Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
Earlier in the year I found in the frozen aisle of a Whole Foods Market a variety of Vanswaffles. The box clearly labels them as wheat free, all natural as an excellent source of calcium.
There are 32 miniature waffles in eight sets of four that are stored in your freezer. There is no trans fat, it is vegan, dairy free, yeast free, eggless and gluten-free. The cost of $2.29 was quite reasonable for this market, considering it was costing a lot more each week to purchase foods that were gluten-free.
My kitchen counter space is non-existent, and I much prefer to use a small two slice toaster instead of digging out the toaster oven. I did have the mini-waffles fall apart several times in this toaster, so I switched to purchasing the regular waffles package, which only has six waffles in a box.
The back of the box for the Mini Waffles does instruct not to break apart the 4 pieces before toasting. It will take a minute or less to toast in a toaster, which I found to be true. For toaster ovens you lie it flat on the wire rack for 3-4 minutes.
I was surprised they tasted so good and looked over the ingredients to see what they were. There was a distinct different taste to them that I was not familiar with, but overall they tasted good and I finished the plate. I soon realized the taste was the pear/pineapple/peach sweetener. These are fruits I have never consumed and was hesitant to finish the product after knowing what I was eating.
I did persevere and face the challenge of eating the Mini Waffles after the first time. They never did taste as good as that one time, probably due to some subsconcious message.
The total ingredients for the Vans Mini Waffles are - water, brown rice flour, potato starch, canola oil, pear/pineapple/peach sweetener, rice bran, baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate), soy lecithin, salt, calcium carbonate, soy flour, guar gum.
Allergy information from box - contains soy, manufactured on equipment that may also process products containing peanuts or other nuts, wheat, eggs and dairy iingredients. The site is located at www.vanswaffles.com - where you can find out which market stocks this brand. I found within five miles of my zipcode that Ralph's, Costco, Smart & Final and Albertson's all sell the Vans brand. This does not mean you will find the Gluten Free variety at all these stores.
An added bonus for those following a special diet is to join the Vans Club to get offers and coupons in your email. They also sell blueberry mini-waffles and chocolate chip ones, but I believe these are not gluten-free.
Each serving is comprised of one set of four waffles, which is 160 calories - 40 are from fat. Only one gram of sugar, 2% iron, 15% calcium, 1 gram of protein, 12% sodium, 4% fiber and zero cholesterol.
The Vans Original Wheat Free Gourmet Waffles are dairy free, eggless, yeast free, kosher with no cholesterol. These are very tasty and have 220 calories - 45 from fat. There are 5 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 10% iton, 20% fiber, 9% calcium. The ingredients for these are:
water, brown rice flour, potato starch flour, sweet rice floour, canola oil, rice bran, pear/pineapple/peach sweetener, salt, soy flour, soy lecitin and guar gum.
These take longer to get crisp in the toaster and can also be used in a toaster oven on the wire rack for 2-3 minutes. The serving size is 3 - meaning two servings per box. I consumed only two - easier with a toaster and fits on a plate. I did use country crock and sugar free syrup on my waffles.
I ended up liking these better than the mini-waffles, less hassle with the toaster, although more calories! The cost was a mere $1.99 at Whole Foods Market. Even though these too have the fruit sweetener it was not as noticeable for me and they were crunchier.
I will continue to pick these up and might even try to entice my son Nicholas to have some - he prefers pancakes though. The Mini-waffles package is 7.5 ounces with the Original Waffles at 9 ounces.