Unlike most products reviewed in THE NIBBLE, which are simply the best of their kind, Peeled Snacks fruit and nut mixes also count as somewhat of a technological innovation. They required specially engineered packaging to bring the product to fruition (no pun there).
Before she created Peeled Snacks, Noha Waibsnaider was in search of a healthy grab-and-go snack for herself. That category comprised energy bars with non-healthy-sounding ingredients*, pieces of fresh fruit often unrewarding in taste, and trail mix† blends loaded with sugars and fats. Seeking something tasty and nutritious with no added sugar or fat, she has created the first fruit and nut mix for discriminating palates.
*A “protein performance bar” we eat has corn syrup, chocolate coating with fractionated palm kernel oil, and polydexrose.
†Trail mix is a term given to a mixture of high-energy foods such as dried fruit and nuts combined with other tasty additions, preferred as a snack especially by hikers and campers because it is lightweight, easily portable and requires no refrigeration. Commonly added ingredients include chocolate morsels or M&Ms, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and breakfast cereals including granola. One of the early trail mix products was called gorp, an acronym for “Good Old Raisins and Peanuts” or “Granola, Oats, Raisins and Peanuts.”
The separate packaging of the fruit and nuts maintains the ingredients’ respective moisture levels without the added sugar or fat found in other products. You tear the top off of the main package, remove the pouch of nuts, tear its top off, and pour the nuts into the larger plastic bag where they mix with the fruits. It’s a fun involvement device, and yields a fresh-tasting, moist and crunchy mix.
Peeled Snacks uses the finest dried fruits, dry roasted and lightly salted nuts, and disks of quality dark chocolate. They are not only tasty, they’re user-friendly. The fruit is cut in easy-to-eat large pieces. The nuts are splendidly crunchy. Each individual, 2.6 ounce (74 grams) package is enough for a satisfying, 150- or 160-calorie snack, and provides a natural source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. There are currently three varieties in the line:
We tasted Peeled Snacks against the trail mixes of the two large national supermarket brands, and found that the latter simply do not measure up. The added sugar was obvious and doubled the calories without bringing out flavor in the fruit, and the mixes were artificial-tasting. Compared to Peeled Snacks, which are just pure ingredients (“food that is as close to its natural state as possible”), here is how the products stack up (for the sake of brevity, we compare only one supermarket brand; the second brand was very similar in content and calories):
**Sulphur dioxide is a preservative commonly used in the preparation of dried fruit. It has been used since Roman times to inhibit the formation of bacteria and preserve the color of wine by inhibiting oxidation. It the case of dried fruit, it prevents certain cut fruits used from oxidizing and turning brown. However, sulfur dioxide can trigger asthma attacks in sensitive individuals, so packages that contain it are always clearly marked.
While the ingredients are of the highest quality, a decision was made to use sulfured apples, pears, and peaches. Failure to use sulphur results in oxidized, brown fruit that is not appetizing to many people. However, this ingredient prevents the line from being called “natural.” A fully organic line is in the works.
Convenient, tasty, attractively packaged and better for you? Peeled Snacks may just become your favorite healthy snack food product. It certainly has become ours!
Buy online at PeeledSnacks.com.
Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.
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