BFF Foods, University Estate
On a lovely Saturday morning, I received a brunch delivery from Be Free Forever (BFF) Foods. Home-made with nothing short of passion, you will have access to gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free treats. There is a wide range of offerings such as a chocolate hazelnut spread, chocolate brownies, Belgian waffles, muffins, big cakes (vanilla with coconut chocolate ganache and zesty lemon with seasonal fresh berries) and cupcakes with chocolate coconut ganache. In addition, the chocolate hazelnut spread and Belgian waffles have been certified by locally and internationally accredited laboratories to be gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.
BFF foods is a home-based bakery located on the slopes of Table Mountain, in Cape Town. The business was created by Sameera Tayob as a result of digestive distress and a leaky gut diagnosis. As part of her treatment, she was to remove dairy, gluten and refined sugar from her diet. With amazing results, and a complete nutritional lifestyle change, Sameera was able to greatly enhance her quality of life. Through her kitchen experiments, she conjured up tasty treats that looked appetising and tasted amazing! Thus, BFF foods was born. Through her business she wishes to be an advocate for improving gut health thereby creating a drive towards eating better. She wishes to demonstrate that healthy can be tasty too – you do not have to compromise on flavour.
“A positive peaceful holistic life starts with proper nutrition.”
Given BFF’s mission statement, it is important to acknowledge that these treats were conceptualised to treat Sameera’s health issue. While I am no medical expert, my research has indicated that diabetics still need to monitor their sugar intake because natural or unrefined sugars still contribute to a spike in glucose levels. As for those with high cholesterol, monitoring their fat intake, even if natural (such as coconut oil), is still required. It is thus important to consume a balanced diet that takes all food groups into consideration and to eat well according to your individual health needs.
Before I describe my taste journey, I would like to elaborate on the methodology employed by BFF Foods:
- Gluten-free refers to using almond flour and/or a gluten free flour blend.
- Dairy-free refers to the use of almond milk, coconut milk and coconut cream.
- Refined sugar-free refers to the use of coconut blossom sugar, honey, dates and fruit, to naturally sweeten the products.
I was particularly interested in sampling these treats because I am a gluten and refined sugar-free experimental ‘baker’ for my family. I have tried many different flours, types of sugars, variants of milk etc, over the years. I have yet to perfect this art. My review is thus based on my experience as a baker and a taster.
Let the taste testing begin: My entire family was excited for this delivery, which arrived in eye-catching packaging. My delivery consisted of the Belgian waffles, the muffins and the brownies. I had the pleasure of sampling all four variants of the muffins – (1) chocolate, banana and almond, (2) orange, cranberry and almond, (3) banana, cinnamon and pecan, and (4) lemon, chia seed and almond.
True to its name, the BFF Belgian waffle offering is light, generously-sized, with deep pockets. They are fluffy and boast impressive height. They may be stored in the freezer and easily re-heated in the air-fryer, toaster or oven. I re-heated mine in the air-fryer on 180 degrees Celsius for five minutes. These tasty waffles may be topped with anything of your choice. The waffle was particularly enjoyed by my toddler who is a super fussy eater – attesting to the tastiness of the product.
The muffins were light, and true to each flavour. They come in a generous serving size (jumbo). What I particularly appreciated was tasting the fruit. The chocolate, banana and almond muffin tasted decadent, with a perfect balance of banana. The orange, cranberry and almond was my favourite, because of the flavour burst of orange, and the little pockets of sweetness offered by the cranberries. The banana, cinnamon and pecan reminded me of good pecan pie, with the perfect amount of sweetness. I am a fan of all things lemon, and the lemon, chia seed and almond muffin did not disappoint. The chia seeds gave the texture synonymous with poppy seeds. These treats are best eaten warm, and if the diet allows, with a light smear of butter.
The brownies were moist, dark and decadent, offering a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation. There was a richness that gave me a new-found appreciation for the cocoa bean. This brownie can be eaten as a snack, or converted to a dessert – my husband asked for ice-cream. It can be eaten warm or at room temperature. I am a fan of flaked almonds – the brownies had a good amount of these as a topping, adding a lovely crunch to the softness of the brownie.
Overall, I give the products a 10/10. Here’s why: With gluten-free baking it is quite tricky to get the texture ‘right’. These products have the ideal texture and the flavours are 100% on par had they been the ‘original’ baked product. If you were not aware, you would not know the difference. In terms of sweetness, the products are perfectly balanced. I appreciate the subtle level of sweetness, while maintaining strong natural flavours. You could purchase the products in bulk, as they freeze well and can be easily re-heated. The products are aesthetically pleasing and well presented. Everything is labelled and the ingredients listed. It is a high-quality product that I strongly recommend. Something that I particularly appreciated, was the level of customer service. Meeting Sameera, hearing her story, coupled with her friendly disposition, you would be naturally inclined to want to support this small, growing business.
No review would be complete without acknowledging the good and the bad. In my view, the only con is the price. These treats do not come cheap. However, the target market would be well aware of the high cost associated with these ingredients, and I am a firm advocate for quality. BFF Foods is a high-quality offering, and well worth the spend.
How to place an order:
- Email (email@example.com) or WhatsApp (083 447 4048) your order, with a three to four business day notice. Orders are taken for Fridays and/or Saturdays only.
- Once your order has been placed, you will receive an invoice. Payment is now due to secure your order. You may pay via EFT or SNAPSCAN.
- Once you have made payment, please send proof-of-payment via email or WhatsApp.
- When orders are ready, you will be contacted to arrange collection. Delivery options will become available soon.
By Maryam Bibi Rumaney
Maryam is a molecular scientist by profession with a passion for writing. She currently works as a freelance consultant offering laboratory advisory, scientific editing, and English language services. She loves to travel and is always looking for the next adventure. Connect with her at http://www.mbrumaney.co/