Lexie's Kitchen: Favorite Snacks

Some really swell companies have been leaving samples of their product at my front door and I thought I'd better pull my hand out of the chip bag and get to writing a post about them—and trust me, if I don't like a product, I don't write about it. Oh yes, and opinions expressed here are my own. I am not claiming these to be the healthiest snack options, but they sure are convenient (and tasty) for grabbing on the go. Tee hee!

1 Candice Foods sent a sample of each of their bars and for being gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, corn-free and nut-free—they were quite tasty. The base of Candice Foods bars is a mixture of sunflower seeds and crispy rice—agave being one of the ingredients (not my first choice in sweeteners but ...). The bars come in 7 flavors—my favorites were Mocha Java and Mint Chocolate. The founder of Candice Foods is the mother of three children with life-threatening allergies to tree nuts, so you can bet she takes food allergies, and her product, very seriously. Candice Foods Protein Bars are available for purchase from their online store.

2 Cave Man Bars. This grab-and-go, nut and seed-packed snack is one my husband recently discovered at our local King Soopers/Kroger store (BTW I admire this mega chain for embracing gluten-free and organic foods). The Maple Nut bar packs 7 grams of sugar—I try to keep my snacks under 5—but I'm not going to fret it because, after all, the bars are certified gluten-free (not always easy to find). Cave Man Bars are manufactured in a facility that also processes tree nuts, soy, peanut, milk, and egg. Oddly they make the claim to be "Paleo Friendly" but use evaporated cane syrup and brown rice syrup as sweeteners. Hmmmm ... not sure if that counts as "Paleo." But the Paleo bandwagon seems to be the one to be on right now and Cave Man Bars don't want to miss out on the action.

3 Pomegranates. We love pomegranates! They are a pure, unadulterated food—and are in season. Here's an easy way to de-seed a pomegranate and whip up a festive "candy" using the arils.

4 Real Foods Rice Thins. Okay gang, I think I am speaking for 97.5% of the population when I say rice cakes are for the birds. Seriously, they're akin to cardboard! These thinner rice cakes are no exception, but here's why I like them … they are much easier to munch on than the thicker rice cakes AND they actually make a good PB&J (or Sunbutter&J) sandwich. I made one this morning, tucked it into my purse, and by noon the moisture from the jelly had softened the cake a tad and rocked it as a "bread" free PB&J sandwich. These skinny boys (about 1/3 the thickness of regular rice cakes) are gluten-free and non-GMO. They're rather tasteless and like a black dress, it's all in how you dress 'em up.

5 Way Better Tortilla Chips. Saving the best for last, you must try these! I especially loved Sweet Chili. Eating them I thought "healthier Doritos!" The seasonal offering of Punkin Cranberry was pretty yummy, too. I preferred the Black Bean Tortilla Chips to the Multi-Grain—they packed more flavor. Way Better chips are different in that the grains and seeds (broccoli, daikon radish, chia, etc) used to make the chips are sprouted—increasing their nutrients and allowing the body to better absorb them (but hey, we’re talkin’ snack food here not green smoothie, so does it really matter?). I will be serving these over the holidays for sure! Way Better chips are certified gluten free, non-GMO, kosher and vegan. Oh and a tip for ensuring you don't eat the entire bag—toss a handful of chips into a bowl along with some nuts. The nuts offer way more nutrition and will satiate.

So there you have it. You know what we've been snackin' on. How about you?