I am a huge fan of potato chips. Crinkle cut, kettle cooked, Lay’s thins—you name it, I’ll eat it. However, I try not to buy them often because they are high in calories, and once I pop open a bag I can’t stop. Many of us have tried to convince ourselves that they are made from vegetables and therefore healthy, but let’s face it, once you take potatoes and deep fry them in oil they are no longer good for you.
The manufacturing process of branded potato chips turn potatoes into a food that is low in nutrients but high in calories. Moreover, they are reported to have one of the highest concentrations of acrylamide among a wide variety of foods tested. Acrylamide is a chemical which materializes in some foods when they are cooked at high temperatures, and some studies have found that it can increase cancer risks.
After facing the reality of potato chips’ nutritional value, I began a quest to healthier snacking. A trip to Whole Foods lead to the discovery of Simply 7 Snacks, a company that makes chips out of ingredients vastly more nutritious than those in regular potato chips. A quick glance at their packaging revealed their passionate for sticking to seven simple standards: clean ingredients, no added preservatives, 0 grams trans fat, no artificial colors or flavors, gluten free, simple ingredients and simply delicious.
Intrigued, I grabbed a bag of their cheddar quinoa chips. They turned out so delicious that I decided I had to try every single chip variety that they make. These were my taste test findings.
1. Hummus Chips
My favorite dip has turned into a chip. These hummus chips are made of chickpea flour, rice and potato starch. The chickpeas make the snack higher in protein than your classic Lay’s, so I like to snack on these after a workout. Also, their little bowl shape makes them ideal for dipping, perhaps in hummus?
2. Kale Chips
These are not your regular kale chips, made out of kale leaves baked in the oven. Instead, kale powder is combined with potato starch and potato flour to make these delicious crunchy bites. The use of potato gives these a texture not so dissimilar to Pringles, but they definitely have more crunch and bite, and of course, a lot fewer ingredients.
3. Lentil Chips
Lentil flour as well as potato starch and rice flour are used to make these chips. Their shape makes them great for dipping, and as you can probably imagine, the texture here—due to lentil flour—is not quite as crunchy as quinoa chips.
4. Quinoa Chips
These are probably my favorite out of all of the chips varieties here. They have a super crunchy, light and airy texture. After the initial crunch, the chips kind of melt in your mouth. Like with potato chips, I found myself unable to stop eating these. But with about 500 calories in the one whole bag serving and only seven ingredients—all of which I can pronounce—I don’t feel so bad about pigging out on these.
5. Veggie Chips
These have a texture similar to the kale chips because organic potato and rice flours are also used in these. The veggie flavors and colors come from organic tomato powder, spinach, turmeric and beetroot powders.
In all of the above varieties there are no added preservatives, artificial colors or flavoring, and zero trans fat. Classic Lay’s chips have 185 calories, 374 mg cholesterol and 4 grams of saturated fat per 1 oz serving. The sea salt quinoa chips from Simply7 only have 140 calories, 0 mg cholesterol and 0.5 g saturated fat.
Now that you can have your chips and eat them too, perhaps you can eat your way to that summer bod?