Vampire Killer Kale Chips from Brad’s Raw Foods

vampirekiller

Photo from Knoshy.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

There is no better way to start the new year with a healthy snacking plan! Our favorite kale snack is hands-down these organic kale chips from Brad’s Raw Foods. The ‘vampire killer’ is crispy, nutty and has a great garlic flavor. Organic, kosher, and vegan.

I received a package of these kale chips in my January box from Knoshy.

Tea Suggestion:

When I eat chips, I usually like a glass of iced tea to go with it … and kale chips are no exception.  The iced tea I had chilling in my ice box when I snacked on these kale chips was this Cherry Limeade Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas.

What I Think:

I really like kale chips.  I’ve had a few different kinds in the past, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve tried.  My family has been less receptive to the idea of kale chips.  Which is both a blessing and a curse:  when I do happen to buy (or receive as part of one of my monthly subscriptions) a package of Kale Chips, I get to enjoy them for myself and not have to worry about them disappearing before I have a chance to taste them.  That’s a blessing.  But on the curse side, because I’m the only one who likes them … I don’t buy them often because I don’t like buying things just for me.

I like the flavor of these Kale Chips … I love the garlic-y taste!  The cheesy flavor is there too, but it is less apparent … or perhaps I should say that it doesn’t stand out quite the same way as it does in some of the “cheesy” flavored kale chips that I’ve tried in the past.

But the garlic-y notes are delicious.  Not too sharp on the garlic, just enough to let you know that what you’re tasting is garlic … it’s an easily identifiable flavor but it doesn’t go overboard and make your mouth feel like its in desperate need of a thorough brushing, flossing and a handful of breath mints before anyone’s gonna kiss you.

On the downside, I didn’t like that most of the kale pieces were small “crumb-ish” size.  It was a bit more like eating a handful of peanuts than it was like eating chips, you know?  I also didn’t like that I came across a couple of large stems in my package.

My Final Thoughts:

I loved the flavor of these, I just wish that there was a bit more attention paid to the details of the chips.  Less large stems in the package and more large, leafy crisps.  I have seen this product in Chuck’s Produce, and have been tempted to purchase because I did enjoy the flavor … but I’ve found myself looking for another brand that carries a similar garlic-y flavored kale chip because I didn’t like having a package that was mostly crumbs.

Olive and Rosemary Bruschetta Snack Mix from Graze

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Photo from Graze.
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Product Ingredients:

mini tomato breadsticks, rosemary and garlic cashews and kalamata olive croutons

I received this bruschetta snack mix in my first Graze Box!

Tea Suggestion:

I thought that a sweet, brothy green tea would be ideal to serve with this savory snack mix, so I chose this Konacha Green Tea from Aiya.  A really delicious pairing!

What I Think:

This is pretty tasty … certainly different!

The mini tomato breadsticks are really good.  I can taste the tomato and I love tomato!  The rosemary and garlic cashews add a nice texture and a yummy nutty taste to the overall mix, and I like the seasoning on the cashews.

The Kalamata olive croutons are probably my least favorite part of this mix, but I don’t dislike them.  I just find that it takes a couple of croutons – one after another – to really taste the Kalamata olive flavor.  I mean, I can taste the olive flavor, but, it seems to be a little obscured by the … I don’t know, maybe it’s the texture of it, because my mouth seems to want the olive texture when it tastes the Kalamata olives.  and instead it gets a hard, dry crouton.  I guess I just want a little something … different than the crouton to deliver the olive flavor.

My Final Thoughts:

Overall, I enjoyed this snack mix … a really neat alternative to the typical snack cracker.  I don’t know that I’ll “like” this one though, I think I’ll wait and try some of Graze’s other savory selections before I put a “like” on this one.

Butter & Garlic Croutons from Olivia’s Croutons

Photo from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Crunchy and buttery with a healthy dose of garlic, these croutons taste like they are fresh out of the oven.

These Butter & Garlic Croutons are available at Petit Amuse.

What I Think:

I received a sampling of these croutons in my Petit Amuse box for October.  The little sample pouch holds six croutons, just enough to determine whether they are something you’re going to want to get a full-size package.  Since there were only six croutons in the package, I decided to snack on them as they were, rather than toss them on top of a salad or float them in a bowl of soup.

And the verdict?  They’re pretty good.  They’re really crunchy, and very buttery.  And heavily seasoned with garlic.  As in GARLIC-Y!  Seriously, don’t plan on kissing anyone after eating these croutons!

