Thursday, 15 December 2011

Review: Fun Foodie Find - Preservative Free Veggie KD!

So about a year ago, Kraft Dinner came out with a new line of healthier, "smart" mac 'n cheese. I have to admit. I was a doubter. But since following the Mediterranean Diet, I've made it a goal to try to consume foods with the least amount of chemicals, preservatives, and general non-food items possible. BUT I LOVE KRAFT DINNER!!! Any good ol' Canadian girl will tell you the same thing. Whether or not you put ketchup on it is up for debate (I SAY YESS!), but other than that, it's a classic! So needless to say, I've been missing KD for sure.

I decided I'd give it a try Kraft Dinner Smart Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese and let you Nervous Nellies all know how it turns out.


I like it! I've gotta say, it's not as different as I thought it would be. The vegetable being used here is cauliflower. My gut reaction was that it sounded disgusting. But, knowing that this was a product with far fewer chemicals, I went against my better judgement and gave it a shot. It was really good! Does it taste like cauliflower? Yes. But, somehow, in the best possible way. I don't love cooked cauliflower, because it has this sort of strange, back-of-your-throat taste to it that when I was a kid could make me gag. But the aftertaste of the KD was a very pleasant taste, kind of like you get when you're eating a really good cream of cauliflower soup.


This was a concern for me. I thought it might be a little mushier with all of that cauliflower in it. Well... in reality, who actually knows how much goes into the mix. By no means am I thinking this is a substitute for vegetables. Anyway, the texture was not much different from regular KD.


Here is what goes into this stuff:

Pasta (wheat flour, freeze-dried cauliflower), cheese sauce (dried whey [from milk], cheddar cheese, salt, butter, sodium phosphates, natural flavours, citric acid (acidulant), annatto (for colour)

While this is definitely far better than the original KD, here's where I have some mixed feelings... 

1. "Natural Flavours" is a very loosely used term here in North America... It basically means that whatever "flavour" they used came from something from nature originally... as for what happened to this product between it's death and the arrival in the local grocery store... well... it is left up to the imagination.

2. "Annatto" is, according to Wikipedia: "a derivative of the achiote trees of tropical regions of the Americas, used to produce a yellow to orange food coloring and also as a flavoring." I suppose there could be worse things...but I still don't know how natural this is.

3. "Sodium Phosphates" are a big mystery to me. According to, it is "Sodium phosphate is a generic term that may refer to any sodium salt of phosphoric acid." Um... well that doesn't tell me much. So I checked what phosphoric acid is. According to, it is a clear liquid that is a mass-produced chemical. It is also a good rust remover, and the ingredient in Coca-Cola that rots your teeth. Yum... I remember my grandfather telling me how in WW2, they used to use Coke to clean the blood off the streets... So... doesn't sound too great. That this KD has no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives seems like a far stretch to me, and is only true by strict definition, I guess. Disappointing.

The Verdict: I DO overall think this product is a pretty ok alternative to regular KD if you are trying to follow a fake-food-free way of living. If an old fashioned macaroni au gratin with white sauce and sharp cheddar is a ten in terms of how good and normal the ingredients are, and KD is a one, I'd give this version a 5. It tastes good, has somewhat better nutritional value, and even though it still has some ingredients I am skeptical of, it is still a much better option than regular Kraft Dinner.

That being said, stick to that sharp cheddar version of macaroni and cheese, other than a late night craving once or twice a year. And when that happens, bring out the ketchup!


Post a Comment