It wasn’t too long ago that I found myself spending my afternoons gorging myself with grease laden snacks and passed out on the couch from the “crash” I got as a result of those fatty foods. Grocery stores are filled with enticing processed foods composed of ingredients that we can barely make out. But the pictures that are plastered on each package are so drool-worthy, we can’t help but snatch them up and eat them later when we’re feeling hungry. And of course, once we start eating them, they become irresistible and so hard to put down. So those five potato chips we initially plan on eating quickly turn into fifty.
Soon after going vegan, I started questioning my food choices. A huge reason why I went vegan was to help the animals, but I didn’t really think about how the food I was eating was affecting my body. I would often feel lethargic and sleepy and was quick to blame this on veganism. But it wasn’t the lack of animal products in my diet that was causing me to feel ill, but rather the over processed food I ate on a daily basis. So, I set out to make a positive change in my diet. I made the switch from oily potato chips to dehydrated kale chips.
My favorite brand of kale chips is Alive and Radiant, which is available at many natural food stores. The first flavor that I frequently purchase is Cheezy Chipotle.
These chips are fabulous. They are perfectly crispy and crunchy and have a lovely cheesy flavor, yet they do not reek of any artificial ingredients or have a chemical aftertaste. The chips are perfectly salted and the chipotle flavor leaves an intense heat in my mouth that has me happily chugging water. What I like best about these chips is that they fill me up very quickly. After just a few bites I feel satisfied and it takes a few different occasions before I’m able to finish a bag. The cheesy flavor is great for vegans that still find themselves craving comfort foods, such as pizza and mac and cheese, without having to deal without the calories and fat. In fact, these kale chips are super healthy and loaded with antioxidants, protein and iron!
Another flavor that I love is the Chocolate Kale Chips.
I have to admit, when I first saw these kale chips I thought they would be disgusting. Mixing dessert with vegetables seems like a bad idea. Thankfully, I was proven wrong, and this flavor is in fact very delicious! The cacao is very decadent and has a hint of sweetness that is perfectly balanced out by the bitterness of the kale. The slight saltiness of the cacao actually enhances the taste of the kale chips. I appreciate that the chip is not too sweet or too salty and that the taste of chocolate is not too overpowering. While this could easily replace a dessert, I prefer it as an afternoon snack, since the super foods help boost my energy and prevent me from crashing. Nevertheless, if I could eat these chips all day, I definitely would.
While these chips are widely available at a variety of natural grocery stores, my favorite place to purchase them is Whole Foods. They are the cheapest I have found there, and the store not only frequently has sales, but many of the products there have $1 off coupons, which can easily be peeled off and used for an even deeper discount. Of course, when this happens, I can’t help but stock up. But, I feel better knowing that while I’m indulging myself, I’m helping my body, not harming it.
by Jessica Resnick