Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nature's Divine Brownies vs. Trader Joe's Brownie Mix

These Nature's Divine Mini-Brownies are by far the best Gluten-Free baked good I've come across to date.

I bought the box of 12 mini brownies at Whole Foods the night I bought ingredients for our mahi mahi dish. At $7.99 for twelve, they are not cheap to say the least (what do you expect from a place nicknamed "whole paycheck"?) - but they are a great value considering the taste of most gluten-free products. Find them in the Gluten-Free area of the bakery section. You can also sometimes find these brownies in the gluten free refrigerator section next to GF breads and bagels.

The chocolate treats are so good that Ernie will also eat them without hesitation. They taste just like the real thing! Texture is the most difficult thing to replicate when making GF products. But not for Nature's Divine Brownies! The texture is so soft and moist, with the top having the same slightly toasted consistency of a real brownie. Though rather expensive, these brownie bites are so much better than the GF brownie mix my sister bought when she hosted our Gluten-Free Thanksgiving dinner.

My sister bought the Trader Joe's Gluten Free Brownie Mix. The main ingredients are brown rice flour and evaporated cane juice. The mix also says it's free of wheat, nuts, dairy, soy and corn. I hate when companies/products try to be friendly for so many allergy-specific diets. This usually results in bad tasting products. This mix was easy, just adding in oil, egg and water.
I was first to taste and said that it was 'good, considering it's gluten-free.' The texture was the main issue here - they're nothing like real brownies. My sister then tried it and practically spit it out and said it was terrible! She sent me home with the rest of the batch which I quickly put into my freezer. They're still a good option for those times when I need to satisfy a chocolate brownie craving. Despite my sister's thoughtful attempt to make something I could eat, I felt bad that there wasn't a better dessert for everyone else at the table.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I also have purchased this item and you can't tell the difference between conventional and GF, GREAT PRODUCT.

Ben said...

Have you tried Patsypie brownies? They're a lot like the Natures Divine. I've had both and I can't really tell the difference. Both are excellent. I first found the Patsypie ones in a little store in Toronto. Since then, I've ordered from www.patsypie.com. I've had the Patsypie chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies, the cranberry biscotti and the muffins. All really really good. Like the brownies, you can't tell the difference. Even my wife likes the stuff, and she hates almost everything gluten free. Too bad, because I really hate sharing the brownies. Kinickinick (sp?) donuts are also pretty good.

Cindy said...

DONUTS?! Really?! I can't wait to try them! I miss donuts a lot...

Ben said...

I believe Kinickinick recently changed their donut recipe. If you've been missing donuts, I think they'll hit the spot.

Rick said...

I bought the brownies a few months ago a whole food and almost could not believe they were gf. I just finished a container and that was how I found your blog, looking for Nature's website. Do you know if they have one? If you have an HEB grocery store, there bakery makes chocolate chip/pecan cookies that are better than any cookie I have eaten. They also make a chocolate pecan cookie out of of egg whites that is out of this world. I found them at the Central Foods location in Dallas, TX. Do you have an complete list of all the good gf products you have found. I have kissed a lot of frogs trying to find something worth eating. I save all the packages when I find something, so if it isn't on your list, I will share it with you. rick

Michelle said...

Hi I found this post also while searching for a website fro nature's Divine brownies. I have been buying them for quite a while and they are so good...but, I think they changed their formulation. Just bought some last night and they were not great. The whole texture thing that Cindy mentioned was so great is GONE! They are mushy and just kind of melt. Not the same brown they were. Has anyone else noticed this? I am very sad...

Felicia said...

Hi Michelle,

Yeah I also noticed that the Nature's Divine Gluten Free Brownie is different. I went searching for them a few weeks ago and they were "Missing in Action". Whole Foods said they didn't sell them any more. The other day I was at a different Whole Foods and was ecstatic to see them on their shelf. They are still good but not as chewy. It makes me wonder if the recipe had to be altered for some reason. Hmmmm.

Ben said...

I tried the Nature's Divine Brownies again and was VERY disappointed. Not the same recipe at all. Cheaper chocolate or something. I wish Whole Foods would bring in the Patsypie brownies. I've now ordered a few times online and have yet to be disappointed. Excellent products and really friendly customer service.

Anonymous said...

I just bough a box and they were rock hard. Did they change the recipe? They were so good before, even in the beginning of the year. What happened?