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Thursday, March 15, 2012

‘Orgran’ Range of Gluten-free, Vegan Foods


Orgran is an Australian food product company that caters to people with different kinds of food allergies, such as to gluten, yeast, dairy, and eggs. Curiously, this has worked to the benefit of the vegan and consequently, all Orgran products are vegan and stated as such. Besides, the entire range of Orgran products is GMO-free, gluten-free (GF), wheat-free, yeast-free, MSG-free, artificial colors-free, artificial flavors-free, and artificial preservatives-free. You can enlarge the image of the declaration on each Orgran product, given above, to check what we mean. For more information, you can check the Company website by visiting this link. Orgran products are now available in India through a Delhi-based distributor.

Orgran product range 

Orgran offers a range of pastas; crispbread; cookies; breakfast cereals; and pancake, bread, pizza, mousse, pastry, cake, and egg replacer mixes/powders.


Reviews of some Orgran products by ardent Vegans

To understand more about the Orgran range of vegan foods, in this section, we include the opinions of a couple of vegan friends who have used some interesting Orgran products.

First, let’s meet Gemini Xettigar. Gemini, a Goa-based vegan is a lawyer, an animal rights activist very passionate about educating people about the vegan alternatives to animal-based foods, and someone who brought Orgran products to the notice of Vegan India! in the first place. Gemini is also passionate about demonstrating that vegan food is not a diet of deprivation and very much allows for indulgence in foods. Reflecting on the Orgran Chocolate Mousse Dessert Mix, Gemini says, The Orgran mousse mix is really good. However, the technique of whipping should be right. Air has to be incorporated into it, just like how one would whip topping cream. I used a handheld mixer, which is typically used to beat cake batters. If not whipped correctly, it turns out granular and will not resemble mousse. The blame will wrongly shift to it being vegan. The instructions say three minutes, but I feel it requires to be whipped for slightly longer provided the above mentioned technique is used. Of course, more experienced dessert cooks or chefs might have a different approach. I speak as a novice baker and dessert maker.

We also have valuable opinions from an expert vegan food “temptivist” from Bangalore, Susmitha Subbaraju – the author of the delicious vegan food blog, Veganosaurus. Susmitha is also a very talented vegan jewelry artiste.

Orgran gluten-free Chocolate Cake. Courtesy: Susmitha
Reflecting on the Orgran Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix, Susmitha says, It has just the right amount of sweetness unlike most cake mixes which tend to be high on the sugar. I've never tasted GF cakes before so I cannot compare this to other GF cakes but when compared to other vegan cakes, the texture is not bad at all. When I tasted the cake batter, I could make out a slight graininess, like raw rice or ragi flours, but after baking the cake, that was barely noticeable! In fact, I think I was able to notice it only because I was expecting it. The crumb is slightly more moist and sticky than I'd like for cake. So it would work better as a pastry doused in syrup and filled and topped with whipped cream or frosting rather than being eaten plain.

Though the package recommends baking for 30-35 minutes, I needed to bake it for a whole hour to have it baked through completely. But both the above things could be a result of hand whipping as opposed to electric whipping. I would definitely recommend this Orgran chocolate cake mix to people as a good vegan, GF product. It feels nice to be eating a good chocolate cake without any unhealthy all purpose flour in it.

Of particular interest is the Orgran NO EGG Natural Egg Replacer powder that mimics bird’s eggs in cooking, baking, and batters for coating. One 200 grams packet of this egg replacer powder is equivalent to 66 bird's eggs. Gemini who has used the powder in several dishes says, I baked a Fruitcake last Christmas with the No Egg powder and it turned out moist and did rise. However, Fruitcakes do not rise as much as sponge cakes do. Somebody else using the powder should not feel that it does not work too well if it is their first attempt at baking a Fruitcake. The No Egg powder also makes a great batter mix. I also used it to coat mushrooms in an Indo-Chinese recipe some time ago and it coated so well. Cornflour batter without egg can be a little difficult. The No Egg eliminates the need for cornflour in batter for fried foods. 

Savory Beet Pancakes. Courtesy: Susmitha
Susmitha too made a few items with the NO EGG Egg Replacer – fritters, cookies, pancakes, and bread. She says, So far it has worked out well. I have heard of other commercial egg replacement powders which leave a chemical taste in certain types of foods but the Orgran No Egg does nothing of this sort. I even ate plain cookie dough with the replacer in it and the powder was absolutely undetectable. Also, because I used this, I didn't need to use baking powder in certain cookies. That was an added advantage.
Almond Macaroons. Courtesy: Susmitha

Long-time vegans have, by now, learned the art of substituting bird’s eggs with a variety of plant-based parallels to provide the same level of binding and leavening support to the dishes expected from bird's eggs. You can check this link from the SHARAN website for a very informative note on vegan egg replacers. Susmitha rightly adds, Since I've been making do without any commercial egg replacers all this while, I don't see an absolute necessity for one as such. But I can say that it would be a handy thing to have around as an additional thing to replace eggs with when following recipes which call for them.

This product, we feel, can be very useful for vegetarian restaurants that make their own baked goodies and many a times use bird’s eggs to provide the binding and leavening support because they are not aware of non egg parallels.


How to purchase Orgran products in India

You can click the image, given on the right, to view the Orgran product list. Select Orgran products are available in some selected stores in India. However, the entire range is available with the company-designated distributor, Move On, in Delhi only. Move On in turn has their network all across the country. To purchase Orgran products you need to have them couriered to your location by contacting the India distributor at the following address: Move On, E 44/8 Okhla Industrial Area Phase-II, New Delhi – 110020; Telephone: 011-26384384, 0-9810272008; Fax: 011-41720008; E-mail: bathlas@airtelmail.in (Mr. Nikhil Bathla). Payment is accepted against bank transfers. You can contact Mr. Bathla in his email address to seek more information.


IMPORTANT NOTE: As stated at the beginning of this story, to reiterate, one, Orgran’s primary aim is to cater to people with various stated food allergies and two, all Orgran products are ingredient-wise, vegan. However, some packs mention recipes suggesting buyers to include non-vegan ingredients in the preparation. We have, nonetheless, included Orgran in the database. This is in the spirit of the view that more vegan products, whether accidentally or intentionally, will eventually benefit the cause.

For everything that you need to or wish to know about Vegan Baking, you can explore this fantastic site, veganbaking.net by clicking this link. And, if the internet is not your thing, you can scroll down in the same website and check the names of the top 20 Vegan Baking Books in hard cover recommended by veganbaking.net. Living vegan has never been easier!

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed trying out and reviewing these products for Vegan India. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Susmitha, you have added a lot of value to the post!

      Delete
  2. Hey Guys, Came across this post & thought you'd like to know that Orgran products are also available to buy online at www.gourmetco.in - we carry a range of Orgran including the cake mixes, egg replacer, cookies & more

    ReplyDelete

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