I happen to love garlic, so I find the flavor of these croutons to be very appealing.  I love the buttery taste of them, and I love the strong taste of garlic.  I think they’d taste great in a tomato soup or on top of an ordinary salad – these croutons would really liven it up.

My Final Thoughts:

Because the garlic is so strong, I don’t think I would actually buy a full-sized package of these croutons for me and my family, because I’m the only one in the household who really loves garlic.  My husband likes it alright as long as it’s moderate … and I know he would think that these are way too garlic-y.  And truth be told, he uses more croutons than I do as I generally prefer my salads without croutons (I prefer nuts of some sort).   Good, but not something that would appeal to my entire family.

Herb & Garlic flavored Wai Lana Chips

Product Information:

Made from nutrient-rich cassava, these gluten-free chips contain 30% less fat than regular potato chips. With an unforgettable crunch and an abundance of tempting flavors, Wai Lana Chips are a uniquely delicious, all-natural snack.

These Cassava Chips were part of my Goodies Tasting Box for September.

Tea Suggestion:

Because these are a salty snack, I recommend a glass of iced tea with these.  I suppose any iced tea would do in a pinch, but, I highly recommend this Mango Green Tea from Den’s Tea – if for no other reason than these snacks inspire a tropical sort of mood.

What I Think:

I sampled my first chip “blindly” – that is, I didn’t look at the website or read the package or even really look at the chip before I popped it in my mouth.  I wanted to find out what I really think … rather than let what I read influence my decision in any way.

I could tell by the texture that it was a “popped” chip rather than a sliced piece of potato that had been fried in oil.  In fact, it doesn’t even really taste like a potato. It has the taste and texture of those “healthier” popped chips.  Then I checked out the website and found out that these chips are made from cassava rather than potato.  A cassava is a starchy, carbohydrate-rich root vegetable, and as this is my first known encounter with cassava, I must say that it is a positive one.  It’s actually quite tasty.

The Wai Lana website does not indicate how these chips are prepared/processed, only that they are made of cassava.  The texture and lack of greasiness suggests to me that they’ve been air popped or possibly baked rather than fried.

I like the texture:  It’s pleasantly crunchy, that kind of addicting crunch that keeps me munching on them.   Which makes me glad that this is just a small, one serving bag of the chips, because if it had been larger, I might have over-indulged … and even though they are supposedly healthier than potato chips … everything in moderation, right?

The flavor is salty, with a delicious garlic overtone and a savory set of herbs/spices in the background.  The aftertaste is a bit odd, but not in a bad way.  It sort of reminds me of mashed parsnips.

I don’t know if I taste much from the cassava, because the herbs and garlic are more than likely affecting the overall flavor of the vegetable, prohibiting me from being able to tell you just exactly WHAT this cassava tastes like.  It does have a starchy kind of taste, similar to a potato in that way, but, it seems to be a little sweeter.  Again, that could be the herbs playing tricks on my palate too.

My Final Thoughts:

Well, I may not know with certainty what a cassava tastes like, but what I do know is that these chips are really quite enjoyable.  They have a good, addictive kind of crunch to them and would make a great snack to have on hand when one is craving salty snacks.  I’d buy them again.

Chile Crunch from Chile Colonial

Photo from Foodzie, click on the picture to go there.

Product Description:

This hot, crunchy condiment is a quick and easy way to add flavor to your meal with the combination of garlic, onion and the slightly smoky heat of chile de arbol. Although Mexican in origin, its blend of flavors make Chile Crunch a greart addition to most cuisines, from Italian to Asian. It is delicious directly on meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, pasta and pizza, or in soups, dips and marinades. The possibilities are endless!

Learn more about Chile Colonial on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

When eating this stuff, whether it be as a dip on crackers or chips or as an accent to a meat dish, you will not just want, but NEED, a tall glass of iced tea nearby.  I suppose just about any tea that you like iced will do.  I found myself enjoying a glass of iced Moroccan Mint from Tiger Spring Tea while eating this as a topper on my roasted chicken breast.  The crisp, cool taste of mint was quite a refresher to my palate which was searing from the heat of this salsa.

What I Think:

I can see why Rob and Emily at Foodzie love this stuff so much (so much that they created a tasting box around it!)  It is addicting.

But… make no mistake.  This stuff is HOT!  You’d think that the heat would be unbearable, as I tears are running down my cheeks and I am literally sweating while I eat this stuff, but I can’t seem to stop eating it even though my mouth is on fire.  I keep adding more fuel to it as it becomes some out-0f-control inferno!

