REVIEW: flapJACKed Buttermilk Protein Pancake and Baking Mix

While I have so far only had experience with their Mighty Muffins, what flapJACKed is most well known for is their Protein Pancake and Baking Mix.  Utilizing a combination of whole oat flour and both whey and pea protein, they’ve put together a mixture that delivers approximately three pancakes for only 200 calories that provides 20 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.  Sounds almost too good to be true, but my good luck with the Mighty Muffin’s recently has me feeling optimistic.

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Opening the bag it looks and smells like tan flour with no distinguishable pancake or waffle aromas except for a hint of sweet and salty shimmer.  Once you add in the 1/3 cup cold water, however, it smells distinctly like a pancake or biscuit dough, with the slight tang of buttermilk and a Bisquick familiarity.  Let the mixture sit for three minutes to thicken up, and all of the prep work is done.

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I decided to start with a sacrificial cake and try the ratios exactly as recommended.  Coming off the griddle the pancake has a lovely sweet and cake-like smell with a solid fluffy appearance and bounce.  On its own the taste is a little dry and bland, with a slight grainy texture.  It reminds me a bit of when I make my own pancakes with whole wheat flour and don’t do anything to try and transform the flavor.  To be fair though, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a naked pancake, and when the classic butter and syrup combination is applied the flavor is greatly improved.  The texture holds up just like a traditional pancake but a bit more dense and tough.

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For the second, full batch, I added a little bit more water to thin out the batter, in hopes that they may cook a little more evenly with a slightly less tough result.  This was the right move, as these cakes are fluffier and wider with an overall more appealing look.  The smell, once again, is fantastic, with the flavor being good but a bit muted.  I tried them again with the classic butter and syrup combo and they were great.  Not as intensely indulgent as a true stack of pancakes but for 200 calories, 23 carbs, and 20 grams of protein these are a fantastic tradeoff.  To really put the cake to the test I made a short stack in a fashion that I would actually make if I was cooking from scratch; with syrup, butter, banana, blackberries, and peanut butter.

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This was absolutely delicious, and the exact reason why this product has such potential, because when most people, myself included, eat pancakes or waffles, we put so many additional things on them that the base flavor gets lost.  The flapJACKed pancakes give you a great filling and fluffy base by which to build your masterpiece and leave extra macro-space for syrups, fruits, and delicious spreads.

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The protein pancake masters at flapJACKed have slowly become one of my favorite companies, delivering great products that are filling, delicious, and an exciting way to still enjoy a weekend breakfast without the inevitable carb and sugar crash.  I’ll be on the lookout for other mixes but this Buttermilk version is a fantastic start to any pancake or waffle creation.
Rating: 9/10

REVIEW: flapJACKed S’Mores Mighty Muffin

S’mores is one of the most popular flavors in snack foods the last couple of years, dominating everything from Oreo’s to breakfast cereal to ice cream to protein bars, so it’s no surprise that flapJACKed decided to try this flavor for their Mighty Muffin.  Although I’ve never had a regular s’mores muffin I like the idea and it should be relatively easy to pull off if you can get all three elements to come across – graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.  Fortunately for flapJACKed they got all three into a magical microwavable protein bomb you make yourself in 35 seconds.

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In my mind the perfect s’mores muffin would be a golden honey graham base loaded with marshmallows, chocolate, and additional chunks of graham cracker.  This Mighty Muffin has all of those components except for the cracker pieces and I can accept that as a pretty solid attempt.  The first thing you will notice is the very strong graham cracker aroma that comes from the freshly zapped muffin.  Much like a good cup of tea the smell is a lot stronger than the actual taste but the honey undercurrent is there and ties the whole s’mores experience together.  The importance of the graham oftentimes gets overlooked when companies try to make a s’mores flavor and I commend flapJACKed for not ignoring this pivotal piece of the campfire puzzle.

