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    Archive for the ‘veggie chips’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Veggie Chips/Terra Chips

    [Crispy Delites] sound so good! I hope they eventually bring them up to Canada.

    I did find it kind of unfair that you compared them to Funyuns though; I personally would’ve compared them to Terra Chips (although they don’t have an onion flavour so I kind of see why).

    The original flavoured ones are also just vegetables, oil and salt (and beet juice concentrate for colour). They are fried, however, so they still can’t compare to Crispy Delites, but I just wanted to point out they’re not the only real veggie chips out there!

    — Vincci (via the blog)
    Canada

    Vincci, you make a very good point. Like Crispy Delites, Terra Chips are also made exclusively from vegetables, and not a hodgepodge of sugar, stabilizers, flour, and buttermilk.

    As you mention, though, Terra chips are fried, which increases their caloric and fat content.

    Although they also offer three grams of fiber (and even a little less sodium than Crispy Delites), an ounce of Terra chips pack in 50 more calories and 6.5 more grams of fat.

    The reason why I compared red onion Crispy Delites to Funyuns was to show that not all “onion chips” are equal. In fact, Funyuns are really just fried corn starch chips with some onion flavoring on them — very different from the baked simplicity Crispy Delites offers.

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    Champion Chip

    A positive review of a bag of chips? Allow me to explain.

    Unlike other vegetable chips made mostly of flour with a little bit of spinach or carrot thrown in at the end for flavor, Crispy Delites are made exclusively and entirely from real vegetables.

    It also helps that they are baked, rather than fried. In essence, water and moisture are removed, leaving behind crispy, crunchy bits with no extra junk.

    The result? A healthy alternative to regular veggie chips that truly delivers.

    The red onion flavor, for example, has only three ingredients: red onion, canola oil, and sea salt.

    Compare that to Funyuns: enriched corn meal, corn and/or soybean oil, salt, corn starch, onion powder, sugar, soy flour, buttermilk, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed soy protein, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, garlic powder, artificial colors, spice, natural flavors, soybean oil, corn flour, and gum arabic.

    Notice how an actual onion isn’t anywhere to be found on that laundry list?

    Simplicity pays off! A one-ounce bag of red onion Crispy Delites contains 110 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, only 80 milligrams of sodium, a commendable 330 mg of potassium, and 3 grams of fiber!

    Let’s go back to the Funyuns for a second. One ounce of those provides 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 270 milligrams of sodium, 30 milligrams of potassium, and less than 1 gram of fiber.

    The numbers speak for themselves.

    Crispy Delites are also available in carrot, cucumber, celery, sweet potato, and taro flavors. Just like the red onion variety, they also consist of nothing but the vegetable in question, canola oil, and sea salt.

    There is also an apple variety, with “apples” as the the sole ingredient. It’s basically a one-ounce bag of crunchy baked apples — nothing else!

    Look for these in your local grocery stores and delis. If they are nowhere to be found, the company will soon provide ordering via their website.

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    Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Veggie Chips

    NOTE: Although this post discusses Robert’s American Gourmet veggie chips, it can be applied to any other brand with a similar ingredient list.

    The packaging boasts “potato, spinach and carrot,” as well as “natural,” but a closer look finds that there is nothing healthy about this rather new snack food.

    Contrary to popular belief, the inclusion of vegetables (usually in powdered form) to otherwise nutrient-void choices does not make them healthier.

    Take a look at these ingredients: Potato Flour, Potato Starch, Spinach, Carrot, Beet Root Powders, Rice and/or Sunflower Oil and Salt.

    True, there nothing is inherently unhealthy (i.e.: high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils). There is also nothing inherently nutritious.

    A baked potato, consumed with its skin, offers fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and some B vitamins, all of which are non-existent in potato flour.

    Keep in mind that a nutrition label lists ingredients by order of prominence by weight. In this product, potato flour and starch are the big players.

    Yes, spinach and carrot are there, but a look at the nutrient values makes it clear they aren’t the featured stars of these chips.

    A one and a half ounce serving contains:

    180 calories

    6 grams fat

    375 mg sodium

    1.5 grams fiber

    And as far as vitamins and minerals go, all we find is:

    2% of the iron daily value

    Remember, the more processed a food, the higher the sodium amount (and the lower the potassium). Granted, we do not know how much potassium is in this product, but keep in mind that whole fruits and vegetables contain virtually no sodium.

    So, those 375 milligrams indicate this is not just a whole carrot being roasted and turned into a crispy chip.

    Another clue this is basically just a potato chip with some spinach dust sprinkled on top? The low fiber amount. Vegetables are some of the best sources of fiber (a medium baked potato provides 4.5 grams, a cup of peas packs in 8, and a cup of brussel sprouts delivers 6.4!). These chips, though, deliver a weak 1.5 grams.

    These veggie chips are by no means the equivalent of a larger order of McDonald’s fries. However, they are not a good choice if you are looking for a nutritious snack, despite what the packaging may have you believe.

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