Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying the Olympics in Rio!! Although I have never been, I would love to travel to Brazil to try their delicious food. I am quite inspired by everyone’s cool Brazilian side dishes to enjoy during the games so thought I would share my favorite Brazilian side. Recently friends and family reached out to me about Brazi Bites. Many of them had found these little cheese filled bread balls at Costco and Whole Foods and not realizing that Brazi Bites were gluten free, bought them, and fell in love with them. Upon realizing that these were indeed actually gluten free (their words: gluten free can actually be good? *insert my eyeroll here*), they contacted me, their favorite celiac, immediately. After multiple people felt the need to tell me to try these treats, I managed to stumble upon them in Rebecca’s Natural Food Stores one day and just had to try them. I started with the original cheese ones, but have since expanded the flavors. Needless to say, I was extremely excited that I was given the opportunity to do a product review on them!! Another excuse to try new flavors (as if I actually needed an excuse). To preface, everything I am about to say is entirely my opinion. And these are one of my favorite gluten free products I have found. Brazi Bites have become a staple in my house. I cannot thank my gluten eating friends and family for exposing me to these. But before I jump into a flavor analysis of three of their delicious flavors, let’s talk about the company first.
What are Brazi Bites? You may have heard of this company from Shark Tank, but Brazi Bites are cheese filled bread that is popular in South America. They are based on a family recipe from Brazil that the creator used to create Brazi Bites when she moved to the United States. These Brazilian delicacies are naturally gluten free, non-GMO, contain no preservatives, no trans fat, no added sugar, and no artificial anything. The company is very straightforward with what ingredients that they use: cheese, safflower oil, milk, water, eggs, salt, and tapioca flour. Currently there are 4 flavors: original (cheddar & parmesan), garlic asiago, bacon, and jalapeño pepper jack.were created using a family recipe.
What makes them gluten free? Brazi Bites are naturally gluten free and are made in a dedicated gluten free and nut free facility!! Which is the ideal for those with celiac, gluten allergies, or nut allergies. Brazi Bites are also tested for gluten and are certified gluten free. I love the care that Brazi Bites takes to make sure that these products are indeed gluten free.
How do you prepare Brazi Bites? Super easy! Preheat your oven to 400F. Place the Brazi Bites on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes. Simple. Fast. And bakes while you prepare the rest of your meal.
Where can you find Brazi Bites? You can find the stores near you that carry Brazi Bites here. No stores in your area? Here is a product request form that you can turn into your nearby food stores to request that they carry Brazi Bites. You can also order Brazi Bites online here. Brazi Bites is actively expanding their retail locations so keep checking back! Make sure to sign up for their newsletter on their website to be alerted when stores carry Brazi Bites in your area. You can also follow Brazi Bites on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
And now for the part that you have all been waiting for….the review of the flavor of Brazi Bites! I was fortunate to be able to try the original (cheddar & parmesan), garlic asiago, and bacon. I was unable to find the jalapeño one in my area, which was probably a good thing as my stomach has been increasingly sensitive to spice but I am still trying to hunt those down and will update this review once I find them and my stomach heals from a previous accidental glutening by a restaurant last week (ouch).
Original (Cheddar & Parmesan): This was the first flavor I tried and it is arguably my
favorite. The mixture of cheese is perfection and it has a mild flavor that will pair well with any dish. I have had it with chicken, sandwiches, burgers, BBQ, and pasta. These don’t have an overwhelmingly strong flavor so they complement any dish rather than overpowering the dish. When in doubt, you really cannot go wrong with the original Brazi Bites. They still have a beautiful cheese flavor that adds to the meal without going overboard. The interior cheese is soft and melts in your mouth. My stomach can be a bit finicky and in addition to having celiac disease, I have an extremely acidic stomach–runs in the family. Sometimes all I can eat without getting sick is bread. Since going gluten free, this can be challenging. Now, the Original Brazi Bites have become my new go-to for “soaking up stomach acid” and making my stomach not hate me so much. I also made these for my boyfriend who gobbled up his portion and seemed to have his eyes on mine (uh no, not sharing mine). He does eat gluten and honestly could not tell that these were gluten free.
Garlic Asiago: Coming from a VERY Italian family, I was a bit hesitant before trying these. Often when products claim to be “garlic,” they really aren’t very strong. My family dumps (and I mean dumps) garlic on everything. I mean everything. It is basically against house rules to not include garlic in your dishes. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that these garlic asiago Brazi Bites were filled with flavorful garlic taste that saturated my mouth and made me crave more. I first tried them with plain deli meat and carrots with plain hummus, hoping to add some flavor to my rather bland (but fast) meal. I was not disappointed. The garlic really added dimension to my meal. I would highly recommend these garlic asiago bites for a pasta meal to substitute as garlic bread (but a million times better). If you do not like garlic, be weary as they are quite garlic-y. But Brazi Bites, as an Italian, you have my stamp of approval on this one!
Bacon: I am not the biggest bacon fan in the world. I will eat it once in a while if someone prepares it for me and it isn’t greasy since I hate grease. I am happy to report that these bacon Brazi Bites are not greasy whatsoever and are not overwhelmingly bacon. You can taste the bacon but it is quite subtle. Although I paired mine with BBQ veggie burger, these would be fantastic for a brunch! Next time I plan to make omelettes with salsa and have these bacon bites on the side.
Overall opinion: I love Brazi Bites and will continue to buy these weekly. Original is still my favorite since it is incredibly versatile, but whenever I need to spice up a meal or have a traditional Italian dinner, those garlic asiago Brazi Bites will make an appearance. Bacon will be incorporated in my weekend breakfasts so keep an eye out for those photos on instagram. The fact that both gluten eaters and gluten free-ers both LOVE these products speaks volumes.
Have you tried Brazi Bites? What is your favorite flavor if so?
**Note: Although I was not paid for this review, I received free samples of Brazi Bites Products. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and reflect my own personal experiences. I am too sassy to ever change that! **