Simple Mills: The Review

I am so excited to have the opportunity to taste test many of Simple Mills great products. They are paleo-friendly, grain free, non GMO, soy free, and gluten free. From previous posts, you all should know by now that I don’t have any food allergies and don’t typically eliminate foods from my diet just for no reason. However, Simple Mills prides themselves on simple, delicious, real food that uses ingredients of which I recognize. I hate the feeling of checking the ingredient label and 1) seeing an extensive list of ingredients for a simple cracker or 2) have no idea what all the ingredients are. Simple Mills ingredients make me feel at ease that I know exactly what is going into their food and in my body!

Don’t want to read all the details and just want the nitty gritty synopsis? Head to the bottom of my post for my final notes and takeaway 🙂

Cookies:

Toasted Pecan Crunchy Cookies

Taste: Tastes more like a biscuit than a cookie. A little savory note left on the tongue. Missing a touch of sweetness.

Texture: Slightly mealy, but overall not too dry or moist. Crumbles just like a cookie should.

Appearance: Beautiful golden browning around the outer rim of the cookie. I would prefer bigger chunks of pecans (just my personal preference).

Double Chocolate Crunchy Cookies

Taste: This cookie is delicious. In the words of my fiance “it tastes more like a cookie”. It’s decadent with a rich chocolately flavor without the heavy feeling that a chocolate brownie might leave in your stomach. It would satisfy my sweet tooth any day.

Texture: Slightly softer than the pecan cookie but the crunch factor is still present. A tad mealy still.

Appearance: The look of this cookie is on point for me. The size of the chocolate chip chunks are slightly larger than a regular size chip making every bite equally flavorful.

Cookie Winner: Double Chocolate all the way baby

 

Crackers:

Smoky BBQ Cheddar Almond Flour Crackers

Taste: Hint of cheddar on the front of the palate. Could have benefited from more cheddar flavor here. You don’t catch the BBQ flavors coming through until the back end of the cracker and tongue. As you swallow the cracker, that smoky combination of chili peppers, garlic, and cumin start to permeate your mouth. Overall, not bad. The sprinkle of sea salt is a nice touch.

Texture: Slightly mealy. The crunch or lack there of leaves something to be desired. A bit delicate with many of the crackers already broken in the box.

Appearance: Looks very similar to a Cheez-It, but slightly thinner. Where the cracker was about to bubble during baking creates rolling hills of light golden browning. The cracker is an inviting size…not too big where it feels like a calorie-commitment.

Cracked Black Pepper Almond Flour Crackers

Taste: Salt with a heavier note of pepper, which I really enjoy. Simple and straight to the point. This would be a great one to pair with a cheese spread.

Texture: Crunch factor is an A+.

Appearance: A pale white color. Not the prettiest looking cracker, but the taste makes up for this. It could benefit from a little more browning.

Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Almond Flour Crackers

Taste: This is a great stand alone cracker that I would enjoy just snacking on by itself. The sun-dried tomato flavors come through with an extra yummy dusting on the outside of the cracker. I would’ve enjoyed a little more sweetness from the tomatoes.

Texture: Less crunchy than the cracked pepper cracker, but it’ll do the trick.

Appearance: Overall appearance is a darker browning on this cracker.

Cracker Winner: Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil

 

Pumpkin Muffins or Bread with Almond Flour:

Taste: Delicious. It’s especially delicious with toasted shreds of coconut goodness on top. The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering and based on your taste preference, it may even benefit from a dash of pumpkin spice to elevate the pumpkin flavor.

Texture: A little denser than a regular muffin or cupcake, but pairs beautifully with a tablespoon of peanut butter or toasted shredded coconut sprinkled on top. I would definitely have this mix on hand to make in a pinch this fall.

Appearance: A dark molasses-resembling color similar to a gingerbread cookie.

 

Artisan Bread with Almond Flour:

Taste: Good flavor, but mild. Next time I make this, I will attempt the flatbread with a sprinkle of sea salt, parmesan cheese, and fresh rosemary on top to add that extra kick of flavor needed.

Texture: A little denser than a standard bread due to the lack of gluten. Holds its texture quite well when dipped in a warm bowl of soup. No crunchy crust but similar consistency to a banana bread.

Appearance: A beautiful loaf with light golden browning.

 

Organic Vanilla Frosting with Coconut Oil:

Taste: Not as sweet as a regular vanilla frosting and leaves me wondering what monk fruit tastes like. I have a feeling that is the flavor I can’t quite put my finger on.

Texture: Denser than regular frosting and not as liquefied, but still easy to spread.

Appearance: The frosting has a gray hue to it compared to standard vanilla frosting. However, this actually just reassures me that it is a product true to its natural ingredients without any unwanted food dyes.

FINAL NOTES

Final texture notes: Simple Mills uses almond flour as one of its main flour ingredients in its products amongst others, such as flax meal, flax seed flour, coconut flour, sunflower seed flour, and tigernut flour. Almond flour carries more moisture because of the fat content in almonds. Therefore, it tends to make a tender and chewy product. This is perfect if you prefer a chewy cookie over a crunchy one. For example, the almond flour artisan bread resembled more of a banana bread texture than a crunchy French baguette. Again, if this is what you are aiming for or a texture you prefer in your baked goods, then you will likely enjoy these products.

Labeling Notes: Honestly, I absolutely love Simple Mills labeling. They clearly pride themselves on using simple ingredients that target the gluten-free and paleo community. It is also beneficial for anyone wanting to cut out unwanted dyes or preservatives from their diet while still having the luxury of using some convenience based foods, such as pre-prepared bread or muffin mix. I love the fact that their ingredient list is large and in charge on the side of the box. To me this yells “hey, here our list of natural ingredients and we aren’t trying to hide anything”. It’s not such a long list of ingredients that begs the question “what on earth am I actually eating?”. That’s a company I can absolutely stand behind.

Final Nutrition Notes:

  • Cookies: At the end of the day, a cookie is a cookie. And by that, I mean a cookie in general doesn’t offer much nutritional value to your diet. However, for 3 cookies, it’s not a bad gig calorie and sugar-wise. Most single serving flavored yogurts contain more sugar than this. The only thing to be cautious with is the saturated fat intake (which is likely coming from the coconut oil and sugar). Goal is to keep saturated fat less than <7% of your total daily calories. This one can creep up on you if you are not careful and don’t watch your portion sizes.
  • Crackers: The calories per serving is about run of the mill compared to other crackers, such as Wheat Thins. Higher in fat, but I suspect this is from mono- and poly-unsaturated fats due to the small amount of saturated fat listed on the label.
  • Muffins: Relatively low in calories for a baked good and overall low in saturated fat, carbs, and sugar. Unfortunately, also low in fiber, but nothing a little shredded coconut or ground flax seed can’t fix.
  • Bread: Similar to the cookies, this one flies a little high on the fat content for me. However, this does not contain saturated or trans fat meaning it’s full of those healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats). Therefore, I’m in! Bonus, it’s also low in carbs and offers at least 3 grams of protein per slice!

Takeaway: Overall, I think there are some products that still need a little tweaking, but most products will happily find a place in my kitchen. Fortunately, I do not have any food sensitivities or allergies, but I do care about what ingredients I am putting in my body. What I loved the most about Simple Mills is their distinction and confidence behind the simple ingredients (pun intended) in their products. They highlight the fact that healthy AND good food should be simple not complicated, which I couldn’t agree with more.

-EAW

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