I don’t know what it is about this.  Is it the heat?  Or the crunch?  Or the fact that even though it is hot, I taste the fruit notes of the chile de arbol and the hint of sweetness from the onion, and the intensity of the garlic.  It just tastes so darn good!

I first tasted these as a salsa dip for tortilla chips, and it was delicious.  So good that I finished the bag of chips before I was ready to be finished tasting it.  So, I promptly heated a couple of flour tortillas under the broiler, getting them just slightly browned and soft, and I started spooning the Chile Crunch onto a bit of tortilla, and rolling it up like a mini burrito which contained nothing but the Chile Crunch and the tortilla itself.

The next time I tried it, I purchased a box of Nabisco’s Garden Vegetable Wheat Thins to accompany it.  YUM!  Then, I actually visited the Foodzie website to read more about this, and it suggests to

Think of this salsa less as a chip-dipper and more as a condiment for meats, grains, pasta or even a refreshing tomato granita.

OK.  So, before finally writing a review of this stuff, I decided to take Foodzie’s advice and use it as a condiment for some left-over chicken breasts.  I had a couple of left over chicken breasts from dinner the other night, simply roasted with a little Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and a light sprinkling of another favorite Foodzie product of mine:  Bourbon Smoked Paprika.  I seem to be using this paprika on just about everything these days.  The chicken was delicious, and since I was pretty much dining on my own last night, I decided to warm one up for my dinner, and I topped it with a bit of this Chile Crunch.  Wow!  It turned a simple, rather humble chicken breast into something that was a bit like firecrackers going off in my mouth!  The crunch, the heat, the amazing flavor!  Wow!

My Final Thoughts:

Left-over chicken will never be boring again as long as I have some of this stuff on hand!  It is really tasty, although, again, this stuff is NOT for wimps.  If you find yourself cowering at mild taco sauce from the fast-food taco joint, don’t even think of trying this stuff.  If, however, you like things on the spicy side… this stuff will amaze and delight you!

 

 

Salty Pepper Somersaults from Somersault Snack Co.

Product Description:

Love crunchy, salty, pepper, vegan, high protein and addictive all in one snack? Give our savory Salty Pepper snack, made with a touch of garlic and onion, a whirl! Enjoy at the movies, on your next bike ride or snack on while studying. Even better, serve at your next dinner party as a nut-free snack your guests are sure to enjoy.

Learn more about Somersault Snack Co. on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

I chose to pair these snacks with this Organic Idulgashena Garden Green Tea from Stash Tea.  The pepper, garlic and onion flavors of the snacks were a perfect match for the spice note of the tea.  A lovely afternoon snack time!

What I Think:

These somersaults are YUMMY!

They look a bit like small tater tots.  That was my first impression of them after opening the bag.  But, I suspect these are much healthier than a tater tot!

They are very crunchy, and it’s a good, hearty CRUNCH.  The black pepper flavor is distinct, but I didn’t find it to be overwhelming.  However, if you’re one who doesn’t care for the flavor of black pepper, you might want to try a different flavor!

The flavor of sunflower seeds is also prominent, and it provides a toasty, nutty flavor.  I like that they are not too salty.  I can taste the garlic and the onion, and these flavors develop as I continue to munch on them and I’ve got to tell you, once you start munching on these, it’s hard to stop!  The garlic and onion flavors are intensified by the salt and pepper, so don’t munch on these if you are planning on kissing someone soon.

But you should definitely find the time to try these snacks, because they are addicting!  I finished my 2 ounce bag of these in no time flat!  They are very satisfying too.  I started eating them because I was hungry and wasn’t in the mood to cook something, and after I finished the bag, my hunger was satiated.

My Final Thoughts:

Very scrumptious.  Or shall I be corny and create a new word:  sCRUNCHious.  These are snacks that I think my entire family would love … if only I had the will to stop snacking on them to save them some!  Definitely something worth looking for at my Whole Foods Market the next time I visit… perhaps I will bring in the empty pouch and ask them to start carrying them!

Garlic Onion Pistachios from Fiddyment Farms

This is the first product that I reviewed from the November tasting box, and since all the changes that have taken place at Foodzie, I am going to need to change my format a little bit…

Product Description:

Roasted Garlic Onion in-shell pistachios are our most popular flavor. Coated with the perfect blend of garlic with a dash of onion; a bold taste to tantalize your taste buds and feed your hunger cravings. In a 1-lb resealable package, they’re the perfect snack.

