. It melted in our mouths. The texture, consistency, and punch of flavor made us crave more.
My in-laws thought I was the best cook yet! It was easily one of the most respected and satisfying meals I have put together in a long time. Authentic Foods Falafel Mix saved me hours upon hours of slaving away with my food processor in the kitchen and the taste was as perfect as ever. This was a five star meal.
Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour
Next, it was time to experiment in my kitchen with flours. I was dying to create a gluten-free flour blend that used whole grains and no potato starch; I think I was trying to go for a super clean and healthy blend. I had been playing around with brown rice flour and trying to grind it myself to make it finer, but that was certainly a lot of work. I was exhausting myself before the actual baking began!
I decided it was time to try Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice Flour as the base for my flour blend, and wow, was I pleasantly surprised. The superfine grind saved me tons of time in the kitchen, and the consistency was such that all my baked products came out light and airy. No one even knew they were gluten-free! The key to using any gluten-free flour is to weigh it instead of using a measuring cup, which I believe applies to the superfine brown rice flour, too. Every baked good made in my kitchen using the flour came out as good as the next, from blueberry muffins to lemon squares to pancakes and crepes. I now stock the superfine brown rice flour as a staple in my kitchen. I highly recommend this flour for baking when looking to add a whole grain without sacrificing texture or compromising flavor.
A special thanks goes to Authentic Foods for providing me with samples and sharing their products with me.