Gluten free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people looking to avoid gluten for medical reasons or simply as a lifestyle choice. For those who follow a gluten free diet, navigating food options can be tricky, as many standard pantry items contain gluten. One such item that is commonly enjoyed but often off limits for gluten free eaters is brownie mix. This leaves many wondering: does Aldi have gluten free brownie mix?
What is Gluten and Why Do People Avoid It?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping baked goods keep their shape, and gives a chewy texture to products like bread. For most people, consuming gluten is not a problem. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten can cause serious health issues.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where gluten consumption causes damage to the small intestine. This damage interferes with nutrient absorption. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity also involves adverse reactions to gluten, but does not cause long-term damage to the small intestine. Reactions can include gastrointestinal upset, brain fog, fatigue, and skin problems.
The only treatment for celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity is following a strict lifelong gluten free diet. This means avoiding any product containing wheat, barley, or rye – including many beloved baked goods like bread, cookies, and brownies.
While once obscure, gluten free diets have risen in popularity. Some follow it for medical reasons, while others believe avoiding gluten benefits general health. Gluten free products are now widely available. However, convenience does come at a price – gluten free specialty products usually cost significantly more than conventional wheat-based versions.
What Foods Contain Gluten?
Gluten is found mainly in products derived from wheat, barley, and rye. This includes:
- Baked goods – cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins
- Some alcoholic beverages like beer
- Malt vinegar
- Gravy, sauces, and soups thickened with wheat flour
In addition, many processed foods contain additives derived from gluten sources. These include malt flavoring, modified food starch, dextrin, and others. Checking labels for any wheat, barley, or rye-based ingredients is key when grocery shopping gluten free.
Other grains like rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, and oats (provided they are not contaminated with gluten) are naturally gluten free. Foods made from these alternative grains make suitable substitutes in a gluten free diet.
What About Oats?
Oats themselves do not contain gluten. However, they are very often contaminated by gluten because they may be grown and processed in facilities that also handle wheat. Many celiacs react to this trace gluten content. For this reason, it is generally recommended to consume oats labelled “gluten free” only. These oats are grown and processed separately from other grain sources to prevent cross-contamination.
The Availability of Gluten Free Products
A diagnosis of celiac disease or commitment to a gluten free diet used to mean very limited food options. But the popularity of gluten free eating has significantly expanded the availability of specialty products. While small natural food stores and co-ops carried some gluten free items years ago, large retailers now also offer extensive selections. Major chains like Walmart, Target, and mainstream grocery stores have gluten free aisles stocked with pastas, breads, crackers, flour blends, cereals, desserts, and more. Being gluten free is much less restrictive than it used to be thanks to greater awareness and demand.
That said, these products do come at a premium cost. The proliferation of gluten free foods has also produced opportunity for questionable marketing ploys. Manufacturers sometimes advertise products as “gluten free” that would not naturally contain gluten anyway. Examples include bottled water, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and so on. Savvy consumers should read labels and not overpay for gluten free claims on whole foods that are already gluten free without processing.
What About Aldi?
Aldi is a popular grocery chain praised for affordable prices. Like other major stores, Aldi offers a selection of gluten free products. They carry items like bread, bagels, tortillas, waffles, pasta, and baking mixes. Their liveGfree brand features gluten free cookies, snack bars, baking mixes, and more at budget-friendly costs compared to other specialty brands.
Based on Aldi’s inventory and commitment to accommodation, one would expect they also offer gluten free brownie mix. Especially considering brownies are a beloved sweet treat by so many, including gluten free consumers. But does their product selection truly include this kitchen convenience?
Does Aldi Have Gluten Free Brownie Mix?
After scouring current Aldi weekly ad flyers, their website, and various consumer reports, the verdict is in. Yes, Aldi does carry gluten free brownie mix!
Aldi’s liveGfree brand offers Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Mix for around $4.49 per box. The mix makes approximately 16 two-inch brownies and the packaging indicates the item is produced in a facility free of gluten, wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, fish, shellfish, and soy.
This means those with celiac disease, food allergies, or anyone following a gluten free diet can make homemade brownies safely using this mix. No more brownie envy or expensive ordering from gluten free bakeries required.
According to reviews, Aldi’s liveGfree gluten free brownie mix makes fudgy, chewy brownies with a mild cocoa flavor. Some tips offered are adding a little extra oil or an extra egg for a richer brownie taste. Customers state the mix bakes up nicely and kids love the results too. The biggest complaint seems to be wishing the box were bigger to yield additional servings.
Other Gluten Free Brownie Options at Aldi
In addition to their store brand gluten free brownie mix, Aldi also offers a few other options for gluten free brownie enjoyment, including:
- liveGfree Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Mix
- liveGfree Gluten Free Salted Caramel Brownie Mix
- Simply Nature Organic Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Mix
- L’oven Fresh Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix
The store brand liveGfree mixes cost between $3.49-$4.49, while the name brand L’oven Fresh mix runs about a dollar more per box. Budget-minded gluten free bakers can stick to the liveGfree if value is top priority. Though for some, it may be worth splurging on the other options for flavors like salted caramel or premium organic ingredients. Those managing multiple food sensitivities should note the L’oven Fresh mix does contain egg, while the others are egg free. Checking labels is always advisable with specialty diet needs.
In any case, Aldi offers solid gluten free brownie mix options suitable for everyone from celiac shoppers to plant-based eaters. Those following reduced sugar, keto, or paleo diets can also prepare the mixes to meet their nutritional needs. For example, swapping the oil for avocado oil, using a sugar substitute, adding nuts or cacao nibs, etc. The versatility makes Aldi’s gluten free brownie mixes useful basic pantry items.
