Lately, mostly due to lack of time to cook a full meal for myself on weekdays, I've been snacking myself into oblivion. Here are three recent favorites, to satisfy three separate cravings:
Pretzel Crisps (savory):
This buffalo wing-flavored snack might as well be laced with crack. I can't get enough of them. They're as addictive and light as potato chips, but are crunchier, taste way better and are better for you. Look how gloriously thin they are:
I bought the buffalo wing and garlic flavors at my local Sprouts, to justify my passing the sample tray about a dozen times to snatch up more and more of these. They really should not leave those things unattended.
Trader Joe's also has its own version -- and they're everything-flavored. Though, they carry them kind of sporadically, so don't get mad at me if you can't find them.
Isabella's Cookies (sweet):
These were a random impulse buy while waiting to purchase my lunch at Ivy's Cafe in Tustin (simple, healthy, yet somehow super delicious sandwiches/salads). I like these cookies because they (1) taste homemade (which they are) and (2) come in unusual flavors. The above is "The Paddy" -- mint chips and semisweet chocolate chips. And below:
"The Muffy" -- a tribute to a muffin top (undoubtedly adding to my "muffin top"), this cookie is studded with dried blueberries, white chocolate chips, and milk-chocolate covered blueberries. I've also tried "Chocolate Haze," which has whole hazelnuts and dark chocolate chunks. I'm still trying to find "The Shortcake," an homage to strawberry shortcake.
The Pure Bar (healthy):
Although it's not common, I'd imagine, I suppose it's possible to have a healthy craving. The Pure Bar is all-vegan raw food -- organic, nothing cooked, no preservatives, and all that jazz. Now, I am usually not into these super healthy meal-replacement bar dealios. In fact, I find many of them quite awful, especially when I have to think for longer than 15 seconds about how the vegan peanut butter and chocolate bar I'm chewing tastes even remotely like peanut butter and chocolate.
Maybe that's why The Pure Bar is not only tolerable, it's astonishingly delicious: It doesn't really try to emulate any flavor. It just is.
Example: The wild blueberry bar, my favorite, just tastes like dried blueberries, complemented with little bits of walnuts -- enough to satisfy, but rare enough to invoke a fond appreciation for each walnut encounter as I slowly make my way through. Same thing goes for the apple cinnamon.
While I tend to stay away from the ones promoting themselves as chocolate, the chocolate chip trail mix bars offer an interesting alternative: cacao nibs. It's not as indulgent as a good, rich bar of dark chocolate, but it's definitely still "the real thing," and a suitable substitute if you're trying to be healthy.
But like many good things, The Pure Bar does not come cheap, and so far I've only been able to find it at Whole Foods.
As my snack preferences change as often as my cravings do, only time will tell what my tastebuds have yet to discover in the tasty world of munchies!