My family loves potatoes. We can’t imagine a major family meal without them. We like them baked, mashed, fried and sauteed. We like them in pancakes and as hash browns. You name a way to make them and chances are good, we have tried it.
However, I do try to limit the amount of potatoes we consume. As a white starch item, they are not particularly healthy for my husband who is diabetic. Consequently, we don’t always keep potatoes around the house on a regular basis. We know, if they are there, we will consume them.
For obvious reasons, I have taken to purchasing pre-made potato products instead. First of all, because my family doesn’t like them as much, they won’t want them as often. It’s the “out of sight, out of mind” theory in application.
Secondly, a lot of the pre-made recipes available today are actually quite good. You can save time, money and energy by going with a premade recipe instead.
One of our favorite premades comes from Betty Crocker. It is her Potatoes Au Gratin. They are made with 100% real potatoes, cooked in a creamy and smooth cheese sauce. For about $1, they are also quite a bargain.
Betty Crocker Potatoes Au Gratin come in a 4.7 oz box. All you need to make them is water, milk and butter. They can be made on the stovetop or in the oven.
For stovetop preparation, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Then add in .5 cup of milk and 2 tbsp. of butter or margarine. Heat back up to a boiling point. Reduce the heat to simmer. Pour in the Potatoes Au Gratin and stir thoroughly. Let them simmer for 15 minutes, continuing to stir them every once in awhile. Once the cheese sauce thickens and the potatoes soften, the dish is done and ready to serve.
To make in the oven pour 2 cups boiling hot water into a baking dish. Add in .5 cup of milk and 2 tbsp. of margarine or butter. Then add the Potatoes Au Gratin and stir. Make sure everything is mixed well together. Bake the potatoes in a preheated 450 degree oven for 25 minutes. When they are golden brown and the cheese sauce is clinging to them, they are ready to serve.
There are 5 servings of Potatoes Au Gratin inside each box. A serving size is .5 cup.
There are 150 calories in each serving. Of that amount, one-third, or 50, are fat-related.
There are also 22 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of sugar and 590 milligrams of salt in each box of Betty Crocker Potatoes Au Grain. To the positive, they also contain 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. Additionally, they provide 4% of the daily-recommended amount of Vitamins A, C and calcium and 2% of the required iron.
Ingredients include cheddar cheese, cornstarch, enriched flour, garlic, maltodextrin, milk, milk fat, nonfat milk, natural flavors, onion, ricotta cheese, salt and whey. They also include artificial coloring, calcium lactate, cheese cultures and enzymes, lactic acid, mono and diglycerides, monosodium glutamate, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, silicon dioxide, sodium bisulfite, sodium phosphate, sodium citrate and yeast extract. The flour is wheat flour enriched with folic acid, iron, moninitrate, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.
These potatoes are easy to make and tasty to eat. What more can I say? Here is my summary review:
Taste: 4 stars. While Betty Crocker Potatoes Au Gratin may not be as good as au gratin potatoes made from scratch, they certainly come close.
Freshness: 5 stars. The potatoes are freeze dried and will last quite awhile. However, each package of Betty Crocker Potatoes Au Gratin comes with a freshness date. The company doesn’t recommend using the product past that date. The product can be stored on the shelf until it is cooked. Once cooked; however, if must refrigerated.
Variety: 5 stars. If potatoes au gratin aren’t your favorite, Betty Crocker has lots of potato products to choose from. These include other casserole potatoes like Cheddar Bacon, Cheesy Scalloped, Julienne and Loaded Baked. They also include the following mashed potato options: Butter & Herb, Four Cheese, Homestyle Creamy Butter, Loaded Mashed and Roasted Garlic. There are pouch potatoes in Cheddar Sour Cream and Homestyle Red. There are Deluxe Recipes in Cheesy Cheddar Au Gratin, Loaded Au Gratin and Three Cheese Mashed Baked. Finally, there are Seasoned Skillet Potatoes in Hash Browns and Roasted Garlic & Herb.
Nutrition: 4 stars. There is no getting around the fact that these potatoes are high in carbs and salt. On the other hand, they are low in sugar and contain no cholesterol or fat. They also have some viable nutritional value.
Packaging: 5 stars. Betty Crocker Potatoes Au Gratin come in a burgundy box with red, orange and yellow trim. A large orange banner spells out the type of potatoes included therein. A yellow banner at the top proclaims the quality of the potatoes. The red Betty Crocker spoon logo is prominently displayed. A picture of the cooked potatoes is also present to whet the consumer’s appetite. The box is colorful enough to easily be spotted on the store shelf.
Ease of storage: 4 stars. Betty Crocker Potatoes Au Gratin come in a box that measures 7.5″ in height by 4.75″ in width and 1.75″ in depth. It is small enough to fit easily into any kitchen pantry as well as most kitchen cabinets or cupboards.
Availability: 5 stars. Betty Crocker products are sold almost everywhere food is sold in general. That includes most grocery stores and discount department stores with a food section. They can also be found in some drug and convenience stores.
Price: 5 stars. The price will vary slightly from store to store but should range between $1 and $1.79. We purchase ours at the commissary for around $1.
Product purchase probability: 5 stars. I will absolutely buy this product over and over again.
Final rating: 4.7 stars. These are good potatoes.
5 stars = outstanding
4 stars = good
3 stars = average
2 stars = below average
1 star = poor