By Barb Nicoletti – Imagine the delight when I received the package in the mail. Actually making muffins from a box mix, that was safe for our family to eat! This was something of the past at our house; the last time I made a boxed muffin or quick bread was about 6 years ago.
Meraby’s Allergy Family Foods is a new company that has created allergy friendly muffin / quick bread mixes. The company was established by two parents seeking good allergy friendly treats for their children’s restricted diets. Combining their two children’s names Meredith and Abby, they came up with the catchy name Meraby’s. The packaging has cute whimsical characters of a child eating a muffin. With both mixes weighing in at over a pound, you definitely receive your box-full.
The muffins / quick breads currently come in two flavors: Classic Blueberry and Cranberry Orange. Both are free of dairy, eggs, soy, peanut and tree nuts. They are also free of fish, shellfish, sesame and sulfites (although the packaging does not state this, it is stated in the facts sections of the website). Created in a facility that is peanut and tree nut free, this opens up another avenue for the peanut and nut allergic. The mixes are manufactured in a facility that processes dairy, egg and soy, but they do follow strict cleaning instructions with periodic batch tests to ensure that they do not contain allergens.
After reading the instructions, it was truly a quick and easy mix to prepare, requiring only water and oil; it took all of a few short moments from opening the box to oven. After only a few minutes in the oven, the delightful aroma of fresh baked blueberries, cranberries and oranges was emanating throughout my home. When looking through the glass window of my oven, it appeared that the muffins were not going to rise, but after 12 minutes they all puffed up rather nicely, and turned a lovely golden brown. After 18 minutes of baking, these 12 delights were done baking. With my little ones scurrying around to see what smelled so good, it was difficult to wait the ten minutes for them to cool and give them a whirl.
I was skeptical at first, thinking how good could actually be, it is out of a box! So I decided to set aside my fears, and give it a nibble. With my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised. Every mouthful contained a burst of berries and was packed with flavor. The muffins were moist, soft and rather tasty. With the texture of any regular muffin and quick bread mix, you would never realize that you are eating an allergy friendly muffin. This company has definitely managed to get the mix right, they actually rise. Many allergy free mixes do not rise and lack flavor, but these little guys definitely have it all. After several nibbles of the muffins, I had to ask myself are these really from a box? All and all, these mixes were really yummy!
It was time to get a much younger opinion of how these muffins actually tasted. My son began nagging for a muffin as soon as the aroma filled my house. He, never having a boxed anything before, gave the best review, "This is yummy mommy." My daughter loved the smell of the cranberries and was delighted to try them. So, next I moved onto my nephews age 8 and 10 … well lets just say they ate the whole plate up, and were looking for more!
I would have to say that the only downfall would be the lack of variety currently being offered. A broader selection maybe a cinnamon swirl or chocolate chip, something additional to offer for those who prefer the sweeter side of the morning. Fortunately, Meraby’s will also be adding a Wheat / Gluten free line of mixes in the near future.
Now you may ask yourself, how can I get my hands on these mixes? Well, they are not yet available in stores. The company is working hard to get them into natural food stores, health food stores and your local grocer. Keep checking in with Meraby’s to see when and how you can purchase these muffins in your area, or possibly online at www.Meraby.com.