You all know how I love me some muffins. I’m pretty sure I could almost write a cookbook just filled with delicious muffin recipes. But I don’t always have the time in my hectic schedule to bake something healthy, hearty, and delicious. So I jumped at the chance to sample some new gluten-free muffins from U-Be-Livin-Smart called “Karma”ffins.
Now, I’m obviously not a gluten-free eater myself, but I think it’s really important as an oh-so-soon to be dietitian to be aware of products on the market, so as to better counsel clients and patients. Plus I just like trying new things. I was pretty excited when I came home to a giant box sitting on the doorstep while I was staying in Victoria for my last internship placement. I was even more excited when I opened it up to find a box of each flavour inside! Us poor students aren’t going to turn down free food!
So I know you are asking – what the heck is a “Karma”ffin, and what makes it special? As you can see above, not only is it gluten-free, it also has no flours, added sugar, oil, yeast, or additives. They like to call these the “Karma Crushers”.
So what does it have? Well, the “Karma Creators” include 1 serving of fruit & veg, 7g of protein, 3 g of fibre, 130 kcal, and it’s nut free (which, I would say is only a good thing if you have allergies to nuts – nuts are healthy and delicious!)
Each muffin is made with U-Be-Livin-Smart’s proprietary blend which includes: Sweet Potato, Egg Whites, Banana, Avocado, Dates, Whey Protein Isolate, Orange, Apple, Blackberry, Cranberry, Blueberry, Pomegranate. As you can see, since the muffins contain eggs and whey, they are not vegan, and do actually contain some major allergens (which is why I don’t really see the need to make them nut free). Then each muffin has it’s own unique other ingredients to create whatever flavour. Shall we take a peek at each?
Apple Cinnamon with Chia Seed
As you can see…they are kinda shaped funny. But it’s cool, I can deal with a square muffin. What I did find a bit odd was how the sides of the muffin still looked like they had the paper wrapper on them when you took it off. I actually thought they somehow had another paper on them, then realize it was just the muffin. I attribute this to the egg whites in there.
Flavour wise, I think this was my favourite of the bunch. It had a really great apple cinnamon flavour. It was moist (in fact, all of the muffins were), and not gritty like some gluten-free baked goods can be, because it wasn’t made with any gluten-free flour blend. I will say the texture was a little…odd. Not horrible, but it definitely had an eggy-ness to it. This was the same for all the muffins actually. I even had my friends and boyfriend try some out, and they agreed texture wise it was off, especially when you compare it to a gluten containing muffin (I must point out – all the people who tried them do not follow a gluten-free diet, so they are a bit biased).
Smoothie Berry Medley with Coconut
Not gonna lie, I was pretty excited for this one because it had berries and coconut. And while it was good, it wasn’t great. Because the proprietary blend includes orange, I found it to sometimes be too prominent in this muffin, competing with the delicious berries for my tastebuds’ attention. It worked with the berries, but I would have liked it to be more subtle or not even there. I would rank this my 2nd favourite muffin.
Orange Cinnamon with Mango
Orange is not one of my favourite flavours in the world, so these were never going to rank high up there with me. And I don’t know that I ever tasted mango in them. But at least the orange in the proprietary blend wasn’t competing with other flavours. These ranked 3rd on my list.
Belgian Chocolate with Banana
Oh chocolate muffin, why did you have to disappoint me so. I wanted to love you, because you are chocolate. But you failed me. And all of my friends that tried you. In fact, we nicknamed you the “Muffin of Lies”. Here’s my issue – this muffin calls itself chocolate with banana. But it should be called orange overpowering chocolate with no banana detectable. If I’m eating a chocolate muffin, I had better be getting a good chocolate experience. And if you tell me it’s going to taste like bananas, well…you see where I’m going with this. Not to mention, I hate orange and chocolate together. I know some people like it, and perhaps they would be more forgiving than I on this muffin, but I stand by my statement. I also have to point out – this muffin’s ingredients include honey. Which to me, means there is actually added sugar in this muffin, therefore their package claims are incorrect.
Overall, I think the “Karma”ffin from U-Be-Livin-Smart is an interesting new product. I’m not gluten-free, so I can’t say I would be rushing out to buy them for myself, but they are a good option for someone who is looking for a gluten-free muffin with decent nutritional stats. I do really hope they look at their formulation on the chocolate muffins, because unless I had a weird batch, they do not deliver on their flavour promise. I would stick to the Apple Cinnamon or Smoothie Berry if I were you. In BC, you can get them at Save-on-Foods, and I believe they retail for $6.29 for a package of 4.
Disclaimer – I was provided these muffins free to sample and then write about on my blog. All opinions stated are my own.