“ Brand: Asda / Type: Other Ready Meals „
Any regular readers of my reviews will know by now that I like to keep small snacks in my cupboard as I often cannot manage a full sized evening meal, and much prefer to eat a snack most of the time.
For this reason, I quite often buy small tins of food such as beans and spaghetti, as I find they are just the right size for a small meal for me.
As this quite quickly gets boring, and I am very easily bored lol, I am often on the look out for alternatives to bog-standard beans and basic spaghetti, just to add a bit of variety!
It was whilst I was browsing the aisle of tinned goods at my local Asda supermarket, with a view to buying several small tins of spaghetti and beans, that I happened upon the little tins from the "Asda Great Stuff" range. Looking at the range of beans and tinned snacks, I quickly calculated that they were so reasonably priced that they deserved a trial.
One such snack that I opted to buy on this occasion was the 'Asda Great stuff' tin of 'baked beans and mini pork sausages'. I had previously tried other offerings from the Great Stuff range and was suitably impressed, particularly with their 'Pasta Letters' (review available on Dooyoo of course!). Some of the tins I had previously tried from this range had impressed me quite a lot so I had no problem in choosing from this range again.
The tin is easily recognisable as it has a bright green label on. The wording "Great Stuff" is in a very bold print, within which there are two little smiley faces in the form of a cartoon-type image. The branding is very brightly coloured and I wouldn't have thought there would be any confusion when it comes to recognising the brand - it is definitely an eye catching design/brand. It is very much a brand that seems to be aimed at kids.
The tin doesn't have a ring pull design, so you will need your tin-opener if you decide to give the little sausage and bean combo a try. There are cooking instructions on the label for both microwave and hob method.
I opted to cook the contents of the tin by microwave on this occasion, so I plopped the contents of the tin into a suitable container and was immediately impressed by the look of both the beans and the sausages. There were five little sausages in total, which were very small, but as I had expected given the dinky little size of the tin. The beans looked quite appetising, and the sauce was a rich orange colour which looked to be quite thick.
I wasn't aware of any particularly appetising smells wafting from the microwave as I heated my snack! There was pretty much no smell at all, or none that I could tell anyway. I stopped the cooking time halfway through to give it all a good stir and was pleased that it looked to be quite appetising on the whole.
The food looked lovely once I had assembled it onto my plate alongside some freshly buttered toast. I noted again that there was no huge smell wafting up from the plateful of food, but it certainly looked appetising and tasty.
I was very happy to note that there were no demonic black or hard beans which I detest and find very off-putting. I must admit it is a concern I have when buying supermarket-own branded baked beans as they generally tend to be the worst culprits for these outsiders in an otherwise lovely baked bean community!
All was well on this occasion though, every bean was the right colour and all were soft and had a nice 'bite' to them as they should!
The sausages however, I found were very bland indeed. The texture of the sausages was lovely - really soft and with no gristly bits or anything of the sort, but I couldn't believe how tasteless they were! There was a small hint of pork or meat but they were nowhere near as strong tasting as the brand I usually buy.
This tended to rub off on the beans too I think because actually the whole thing had a kind of 'watery' taste to it. I know this product (or the branding at least) is probably aimed more at kids than adults, but come on! Where's the taste gone?!
I found that the not-quite-hitting-the-mark taste really let the product down, and to be honest I probably wouldn't buy it again. I found it all to be quite disappointing, especially considering how impressed I have been with different items from the same Asda range. Oh well, I guess you can't win them all!
The dinky little tin is 200g in weight and the nutritional information on the can informs me that each tin will provide me with 216 calories and 7.6g of fat, which actually I do not think is all that bad.
The little tin of beans and sausages cost me 48 pence which seems quite a lot considering how small the tin is. I can actually get a full sized tin of Heinz baked beans (albeit without little sausages) from my local Farmfoods frozen food store for 39 pence, and I feel I would have been somewhat better off on this occasion if I had bought that instead!
I would award this little tin only two stars, because at least there were no black/hard beans! This could most definitely be improved though, and I probably would steer clear of it in the future - It was all very disappointing!
