Smart Swap: Boxed Macaroni & Cheese

Growing up, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese was one of my favorite lunchtime meals. As I grew older I continued to buy it once and awhile (especially before I learned how to properly cook in college!), savoring the memories of childhood summer vacations. Knowing what I know now, and wanting to eat as clean as possible, I have nixed Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in favor of something more natural (Kraft’s version contains Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 colorings – eww!).

As I began my journey for an all-natural macaroni, I stumbled upon Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese products. What a treat! Not only is Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese all-natural, they also make organic, whole-grain (with the added benefit of more fiber), and even gluten-free varieties! On the occasion when I’m craving some macaroni and cheese, Annie’s does just the trick.

All-natural varieties include:
Shells & White Cheddar (also comes in Family Size)
Shells & Real Aged Wisconsin Cheddar
Arthur Macaroni & Cheese
Spirals with Butter and Parmesan
D.W. Whole Wheat Pasta & Alfredo
Lower Sodium Mac & Cheese
Bunny Pasta with Yummy Cheese
Classic Macaroni & Cheese (also comes in Family Size)
White Cheddar Microwavable Mac & Cheese
Real Aged Cheddar Microwavable Mac & Cheese

 

Organic varieties include:
Organic Shells & White Cheddar (also comes in Family Size)
Organic Alfredo Shells & White Cheddar
Organic Shells & Real Aged Wisconsin Cheddar
Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar
Organic Peace Pasta & Parmesan
Organic Classic Macaroni & Cheese
Organic 5-Grain Elbows & White Cheddar

 

Gluten-free varieties include:
Gluten-free Rice Shells with Creamy White Cheddar
Gluten-free Microwavable Mac & Cheese
Gluten-free Rice Pasta with Cheddar

Ingredients in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese: ENRICHED MACARONI PRODUCT (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE [IRON], THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), CHEESE SAUCE MIX (WHEY, MILKFAT, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF CITRIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, ENZYMES, CHEESE CULTURE)

compared to:

Ingredients in Annie’s Classic Mac and Cheese: ORGANIC WHEAT MACARONI, CHEDDAR CHEESE (CULTURED PASTEURIZED MILK, SALT, NON-ANIMAL ENZYMES), WHEY, BUTTERMILK, SALT, CREAM, NATURAL FLAVOR, NATURAL SODIUM PHOSPHATE, ANNATTO EXTRACT FOR NATURAL COLOR

If you are more of a Velveeta Shells & Cheese fan, check out Annie’s Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese offerings:
Deluxe Whole Wheat Shells & Extra Cheesy Cheddar
Deluxe Shells & Real Aged Cheddar
Deluxe Elbows & Four Cheese Sauce
Deluxe Rotini & White Cheddar
Organic Deluxe Elbows & Creamy Mild Cheddar Sauce
Gluten-free Deluxe Rice Pasta and Cheddar

And if you’re looking to spice up your macaroni and cheese, try out one of the following suggestions:
1) Use Greek yogurt in place of milk for a tangy, thicker version
2) Add in broccoli, kale, or another favorite green vegetable for added nutrients
3) Grate a favorite hard cheese over the final product (favorites include Smoked Cheddar and Parmesan)
4) Add in some spices (Red Pepper Flakes, Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Thyme, etc.)

 

Find Annie’s at your local co-op, health food store, or retail grocery store and feel good about treating yourself (or your kids!) to some good clean mac & cheese!

Sources:
http://www.annies.com/products/Natural-Mac-Cheese
http://www.kraftrecipes.com/Products/ProductInfoDisplay.aspx?SiteId=1&Product=2100065356

 

 

Trackbacks

  1. […] course), was making some homemade Mac n Cheese for dinner. And not just boxed Macaroni and Cheese (see my favorites here!), but the real, homemade, gooey-in-the-middle, crunchy-on-the-top kind of stuff. So that’s […]

  2. […] So much tastier than the store-bought versions (not to mention healthier, unless you are making one of these all-natural versions here). And it is one hundred and ten percent worth it. If that’s even possible….which, in this […]

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