So you guys have been seeing these products on my blog off and on over the past month, making this product review a long time coming! I’m freakishly OCD in that I really want to review EVERYTHING as much as possible before writing a review, so when I was sent a sample of various baked goods from Berlin Natural Bakery, a combination of being crazy busy and cutting back on my carb / bread intake, has taken me awhile to post this article!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the process of losing weight, and part of that weight loss journey is learning to make healthier choices with WHOLE, and REAL foods. (Quick check in, I am currently at 164.8 pounds, making my weight loss for the last two months a little over 15 pounds! Woohoo!)
One of the things that drew me to Berlin Natural Bakery was that they were the first bakery in the United States to have their bread products Non-GMO Project Verified. Our home is now GMO-free and I was extremely excited to try this superior product that has taken such major strides in spearheading the movement toward cleaner food and product transparency in the US.
But quick, here’s a bit of history on the Berlin Natural Bakery (from their website, click here to visit!):
Howard and Irene had always been true advocates for natural health and they had always felt that there was an absence of a natural & delicious whole grain bread at their local health food store. So Irene began baking breads in the basement of her home which is where Berlin Natural Bakery found its beginning.
After many years of struggling, they were finally able to provide Berlin Natural Bakery with a home of its own. As the years passed, Irene took care of all of the bookkeeping / administrative duties while Howard worked tirelessly in his effort to bake the perfect loaf of bread. Their combined efforts proved to be successful.
While Berlin Natural Bakery was successful, Irene’s declining health made Howard realize that all he wanted was to spend as much time as possible with his beloved wife. This led Howard on a journey to find buyers for the bakery that he and his wife dearly loved.
We had no doubt from the very beginning that the bakery was developed by someone who continually strived for perfection. It was evident that Howard loved what he had created and his pride could be seen in every aspect of his business.
There were two things that we could tell right off that bat were important to Howard. First, that we respect his efforts and knowledge of the natural health food industry by continuing to produce products of only the highest nutritional and quality standards. Second, that we put forth our best efforts to make these products available to consumers nationwide.
In 1997, we acquired Berlin Natural Bakery. To this day, we honor and respect Howard’s incredible accomplishments and vision, and we have made huge progress in turning his dream into a reality.
We have continued on in Howard’s commitment to bake the perfect loaf of bread with the best ingredients available. We’ve spent countless hours doing research and educating ourselves and you in the value of clean, natural and nutritionally beneficial foods.
We have also found that there is no better teacher than our own personal experiences with our health. Over the years, we have seen our friends and family struggle with their health and what we have found most interesting is that the cure / treatment almost always includes balanced nutrition, adding clean and pure foods into the diet rotation and finding some way to bring balance into our lives. Our own experiences in life confirmed our belief that good health must begin with good nutrition and clean foods.
Our goal is not to be all things to all people – our goal is to provide you with the best tasting most nutritious spelt products available.
We are committed to serving you our very best – from our kitchens to yours!
My Thoughts on the Product I Tried
Here is a quick rundown of the samples I had the privilege of trying! First up is the Unbleached White Spelt Flour. Those of you who know me know I have been on a CRUSADE to find a good, healthy, whole, REAL food flour. I’ve been experimenting with coconut flour, sprouted grain flours, you name it. While I’m completely smitten with sprouted ancient grain flours, the texture, flavor and consistency makes it good only for a select few baked goods. I need a good “flour” flour, for general baking. So I was excited to give this GMO-free spelt flour a try!
I baked a Rosemary Olive Bread (click here for the recipe!) and made some Cinnamon Pecan Country Rolls (click here for the recipe!) as my “test” for the flour. (I know, poor me!) I found the flour had a great baking consistency, and had a great taste that did not overpower the baked goods. Overall, great flour that I know I will be keeping around in my kitchen!
Next, we had the “Old Fashioned Sourdough” Spelt bread, which is made with three simple ingredients – whole grain spelt flour, water and sea salt! For such simple ingredients, I was amazed at the complexity in flavor! The naturally occurring fermentation process Berlin Bakery uses creates a dense, hearty, sustaining and yet amazingly delicious bite. It really does pack a powerful sourdough punch! We made a number of melts with this bread – literally had a new variety each night – changing up choice of cheeses and meats and veggies. My favorite was the organic pepperjack cheese with thin slices of grassfed skirt steak! YUM!
Here is one product I WILL be requesting at my local grocery! The Spelt Pizza Crust is a pre-cooked, ready to eat last minute dinner lifesaver! Each crust is handmade in small batches with fresh, all natural, unbleached spelt flour, and then lovingly par baked to perfection. You just load up your crust with whatever toppings you want, pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, and VOILA!! Gourmet dinner that will have you wondering why you don’t make pizza EVERY NIGHT! We loaded our pizza’s up with all kinds of fresh goodies from our Farmers Market, making it a healthy, tasty, quick dinner! I am SO keeping a few of these crusts in the freezer at all times!
We also tried their “Whole Grain & Ground Seed Flax” Spelt bread. I found that it had a dense quality to it that is best toasted, I wasn’t overly fond of it when it wasn’t toasted. When grilled or toasted the whole flax and sunflower seeds give this bread a slight crunch. This breast was certainly hearty, nutritious and full of flavor. We used our bread for sandwiches, and while experimenting I found the WIERDEST yummy sandwich EVER!! We made a “Pulled Spaghetti Squash Sandwich”.. a vegetarian take on a pulled pork sandwich, with BBQ sauce, spaghetti squash and caramelized onions… sooooo good!
And last, but most certainly not least, we tried the “melt-in-your-mouth” Zucchini Spelt Bread, a recipe from Grandma Marie Moser, the beloved grandmother of a Berlin Bakery employee! The bread was quite scrumptious, so much so, that I only had one slice.. the rest was devoured by my toddler and husband! Haha! A great go to for tea time or mornings with friends when you don’t have time to bake for yourself! Will certainly buy this again once I get out local store to supply these baked goodies!