Last month, we partnered up with Kraft to get a look at their Fresh Take line. What is it? An upgrade from the Shake ‘n Bake from generations ago, it’s a no-mess combination of cheeses and seasoned breadcrumbs, added together to make a meal kit. The cheese and breadcrumbs are separated into compartmentalized bags that act as a mixing bowl, calling for less preparation and less clean-up (after the fact).
Unlike its predecessor, Kraft Fresh Take can be found in the dairy aisle. Though prices vary by store, the suggested retail price is an affordable $2.99.
The product is available in nine varieties:
•Smokey Mesquite BBQ: Colby, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses combined with seasoned breadcrumbs, onion, cumin and garlic.
•Classic Four Cheese: A blend of shredded Colby, cheddar, Monterey Jack and mozzarella combined together with breadcrumbs and spices.
•Spicy Chipotle Cheddar: A blend of cheeses come together with onion, chipotle chili and paprika for a spicy blend.
•Italian Parmesan: A blend of parsley, garlic, onion, Parmesan and mozzarella.
•Cheddar Jack & Bacon: Savory herbs, bacon, Monterey Jack, cheddar and provolone cheeses.
•Southwest Three Cheese: A blend of garlic, cumin and red chili pepper combined with Colby, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.
•Rosemary & Roasted Garlic: This blend of rosemary and garlic with mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan and Romano cheeses.
•Chili Lime & Panko: A mix of chili peppers and lime with Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses.
•Savory Four Cheese: This blend of feta, mozzarella, provolone and Parmesan cheese crumbles with roasted garlic and onion.
I was selected as a Kraft Cheese blogger ambassador by Kraft Foods to participate in testing Kraft Fresh Take, so I checked out the Fresh Take Fresh Possibilities tour while it was in Livonia. Though Kraft provided compensation for the testing, there was no request on their part for us to provide positive comments.
While on-site, I sampled the artichoke dip and the mesquite chicken tenders. I thought that the idea of having a baked tender was great, and it definitely had a lot of flavor, as did the dip. (For more info about the tour, check out their microsite www.tryfreshtake.com )
As a tester, I was able to sample some products at home. So, I went to the market and grabbed a couple halves of chicken breasts and went to work. At the tour Kraft provided a great recipe booklet (which can be found online here), but I wanted to get a stripped down version of what the Fresh Take offered, so I skipped the recipes and just simply combined the product with the chicken. I found that the chicken maintained its moisture and had the benefit from the added flavor of the cheese and breadcrumbs. For me, it didn’t end up like a traditional parmesan or Monterey chicken dish, which I contribute to the portioning of the Fresh Take product I used.
Portioning is important no doubt, and the Fresh Take products are set up for serving six. With the daily recommended sodium intake for Americans age 2 years and older being 3,436 mg, I asked Kraft about the sodium in this product. As with anything, it all has to do with choice and moderation. Ultimately, the sodium content for Fresh Take depends on the flavor, whereas something like the Chili Lime & Panko would be lower than, for example, the Cheddar Jack and Bacon. Here is what Kraft said about the sodium: “The sodium in KRAFT Fresh Take is contributed by the natural cheese and seasoned bread crumbs, and has a role in flavor, texture and food safety. Sodium ranges from 240 mg – 570 mg/serving depending on the flavor variety and is listed on the Nutrition Facts panel to help consumers make informed choices. Kraft is committed to helping consumers eat a balanced, nutritious diet and is attentive to the sodium content in our products.”
For recipes and more information, you can check out the Kraft Fresh Take recipe site www.kraftfreshtake.com, and of course Facebook and Twitter.
Below is a sample of a recipes from Kraft’s booklet.
- 1 pkg. (6 oz.) FRESH TAKE Italian Parmesan Recipe Cheese Breadcrumb Mix, mixed together
- 1pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
- ½ cup KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise
- HEAT oven to 375ºF.
- RESERVE ¾ cup FRESH TAKE.
- COMBINE remaining FRESH TAKE with remaining ingredients; spread onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate.
- Top with reserved FRESH TAKE.
- BAKE 25 min. or until heated through.
UPDATE (11/13/14): Per Kraft, Fresh Take has been discontinued as of October 1, 2014. To recreate these recipes at home, please visit http://www.kraftrecipes.com/kraftcheese/freshtake.aspx