Monday, May 9, 2016

NEW Snack Easy Series!

As promised, I'm bringing you the first installment of my snack easy series. I'm really excited about this one! I love my snacks, so starting this series was a no-brainer. This time around I have five snacks for you. On the list are a spicy jalapeño white cheddar popcorn, two kinds of KIND bars (couldn't resist!), a miso ginger salmon jerky, and berry rhubarb frozen bars. Check out my thoughts on each snack below:


Spicy Jalapeño White Cheddar Popcorn
Bought at: Whole Foods
Price: $3.69
Repeat Purchase?: NO

As far as taste goes, this one was good but it wasn't great. I found it to be lacking the spiciness factor that you'd expect with the name "spicy jalapeño." Jalapeño is already spicy so you don't need to say "spicy" jalapeño unless there's an extra spiciness factor above what the jalapeño provides. This one didn't deliver on that.  It is a bit denser than regular popcorn, which makes one cup of this more filling than one cup of air popped popcorn. You can actually eat one kernel of popcorn at a time rather than a few and be satisfied because of its denseness. The serving is 2.5 cups with 160 calories. It does have a fair amount of fat but it's the unsaturated kind which is supposed to be better for you. While it's heavy on the fat, it's pretty light on fiber considering that one of the benefits of many types of popcorn is that it's a good source of fiber. The bag costs under $4 and has 8 servings if you adhere to the recommended serving size, which makes it a great value for the money (less than $0.50 per serving). While the bag says its limited edition, I'm not crying about it. I've had other jalapeño white cheddar popcorn that I've found to be much better (one from NatureBox and one from Target). Since I wasn't too impressed with the taste and it doesn't deliver big on any key nutrients like protein or fiber, I won't be buying this one again.
Berry Rhubarb Frozen Bars
Bought at: Whole Foods
Price: $2.99
Repeat Purchase?: YES
Out of all the snacks I bought, this one was by far my favorite. It'll be a great snack to have on hand for the summer months. It's a pretty big sized bar and rather filling for being less than 100 calories.  One bar actually counts as a 1/2 serving of your fruit & veggie requirements which is nice. Gotta get em in how you can! The sugar content may seem a bit high, but I checked the ingredients list and saw that sugar wasn't listed until halfway through. This means that it's not a prominent ingredient since ingredients are listed based on the amount used in the item. You get 4 bars for $3 which means that each bar is under a dollar. Based on its great taste, good value, and solid nutritional profile, I'll definitely buy this again.

Miso Ginger Salmon Jerky
Bought at: Whole Foods
Price: $7.99
Repeat Purchase?: NO

Based on price alone, I knew before I bought this that it would only be an occasional treat if I ended up liking it. It's $8 and only has three servings if you adhere to the recommended serving size. That makes each serving about $2.66. Fortunately for my wallet, this one was a miss. I didn't get any hint of the miso ginger flavor which is what drew me to this item in the first place. It actually smells and tastes like something Nigerians cook with. I let my mom smell and taste it and she confirmed my thoughts. So if you're a Nigerian with a hankering for some dried fish like you'd find in soup, this will be right up your alley. But if you're expecting a miso ginger jerky similar to beef or turkey jerky, you'll want to keep shopping. Nutritionally, this is a good snack with 12 grams of protein per serving. You'd just have to watch out for the sodium. This isn't a huge bag so you could finish it all at once and it has 480 milligrams of sodium per serving which when multiplied by three gets you close to the 1500 range. Since it missed the miso ginger mark and comes with a hefty price tag, I will not be buying this one again.




KIND Cashew Ginger Bar
Bought at: My local co-op
Price: $1.79
Repeat Purchase?: NO

From the name, I was really excited to try this one. Overall it was just okay as far as taste goes. Technically all of the ingredients were there - I definitely tasted the cashew and ginger but it just fell flat. I'm thinking some more vanilla and cinnamon could have taken this over the edge. The texture was also off for me. It was pretty hard to chew like a taffy almost. As far as nutrition goes, this one is 200 calories per bar with 14 grams of fat. Only 2 of those grams are saturated fat though and it does contain nuts which are known to be high in unsaturated fats. It has an solid 5 grams of fiber, only 4 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. I love a high fiber snack. With one bar being the serving size, it's not a bad value for the money either. Ultimately, I wouldn't buy this again since the taste and texture were off for me. I will be trying other KIND bar varieties though.

KIND Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Bar
Bought at: My local co-op
Price: $1.79
Repeat Purchase?: NO


This was another bar I was really excited to try with its decadent dark chocolate coating and promises of cinnamony goodness. With this one like the other KIND bar the taste was off for me. Again all of the ingredients were technically there they just didn't come together as I had imagined. The texture was off on this one too. I checked the expiration dates on these to make sure I hadn't picked up expired bars and they weren’t supposed to expire until November of this year. Nutritionally, this was similar to the cashew ginger bar. It has the same amount of calories with a slightly higher amount of fat (16 grams in total with 3.5 of those coming from saturated fat). It has an impressive 7 grams of fiber, just 5 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. While the cost is reasonable and the fiber content is great, ultimately the disappointing taste and extra chewy texture were its demise. I will not be buying this specific flavor again.

So there you have it. The first of what will be many more healthy snack reviews.  Snackin ain't easy but someone's gotta do it:)

P.S. If you have a healthier snack that you really enjoy, by all means tell me about it below. I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, snack easy my friends.

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