I received a complimentary package of Choice Batter from Crisptek the other day to cook with and review on my blog. I love trying out new GF stuff!
First, a little info on Choice Batter. The following information is from the Choice Batter Website:
The ChoiceBatter™ patented recipe, exclusively licensed through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA – Agricultural Research Service), uses a combination of rice flours and rice’s natural water absorbing characteristics to resist oil uptake when coated as a batter for fried foods.
Laboratory tests have shown that fried foods coated with ChoiceBatter™ absorb up to 50% less oil than foods coated by commonly used wheat-based batters.
ChoiceBatter™ is gluten-free, so it’s safe for those who are gluten intolerant, or have Celiac Disease and is manufactured to Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), and Kosher Pareve, Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) Standards.
ChoiceBatter™ “Original Recipe with Spices” is made from:
rice flour, salt, sodium bicarbonate, spices, onion powder, sodium acid pyrophosphate, garlic powder, paprika and celery seeds.
ChoiceBatter™ “Unspiced” is made from: rice flour, salt, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium acid pyrophosphate.
ChoiceBatter™ is manufactured in a facility free of
- Shellfish, and
Help us help your kids. Let your schools know about the healthier option for coating Grilled, Baked and Fried Foods. “ChoiceBatter™”
Sounds pretty impressive to me! The box also says that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to efforts to fight childhood obesity. Very cool!
So, I dug out my dutch oven and heated up some oil. I decided to fry chicken, onion rings, cod and red bell pepper strips.
First thing first, I am not a great fryer. I do not do it often enough to have developed any sort of “technique.” There is a link on the website to a YouTube video that shows someone demonstrating frying with Choice Batter. Wish I would have watched the video BEFORE frying because the guy offers a great tip on using wooden skewers as an aid in coating the foods in the batter and putting them in the hot oil. I recommend watching it before frying if you are a novice like me. 🙂
I coated all of the food in the batter but used tongs for the raw meat which didn’t prove to be a good method because the tongs scraped off a portion of the batter before the food made it into the oil. I used my hands when coating the onions and bell peppers with pretty much the same result and a big gooey mess on my hands. Skewers definitely sound like the way to go! I am telling you this because the resulting photos look a little funny. This is totally “operator error” though and not the fault of Choice Batter. The fried coating was really good and definitely much less oily than what I have used in the past (which is why I do not fry foods because I have long “lost the taste” for it since being gluten-free).
The thing that I noticed first and foremost was the browning of the fried foods. If you have been GF for long, you know what I am talking about! Ever experience the “Casper the Ghost” fried chicken effect?? A lot of GF flours do not brown well. By the time you achieve a nice beige color, whatever the flour/batter was coating had pretty much disintegrated! ;-D
The flavor of Choice Batter, I think, is great. There are two choice options when ordering, the Original Batter with Spices and there is also a version without spices, which could be a good option if you have a sensitive tummy. We sampled the version with the spices. The end result was not “spicy hot” in the least, but flavorful (I mean this as a good thing). The crispy coating also did not taste salty like the fried chicken of my distant memory. Just don’t go into it thinking your are going to end up with a Church’s, KFC or Popeye’s copycat. Choice Batter is better because you don’t end up with oil dripping down your face which allows the flavors to shine through.
My guys absolutely loved it, even though Sam kept asking:
“What is this called again?”
“Fried Chicken honey.”
My 6 year old cannot remember what fried chicken is! SWEET!
Okay, now for my photos…
All in all (outside of my frying inabilities), Choice Batter is a really great product. The batter tastes great, it is gluten free and might even be considered “healthy!”