I have a recurring nightmare where I’m chowing down on, alternately, a piece of pizza/breadstick/cake/pie/insert baked good here and remember, in a surge of terror, that I can’t actually eat normal baked goods without some massive digestive upset. In the dream I sort of panic, try to spit out all the gluten, and generally wake up in the middle of a very cinematic “NOOOOOO.”
This dream has plagued me since I started following a Paleo-type diet, and while I don’t think it’s particularly healthy to be that afraid of a food group (I have this dream a LOT, ya’ll), I do think it illustrates a point: sometimes even the healthiest diet need the normalcy of baked goods.
Ideally, the occasional Paleo treat would help us satisfy this craving. But I’ve tried a lot of Paleo baked goods over my 3+ years of Paleo, and I’ve found a couple barriers to even the most fool-proof recipes.
- Ingredients for Paleo baked goods are expensive.
- Paleo baked goods often don’t taste like normal baked goods.
- In general, Paleo baked goods have are fat and sugar bombs.
- Claire (like many humans) finds it hard to exhibit any semblance of portion control around fat and sugar bombs.
I’d pretty much given up on Paleo baked goods until I found Muffin Else’s just-add-water muffin and pancake mixes. They’re an easy solution that satisfies my cravings, and I totally trust their commitment to using real, whole ingredients.
MuffinElse: The Muffins
The beauty of MuffinElse is really in its simplicity. They were generous enough to send me a sampler pack of their four single-serve muffin flavors, all of which are prepared in about 90 seconds in the microwave.
I just ripped the top of the foil packet, dumped it in a mug, poured in 1/4 c water, stirred until smooth and microwaved for 90 seconds (if that concerns you, Sarah’s post on “Are Microwaves Safe to Use?” is a great place to start). These are some seriously easy Paleo baked goods, folks, and they’re portion-controlled to boot!
Each flavor has the same base of almond flour, organic maple syrup, organic eggs, organic coconut flour and leavening agents (cream of tartar and baking soda). Cinnamon Rising, my favorite flavor, will remind you of a cinnamon raisin cookie, while Double Chocolate relies on cacao nibs and cacao powder for a flavor reminiscent of chocolate chip. Pecan Clover is an interesting mix of pecans and clove, and Nutty Maple reminded me the most of more traditional muffin flavors.
And no, a completely Paleo muffin doesn’t taste like the ones your mom baked on Saturday morning. The taste isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, and baking in the microwave isn’t like baking in the oven. But overall, these muffins hit the nail on the head of my muffin cravings.
MuffinElse: The Pancakes
Pancakes are a weekend staple in my house. While we usually choose a store-bought gluten-free mix, those have a couple downsides. First, they tend to include some ingredients I don’t typically eat like soy, and second, they still require I add eggs, butter, and milk to a mix. Not always ideal for a super lazy Saturday! I’ve loved incorporating Muffin Else pancakes into my routine because they’re much cleaner than any store bought mix I’ve ever found, but behave almost exactly like regular pancakes.
I’ve loved incorporating MuffinElse pancakes into my routine because they’re much cleaner than any storebought mix I’ve ever found, but behave almost exactly like regular pancakes. The base for these pancakes includes cassava flour, as well as almond flour, organic maple syrup, organic eggs, organic coconut flour and leavening agents. The taste is familiar, but I’d categorize it more closely with other Paleo pancake mixes than with store-bought gluten-free mixes. You’ll probably notice that it’s very lightly sweetened (the better to add your own toppings, eh?), and that almond flour somewhat alters the texture, although I think the cassava flour makes them as light and fluffy as you’d want.
And just like MuffinElse’s Paleo muffin mixes, MuffinElse pancakes are as simple as adding mix and water to a bowl and stirring. I whipped them up as part of a little breakfast for dinner on a busy evening, and they easily passed muster. I’ll admit here that I added chocolate chips, but only because I think you should too! These pancakes can also be made into waffles, a trick I can’t wait to try after someone buys me a really nice waffle maker for my wedding (prayer hands emoji).
Paleo Baked Goods Made Easy
I don’t indulge in many Paleo baked goods these days, preferring the simplicity (and cost savings) of very occasional gluten-free grain-based baked goods. But Muffin Else is my exception. I love having simple, healthy options on hand to keep my cravings at bay. MuffinElse’s portion-controlled muffins are perfect when you want a quick Paleo baked good at home, but also super convenient for traveling, bringing to the office or toting to a college dorm.
The pancakes, my personal favorite, are a versatile and incredibly simple alternative to some of the other pancake mixes on the market, combining the simplicity of just-add-water directions with very clean ingredients. They’d be a perfect addition to your backpacking gear or next camping trip.
If you’re looking for an easy alternative to the stress of traditional Paleo baked goods, MuffinElse might just be the ticket!