The Good: Easy to make, Has some nutritional value, Simple packaging, Easy preparation.
The Bad: Poor environmentalism of the packaging, Underwhelming flavor
The Basics: Idahoan tries to sell a very basic instant mashed potato by naming them “Baby Reds,” but we’re not fooled!
I used to have a house, with a garden and every year one of my favorite times of year was autumn when I dug up fresh, red potatoes. Red potatoes have such a distinctive flavor and I have nothing but good memories of digging in the clay-like earth at my house and uncovering the bright red roots. So, if anything, my sense of nostalgia would bias me toward the Idahoan Baby Reds potatoes. Unfortunately, there is nothing distinctively flavored like red potatoes in this mix (though there are red potato skin bits, they add more texture than flavor). As a result, even for the price of $1/pack, I found myself unimpressed by this flavor of Idahoan mashed potatoes. They aren’t bad, but they are bland and, for the price, comparatively expensive for potato buds.
Idahoan Baby Reds Mashed Potatoes come in a four point one ounce plastic package with a simple tear open top. There are four servings per container and basically, these are instant mashed potatoes that may be made on either the stove top or in the microwave. The serving size is supposed to be only half a cup but just getting home from work, it's pretty easy to down a whole batch in one sitting!
The Baby Reds flavored potatoes are a bland instant potato blend that, even in its powdered form, has almost no aroma. These dull white potato buds make the Baby Reds flavored mashed potatoes in less than ten minutes.
Ease Of Preparation
The Idahoan Baby Reds Mashed Potatoes are ridiculously easy to make.
On the stove top, the Baby Reds Mashed Potatoes truly are as easy as boiling water. Two cups of water need to be boiled and removed from the heat. Once the water is boiling, simply tear open the package, pour the potato buds into the water and stir. After a minute, the potatoes will be rehydrated and they need to simply be stirred again and they are ready to consume. Depending on one's stove, the potatoes might take up to four minutes to prepare on the stove top.
In the microwave, the directions are almost as easy. Simple combine two cups cold water in a microwavable bowl, stir in the Idahoan instant potatoes and microwave on high for three to four minutes. When the microwave beeps, stir once and let them stand for five minutes to rehydrate.
The Idahoan Baby Reds Mashed Potatoes smell entirely like potato. They do not even smell like butter and this is a surprisingly uninviting instant potato by the aroma.
In the mouth, the Baby Reds Mashed Potatoes actually do have a faint butter flavor to them. Other than that, these potatoes are blandly potato flavored. They are not salty and not flavored in any excessive way. In fact, the pieces of potato skin included in this blend provide more in the way of texture than they do flavor. These are potatoes that scream for garnish, as opposed to ones that hold their own on flavor on their own.
The Baby Reds potatoes leave no aftertaste on the tongue or in the mouth.
The nice thing about the Idahoan Baby Reds Mashed Potatoes is that they are fairly nutritious, as they are made primarily of Idaho potatoes, partially hydrogenated oil, and corn syrup solids. One serving has 110 calories, twenty-five of which are from fat. A serving has 5% of the daily recommended fat (3 grams), one gram of which is saturated fat. There is no cholesterol or vitamin A, but there is quite a bit of salt (17% of one's daily sodium), a couple grams of protein, and a few carbohydrates (7% of the RDA). There is also a miniscule amount of Calcium, Vitamin C and Iron, which makes one wonder why Idahoan did not have the product made with milk to beef up the nutrition some. It is remarkably easy with just the water, though, so it's hard to complain.
The nutritional information also notes that these potatoes contain milk and soy. These potatoes are gluten free.
The instant mashed potatoes are intended as a side dish, but they seem like they would supply some decent energy for the outdoorsman who wants something light and delicious to eat while on hikes or camping trips. With the sodium content, though, it is highly recommended one have more than just the two cups water needed to rehydrate these potatoes on hand!
After several minutes of looking, I discovered that the pouch of Baby Reds mashed potatoes I bought last week expire in September 2013.
Once they are made, though, they should probably be eaten within a few days, if refrigerated.
Cleanup is ridiculously easy as well; simply wash the bowl the potatoes were made in. I've noticed the Idahoan Baby Reds Mashed Potatoes do not stick to the sides of the metal pot I use and any buds that remain on the plate or fork wash right off.
The Idahoan Baby Reds are the only flavor of Idahoan mashed potatoes to really underwhelm me.
For other Idahoan mashed potates, check out my reviews of:
Idahoan Applewood Smoked Bacon Mashed Potatoes
Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes
Idahoan Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
For other food reviews, please visit my Food Review Index Page!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.