Product Review: Zema’s Madhouse Foods

A few weeks ago (OK, maybe more than a few, I was moving slow there for a while!), I got a box in the mail from Zema’s Madhouse Foods. Inside, a box of¬†Gluten-Free Cinnamon-Oatmeal Apple Muffin Mix, which is of course what I want to talk to you about today.

The general premise of Zema’s mixes is that they are gluten-free, ancient grain, high fiber and protein, low glycemic index. In addition to the muffin mix, they offer two different pancake and waffle mixes (a cocoa teff variety, and a seeded multigrain) and a pizza/focaccia mix made with rosemary and millet (you can see them all here).

But, back to the muffins. In addition to oats from a dedicated gluten-free facility, the mix contains coconut palm sugar, hemp, flax and chia, along with sorghum and a bit of tapioca and potato and some other odds and ends.

One of my favorite things about this mix was that it came with options. While one could opt to make the muffins (which I did), there are also recipes for Granola Cookies, Cinnamon-Oatmeal Banana Bread or Chewy Granola Bars, and Blueberry Breakfast Bars. So, depending on what ingredients and equipment you have on hand, you’ve got options.

To make muffins, I did have to go out and buy a few things: an apple and some walnuts (both optional but, I think, highly worthwhile), some unsweetened apple sauce, and some vanilla — which I was surprised to realize I didn’t have in my cabinet. The mix also calls for olive or grapeseed oil, eggs or egg replacer, and a bit of apple juice (which I confess to replacing with water).

Once I had the ingredients on hand, the mix took only a few minutes to prepare. I greased my muffin tin with olive oil and popped them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Easy-peasy. And the results?

Well, the mix made about 18 smallish muffins (heads-up, the mix rises but only slightly, so you can fill your tray most of the way full with no worries). I ate about 3 of them straight out of the oven before I even realized what was happening.

The next day I brought a few to the office, and the general consensus is that they made for a very healthy snack. I’ll confess that I thought a few times about de-healthifying them: pan-frying a few in butter, slicing them in half and putting a layer of Nutella in between, etc etc…but I ate them too quickly!

In sum, these made for a nice breakfast or snack, and it was nice to eat something knowing that it was not only not-full of empty calories but actually full of healthy things. If you’d like to try out any of Zema’s Madhouse mixes, you can order them online and find them in a small but growing number of shops in the Chicago metro area.

Have you tried Zema’s mixes? What did you think?

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