Generally I try to cook most of our meals from scratch. I'm not an A1 cook but I quite enjoy it and only work mornings so I'm lucky enough that I usually have the time to spend preparing our evening meal. However, life isn't always completely straight forward and it's nice to have a few back-ups and that's why I have a few tins, packets, frozen things for those 'emergency days'! This was especially true when I was pregnant with our youngest daughter and I was struck down with horrible, horrible morning sickness. I'd had it with out eldest too but at the time there was only myself and my husband to worry about so he was able to fend for himself for a few weeks while I took every opportunity to take to my bed! It's not so easy when you already have a child to look after who seems to demand to be fed whether you feel up to it or not!! Now, as my husband is no real cook (he can muster a mean macaroni cheese on a good day but other than that, if it's not in sandwich form or cereal it's beyond him) I decided we should get in some 'emergency' foods that would be easy for him to prepare for our daughter while I avoided all foods at all times and especially avoided the kitchen (even the smell of any food would make me spew).
And that is how we came to find the Asda 'Great Stuff' Baked Beans and Sausages. The 'Great Stuff' range has been produced by Asda as a healthy eating range of foods for children, as well as some other items aimed at children e.g. toiletries. The Great Stuff range promises to have strict limits on fats, saturated fats, salt and sugar and has no artificial colours or flavours and no hydrogenated fats. The tin itself is nice and bright and the picture of the food certainly looks quite appetising. With all of this in mind, and knowing that our daughter quite likes beans, we decided to buy a tin for her to try.
Now, I didn't try them at the time (due to the morning sickness!) but I have since had a taste! The beans themselves are nice and soft and the sausages are like any other processed sausages - quite soft but tasty nonetheless. The tomato sauce is lovely and thick and tastes slightly sweet which is especially pleasing to young children no doubt. You really don't notice any lack of salt and overall the whole thing is surprisingly tasty! More to the point, our daughter loved them and I had a reasonably clear conscience that they were reasonably healthy! It also meant that she didn't starve while I couldn't cook!
The 'Great Stuff' range is a vast range of goods but also includes other tinned foods similar to the baked beans and sausages such as beef ravioli, vegetable ravioli, pasta letters, tuna pasta bake, etc. Each tin is 200g and costs from 23p up to around 40p. Our youngest is now 15 months and has sampled a few of these as well and both the girls seem to really enjoy each of the tins that we've tried. I still try to cook from scratch but these are really great tins to keep in the cupboard for those days when you either just run out of time to cook something proper or you're ill or you decide to have a sneaky takeaway once the kids are in bed!! I find the tins to be really good value (sometimes on multi-buy offers too - good time to stock up!) and you can relax a little knowing the salt, sugar, etc is all taken care of!
Why Did I Buy This Product
My daughter has a kidney condition called glomerulonephritis. She's doing well health wise, but the condition causes high blood pressure. As well as taking medication to control her blood pressure, she also has to eat a low sodium diet.
The dietician told me to look for foods which had less than 0.3g of sodium per 100g of product. This means that most processed foods are off limits for her. I've looked at many so called healthy kids ranges of food but even they are mostly too salty. I was surprised when I checked the label of the ASDA great stuff baked beans and sausages and discovered that they have only 0.09g of sodium or 0.2g of salt per 100g so I picked up a can for her to try.
ASDA Great Stuff
The ASDA range of great stuff products was developed by nutritionists and are are at least 25% lower in fat, salt, sugar or saturated fat than similar standard products. They also use minimal additives such as colourings and flavourings. Theres a range of canned goods which contain favourite treats such as baked beans, raviolli and spaghetti as well as a range of chilled kids ready meals.
These beans and sausages are available in a 200g can with the distinctive green good stuff label on them. The label has the nutritional information readily available. A 200g tin will provide:
Carbohydrate 24.8g of which sugars 4.2g
Simply heat on the hob for 4 minutes or microwave for 2 and a half minutes.
This can contains a lot of small looking beans with five mini pork sausages mixed in. There is a good beans to tomato sauce ratio.
How low will I stoop for some dooyoo miles? I have an almost phobic dislike of baked beans. I've no idea when this started as I loved them when I was a kid. I hate even looking at beans but for the purpose of this review I ate one baked bean. It tasted fairly firm, not horrible and squishy as I feared. The sausage was lovely though, just as good as the ones I remember eating out of a can when I was a kid. The sauce tasted a bit blander than most tinned tomato sauce products, probably because I am used to the extra salt and sugar. My daughter likes them though, I asked her what to write in a review and she just told me they tasted nice.
Well done ASDA on producing a truly low salt product aimed at kids. I keep a couple of cans of these in my cupboard for a quick meal for my daughter. We all eat too much salt in this country and I'm happy to support any range of products which help us reduce our salt consumption. At 39p for a small can, they are more expensive than some ranges but this is one of these products I am happy to pay extra for.