Chow Down: 10 Healthy Snacks That Don't Suck
Problem 1: Now that I have a girlfriend again, I have been reminded how irritating it is in the summer when we walk by a bunch of brotards playing sand volleyball and She-Ra: Princess of Power is so distracted by their spikes and grunts and flexing 6-packs that she doesn't hear a word of the detailed report I'm giving her of my last game of Call of Duty. Problem 2: The nutrition information on a pack of Oreos is for a serving size of 3 cookies. 3! Given that I eat Oreos by the sleeve, that is some buuuullll shit.
To recap: my problems are twofold in that I feel compelled to grow a 6-pack in order to stop my girlfriend from running off with a brotard volleyball player, but I can't do that by eating mass quantities of Oreos and Pringles as afternoon snacks. But thanks to the Internet and some polls I conducted on girls who looked good in yoga pants, I have found some food that is both easy on the male gut, simple to acquire, nil on the preparation requirements, and can mostly be eaten by the sleeve. Or bag, box, carton, bar.....
Here are my picks for 10 Healthy Snacks That Don't Suck.
(Note: All items' prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are subject to change.)
Krave Gourmet Jerky $45 for a variety pack of 8. Not only is this satisfyingly chewy dried meat gourmet in its range of flavors, but also in its divvying of said flavors amongst their most complementary land-dwelling counterparts. Choose from the likes of Chili Lime Beef Jerky, Black Cherry BBQ Pork Jerky, and Basil Citrus Turkey Jerky, or loop back through and grab some Sweet Chipotle Beef, Grilled Sweet Teriyaki Pork, or Lemon Garlic Turkey Jerky. Nutrition information per 3.25-ounce pack (approximations; different flavors vary): 230 to 270 calories; 3 to 9 grams of fat; 15 to 25 grams of sugar; 20 to 30 grams of protein.
Frozen Mango Kefir $5 to $6 per pint. Like a gift from the baby Jesus, this stuff is perfect in every way. Kefir is basically the Eastern European version of yogurt, but made in a more liquid form for drinking. Lifeway's frozen Mango Kefir uses the same lowfat milk, probiotic cultures, and natural flavorings as the regular stuff, but somehow the addition of stabilizers and an ice box transforms it into the most perfect pint of sweetness, tartness, and refreshment a hot summer day could ask for. Frozen Kefir also comes in a couple of different pink flavors, but in my opinion, only the mango is worth your time. Nutrition breakdown: The entire pint has 360 calories, 4 grams of fat, 64 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.
Dang Toasted Coconut Chips $30 for a pack of 12. People seem polarized on the smell and flavor of coconut, but if this fruit is your thing, Dang's coconut chips are a fine representation of it. Crunchy, not too sweet, and enough fat to classify as a filling snack that won't make you hungry again in 30 minutes. Each 1.43-ounce bag has 230 calories, 14 grams of fat, 16 grams of sugar, 6 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
Boom Chicka Pop Lightly Sweet Kettle Corn $40 for 12 x 5-ounce bags. If they sold popcorn-flavored crack this is what it would taste like. This is the best popcorn containing the least amount of gut damage I've ever had. The other Boom Chicka flavors are good too, but I would officially crown this Kettle Corn version the new King of Pop. Nutrition information, per (giant) 5-ounce bag: 600 calories; 20 grams of fat; 25 grams of sugar; 15 grams of fiber; 10 grams of protein.
PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter $7. Not since Grow Toys and Sea Monkeys has the simple addition of water created a miracle of Powdered Peanut Butter caliber. Obviously, the 85% reduction in fat and calories renders it more a loose approximation of peanut butter than the thing itself, but health-conscious consumers who have put so much hummus on their gluten-free toast that they're starting to sweat garbanzo beans will fall to their knees in praise of the gods of molecular gastronomy. Add as is to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or joints for an intense peanut butter explosion, or take advantage of the powder's DIY reconstitution capabilities and create a paste for sandwiches, or sauce for stir fries. Want a recipe? Use a Theo dark chocolate bar (see below) and this recipe to make the PB2 cups you may be drooling over in the image gallery. Available in Chocolate too. Per 2 Tablespoons, PB2 has: 45 calories; 1.5 grams of fat; 1 gram of sugar; 2 grams of fiber; and 5 grams of protein.
Beanitos Hot Chili Lime Puffs $7.75. The magical fruit does it again. Like Cheese Puffs but made from fiber- and protein-rich beans, with no preservatives and only natural, non-GMO ingredients. The Chili Lime flavor is just a little spicy and gargantuan-ly delicious. They also do not disappoint in the orange-coated fingers department. Beanitos makes standard Chedder and White Cheddar Puffs as well. An entire 3-ounce bag of Chili Lime Puffs has: 360 calories; 12 grams of fat; 12 grams of fiber; and 12 grams of protein.
Epic Meat Bars $27 to $30 for a box of 12. Texturally, Epic bars are much thicker and softer than jerky--they are based on a Plains Indian food called pemmican--and their flavor profiles are quizzically unique. Strange enough to make you ponder WTF?, but not so outlandish that WTF? doesn't lead to kinda wanting to try one. Flavors include: Bacon; Bison Bacon & Cranberry; Beef Habanero & Cherry; Beef Apple Bacon; Chicken Sriracha; Chicken, Sesame & BBQ; Lamb, Currant & Mint; Pulled Pork & Pineapple; and Turkey, Almond & Cranberry. Nutrition information (average per 1.5-ounce bar): 120 to 200 calories; 8 to 12 grams of fat; 0 to 8 grams of sugar; 11 to 15 grams of protein.
Harvest Roast Slow Roasted Garlic Herb Pumpkin Seeds $36 for 12 x 2-ounce packs. Another reason it's called The Great Pumpkin: the crunchy, tasty seeds that come from a good roasting and a few herbs and spices. Harvest Roast's pocket-sized seed sacks include unhulled product, so teeth gnaw through both the thick white outer shell and the soft green seed inside. That means a little extra work and pretty much an entire day's worth of fiber in one sitting. (Be careful with that. A fiber overdose will make you feel like someone shoved a dry dishcloth up your...you know.) Nutrition information, per 2-ounce pouch: 240 calories; 10 grams of fat; 20 grams of fiber; 10 grams of protein.
Theo 85% Dark Chocolate Bar $42 for 12 x 3-ounce bars. If you like the darker chocolates, Theo's is high quality, simple, and true to the roots of its ingredients. All bars are organic, fair-trade, and Non-GMO. Most Theo beans ship from the Congo, Peru, and Panama straight to the company's factory in Seattle to undergo their full transformation into a variety of chocolate bars, caramels, and other confections. The 85% Dark bar contains 2 servings, so half a slab has: 210 calories; 19 grams of fat; 7 grams of sugar; 5 grams of fiber; and 4 grams of protein.
Zico Chocolate Coconut Water $28 for a 12-pack of 14-ounce bottles. If you're cool with coconut, in many ways this is even better than real chocolate milk. It gets colder and actually quenches your thirst, without leaving you with a thick mouth coat or phlegmy throat. Plus, there are electrolytes, 60% less sugar than chocolate milk, and the dairy-free factor for the lactose intolerant. I can guzzle a whole bottle in about 6.3 seconds, but I prefer pouring it on my (organic, whole grain, low-sugar) cereal. Each 14-ounce bottle has: 120 calories; 2 grams of fat; 600mg of potassium; 20 grams of sugar; and 1 gram of protein.