Do you have a particular fondness for salty chips or artificially flavored cheese snacks but you’re looking to swap out some of those highly artificial, processed snacks for something a little healthier? We’re here to help you make some better decisions! Of course, the healthiest choice would be to trade those processed snacks in a bag for whole food snacks. However, sometimes you just want to grab something on the go – and you’re looking for something in a bag that is gluten free, flavorful, and yet, just not as unhealthy as a bag of chips. We’re not saying these are better for you than snacking on carrots, but we’d like to share some of our favorite tasty options that may be lower in fat, have ingredients you can pronounce, and may be a better alternative to other snacks on the market.
Harvest Snaps Baked Green Pea Snack Crisps
First up, Harvest Snaps Baked Green Pea Snack Crisps. Pea snacks? Really?? Yes!!! These light, puffed pea pod shaped snacks are made from pea protein – that’s correct, they’re made from green peas! They’re baked, vegetarian friendly, gluten free, non-GMO, crispy and delicious! We especially love the Parmesan Roasted Garlic flavor – YUM! There are many other flavors such as Lightly Salted, Wasabi Ranch, White Cheddar, and Caesar to name a few - and they also offer an organic option.
A one ounce serving (about 22 pea snaps) of the Parmesan Roasted Garlic crisps is 130 calories, 5 grams of fat - zero grams of saturated and zero grams of trans fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein! All from a bag of crispy pea snacks!!
Quaker Rice Crisps
Next up are Quaker Rice Crisps. Yes – they’re basically mini rice cakes! Rice cakes will always have the weight loss fad stigma; however, they have come a long way in taste and texture since the days of Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons. These updated rice “crisps” are small in size - yet packed with flavor. If you’re looking to satisfy that salty craving with a super crunchy gluten free treat is popped, not fried, and contains 13 grams of whole grains per serving – then Quaker Rice Crisps are for you! They come in a multitude of savory flavors, such as Buttermilk Ranch – our favorite, Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion, Sweet & Spicy Chili, Buffalo Ranch, and Sweet Barbecue, as well as some sweet variations – including Caramel, Chocolate, and Kettle Corn.
One serving - about 16 crisps - of the Buttermilk Ranch has 120 calories, 5 grams of fat, one gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein - and tons of flavor!
Off the Eaten Path Snacks
Next up are the Off the Eaten Path Snacks - which are just as unique as their name. The Chickpea Veggie Crisps have the traditional crunch and texture of a rice cake, but they are different because green peas, black beans, and purple sweet potato can be seen in every colorful crisp. These plant-based, non-GMO, gluten free snacks are light and very thin which makes them extra crispy. This brand offers a diverse array of rare snacks to intrigue your taste buds such as Rosemary & Olive Oil Hummus Crisps and Jalapeno Veggie Crisps.
One serving - about 15 crisps - is 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat - zero grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein – and plenty of crunch!
Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes
If you like Skinny Pop Popcorn, try Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes! Aside from Sharp Cheddar Popcorn Mini Cakes – our favorite - there are a variety of flavors - such as Sea Salt, Everything Bagel, Salted Caramel, and Cinnamon & Sugar. They’re a little lighter on flavor, yet still satisfying – and have quite a good nutritional profile for a bagged snack. The Sharp Cheddar is dairy free, made with whole grains, non-GMO, certified vegan, gluten free, preservative free, and does not have any artificial ingredients or flavors.
One serving - about 20 mini cakes - is 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat - zero saturated and zero trans-fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.
Quest Protein Chips
Lastly, we have Quest Tortilla Style Protein Chips, of which our preferred flavor is Nacho Cheese. We’ll admit that these tortilla shaped chips are highly processed and a bit salty, but we love that they are baked, all natural, gluten free, and not to mention, a good source of calcium! Each 140-calorie pouch is packed with an impressive 18 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fiber – so if you do the math, that’s 4 net carbs! Aside from our favorite Nacho Cheese, they also come in 4 other flavors – Chili Lime, Loaded Taco, Spicy Sweet Chili, and Ranch - and they just satisfy that desire for something extra salty!
As previously mentioned, these are all bagged snacks and none of them can replace the benefits of whole natural foods. However, if looking for something to grab on the go that is a little less artificial or offers a boost of fiber or protein that satisfies that salty, crunchy, junk food craving, then these snacks are for you!