Annie's Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese Review | Buy Mac & Cheese Online
Yesterday, I discovered Annie's Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese. I was really excited to find this product and made it for lunch today. Read on for my thorough review of this gluten-free rice pasta and cheese product.
I always loved Annie's pasta as a kid, but couldn't eat much of it (or any pasta) because I would always feel sick afterwards. A few months ago, I discovered I could eat gluten-free rice pasta without any negative effects and have been enjoying it ever since. Therefore, I was absolutely delighted to find a gluten-free version of the healthiest boxed mac and cheese on the market!
The cooking process
This is boxed macaroni and cheese so it's quick and easy. Perfect for busy families! Simply bring water to a boil, cook pasta for 9-10 minutes and while it's cooking, mix 1/4 cup milk (or soy milk) with the powdered cheese mixture, which is made from real aged cheddar. Drain pasta, mix together, and you're done. While cooking, I steamed some veggies in the microwave (carrots and broccoli go great with mac and cheese!)
The texture and consistency
I haven't had regular pasta for a while, but the texture is certainly palatable. I ended up using non-fat milk instead of the recommended 1%, so the sauce was a little thin. The box also gives optional ingredients like using butter for a creamier texture or yogurt for a "tangy" taste.
It may sound strange, but I was delighted when I opened the box and saw macaroni shapes that are reminiscent of other types of boxed macaroni. The traditional flat macaroni shape helps hold the sauce well and really could fool anyone into thinking they're eating wheat-based macaroni and cheese!
It tastes just like the Annie's I used to occasionally eat as a kid, but I enjoy it even more because I know it won't make me feel sick after I eat it! It's not too salty and even though I used non-fat milk, the flavor was really tasty.
Meal pairing suggestions
The possibilities are endless for this fabulous gluten-free mac and cheese. It is delicious by yourself or with other foods. I had my first serving with 1 cup of broccoli, which was fantastic. It would also be great with beef crumbles or grilled chicken. You could also make this into a Mexican dish with some added salsa mixed in. Or, make it into a casserole, with sprinkled gluten-free breadcrumbs on top with parmesan. The possibilities are endless!
I'm disappointed that Annie's doesn't make an organic version of this as I try to eat mostly organic and gluten-free. I'm also disappointed that they don't make a brown rice pasta version (I'd buy that in a heartbeat!) But, I do realize that the ingredients are fairly simply and certainly beat any other boxed macaroni and cheese on the market, rendering this version a more healthier junk food that can be enjoyed from time to time.
"Ingredients: Rice Pasta (Rice Flour, Water), Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Buttermilk, Butter, Salt, Annatto Extract (Color), Natural Flavor."
*Please make sure to double-check the ingredients on the box before purchasing as ingredients can change from time to time without any warning!
Where to Buy Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese Online
I paid $2.89 for one box from my local chain grocery store. I will get about three meals out of one box (serving size is 2.5 servings at 1 cup each), but I find that one cup is really a lot of food.
I did discover that you can purchase Annie's Gluten-Free Rice Pasta Mac and Cheese on Amazon in a 12-pack and take advantage of their free Super Saver Shipping. You can also subscribe to have it delivered every few months and save 15% off the purchase price. At the time I'm writing this, they're having a 30% off deal for a back to school special when you enter the code ANNIES55 during checkout. Since that will bring the price down to about $22 for 12 dollars, I think I'll stock up to avoid paying nearly $3 a box at my local grocery store.
I checked on the box I purchased the other day and it didn't expire until December of 2011, so the shelf life on this product is great.
Annie's Homegrown Gluten-Free Products on Amazon.com
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