MUMBAI : We were extremely sceptical when a colleague recommended another “nutrilicious” brand called Flat Tummies. But self-taught baker Monica Muthappa has created products that are so honest in their claims (gluten- and dairy-free, all-natural without processed sugar, flour or preservatives) that they stand out in a marketplace flooded with diet desserts that trade a few high-calorie ingredients (refined sugar, refined flour, butter) for other processed ingredients like protein powders and artificial sweeteners.
The good stuff
Flat Tummies is readily available at retail stores, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of shopping online and waiting anxiously for the made-by-order products to arrive. We made a quick trip to Garden Fresh at King Circle in Matunga West to pick up tubs of the Avocado Smush and Cocoa Pick ice cream, protein bars, flaxseed and mixed- fruit jam cookies and oat crackers for an evening snack. Everything came in slick, black and white, cardboard packaging.
Our favourites included the Avocado Smush ice cream speckled with sunflower seeds. Though it uses almond and coconut milk and is sweetened with dried fruits, it retains a strong vegetal flavour and the decidedly decadent creamy texture associated with the fruit. Some colleagues understandably preferred the Cocoa Pick flavour but noted a slightly bitter aftertaste from the use of almond milk and homemade chocolate.
Similarly, the gooey protein bars, made with chia, flax and pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts and dates, slathered with the brand’s Chocopeanut Spread, were preferred over the dry and chewy Flaxseed Jam Cookies, made with almond meal and ground flaxseeds.
We really liked the mixed-fruit jam used in the cookies—Muthappa says she uses a mix of apple, pineapple and banana with other seasonal fruits for her sticky honey-based preserve. The oregano-flavoured amaranth and oat crackers came across as the most sophisticated of the lot, and we could see them holding their own in a supermarket aisle of gourmet savouries.
Muthappa says she uses seasonal ingredients (from her parents’ plantation in Coorg and organic vendors in Kerala) and is constantly tweaking recipes based on customer feedback, so don’t expect high levels of consistency.
Spreads (250ml) range from ₹ 250 for a mixed-fruit jam to ₹ 400 for an avocado dip; biscuits, from ₹ 150 for 20 oat crackers to 350 for six protein bars; and frozen desserts vegan ice-cream flavours (220ml) are priced between ₹ 200 and ₹ 250.
Flat Tummies delivers minimum orders of ₹ 500 for free across Mumbai; call 98337-04416. Visit www.flattummies.in. Also available on Zomato.com and HolaChef.com, and at stores like Garden Fresh, Matunga; Gangar Stores, Dadar TT; and Neelam Foodland, Khar (West).