Sometimes, I’m truly impressed with how natural food companies are able to recreate nostalgia. Sure, there are some big misses, but once in a while, they hit it out of the park. And from my vantage, Earth Balance Vegan Mac and Cheese is definitely a home run.
To keep things in perspective, this review isn’t about nutrition or the best food to add to your diet every day. It’s about comfort, familiarity, and an occasional convenience to prevent that “missing out” feeling or to help put lunch on the table in a pinch.
So does Earth Balance Vegan Mac and Cheese taste like Kraft? I can’t say for sure – obviously those boxed dinners aren’t stocked in my pantry. But, I think it’s pretty darn close. The preparation is delightfully familiar – boil the macaroni (yes, it is wheat-based, not gluten-free!), drain, and stir in the cheesy packet, buttery spread, and milk alternative. And the end result sure looks like an enticing replica.
The Vegan Cheddar flavor has a pleasant, mild, cheesy, and generally good flavor that I easily devoured in mere minutes. In fact, it was hard to keep from eating the whole box in one sitting! Fortunately, I didn’t as 10 minutes after eating just half a box with some broccoli, I was quite full.
The Vegan White Cheddar flavor was similar, but slightly sharper in taste. Straight up, I liked the orange Cheddar a little better – and think it is the closer of the two to Kraft – but the White Cheddar holds its own nicely with more flavor add-ins.
The only change I would make to Earth Balance Vegan Mac and Cheese is in the instructions. A full 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of milk alternative made it a bit too soupy. I would add the milk alternative last, and only as needed. I ended up liking about 2 tablespoons.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Earth Balance Vegan Mac and Cheese is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Earth Balance website at www.earthbalancenatural.com.