Baking with Pamela

PamelaGreenAcres cooks bake almost exclusively with Pamela’s Gluten Free Flour. It wasn’t always that way. We started out experimenting with other flours, and for a time, we’d try new recipes with conventional flours, only to have our customers ask, “Can you make that same cake, pie or pastry for us who are gluten free?”

Pamela’s always delivered results that taste the most like conventional baked goods. Today, our stores that have kitchens make almost everything gluten free. And, really, nobody seems to know the difference.

Pamela’s history is a lot like Shannon Hoffmann’s, President of GreenAcres Market. Shannon has regaled her colleagues for years with stories of her early days “searching for health.”

She talks about eating lunch at grade school and opening her lunch sack to “grass.” Of course, her sandwich didn’t actually contain grass—more like chicken or turkey with sprouts and microgreens—but Shannon always said her lunch didn’t look at all like the lunches of the other kids. Their dessert was a cookie, hers was a “dry, old rice cake.”

Still, Shannon was willing to go along with her parents’ new direction in looking for health in the produce and grocery aisles of their brand new health food store. “I didn’t always like it, but even as a child, I sensed it was important to eat the right things,” says Shannon.

Pamela, the Founder of Pamela’s products, has a similar story. Hers began in 1988, when after working as a youngster in her family’s health food store in San Francisco, and tasting the “weird” food her mother would pack into her lunch box each day—food made of dense, nutty breads and health food cookies made with carob instead of chocolate—she knew intuitively, that if she ever wanted to work in the health food business as she grew older, she’d have to break away and discover a better mousetrap.

On her webpage, Pamela writes, “I spent my summers in my family’s bakery, packing rice and soy cookies for people with special dietary needs. Although these dry, tasteless cookies were in high demand, they were not particularly appetizing.”

So, Pamela struck out on her own, and soon the entire health food industry caught up with both form and function. Today, health food tastes every bit as delicious as conventional food, but without all the preservatives, toxins, hormones and more.

Both Shannon Hoffmann and her mother and dad continue to marvel at the “goodness” that today’s twice-yearly trips to the health food expo markets on both coasts garner. Wonderful varieties of gluten, soy and dairy free milks, cheeses, breads, pastas, pizza doughs, snack bars, pies, cakes, cookies—the choices are endless.

DSC03303 (400x330)GreenAcres Market carries a huge array of baking flours from many fine vendors, but when it comes to baking in our own store kitchens, Pamela’s is the number one choice. And, from Pamela’s website, here are some of the reasons why Pamela’s packaged baked goods stand out:

  • High quality sugars including, fruit juice, agave, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup and molasses create better tasting, decadent food.
  • The palm shortening is made from the most healthful part of the palm and is sourced from companies with fair trade and environmental stewardship track records.
  • Nuts are from American suppliers to ensure freshness and quality.
  • Minimally-processed grains like certified gluten-free oats, brown rice, millet and sorghum are used whenever possible to provide the benefits of whole grains they offer.
  • Sweet creamery butter (non-rBGH of course) and the highest quality monounsaturated safflower oil are used.

Pamela’s philosophy dovetails perfectly with that of GreenAcres. As our CEO Barb Hoffmann always says, “If we don’t use the highest quality ingredients in all our hot case, deli and bakery foods, we simply won’t do it all. We’re going to promote good health for every one of our customers, including ourselves, and we’re going to do it through the most nutritious food and supplements we can find.”

DSC03304 (400x315)Just like Pamela and her products, GreenAcres is committed to:

  • Never using artificial additives.
  • Shying away from high fructose corn syrup.
  • Continuing to find the best non-GMO products on the market.
  • Using grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and sustainable wild-caught fish in our delis and hot cases.

Again, as Pamela states on her website, “Much has changed since those early days. Health Food is now called Natural Food and most people are concerned about nutrition and taste equally.”

We are what we eat, as the old saying goes, and to that end, GreenAcres will continue to partner with the best. Our mission is to make a positive difference in the health of one person at a time. Products like Pamela’s help us do just that.

To watch Pamela in action, we encourage you to go to her website and watch her product videos.

DSC03285 (400x300)