Let me say it loud and clear: I love potatoes! A lot of people seem to love this white vegetable more than any other white food or vegetable on the market. I enjoy making real potatoes, but unfortunately time for this college student/freelance writer can get too tight to spend washing, peeling, cutting, boiling, and mashing real potatoes. There are many instant potato products on the market, but I enjoy one that actually tastes like potatoes: Betty Crocker’s Potato Buds Mashed Potatoes.
The Betty Crocker Potato Buds box I am looking at right now states that the product really is “100% real potatoes.” Oh really? Let me check the ingredient list….hmm….”potatoes, mono and diglycerides (to improve texture), freshness protected by sodium bisulfate and BHT.” Wow-these really are “real” potatoes! I have tried a number of instant potato products, both dry and frozen, but they all taste like processed cardboard-and the multi-syllabic ingredients from which they are primarily made. But Betty Crocker Potato Buds Mashed Potatoes are the richest and closest thing I have come to eating actual potatoes I have to scrub, peel, dice, and slice.
I like Betty Crocker products. They allow me to make a meal that tastes like something I would have been able to produce if I actually spent double (or more) the time preparing it. And I know that I am not sacrificing quality or wholesomeness in my attempt to save time. Betty Crocker Potato Buds Mashed Potatoes do not require much else outside the contents in the box to make this product. Water, milk, margarine or butter, and salt are all that is needed to make the potatoes. And it requires a very simple boil-and-mix preparation. I do prefer real butter in my recipe, but I do not use any salt (I care about reducing the fat, too, but sometimes nothing beats real butter). Yet, even without the salt, I swear these potatoes still taste wonderfully rich and flavorful.
The one thing you must watch for when making this recipe is to avoid letting the milk scald when boiling it with the water, butter or margarine, and salt in the pot. Constant stirring and keeping the heat to medium/medium-high can reduce your chances of scalding the milk. It is also important to mix the potato flakes well into the liquid because the flakes tend to lump together pretty quickly. A good stirring with a whisk or fork makes these potatoes fluff up quite nicely.
You are probably wondering what the food label on the Betty Crocker Potato Buds Mashed Potatoes looks like. Prepared, the potatoes come in at 160 calories per serving, of which there are about 17 per box. Prepared, these potatoes deliver 12% of one’s daily fat intake, 8% of the saturated fat recommendation, 19% sodium (with salt), 1% cholesterol, 6% total carbohydrates, and 1 gram of dietary fiber. The product itself has no trans fat (prepared would depend upon if the butter you use contains trans fat).
Betty Crocker Potato Buds Mashed Potatoes cost around $2.39 where my family and I shop (Publix Supermarket, a major Southeast U.S. grocer chain), but check your grocer for sales and specials. Whatever your local store charges, these potatoes are worth a try. After all, they not only offer expedience in the kitchen, they serve up a potato flavor which tastes amazingly close to the potatoes you have to labor over to prepare.