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Top Pick Of The Week

January 23, 2007

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Peeled Snacks FigSated

We’re Fig-Sated on this delicious and healthy dried fruit and nut snack: apricots, dates, figs, almond and pistachios in cute, colorful packages. All fruit bowl photography by Naheed Choudhry.
WHAT IT IS: Grab-and-go dried fruit and nut snacks in easy-to-carry packaging.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Top quality fruit and nut assortments in innovative packaging that keeps the fruits moist and the nuts dry. Three delicious flavor mixes, and a fourth coming soon.
WHY WE LOVE IT: They taste great, are portion-controlled, the packages can be tucked in a pocket, and they’ve been one of our favorite foods since we discovered them 2 years ago.
WHERE TO BUY IT: PeeledSnacks.com.


Peeled Snacks:
Super Snacking

Shortly after their debut in 2005, we reviewed Peeled Snacks fruit and nut mixes. Almost two years and perhaps 6,000 products-tasted later, it has become one of a few dozen nibbles that we keep in our home and office all the time, and one of the half dozen that we enjoy almost daily.

Premium nuts and dried fruits are mixed into three different assortments: Bing Bing Cherry (apples, bing cherries, peaches, cashews and walnuts), FigSated (apricots, dates, figs, almonds and pistachios) and Shock-olate (apricots, pears, almonds, walnuts and dark chocolate disks). Unlike ordinary dried fruit or trail mixes, this is a gourmet product. The fruits are moist and tender, and the nuts dry and crisp thanks to innovative packaging that keeps them apart until you tear into the plastic to blend them together. Not only are these “good-for-you” snacks, they’re a painless way to get family members off of junk food or higher-sugar sweets. They taste great, and the nifty, individual-serving packages are fashionable for any age group. Peeled Snacks are portable anywhere, delicious anytime, and the company will ship them by the boxful to schools, workplaces, weekend homes or wherever snacking demands. Read the full review below.

Great Snack Food

Snack Attack Smart Cookies The Soccer Moms' Cookbook
Snack Attack! by Ruth Glick. Glick and the American Diabetes Association tempt your palate with 130 low-fat, low-cholesterol and low-sodium variations on everyday favorites like Pumpkin Muffins and Con Queso Bean Dip. You’re certain to find some new favorites to satiate your most demanding cravings—like Teriyaki Chicken Bites or Hawaiian Meatballs. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Smart Cookies: 80 Recipes for Heavenly, Healthful Snacking, by Jane Kinderlehrer. This sweet-toothed edition of Newmarket’s Smart Food series collects favorite family recipes designed to cater to the health needs of anyone, from expectant mothers to the heart-health conscious. Plus, find tasty, allergy-friendly treats minus the milk, eggs, wheat, corn or chocolate. Click here for more information or to purchase.
The Soccer Moms’ Cookbook: Healthy Meals and Snacks for Active Kids, by Carla Overbeck and Pam Masters. Teaming up with dietician Masters, former U.S. Womens’ Soccer Captain Overbeck offers up 70 quick and healthy alternatives to fast food designed to provide balanced nutrition and energy without tacking on an overload of calories and fat. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Peeled Snacks Fruit & Nut Mixes: Super Snacking

INDEX

 

We love all of our Top Picks Of The Week, but some more than others become part of our every day life—often because every day life is more full of olive oil and mustard than it is of truffles, be they chocolate or the fungus they were named after. When we tasted our first bags of Peeled Snacks, we knew they were terrific, but we had no idea they would become the snack we’d crave every day. Yet—and we will say this under oath—we like them so much, we’re just as happy to open a bag as to have a dish of ice cream or a chocolate bar. In fact, we’re even happier, because they’re portion-controlled: you’ve had your snack, now get back to whatever you were doing. No more dipping into the pint for another tablespoon of Black Raspberry Chip!

In 2005, company founder Noha Waibsnaider was a young business school graduate looking for a healthy snack. You’d think it would be simple, but the choices at the time were fresh fruit—not always accessible, ripe or easy-to-carry all day without squishing—dull or sugary dried fruits and mixes (including “trail mix”*), or the energy bar† group. Could it be that in an era of health-and-fitness-focused Americans, there was no good-for-you snack that was tasty, attractive, user-friendly and truly good for you?

*Trail mix is a term given to a mixture of high-energy foods such as dried fruit and nuts combined with other tasty additions. It is 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.”

†A “protein performance bar” we eat has corn syrup, chocolate coating with fractionated palm kernel oil and polydexrose.

Like many people in the specialty food business, Noha began on the long road to figuring out  how to produce her dream product. Along the way, she discovered that other fruit and nut mixes added sugar and fat to keep the fruits moist and the nuts crunchy. That doesn’t result in a “healthy” snack. Her first step was to work with a packaging engineer to develop stay-fresh packaging. The result: The nuts are pouched in a separate plastic compartment, serving as a moisture barrier within the larger package. Peeled Snacks were born—a truly differentiated, “healthy” snack food for discriminating palates, with no added fat or sugar.

