Thursday, May 2, 2019

SimplyNature Green Pea Crisps (Aldi)


The perfect snack for when "vomit" is the flavor you crave.
I like trying unique things, and things don't get much more unique than SimplyNature's Green Pea Crisps. In my mind, what could go wrong with taking the deliciously-natural flavor or green peas, and then dehydrating them into a crunchy, chip-like snack? As it turns out, a lot of things.

This is the kind of snack that will probably "appeal" to the rice cake crowd...and only the rice cake crowd. And by "appeal", I mean it's something they'll learn to force down despite getting nothing satiating out of it. For starters, its taste doesn't even resemble that of a pea or pea-pod, which is kind of ironic given that it was made from dehydrated green peas—it tastes kind of like bad-breath with a crunchy outer-layer. Seriously, the taste is very hard to describe...it's not sweet whatsoever, but it's also not bitter, yet it's simultaneously not identifiable with any vegetable I've ever had. It's just a near-noteless, unpleasant mass of bizarre flavors that never gel into a single cohesive flavor, but whose aftertaste will stick in the back of your throat for hours. In short, I've never had a single thing like it.

It's obvious that they're pretty gross, so certainly there's nothing to see here, right? Well, normally that would be true, but the trade-off to the rather disgusting flavor, which gives me bad PTSD just looking at the bag, is that they are very healthy, at least compared to most other crunchy snacks. For starters, we have 4.5g of fat per 1 oz. serving, which puts it a little ways ahead of potato chips in terms of fat per serving size. But dig a little further and you'll find some pleasantries: there's just 50mg of sodium (2%) per serving, meaning that even if you accidentally (against all odds) ingest the whole bag in one sitting, you've only absorbed 150mg (6%) of your daily sodium limit. There aren't too many snacks that are that low in salt.

Furthermore, there's a whopping 4g of dietary fiber (that may not sound like much, but it makes up 16% of the average Americans' daily needs) and 5g of protein PER 1 OZ. SERVING. So per bag, you can multiply each of those by three for the totals. And would you believe, in this world where everything has to be sweet, that there is NO sugar at all in the entire bag? It definitely tastes like it, but usually even the most bitter of things have at least some sugar hidden in there somewhere. Even more amazing: They are the only baked pea snack to receive an "A" grade on community-driven health site Fooducate, even besting the name brand by an entire letter grade.

In other words, it may not be all that delicious, but there's still a market for it: healthy eaters (or those on a diet), who just want something a little crunchy to make it feel like they're "cheating". And just as rice cakes have been allowed to exist for many years, pretty much solely to serve that niche market, so too, do these. Will I ever get them again? Hell no...at least, not for me. However, our two-year-old son tends to love any kind of crunchy snack and, even better yet, is too young to have fully-formed tastebuds or advanced opinions on flavors, making him another great type of victim for these.

So even though I despise these and would never personally recommend them to anyone based on my unmotivated lifestyle, SimplyNature's Green Pea Crisps certainly fit well into the current snack spectrum: it might taste like crap, but at least it provides some crunch and some rather strong health benefits, and that's something that can't be said about a lot of pre-made, factory-bagged snacks these days.

Overall: 4/10. Personally, I'm not a fan of these and will never get them again, even gagging at the mere thought of them several months later. But you know what? While the taste is certainly lacking, these are one of the healthier snacks that I've seen in Aldi stores, making them perfect for dieters, or those that are part of active, healthy lifestyles. Also solid: There's no sugar in them whatsoever, which is a rarity in snack foods. Even though they don't appeal to me, there's certainly a market for this type of snack, and if you think you fit the bill, then by all means give them a shot. Even if you don't like the taste, your body will still thank you afterwards. And if you really hate the taste, there's always Aldi's money-back guarantee...

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