Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Seriously Overdue (Product Review)

But worth the wait!

Several months ago now, I was contacted by a company and invited to review their products.

Mixes From The Heartland provided to me a collection of gluten-free mixes to try. While we don't have any food allergies, I am well aware of the difficulties families face when someone has a gluten sensitivity or other food allergy. Meeting the needs of the family's diet can become complex when allergies are involved.

As a working mother, I often am making meals on the fly. I won't lie - I'm a fan of boxed meals - Hamburger Helper, Homestyle Bakes, you name 'em, we've eaten them. I need things that we can do quickly, and I'm not a good planner, so things like crock-pot meals aren't used nearly as often as they should be.

Enter Mixes From The Heartland: I received the following products to try -

Each package includes preparation directions, and most of the recipes are vegetarian-friendly as well. Most of the meals take 30 minutes or less to make, which is fabulous. Exactly what I need! Several require little more than water, others need milk, eggs, meat or cheese. 

Sweet Potato Brownies - These are more of a "Blondie" than a brownie, as there is no chocolate involved. I have a pretty killer sweet tooth, as does my BFF "E", so we were excited to try these. And sweet they were. Maybe even a bit too sweet. I loved the texture of these, each bite was smooth and chewy, but the sweetness was overwhelming. Perhaps topped with a creme fraiche? We only ate them plain, but I still have another package, so perhaps I'll try soon with some topping options.

Cheeseburger Chowder was a hit - and I was WAY impressed with the way the potato reconstituted without become a mush. I needed to add a fair amount of salt and pepper for my own personal preference, but it clearly is designed to be basic and ready for you to season to taste. Each of the mixes I have tried have been that way, and I'm not complaining! This one required the addition of hamburger, milk and cheese.

This is the Chicken Veggie Soup mix - note the variety of colors and textures in there! This was another quick, easy meal, and one of my favorite things to do with this one was add a dash of hot sauce. The heat added a layer to the flavors and textures that was oh so yummy! 

I've also whipped up the minestrone - did it in a crockpot at work, which didn't work as well as I would have liked. The beans really need to be able to come to a boil to reconstitute properly, and you can't get a good boil in a crock pot.

A couple of things that I did notice about the meals in general - the pasta cooks up fast, and as a result, I've come across some mushier pasta than I'd like. (Hello, distracted while cooking!)  Again, spice is at a minimum, so be prepared to salt and pepper to taste. Be sure to follow the directions, which are very clear, and you will have quality meals. If (as I'm a bit prone to do!) you wing it, you will not receive the optimal results. (Hehehe- use as directed!)

At the end of the day, I was impressed with the food quality. I also have perused the website fairly extensively, and feel that the pricing is very fair.

A few facts from the Mixes From The Heartland site:
Allergen Facts

  • No eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, oats, barley, rye, or wheat in the factory.
  • No bean flours are used in any products.
  • Factory is allergen controlled.

Eliza Testing

  • Every raw product that enters the factory must be certified by the producer that it can pass an Eliza Test.
  • This means products in our plant test 5 parts per million or less for wheat.
  • The University of Nebraska does our Eliza Testing. All reports are sent to the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA)
  • Mixes From The Heartland Inc. is CSA certified and we are very proud to say that all our products carry the CSA seal.
If you or a loved one are dealing with food allergies, check out Mixes From The Heartland. Even if you AREN'T facing food allergies, but are looking to improve the quality of the quick and easy meals you serve, these are a good choice. I even have a 10% off coupon for you! (Good through 5/30/10)

*Disclosure - Mixes From The Heartland provided, at no cost to me, a variety of their products to sample. All opinions in this post, unless otherwise specifically stated, are my own. 


  1. I am so excited to try these!!! Will has Celiac so he can't eat gluten. These look really yummy!!!!