Fiddyment Farms’ flavorings are all natural and do not contain any artificial flavors or preservatives, and you can rest assured that our pistachios are Naturally Opened on the tree, never opened by artificial means, nor have they been bleached. We roast the pistachios in small batches at our own facility.

What I Think:

Well, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten pistachio nuts that tasted so good that I found myself sucking on the shells.  Yes, as weird as that sounds, that’s what I am doing with these Garlic Onion Pistachios from Fiddyment Farms.  I’m not sure how sanitary it is (and if you know, please do not tell me), but what I do know is that because these were flavored in their shells, that the shells have a good amount of garlic onion flavoring on them, and I’m loving that garlic onion flavoring.

The nut itself is on the sweet side.  The seasoning gives it a nice amount of salty flavor, as well as a pungent garlic and onion flavor which is savory and it has a nice kick to it too.  I don’t really notice it with the first couple of pistachios, but then after about four or five of them, I notice that distinct prickly sensation on my palate as if it had been subjected to garlicky-oniony spice overload.  (For the record, in the case of these pistachios, spice overload is NOT a bad thing!)

These are absolutely addictive!

But, as delicious as they are, there are a couple of things I wanted to make note of.  First of all, they are a bit messy.  Of course, the eating of shelled pistachios is always a little messy because of the shells.  But, these tend to be even messier than a standard, lightly salted pistachio that you might find in the grocery store, especially if you’ve taken to sucking on the shells like I have.  The seasoning is a bit sticky, and it causes the nuts to stick in the shells and therefore do not easily pop out.  This is not a particular problem if you’re sucking on the shells, because they ease their way out of the shell at some point.  But, if you’re looking for a mess-free snack to serve for friendly gatherings, this might not be the ideal choice.  And if you’re one who enjoys your snacks at the computer, you may want to have a napkin handy.

My Final Thoughts:

These are very yummy, guaranteed to make the garlic-lover’s taste buds happy.  Especially delicious with a Yunnan tea, I highly recommend this Yunnan Golden Buds from Verdant Tea.  The spice on the pistachios brings out some of the mellow spice in the tea, while the honey-esque tones of the tea provide pleasing contrast to the strong flavors of the nuts.

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Crackers from O Pair

Where to Buy:  O Pair on Foodzie

Product Description:

Garlic may keep vampires away, but if you serve these roasted garlic and rosemary delights, you’ll attract everyone else! We lovingly hand-roast our garlic in small batches to the peak of heady, sweet, caramelized perfection and mix it with earthy, resiny rosemary for a peerless pairing of the pungent and the subtle into a miraculously smooth mellowness.

O Perfectly Paired :: Our Roasted Garlic & Rosemary biscuits soften and enhance a crisp, lean Chardonnay. They go exceptionally well with a voluptuous Pinot Noir and reveal why it’s called “sex in a glass.” For a real treat, try them with a light, sweet Schiava and watch the conversation spark.

What I Think:

After having tasted their Blue Cheese & Fig crackers (as well as their Lemon & Mint crackers), I had no doubt whatsoever that I’d also enjoy their other varieties.  This one appealed to me most as I do love garlic, and especially roasted garlic.  It has a sweetness to it that I find irresistible.

The light salt in the dough helps to eliminate the bitter taste that might otherwise be experienced with the rosemary, and what remains is the savory qualities of the herb.  It has a light pine-like taste to it, slightly resinous, and a lovely earthy quality.  What I’m liking most about the rosemary here is that the needle-like leaves are finely chopped and tender – not withy like rosemary can sometimes be. Very nice.

The cracker is lightly sweet with a deliciously tender texture that is delicately crisp and melts in your mouth the way a shortbread cookie might.  This is, all at once:  salty, sweet, savory, and just very, very delicious!

While O Pair recommends pairing this with a wine – I recommend a good Darjeeling tea, perhaps a Margaret’s Hope like this one from Joy’s Teaspoon.  The spice notes of the Darjeeling are delightful when matched with the sweet, savory tones of this cracker.  Serve these at your next tea (or wine) tasting for a bit of culinary nirvana!

My Final Thoughts:

I have tried a few crackers now from O Pair and I must say I am a fan.  I would happily recommend any cracker from this company with complete confidence.  They are uncommonly good – the kind of cracker you’d serve with pride to your guests.  Delicious!