By Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
What do kids pack in their lunch bags and adults put out at bar-b-ques? If you are tempted to say “Twinkies,” hesh your mouth right now! It’s chips for the win! Since we’re not big fans of high-calorie, low-nutrition chips, we taste tested a
truckload laundry line full of unusual chips that just might be a better choice.
Alexandra: I’m going to start off with the one I thought I’d hate: plantain chips. I only like plantains when they’re disguised in a fruit smoothie, so I was practicing my “be open-minded before you make any assumptions” attitude when I accepted an offer from Turbana to try their chips. Call me Convert (not Spartacus), as I totally fell in love with 4 of their 6 flavors: chili, lime, chili & lime, and garlic (the other 2 are natural – too banana-y for me, and sweet – I’m not much for sweet). I like to read labels, so it matters to me that the Turbana chips have 30% less fat than ‘tater chips, no trans fat or cholesterol, and are free of preservatives, additives and gluten. I strongly encourage you to try these, even if you’ve been wounded in love with previous plantain chips.
Another kind I tried and liked was the Plentils line of lentil chips by Enjoy Life. Sounds weird, right? I mean, lentils!!? Again, you’ll be surprised. Dill & sour cream, garlic & parmesan, margherita pizza, and sea salt (this last one I haven’t yet tried). My younger son used to have some food allergies, so I am happy to see what’s NOT in these: wheat, soy, tree nuts, egg, peanuts, shellfish, dairy or fish. Okay, if fish were in these chips, that would be seriously nasty. Although….I do love kroepoek (shrimp chips).
I’ll turn this over to Kymberly, but first a little link love to our previous post about LesserEvil krinkle sticks and popcorn.
Kymberly: I admit it — I hear the siren call of crunchy snacks, but I don’t like the guilt and lethargy that go with fried junk food, aka “your usual chip.” When we had the chance to taste test snacky crunchy items that fell into the “somehow unusual and better for you” category it practically felt like we were performing good deeds. One – so you could see all the healthier options, and two – who doesn’t like to eat snacks guilt-free (though not actually calorie-free. Come on, these are healthier options, not magic ones).
Suffice to say that over the last three months I have tried the following:
- RW Garcia Dippers – Gluten free, Non GMO, organic corn – 3 Seed Curry and Mango Dipping Chips (Yes, they dipped well and were one of my flavor champs.)
- Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks – Organic grains, seeds, beans , Gluten free, Non GMO- Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips (super delish! Another flavor champ)
- Green Chopsticks – Green Tea Roasted Seaweed Crisps (yes, there are people who actually eat and like these snacks and I am one of them. My puppy eats raw seaweed at the beach. Bleeech!)
- Sea’s Gift - Roasted Seaweed Snack – Original, Wasabi (lots of protein!)
- Kettle Classics – Sundried Tomato Basil Chips (had to rescue from the hubster in order to try these so we know what he thought. Gotta say I would be more than willing to try the 8 other Classic flavors and the Baked and California snack lines which actually looked healthier. Got that Kettle peeps? HINT! My cupboard has space.)
- Kay’s Naturals –Gluten Free, soy protein – Protein Pretzel Sticks, Jalapeno Honey Mustard (mustard anything falls into my “like” file box. Mayonnaise is a slimy food that must be defeated.)
- PopCorners - Gluten free – Caramel, Popped Corn Chips (Hand raised when anyone asks “Who LOVES popcorn? Who has a hard time resisting movie popcorn even though it’s high salt, not real butter, super greasy and ruins your pants?”) SOOOoooo glad to find several popcorn options that offer taste, lowered cals, low earth impact, and social conscience!
- Popcorn Indiana – Gluten Free, Non GMO – Kettlecorn, Corn Chips
- Beanitos - Corn Free, Gluten Free, Non GMO – Pinto Bean and Flax Cheddar Cheese, Black Bean Chipotle BBQ (Those were calling my name louder than ranchera music on a blasting car radio!)
Daunted by that list? Impressed at my vast array of samples? Let’s cut to the chase – every single one of the snacks above had some redeeming quality. If you are trying to avoid carbs, you’ll find several protein options. You support Non GMO products? Look at all the choices above. Want to avoid potatoes as your chip base? Well hello popcorn, seaweed crisps and chips with beans or lentils, fruit (those plantains my sis mentioned), tubers (think “yams” and “sweet potatoes”) or veggies as the main ingredient. Trying to clear out chemicals? Read the labels of the above products to find your natural happy!
If you digest just one thing from this post – and who can intake just one (get the reference, chip addicts?) – it’s that companies are out there working hard to bring you more flavor and nutritional value with less fat, salt, preservatives, chemicals, and calories.
Final word from Alexandra: If you’re wondering why kale chips aren’t on this list, it’s because we have not yet tried any that were worth the insult they gave our taste buds.
Disclaimer: The only compensation we received for this post was the snacks themselves, no additional funds, bonds, cash, or prizes. Pass the golden dip, will you?
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