What About Gluten Free Brownie Mix from Other Stores?
In addition to the product selection at Aldi, many other mainstream grocery retailers also carry gluten free brownie mixes. For shoppers wanting even more choices, these other stores may be worth a visit. Some of the major brands available include:
- Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix
- Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix
- Duncan Hines Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Mix
- King Arthur Baking Gluten Free Brownie Mix
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix
- King Soopers Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Mix
Pricing varies by brand and retailer. But expect most standard gluten free brownie mixes to range $3.50-$5.50 per box. Those wanting organic or “free from” options may pay over $6 per box. Costco, Sam’s Club, and online retailers like Amazon also stock gluten free brownie mixes for bulk savings. Like pasta, cereal, and other pantry staples, buying cases of gluten free brownie mix helps household budgets. Sticking to store brands can further control costs for large families requiring special diets.
Gluten Free Brownie Mix Nutrition Info
As is the case with all processed foods, most gluten free brownie mixes are not health foods. Removing gluten alone does not make them nutritionally virtuous. While brownie mixes offer convenience, from-scratch baking generally allows more control over ingredients for better nutrition. However, gluten free consumers often rely on mixes as an accessible option. For those needing these products, here is a nutrition comparison:
|liveGfree Fudge Brownie Mix
|Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
|Duncan Hines Fudge Brownie Mix
|Bob’s Red Mill Brownie Mix
The nutrition stats are quite similar across brands for calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Those closely managing their intake should compare labels and adjust serving sizes accordingly. In general, most health experts consider gluten free brownie mixes as occasional indulgence foods rather than daily items.
Making Gluten Free Brownies from Scratch
Consumers wanting more wholesome options can bake gluten free brownies completely from scratch. This requires collecting gluten free flours and ingredients individually rather than using a pre-made mix. It takes a bit more work. But the payoff is having total control over nutrition and ingredients.
Here is an example recipe for homemade gluten free brownies:
- 1/2 cup cassava flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8×8 pan.
- In a bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum and sea salt.
- In a separate large bowl, mix the melted coconut oil and maple syrup together. Whisk in the vanilla and eggs until smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until fully combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips, then pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake 25-28 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.
- Allow brownies to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
This recipe avoids refined flours, sugars, and oils in favor of whole food choices like almond flour, coconut oil, and maple syrup. The minimal extra effort pays off in superior nutrition and wholesome ingredients. Adjustments can be made to suit different dietary needs, like using monk fruit sweetener for low sugar, adding protein powder, etc. From-scratch baking makes gluten free brownies a healthier treat.
Gluten Free Brownie Mix Hacks
For those who rely on box mixes, a few tweaks can upgrade nutrition. Try stirring in additions like:
- Black beans – puréed beans add protein, fiber, moisture, and structure.
- Applesauce – replaces some oil for a lighter texture.
- Yogurt – makes brownies extra moist and tangy.
- Nuts – protein, healthy fats, and crunch.
- Seeds – chia, flax, hemp, etc. boost nutrition.
- Cacao nibs – chocolate without the extra sugar.
- Berries – stir in or drop swirls of fruit for antioxidants.
Simple substitutions like using avocado oil instead of canola oil can also improve the health factor of gluten free mixes. With just a few tweaks, processed mixes can be elevated into a nourishing treat.
Gluten Free Brownie Mix Recipe Inspiration
Gluten free brownie mixes offer the basis for endless baking possibilities. Bake a basic mix as-is for easy fudgy treats or get creative with these recipe inspiration ideas:
- Rocky road brownies – Add mini marshmallows and chopped walnuts
- Turtle brownies – Mix in pecans and caramel swirl
- Frosted brownies – Top with coconut whipped cream and chocolate shavings
- Mint chocolate brownies – Include Andes chocolate mint candies in the batter
- S’mores brownies – Top with toasted marshmallows and crushed graham crackers
- Raspberry chocolate brownies – Fold in fresh raspberries for fruity bursts
- Cookie dough brownies – Layer gluten free cookie dough chunks before baking
- Confetti brownies – Sprinkle with colored sprinkles for a festive treat
The possibilities are endless for creative gluten free brownie enjoyment. Mixes eliminate the hassle for universal favorites like classic fudgy brownies, while offering a springboard for limitless recipe customization too.
Gluten Free Brownie Mix Baking Tips
Achieving bakery-style gluten free brownies with box mixes requires a few simple tips:
- Follow package directions precisely. Gluten free flours behave differently than wheat.
- Spray pans well. Gluten free batter is sticky and prone to sticking.
- Don’t overmix once wet ingredients are added to dry ingredients. This avoids toughening the crumb.
- Fill pans evenly and gently smooth tops for even baking.
- Check brownies 5 minutes before minimum bake time to prevent over-baking.
- Allow brownies to cool fully before cutting for clean slices.
- Store cooled brownies in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.
With proper preparation and handling, gluten free brownie mixes can deliver perfect results every home baker will love.
Gluten Free Brownies: Convenience Baking Wins
Adhering to a gluten free lifestyle certainly takes more care and kitchen management compared to eating gluten-containing foods. Fortunately, products like Aldi gluten free brownie mix make enjoying classic baked goods convenient as can be. No special skill is required – just add wet ingredients like oil, eggs, and water and bake.
Gluten free consumers can have their brownie and eat it too thanks to Aldi and other mainstream grocers expanding specialty options. The affordable availability means gluten free living is no longer defined by scarcity and limitations. Everyone deserves to indulge in gooey homemade brownies easily and cost-effectively. Thanks to progress in the gluten free marketplace, brownie bars for all are one simple mix away.