Lately, I’ve been clearing my cabinets of junk food, choosing fresh produce and simple ingredients over the saturated, processed food that I’m used to.
This lifestyle choice has helped me resolve issues with my skincare, mental health, and physical health. I dare say I’m in the best shape of my life and have never felt more energized, clear-headed, and light on my feet.
One of the first junk foods I switched out happened to be a guilty a pleasure of mine, something you would always catch me asking HusBae to pick me up during his nightly runs at our local bodega: chips.
These delightful, crispy, salty bites of happiness, however delicious, were causing me problems, especially when it came to skincare–the unhealthy combo of white starch deep fried in vegetable oil and dressed in salt has been aggravating my acne since I was a teen, a problem I never addressed.
With this in mind, I went on a quest to find snacks that could satisfy my cravings for crunch without jeopardizing my skin care or overall health.
Here’s a list of my favorites.
1. Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Cheddar Cheese Popcorn
Popcorn, in general, is a great alternative to potato chips. When prepared consciously, it’s a light, airy snack with a satisfying crunch that doesn’t have to be deep-fried or covered in oil to be enjoyed. I’ve had several popcorn variations since switching out potato chips, including an addictive sour cream and onion flavor by Smartfood. Still, my favorite by far is Boom Chicka Pop’s cheddar cheese popcorn by Angie’s.
First of all, whenever you combine the creamy, saltiness of cheese with the crunchy, airiness of popcorn, it’s a match made in heaven. We knew this the first time we all tried white cheddar popcorn, also made famous by Smartfood. However, Boom Chicka Pop sets itself apart by opting to coat its popcorn in yellow cheddar cheese, which provides a sharp, cheesy flavor that’s dangerously addictive. I appreciate Angie’s choice of whole-grain popcorn, sunflower oil, and simple ingredients that don’t run a mile long and are easily defined and recognizable. Search for these bad boys at your local Target. You won’t regret it.
2. Blue Diamond Almonds Bold
Almonds are not only a healthy, crunchy alternative to potato chips, but they also have many health benefits. These bite-sized nuts are high in protein, making them the perfect on-the-go snack. Blue Diamond is a brand that’s famous for its almond snacks, the best of which is their Almonds Bold line.
Blue Diamond Almonds Bold is a line of almonds that are coated in savory flavor profiles like sriracha, sweet Thai chili, and wasabi and soy sauce. The best of the bunch is the Bold Habanero Bbq, a spicy, smoky snack whose dismal 6oz size goes quick. Although the Almonds Bold line seems to be available everywhere from Walgreens, CVS, to Key Food, when you see this flavor snatch them up while you can. I bought them a few months ago and haven’t been able to find them since!
3. Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps
Snack Factory pretzel crisps are a lifesaver. They’re available almost anywhere and have filled my void of chips for a while regularly, thanks to how well they pair with dips (like Kite Hill’s delicious plant-based french onion dip, for example). Unlike the thick salty pretzels that we’re used to, these light, crunchy snacks are thin and crispy and are only lightly coated in salt.
Snack Factory’s pretzel crisps come in various savory flavors, including buffalo wing, everything, and honey mustard and onion. My favorites are the original flavor and the garlic parmesan, which can be eaten with a dip or stand-alone. If I’m in the mood for a sweet and salty combo, I’ll pick up their dark chocolate Drizzlers, which coat the original pretzel crips in semi-sweet dark chocolate. Mmm, soooo good!
4. Planters Salted Caramel Peanuts
You won’t find these salty-sweet snacks in your local stores, I’ve only ever been able to buy them on Amazon, and even that’s been a crapshoot. It makes sense–these crunchy snacks are so deliciously addictive they’d sell out in minutes.
Planters salted caramel peanuts have a delightful flavor profile of sweet, buttery caramel with a light salt dressing that is unlike any planter’s snack I’ve ever tasted. I used to go out of my way to seek their coated honey roasted peanuts, but ever since I tried these during an Amazon shopping trip, I’ve never gone back. The only downside about this snack is that it’s rare and weirdly expensive for its 6 oz size, costing nearly $10 for a pack of 2. Whenever I buy this snack, the only thing on my mind is, “WHY AREN’T THESE AVAILABLE IN A BIGGER SIZE!?“
5. Good and Gather Sweet Cajun Trail Mix
Trail mix is a great alternative to potato chips thanks to its variety of options and limitless flavor combinations, traditionally combining granola, dried fruit, nuts, and candy. Target’s market brand Good and Gather offers lots of options for trail mix, including tex mex, cashew cranberry almond, and blueberry nut. However, the sweet cajun trail mix is the best one on the shelf.
Good and Gather’s sweet cajun trail mix is so good thanks to its spicy crunchy bites of sesame sticks and peanuts, combined with the sweetness of butter toffee peanuts, corn, and honey roasted sesame sticks. With a profile as advanced as that, who needs chips and dip!?
6. Good Health Chips
Good Health’s chips are the only actual potato chips on this list, but with good reason. This health-conscious branch of UTZ offers potato chips prepared in better quality oils, which promote heart health and are rich in monounsaturated fats, unlike the standard vegetable oil option.
Good Health’s potato chips are prepared in avocado and olive oil, making me feel a lot less guilty when I’m scarfing them down. They come in a variety of flavors, my favorite being the spicy jalapeno, and are another crunchy snack that pairs well with dips, thanks to its lightly salted taste.
That rounds off my list! I hope you find these options helpful and give them some thought the next time you hit the store for a snack run.
*What are some of your favorite snacks?
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