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Add excitement without a load of sugar to any snacking bowl with Sweet Corn, Apple Harvest, or Cherry Berry from Sensible Foods. All photography by Melody Lan.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

BETH COLLINS is a contributing editor.

 

 

May 2006

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Snacks

Sensible Foods

Healthy & Delicious Organic Crunch Dried® Snacks

 

CAPSULE REPORT: Sensible Foods provides the natural goodness and flavor of fresh fruit and vegetables all year long in convenient individual serving pouches, each containing a half cup of fruit or vegetables. Their Crunch Dried® process removes the water through a high-vacuum machine at very low temperatures, which maintains the food’s cell structure and nutritional value. The result: a remarkably crunchy, naturally sweet snack, all free of fat, gluten, GMOs, added sugar, and preservatives. The line is mostly 100 percent organic. The grab-and-go packaging makes it close to a perfect snack.

We don’t know if we’d go so far as to call it a lifelong quest, but for some time we have been on an unofficial mission to find the perfect snack. Don’t laugh, but we’ve actually spent time coming up with the criteria (hey, it’s our job, right?).

  • First and foremost, it would have to be delicious. Not just one-shot delicious, though: the perfect snack would have to be multi-faceted enough to keep our palates interested.
  • Nutrition is also a factor. The snack doesn’t have to be in-your-face healthy, but it shouldn’t be so loaded with unmentionables that our guilt overrides our pleasure as we eat it.
  • Last but by no means least, the perfect snack absolutely must be crunchy. We’re hard-pressed to explain why, but when it comes to snacks, crunch increases the satisfaction quotient significantly. Without it, a snack isn’t even in the running.

    (Review continues below.)
Fruit by Brian Glover Five-A-Day Fruit and Vegetable Cookbook by Maggie Mayhew and Christine Ingram Fruit & Nut Recipes by Dr. Lund
Fruit: Recipes for Lunch, Brunch, Desserts And More, by Brian Glover. Make fruit part of every meal or snack throughout the day. Recipes from fruit salsas for fish dishes to fruit-enhanced appetizers, this book will put your Sensible Foods Crunch Dried Snacks to exciting uses. $15.72. Click here for more information. How to Get Your Five-A-Day: The Fruit and Vegetable Cookbook, by Maggie Mayhew and Christine Ingram. This collection of recipes aims to help readers consume their daily servings of fruit and vegetables without sacrificing excitement, variety, flavor or time. $8.99. Click here for more information. Fruit & Nut Recipes: 300 Easy To Prepare Recipes Using Fruit And Nuts, by Dr. Lund. Transform ordinary foods into gourmet creations. With 300 creative recipes, you can serve spectacular hors d’oeuvres, salads and other dishes enhanced with the benefits and flavors of fruits and nuts. $12.95. Click here for more information.

With all the food we’re exposed to at THE NIBBLE™, you’d think we’d have come across this Platonic ideal of a snack long ago. But while we’ve certainly discovered some remarkable things, the perfect snack has somehow eluded us.

Then we tried Sensible Foods Crunch Dried Snacks. We know, it doesn’t sound particularly promising—after all, snacking is at least a little bit about indulging, not being sensible. But you have to trust us on this one. Once you get past the name, even Plato would admit that these snacks are not just a manifestation of the ideal snack; they are the ideal snack.

Before we launch into the details, though, we should talk about this term “crunch dried.” How is it different from ordinary dried fruits and veggies?

sweet corn
Crunched to perfection: 100 percent Organic Supersweet Corn. If you long for the taste of sweet summer corn, you can have it all year long in a bag of Sensible Snacks.

Even more important, at the beginning of the year we reviewed the Just Tomatoes, Etc.! line of dried fruits and vegetables. We liked those a lot, but Sensible Snacks are even better. Why?

The secret lies in the production. Thanks to a process involving a high vacuum and very low temperatures, Sensible Foods snacks come out remarkably crunchy rather than tough and chewy, like so many other dried foods. In terms of why they’re that much better than our other favorite line...the miracle of food science.

The Sensible Snacks line includes seven varieties of crunch-dried snacks:

  • Cherry Berry: Apples, cherries blueberries and strawberries
  • 100% Organic Cherry Berry: The same mix as above, but USDA-certified organic
  • Orchard Blend: Apples, peaches and apricots
  • 100% Organic Apple Harvest: Organic apples
  • Organic Roasted Soy Nuts: Organic roasted soy beans, soy bean oil and sea salt
  • 100% Organic Supersweet Corn: Sweet corn and sea salt
  • Tropical Blend: Apples, pineapples, mangos and bananas

Tasty, Tasty, Tasty

Tasting these packets of dried fruit generated as much enthusiasm as the finest box of chocolates.

  • We tried the Cherry Berry first, and literally smiled after our first bite. The combination of tart apples, sweet strawberries, rich cherries and intensely flavorful blueberries kept our taste buds entertained handful after handful.
  • Orchard Blend, in the photo at the right, was delicious, too: a perfect combination of tart and sweet.
  • The Tropical Blend, with its pineapples and mangos, made us long for a beach on which to eat it.
Orchard Blend

The non-fruit varieties provide a completely different kind of satisfaction: salty rather than sweet and tart.

  • The Organic Supersweet Corn seemed a bit odd to us the first time we saw it. (One of us spent her childhood in Missouri and was struck by how much it resembled feed for farm animals.) But one taste reminded us not to judge a book by its cover. Light as air but still with a nicely crunchy, this tastes exactly like corn right off the cob.
  • Even the Soy Nuts—something we’ve all had a thousand times—were particularly good, crunchy and delightfully nutty, with just the right amount of salt.

Healthy, Healthy, Healthy


As tasty as they are, Sensible Foods Crunch Dried Snacks hold their own in the nutrition department, too. Since they’re made of nothing but fruit or vegetables (and for the veggies, a touch of salt and soybean oil), they’re free of all the bad stuff you might get with other snacks: fat, gluten, GMOs, added sugar, and preservatives. Each bag of the fruit varieties is equivalent to ½ cup of fresh fruit (one of your 5 daily requirements for fruits and vegetables). The Cherry Berry is a good source of vitamin C, and the Tropical Blend provides both vitamins C and A. 

Best of all, Sensible Foods snacks are so transportable and versatile that they all but beg to be incorporated into your everyday routine. Some suggestions for the fruit varieties:

  • Add them to cold cereal or hot oatmeal
  • Stir them into yogurt
  • Sprinkle them over ice cream
  • Bring them along for outdoor activities: hikes, bike excursions, camping, etc.
  • Pack them in school lunches
  • Keep them in your drawer or locker at work

For Soy Nuts and Sweet Corn:

  • Add them to salads for extra crunch and flavor
  • Sprinkle them over soups
  • The Sweet Corn is interesting on sorbets and ice cream, too
Of course, as any perfect snack should be, they are also completely satisfying all by themselves. We should know: we’ve plowed through countless bags in record time.

 

SENSIBLE FOODS
Apple Harvest, Cherry Berry, Orchard Blend, Sweet Corn, Soy Nuts, Tropical Blend

For more information or to purchase the Sweet Corn, visit SensibleFoods.com.

Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Other sizes and containers are available. Also available at supermarkets nationwide.

Sensible Foods product shot
Soy Nuts
Even the soy nuts are superior!

                                                     

© Copyright 2005-2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved.  Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

 



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