Breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day. I love it so much, that I don’t limit eating it to the early morning hours, either. Breakfast foods are delicious no matter what time of day or night it is, even the wee hours of the morning are prime breakfast eating, in my opinion.
However, some people have to be a little more careful than others about what they eat. Increasingly, I’m seeing more and more in the media about those who suffer from gluten sensitivities that cause health issues aggravated by certain food products. My sister-in-law lives with this condition and has to be careful about what she eats. Fortunately, I’ve noticed a marked increase in the gluten-free food products available at the grocery store (even in our relatively small town). The newest line of gluten-free food I’m currently trying in our home are Start Right™ Foods Belgian Waffles and Waffle Slider Breakfast Sandwiches. (Spoiler alert: This brand is going on my “good” list!)
What Is Gluten Sensitivity?
Even though (to my knowledge) I personally don’t have a gluten sensitivity issue, I have tried quite a few different foods marketed to those who do. Some I’ve tried on my own, just to see how they taste, others my mother-in-law has prepared for us to try. All this is an effort to have some options to serve at family get togethers that my sister-in-law will eat and that taste good.
I will just say that all gluten-free foods are not equal! I’ve tried quite a few that I thought were pretty tasty, but there have been just as many that I would never serve a guest. Last fall, my mother-in-law bought a gluten-free cake mix that was supposed to be a Boston Cream Pie flavor. She made it and I happened to speak to her just afterward. She was raving about how beautiful the cake looked and that she couldn’t wait to try a piece.
Later that evening, my son went over to visit and she sent a couple of pieces of it home with him for me to try. I was still preparing dinner, so I tucked the container into the refrigerator without opening it. It wasn’t too long before she called my husband (her son) for their daily evening chat and she told him to tell me to throw that cake away and not even attempt to eat it. I thought she was kidding so I giggled, but he said she was dead serious, that although it looked delicious that it was the driest, most tasteless thing she’d ever eaten.
So, I always approach gluten-free foods with a bit of apprehension, in general. But, I do keep an open mind based on what kind of food it is (breakfast, pasta, dessert, etc.) and try to have a reasonable expectation for the differences in taste and texture I should expect.
New Gluten-Free Frozen Breakfast Food Options
I don’t often eat in the mornings, but breakfast foods are great any time of the day or night. I think that finding healthier, more nutritiously made products that are considered breakfast foods are harder to find than ones you might eat for lunch, dinner, or at snack time.
In my opinion, it’s hard to use more nutritious ingredient substitutes to adequately replicate what we all love about breakfast — that being the delicious aromas of biscuits, meats like bacon or sausage, or eggs. Even harder is making those healthier ingredient and preparation switches and still be able to maintain the taste and texture of those food items.
Start Right™ Foods has made a pretty good effort with their line of healthier frozen breakfast items. I have tried two of the Belgian waffle options (Original and Blueberry) and both of the breakfast waffle sandwich options pictured here. If I didn’t know the waffles were free of gluten, I wouldn’t have been able to tell.
Both varieties of waffles had good flavor and their appearance and texture is as good as what we all would expect them to be. I prepared both the Original and Blueberry waffle varieties in a simple countertop toaster. They were very enjoyable to eat. I could actually taste the blueberry flavor, which surprised me because some other gluten-free foods that I’ve tried have fallen totally flat and come across very bland when it comes to taste.
Nutritional benefits of Start Right™ Gluten-Free Waffles:
- high in protein
- low sugar
- all natural
- high fiber
- lowest carbs compared to any other waffle on the market
Each 2-waffle (100 g) serving contains 210 calories, 22g carbs, 15g protein, and contains fruits and vegetables. I found the waffles to be filling, very tasty, and enjoyable to eat — as food should be. On mornings that I have eaten them I have noticed that I continue to feel fuller for hours without hunger coming back too soon after I eat. I’ve also found myself not wanting to grab any between meal snacks at all.
The breakfast waffle slider sandwiches were good, too. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked them, honestly. They have a lot to offer consumers in that they are high protein, low carb, low cholesterol an are also different from the same-old biscuit or croissant breakfast sandwich options widely available in supermarkets.
My favorite was the sausage patty and egg patty waffle sandwich (at the top of the photo). I like turkey but it’s not something I eat often, and not for breakfast. And waffles as the vehicle for the sandwich? I’ve never seen that before so I think it might have confused my mouth a bit. The turkey sausage and egg white patty waffle slider is at the front of the photo.
These breakfast sandwiches taste better than other health-conscious ones I’ve tried. I did feel like they could have been just a bit better if they had a little more moisture in the meat patties. Also, I didn’t add anything to them that I normally like on such a sandwich, such as strawberry jam. I wanted to taste them as they are provided to consumers.
The waffle outside was perfectly good, just as good as a waffle should be. The egg patty (in the Lean Beef Sausage Patty Waffle Breakfast Sandwich) and the egg white patty (in the Turkey Sausage Waffle Breakfast Sandwich) were as good, in my opinion, as can be found in any breakfast sandwich product in any grocery store frozen foods item. The regular sausage patty I felt had a pretty good taste. I found the turkey sausage patty to be drier than I would have liked it to be.
It’s a pretty common idea in American culture that if one wants (or needs) to adopt a healthier diet that they must be willing to sacrifice taste and texture in their meal options. Increasingly, I am pleased to see more and more companies turning that idea on its head and working to maintain as much flavor, good texture, and appealing visual presentation in foods marketed to those opting for healthier foods either for personal or health-related reasons.
Overall, I am very pleased with these four varieties of Start Right™ Foods breakfast items. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best score) I’d give the waffles a solid ten. I couldn’t find a single thing to dislike about them. I’d give the waffle breakfast sandwiches an eight, only because I would prefer the meat used in them to be just a little bit moister and for the turkey sausage to have a bit more flavor.
In the end, when faced with many frozen breakfast options in the grocery store, I would definitely purchase items from the Start Right™ Foods product line to offer to my family. They would be very handy to have around on school mornings, particularly the belgian waffles.
My son sometimes wants me to make them for breakfast and it can really cut into valuable time in the morning to make a batch of batter and heat up the waffle iron. Not to mention that the waffle iron makes huge waffles that aren’t easy to eat while he’s running out the door. Start Right™ Belgian Waffles taste awesome enough to eat, even without syrup to dip them in, and are the perfect size to grab in-hand on the way out the door.
Start Right™ also offers a waffle mix and maple syrup as well as delicious recipe ideas for those interested in making fresh versions of their gluten-free waffles at home. Some recipes found on their company website that I think look awesome are things like donuts, biscuits and muffins.
Their products are currently available in some areas of Missouri (according to their store locator), but they are working to expand into grocery chains in other states, as well.
What healthier versions of your favorite foods have you tried? Would you pick up any of the Start Right™ food products to offer to your family?
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