Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ener-g (review)

Ener-g's mission statement: Our mission at Ener-G Foods, as one of the country's foremost producers of foods for diet-restrictive individuals, is to provide a wide range of ready-made foods and mixes that are wholesome, nutritious, risk-free and great tasting. We are constantly responding to the demand for special diets with research, innovative products, and convenience foods.

The company started out in 1962 to help pre-dialysis patients with low protein diets. Since then, they have expanded to wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, tree nut-free, peanut-free products, low protein, yeast-free, egg-free, and soy-free. They are also certified Kosher! That's a lot of restrictions that their company works around to help families affected by various allergies and sensitivities.

Our family was blessed to try a variety of their products these past few weeks. We focused on the gluten-free products but would also go for the casein-free (dairy-free) products from now on. Most of the products we tried were pretty good. We still haven't found a bread that is to our liking. The light brown rice loaf was dry and airy - it absorbed things like butter and honey well. The loaf was small but that's not necessarily a bad thing, just different (we tend to have a bigger is better mentality in the States). I recommend toasting this bread so you don't notice the dryness as much, but it wasn't bad. This was definitely better than the flax meal loaf. This bread was dry and the flavor was just not appealing. It falls into that "diet food" category that people dread. This is a very healthy bread - flaxseed is not just a fad but a very healthy product. I have heard that once you get used to GF bread that if you eat "regular" bread, it tastes bad, so there's some hope, right?

I used the rice mix to make some brownies. They developed a hard crust on the top but the bottom was moist. It had a distinctive texture to it, almost a grainy texture. Definitely not the brownies we're used to. I plan to try the bread recipe on the back of the package next (the brownie recipe was from the package, too). We used the corn mix partially in a pizza crust; I haven't eaten it yet (I just got through working out) but my husband said it was a little dry. We'll keep trying recipes for it though.

We ate baked spaghetti using the white rice spaghetti - finally something rice that tasted good! These were softer like rice but we really enjoyed it. This is definitely a product I want to use again! You really could hardly tell the difference between these noodles and "regular" ones.

The chocolate chip potato cookies were not soft but the taste was good. My boys could care less how hard or soft a cookie is as long as it tastes good. They scarfed these! I partook in my share, also. :) The chocolate chip snack bars look like granola bars and tasted like diet granola bars. Not necessarily bad but anyone who has eaten diet chocolate food knows the distinct taste that it has. They were really moist, though, and Moose ate them like...well, like he eats all food!

My favorite product that we tried was the cinnamon crackers. Holy no-weird-taste! These tasted just like other cinnamon chips. I even tried to make cinnamon tortilla chips about a week before I opened these and they were a disappointment. I about kicked myself after I opened this package and we ate the chips because they would have been a perfect partner to this apple pie dip that I found on Pinterest! Now I'll just have to get more of these crackers and try again. The BEST gluten-free food we've tried thus far.

Like you'll find with most gluten-free food, the prices are steeper, but Ener-g has comparable prices to other gluten-free companies. They also have online specials, which makes some items cheaper sometimes. We went shopping at a Hy-Vee the other day and I didn't see very many Ener-g items but they are something I'm looking for when we are shopping. Definitely a company worth trying.

I really like how they have set up their website. You can search for food based on your allergy so you're for sure getting what you need/want. The shipping is fairly cheap ($6 up to $36 worth of purchases) to the continental US. Sometimes the shipping prices hurt you more than the actual product prices, but not here. I appreciate that you can buy their products online; that seems to be a popular thing to do with GFCF diets (especially living in a rural area).

Disclaimer: We received the aforementioned items in order to facilitate an honest review. Others may or may not have the same experience(s) with this company and/or its products like we had.

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