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Peeled SnacksA healthy grab-and-go snack for adults and children with discriminating palates. Above, Shock-olate: pears, apricots, almonds, walnuts and dark chocolate. Photo by Elton Lin. The amount of product in these photos represents the content of two or more packages.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When KAREN HOCHMAN is not writing about chocolate, cookies and ice cream, she enjoys a great healthy snack.

 

August 2005

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Snacks

Peeled Snacks

Innovative Fruit & Nut Mixes

 

This review was updated and revised as a
Top Pick Of The Week.
Read the updated review.

 

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.”

Investigating why there were no packaged, sugar-free and fat-free dried fruit and nut mixes, she discovered sugar and fat were needed to keep the fruits moist and the nuts crunchy. Thus, her first step was to was to work with a packaging engineer to develop stay-fresh packaging: the nuts are pouched in a separate plastic compartment, serving as a moisture barrier within the larger package.

Peeled Snacks - Bing Bing Cherry
Bing Bing Cherry: peaches, apples, bing cherries,
walnuts and cashews. Photo by Elton Lin.

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:

  • Bing Bing Cherry pairs bing cherries with slices of apple and peach, walnuts and cashews (160 calories, 50 from fat).
  • Fig Sated combines whole figs and dates with apricot slices, almonds and pistachios (150 calories, 50 from fat).
  • Shock-olate provides a chocolate fix, adding good-sized chocolate disks to pear slices, apricots, almonds and walnuts (160 calories, 70 from fat).
Peeled Snacks Peeled Snacks Peeled Snacks Shock-olate
Bing Bing Cherry Fig Sated Shock-olate

Comparison Testing

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):

  Peeled Snacks Major Brand of Trail Mix with Cranberry, Fruit & Nuts
Ingredients:
Fruit & Nuts Plus...
Sulphur dioxide** and salt for the dry roasted nuts
Artificial coloring, artificial flavor, brown sugar, citric acid, dextrin, fructose, glycerine, honey, maltodextrin, modified corn starch, natural flavors, peanut and/or cottonseed oil, salt, sugar, sodium metabisulate, sulphur dioxide** and tapioca
Calories 150 to 160 per 74 grams (1 package) 345 calories per 74 grams (to keep the calories within reason on the package, the recommended serving size is 30 grams, or 140 calories, which is just 3 level tablespoons of snack—less than half of what you get with Peeled Snacks)
Fat 8%-9% (Shock-olate with chocolate morsels is 12%) 10%
Vitamin A 15% (Bing Bing Cherry), 25% (Fig-Sated and Shock-olate) 2%
Vitamin C 0% (Fig-Sated), 4% (Shock-olate), 10% (Bing Bing Cherry) 4%
Calcium 2% (Bing Bing Cherry), 4% (Fig Sated and Shock-olate) 0%
Iron 8% 4%
     

**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.

In addition to general snacking, Peeled Snacks can be kept in one’s desk for healthy office snacking, kept in your car to ward off other temptations, eaten on the run, at the gym, at business conferences, on airplanes, and everywhere you wish you had brought better or more sensible food than than is available to you.

Peeled Snacks are a big hit with kids, who like both the quality and the packaging. Our youth tasters, representing ages 9, 10, 12, 14, and 15, declared “no contest” to the flavor superiority of Peeled Snacks over the two supermarket brands, and found the packaging “cool” to “awesome.” (We personally find it “classy” and “fun.”)

Fig-Sated
Fig-Sated: apricots, dates, figs, almonds and
pistachios. Photo by Elton Lin.

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!

PEELED SNACKS MIXED DRIED FRUIT & NUTS
Bing Bing Cherry, Fig Sated, & Shock-olate

  • Sampler
    3 Packages Of
    Each
    $19.99
  • Case
    12 Packages Of
    One Flavor
    $24.99
Dried fruit and nuts
Be happy, snack healthy!

Buy online at PeeledSnacks.com.

Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.

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

 



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