The Chips Revolution – Not just Potato and Corn Anymore

Veggie Chips

photo: Kitchen Talks

In the last few years, we are seeing new product introductions in the chip category growing at a mighty clip. Kale chips, bean chips, you-name-the-veggie-we-have-it-chips, and the list goes on. With almost an entire supermarket aisle dedicated to potato and tortilla chips, the only question is why did it take so long to innovate with other vegetables?

The Los Angeles Times had a good story covering this -

Whether it’s black bean chips or dehydrated cabbage, sprouted sweet potato tortilla crisps or baked and salted peas, the options in the $560-billion global snack food market are expanding along with the waistlines of Americans and their desire to eat more healthfully. Read more…

From a nutrition perspective it’s important to keep in mind that these are still snacks, and that in many cases the oil and sodium make them

Here’s a quick comparison of 3 chips:

1. Lay’s Classic Potato Chips

150 Calories, 10 grams of fat, 180mg of sodium, 1 gram of fiber

Ingredients: potatoes,vegetable oil (sunflower, corn/or canola oil), and salt.

2. Beanitos Black Bean Chips, Chipotle

140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 150mg of sodium, 5 grams of fiber

Ingredients: All natural non-GMO ingredients: whole black beans, whole grain rice (brown rice and/or long grain white rice), sea salt, pure sunflower and/or safflower oil, raw powdered brown sugar, tomato powder, torula yeast, paprika, raw sugar, onion powder, chipotle chili powder, spices, less than 2% of garlic powder, citric acid, malic acid, natural smoke flavor, silicon dioxide (anti-caking), guar bean gum.

3. Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale Chips

140 calories, 9 grams of fat, 140mg of sodium, 3 grams of fiber

Ingredients: kale, red bell pepper, cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Himalayan sea salt.

As you can see, each of the products has its pros and cons:

All are about 1 ounce in serving. All have fats in them. The fats in the kale chips are mostly from the cashews and sunflower seeds, which is better than the frying oils of the other two chips. Ironically, the classic potato chip product has the shortest ingredient list. But then again, that’s probably the reason potato chips have been around for so long – potatoes they lend themselves to the form factor, unlike kale and beans that need to get work done to beat them into a chip form factor. From a fiber perspective, the bean chips win hands down. They are also mostly non-GMO. All three products are similar in calories and sodium.

What to do at the supermarket:

Choose your chips based on your needs and values. Stay away from products with added artificial colors. Look out for sneaky portion sizes – a single use bag with 3 servings in it can have you munching over 400 calories without noticing!

What tasty chips have you discovered lately?

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    I saw Beanitos in my local ggrocery store gluten free section. After reading the ingredients, i decided to try them. they were really good. I enjoyed them as a snack…I needed something crunchy/salty. I would purchase them again.