Individual portions of Peeled Snacks are tucked into colorful packages that appeal to just about every age, and to either gender. Innovative packaging keeps the fruit and nuts apart until ready to eat, so fruits retain their moistness and nuts their crispness.
Peeled Snacks Packages

Nut Nutrition

Most people don’t need to be convinced that dried fruit is a better snack than most alternatives. But what about those nuts? According to Dr. Walter C. Willett, author of Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, “[Nuts] are actually a great source of protein and other nutritional goodies. One of the more surprising findings from nutrition research over the past decade is that people who regularly eat nuts are less likely to have heart attacks or die from heart disease than those who rarely eat them.”

Yes, eaten in caloric moderation, nuts are good for you. Energy-dense and a significant source of protein, they are also good sources of unsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Nuts are nutrient-dense and rich in phytochemicals, which reduce risk of heart disease and different types of cancer. Almonds have a significant amount of vitamin E and are high in calcium. Cashews are a good source of copper, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. Pistachios are a good source of copper, manganese and vitamin B6. Walnuts are the only nut with a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids (the same as found in fish). Nutritional studies on the benefits of nuts have been so encouraging that the FDA allows a claim on packaging that states: “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day or 1/3 cup of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” (Peeled Snacks are 2.6 ounce portion sizes, of which at least half the weight is fruit.)

Peeled Snacks Flavors

Expert blending has resulted in three very distinctive flavor profiles: one for sweet tooths, one for those who like tart flavors and one in between. While there are some preservatives to keep the apples and peaches from turning brown, everything is natural; there are no other preservatives and no added sugars or other sweeteners.

Bing Bing Cherry

Don’t let the name bring up thoughts of cherry pie: This assortment is for people who like just a little bit of sweetness in their snack, which comes from the bing cherries. The peaches contribute a nice, natural tart flavor. There is a counter-balance of sweet apple flavor, but the apple slices are slender compared to the thick slices of peach. Other mixes might contain sugar to counter the tartness in the peach slices—but remember, Peeled Snacks has no added sweeteners. That makes it a better snack, especially for people who like it sweet ‘n’ tart. 150 calories, 60 from fat.

FigSated

We love all three Peeled Snacks flavors, but if we had to choose a personal favorite, this would be it (see the photo at top of page). We have a sophisticated sweet tooth, and Fig-Sated has lush, sweet dates, elegant figs, crisp pistachios (admittedly, our favorite nut) and almonds (also a favorite) that hit the spot. We are as happy to reach for a bag of FigSated as for any bar of chocolate; and after consumption, the satisfaction is just as high. Really! 150 calories, 50 from fat.

Peeled Snacks - Bing Bing Cherry
Bing Bing Cherry: Large peach slices, dried apple rings, cashews, walnuts and of course, Bing cherries.

Peeled Snacks - Shock-O-Late Flavor
Shock-olate has the most varied of flavors and textures.

Please note that in our photographs, the contents of two packages are shown in each dish.

Shock-olate

If it’s an actual bit of chocolate you’d like, Shock-olate obliges with large disks (3/4" wide) of delicious dark chocolate. It combines with a swirl of flavors: Juicy, round apricots are soft, with a docile sweetness. Long slices of pear can run from slightly sweet to slightly tart. Add to the mix slight bite of walnuts and the slight saltiness of the almonds, and you have the most complex blend of flavors and textures in the series. 160 calories, 80 from fat.

Plu-What

The newest flavor, Plu-What has plums, pluots, white peaches and cashews. The most dulcet of the mixes, it may be our favorite flavor (we love the soft, feminine layering of fruits—although we also adore the fig and pistachio FigSated and chocolate-apricot-walnut Shock-olate).

All of the thought and testing that has gone into creating the flavors will become apparent when you taste the individual packages. This is a marvelous job of fruit and nut mixology, far beyond the “fruit and nut mixes” of prior experience.

Serving Suggestions

Beyond snacking from the pack, Peeled Snacks work for almost any occasion. As you’ve seen in our photos, they look fetching in a candy dish when guests come to visit. We’ve even used them as party favors. But for most days, when there are no guests or parties, they integrate nicely into normal meals:

At Breakfast

  • On cereal or yogurt
  • With pancakes, waffles or French toast
    (photo at right)
  • As plate garnish, e.g. with an omelet
  • As a “side” to anything, in a ramekin
  • As something more nutritious than that
    danish and coffee

At Lunch

  • With cottage cheese and/or yogurt
  • On a green salad, with balsamic vinegar
  • With a sandwich, instead of a bag of chips
  • As dessert

At Dinner

  • As garnishes to main courses and salads
  • With cheese: FigSated with goat cheeses is especially wonderful
Waffle With Fruit
Sprinkle Peeled Snacks on waffles and pancakes.

Given how much professional snacking we do in our everyday job at THE NIBBLE, after work hours, we are always happy to reach for a bag of Peeled Snacks. It tastes delicious and it feels so very healthy.

—Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to snackers, moms, the overworked stuck at desks, healthy types and those with New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier.

PEELED SNACKS

Grab-And-Go Fruit and Nut Snacks

  • Sampler
    3 Of Each Flavor
    $19.99
    Gift-Boxed As Shown At Right
    $22.99
  • Case Of 12
    Single Flavor Or Mixed
    $24.99
    Monthly delivery plan includes free shipping

Purchase online at PeeledSnacks.com


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Peeled Snacks Gifts
You can buy Peeled Snacks by the carton, and send them as a gift as well. In fact, what better gift than to turn someone on to a yummy, healthy snack!



Check out these sweet, healthy snacks in our Snacks Section:

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