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Freshly zapped and muffin-esque

Putting my fork in I find marshmallows and chocolate immediately.  Although small, they are ample, and I’m never left searching for them as I continue to eat.  The chocolate chips get a little bit melty, but oddly enough the marshmallows stay completely firm, so the texture lacks that ooey gooey goodness that make s’mores so fun.  This is a bit disappointing considering the muffin comes out hot, but the sweetness of the marshmallows helps elevate the graham cracker taste in the muffin base and genuinely adds to the s’mores experience despite their lack of meltiness.  Think of these ‘mallows as more like the ones you get on top of Swiss Miss packaged hot chocolate that disappear almost immediately rather than a fresh pack of Jet Puffed.

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Much like the Double Chocolate version I reviewed earlier, this muffin benefits greatly from a little additional moisture and sweetness, either from fruit or nut butter.  The obvious pairing here is D’s Naturals S’mores Fluffbutter, which was awesome, but I found Nuts ’N More’s Birthday Cake spread to really take the s’mores experience to the next level.  This little addition helped fill in the melty gaps I was missing from the marshmallows and created a wonderful protein-loaded eating experience.  This product is not perfect but good enough to keep me trying the rest of their flavors in search of the ultimate Mighty Muffin.

Rating: 7/10

Quick Nutrition: 210 calories – 6g fat – 350mg Sodium – 24g Carbs – 5g Fiber – 10g Sugar – 20g Protein

REVIEW: flapJACKed Double Chocolate Mighty Muffin

I have been cautiously eyeballing flapJACKed Mighty Muffin’s for quite awhile.  The “powder turned fluffy muffin” carton was intriguing, with very similar macros to the protein bars I enjoy on a daily basis, all happening with 35 magical seconds in the microwave.  Admittedly, I was skeptical of the ability to get a good muffin texture in such short time for only 21 grams of carbs, but the might of the muffin left me pleasantly surprised.

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FlapJACKed specializes in a protein fortified pancake mix, which they’ve cleverly branded and packaged into a portable muffin mixture with protein, fiber, and probiotics.  Opening the container it looks like a store bought cake mix, and smells like one minus all the tasty sugar crystals and plus some stevia and odd earthy notes.  Pour in 1/4 cup of water, mix it into a goop, pop it in the micro, and ta-da – you have yourself a muffin.

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Mixture before the micro-zap

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Ta-da! Waddup muffin man

This is where my expectations started to be exceeded.  The muffin came out like a fluffy chocolate brownie, with the very top slightly underdone and gooey in the best way.  Seeing a cup of wet mix turn into a gorgeous rounded muffin was impressive, and lived up to the name.  There is a little bit of a strange smell from the cooked product that reminded me of dry cat food, but it wouldn’t hold me back from digging in.

The taste is dominated by a deep bitter cocoa that finishes with the flavor of the primary sweetener stevia, which I find more cloying and distracting than the Sucralose finish.  For a product with 7 grams of sugar I think the artificial tail on the flavor is a bit of a letdown, but is still a good tradeoff to the 30 or more grams of sugar you would find in a traditional muffin.  Every three or so bites you’ll come across a bittersweet chocolate chip which adds to the dark cocoa taste and helps earn its Double Chocolate name.  The good, but not great, flavor of the muffin gets greatly improved with the addition of some sliced banana and/or peanut butter, but then again, what doesn’t?

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Where this product really succeeds, and what makes it unique, is its texture.  They nailed the muffin mouth feel, with not only high protein and low carbs but gluten free as well.  I’ve had many gluten free muffins that don’t compare to the texture of the Mighty Muffin and this is the element that will have me trying another flavor or two down the line.  Far from perfect, this is a fun take on portable protein to mix it up from bars or powders.

Rating: 7/10

Quick Nutrition: Calories: 220 – Fat cals: 80 – Total Fat: 8g – Cholesterol: 5mg – Sodium: 350mg – Total Carb: 21g – Fiber: 6g – Sugars: 7g – Protein: 20g