Tag Archives: snacks

Off the Shelf: Potato Chip Alternatives

7 Apr

Call me weird, but I don’t like potato chips – I find them oily and boring. I can’t possibly be the only one, can I? Fortunately, there are now many alternatives. Here are my results from a few months of chip-munching. Each snack is rated out of 5 points. All are gluten-free.

Lentil Chips Mediterranean Snacks – Baked Lentil Chips ◊ Parmesan Garlic   2/5

Right away, I am hit with the taste of Parmesan and garlic. It soon turns to the taste of cardboard … that’s strangely addictive, probably because of the satisfying crunch. At least there is 3 g fiber and 4 g protein per 1 oz serving. These are probably better used as a vehicle for savory dips or hummus, rather than as a snack on their own. Maybe that’s why there is a hummus recipe printed on the bag!

Hummus Chips
◊ Simply 7 – Hummus Chips ◊ Roasted Red Pepper   2.5/5

These chickpea flour chips are very similar to the lentil chips, in that they begin to remind me of cardboard after eating a few. However, their interesting scoop-like shapes make them fun to eat mindlessly, and they can look rather impressive at a party.

Wild RiceWorks Sea Salt and Black Sesame

Wild RiceWorks – Gourmet Wildrice Crisps ◊ Sea Salt and Black Sesame   3/5

The wild rice gives these crisps a nutty flavour, while the black sesame gives them a smokiness. These have a texture like tortilla chips, and they are great on their own, without any dip. However, I found them overly salty.RiceWorks - Parmesan


◊ RiceWorks – Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps ◊ Parmesan and Sundried Tomato   4/5

These rice chips taste just like nacho cheese-flavoured Doritos! Triangular, orange-coloured, and immensely cheesy (overpowering any hint of sundried tomato), they are a hipster version of the well-known junk food. They have just 0.5 grams of saturated fat per 28 gram serving (~10 crisps), compared to 1 gram in the Doritos. The other nutritional values however, are about the same (calories, sodium, sugar, and protein), so don’t be fooled into thinking you’re being that much healthier snacking on these crisps.
RiceWorks Salsa Fresca

RiceWorks – Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps ◊ Salsa Fresca  5/5

These are by far my favorite of the bunch. They really taste like fresh salsa baked right into thick tortilla chips. No other dips required! These addictive chips were a hit among my friends.


Beanitos – Black Bean Chips ◊ Chipotle BBQ  4/5

The round chips are a good snacking size. These black bean chips are more flavorful than Beanitos’ pinto flax seed chips, but it’s tough to tell whether this is because black beans are themselves more flavorful, or because there are more seasonings here. In any case, prepare to get your hands dirty with tomato/onion/garlic powders, paprika, and the like, though it’s worth it! These chips also pack in 4 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber in a 28g serving.

Off The Shelf: Protein and Nut Bars – Part I

16 Dec

Bag of almondsSometimes the BusyFoodie needs to grab a quick, nutritious (and tasty) snack. Nuts are known for satisfying hunger, protein bars are perfectly packaged to be thrown in any purse or bag, and nut bars are like a happy marriage of the two. Here’s what I like to keep handy:

Not all roasted nuts are created equal – often, nuts are overly salted or oily. Almond Expressions Roasted Salted Almonds are perfectly lightly salted, and not greasy at all.

For a more indulgent snack, Q’s Nuts (Somerville, MA) roasts peanuts, almonds, cashews and pecans with a variety of natural ingredients. I first discovered Q’s Nuts at Eat Boutique in Boston, and immediately fell in love with the Banana Foster Pecans – they really do taste just like bananas foster!

When it comes to a quick grab-and-go, toss-in-your-bag snack, Larabar Über Sweet and Salty Fruit and Nut Bars manage a good balance of taste and nutrition. While many granola or protein bars pack in tons of sugar along with ingredients you can’t pronounce, Über bars have short lists of recognizable ingredients, and they also taste great (unlike many protein bars). They are also gluten-free. The Bananas Foster reminds me of Q’s Nuts’ pecans. The Cherry Cobbler really tastes like a mouthful of cherries, and the Apple Turnover is a terrific mix of dried apples. walnuts, and raisins with a hint of cinnamon. Sadly, these are currently available in the United States, but not yet in Canada.

Luna Bar

If you’re craving baked sweets, Luna bars (made by CLIF Bar & Company) might just hit the spot. The Chocolate Peppermint Stick and Nutz Over Chocolate flavours pack enough chewy, chocolatey goodness to make you feel as if you’re eating a brownie. In fact, there is a Caramel Nut Brownie version. Though Luna Bars are marketed as nutrition bars for women (containing calcium, vitamin D, folic acid, and iron in addition to the usual protein and fiber), my boyfriend thought they were pretty yummy, too.

Luna Bar- unwrappedInside a Chocolate Peppermint Stick bar – the texture is a bit like a vegan brownie.

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