At a recent Celiac Sprue Chapter meeting, I had the distinct pleasure to meet Chris Lehn and his wife Tammy from the Yumbana Shoppe, www.yumbanashoppe.com, a company in Castle Rock. They were handing out samples of gluten free baked goods, and once I tried some, I couldn’t help but to ask for their permission to write a review of their products. Now, I would’ve walked away with some small samples from the meeting and worked with that, but Chris wouldn’t have that! He said to get the true experience I needed to sample whole products and not just samples. So of course I said, “Sure, send me what you got!” and Chris did just that! I received 5 different jumbo muffins, a sour cream raspberry crumble, and a package with 6 large Oatmeal Walnut Chocolate-Chip cookies, known as the Pikes Peak Cookie! Needles to say I was eating baked goods for a whole week straight. I even had to elicit my husband’s help in the taste testing, which he was more than happy to provide.
For a week we would split the muffins in the morning before heading to work, and in the evening compare our experiences. One morning, we had split the Walnut-Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffin (The Mt. Elbert Muffin) and not too long into the morning, I received a text from my husband saying “This chocolate muffin is something special!” This is coming from a guy that rarely uses text message to communicate and who does not have to eat gluten free! That one was definitely his favorite. He also taste tested on his own the Carrot-Raisin-Walnut (The Mt. Lincoln Muffin), which is the only one I didn’t try, because I don’t like raisins at all, and felt like my opinion of it would be bias. While he did enjoy this one as well, he wanted me to mention that he would have liked it a little more if the carrot pieces were smaller and more broken down into the muffin as he felt like he got a little too much actual carrot to chew on.
As for me, I loved, loved, loved the sour cream raspberry crumble (Mt of the Holy Cross Square)! It truly was heavenly! Back before I was gluten free, one of my favorite pastries was a raspberry filled jelly donut. Don’t get me wrong, this does not taste like a donut, but I had some nostalgia as the creamy raspberry filling filled my mouth with bliss. The crumble was sweet, moist, and satisfied a craving I didn’t even realize I was having!
The rest of the muffins were also quite good. However, one recommendation from Chris was to heat them up for a few seconds before eating them. One problem! I don’t have a working microwave at home…so I did a little experimentation by eating part of the muffin without heating it up and then heated the other half at work. I can say that a little heat does enhance the flavors and give the muffins a more moist texture, but it is not necessary. I still enjoyed the muffins both ways. As for the cookies, they are chewy, delicious, and have a good texture, not grittiness like you find in some gluten free baked goods.
One other huge plus is that many of these products are free of other allergens, making them safe for people with multiple allergens, like soy, dairy, nuts, and corn. As we all know, one food allergy often means multiple food allergies! I should mention, however, for those with a sensitivity to oats, that most of their products contain certified gluten free oats. Only one product I sampled was actually oat free, which was the Coffee Crumb Cake (The Mt Sneffels Muffin). This muffin was yummy and a good start to any morning, but I hope in the future they will be able to provide more oat free products so those who can’t eat oats can experience more of the deliciousness Yumbana has to offer.
Currently, Yumbana products are available at both locations of Lost Coffee in Castle Rock, at the MiYo’s Cafe in Castle Pines Village, and at Outpour, a coffee shop in the church called “The Rock” in Castle Rock. They are continuing to grow and looking to expand their market, and their products are available for order online. These products truly are unique and delicious, and I hope that you will find a way to give them a try!
*Food Allergy Therapist is not affiliated with Yumbana and the review here is strictly my opinion (and my husband’s.)*