Trying New Foods: Healthy Snacks Edition

I love trying new things, and while in Chicago I was able to try five new varieties of healthy snacks, all found in the snack aisle. I’m gonna cut to the chase and say that (spoiler alert!) all of them are delicious.

1) Rhythm Superfoods Beet Chips. My friend Jeff likes beets before a race, because they contain nitrites that promote nitric oxide production in your body, which boosts energy output and performance. So I bought these at Jewel Osco, and ate them the morning of my Milwaukee race.

It turns out the athletic benefits mostly come from raw beets or beet juice, and these guys are dehydrated, which basically involves cooking them for a long, long time under low heat. So I’m not sure if they really did provide any benefit for my race, but they’re a super healthy snack nonetheless!

Scratch that – beets are also full of potassium, which helps prevent cramping. I always load up on potassium before a race, so these guys were helpful after all!

This entire bag had 100 calories and 22g carbs, and they’re fantastic. I’ve eaten fried beet chips before, but I think I like the dehydrated kind even more!

2) and 3) fusionJERKY basil citrus beef jerky and Karma lime twist wrapped cashews.  I’m lumping these together because my sister Laura and I shared both bags at the same time.

I eat jerky regularly, and every time I buy it, I check every single bag at the store and buy the kind that’s lowest in sodium. I most commonly buy bags that have three servings in it, and eat them all at once, and I don’t want to reach my daily limit of sodium by eating one snack!

RELATED CONTENT: Check out the new-to-me foods I tried in my two other recent ‘Trying New Foods’ posts! Click here and here.

So I was thrilled to see that this particular brand and flavor of jerky only has 200mg of sodium per serving, while other brands at the store had four times that amount. And basil citrus is a flavor I hadn’t seen before in the jerky aisle, so that was an added bonus!

The cashews were also delicious, although both Laura and I were both confused as to why they were called ‘wrapped’ cashews. The lime flavor was a dusty coating on the cashews, like most flavored nuts have, so ‘wrapped’ seems like a marketing ploy, which I fell for, because that word made that package stand out in the nut aisle. Strange wording aside, they were tasty, and if I find them again, I’d try the other flavors.

4) Pan’s Mushroom Jerky. Speaking of jerky, when I saw this product at the Green Grocer, a tiny neighborhood specialty store in Chicago, my eyes grew very wide. Jerky, made from mushrooms? Yes please!

Mushrooms make great jerky! They’re dense and flavorful and chewy, and this is a completely satisfying snack. It’s a little more oily than meat-based jerkies, and sure enough, they add oil in the manufacturing process.

One serving as 150 calories, 10g fat, 12g carbs, 3g protein, and 260mg sodium. Compared to beef jerky, it has about 5x the fat, 1/8th the protein, and about 50% more calories, but you’re not going to go wrong with a 150-calorie snack. A unique product that I’d totally buy again.

5) Biena Honey-Roasted Chickpea Snacks. This was an airport purchase, to eat on the four-hour flight back home from Chicago. I love roasted chickpeas, and have even shared my recipe for them on this blog. There’s a few brands of roasted chickpeas out there, but this was the first time I’ve seen a sweet version of them.

Needless to say, I was intrigued. I love honey-roasted peanuts and cashews, so I was expecting to like these, too. And I did! They reminded me of Kix cereal: light, crunchy, honey-flavored, and the same approximate size and shape.

One serving has 120 calories and 20g of carbs. The bag had five servings in it, and it was a long flight, and I ended up eating the whole bag while watching… while watching… while watching some movie that I can’t even remember. So I had a 600-calorie snack. Sometimes that happens when you’re watching a completely unmemorable movie!

Keep it up, David!

I just remembered the movie: “Baby Driver.” Fun car chases, fun music, but it says something that I couldn’t remember it at all despite having seen in five days ago.

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