A new trend has emerged—fruits and veggies are being transformed into packaged foods. We’re talking about cauliflower pizza, sweet potato toast, carrot chips, and beet burgers. Can I get a hallelujah?
If you’re wondering how these new products compare to the veggie puffs, chips, and bites already on the market, many of the packaged veggie snacks are nothing more than processed junk with veggie additives. They don’t contain the same nutrients as fruits and vegetables, and many are fried or processed beyond recognition. These new products not only put fruits and vegetables front and center (a.k.a. in the first few ingredients), but they also taste so good you’ll forget you’re eating your veggies. It goes without saying that nothing beats eating fruits and vegetables in their purest form, but these healthy packaged food options aren’t bad when you’re in need.
Paleo peeps, rejoice! The first ingredient in this margherita pizza is cauliflower, and it’s gluten-free. Caulipower is reimagining pizza with a whole line of cauliflower crust-based products. If you’re skeptical, trust me that it wouldn’t be such a big hit if it didn’t taste good. It’s the perfect thing to keep in your freezer for when you’ve got a hankering for pizza but don’t want to scarf down 1,000 calories. Half a pie will only cost you 330 calories, and it’s got a hefty dose of fiber. Let’s call that a win-win.($50 for 4; amazon.com)
Everyone’s favorite squash is getting a makeover. Mann’s butternut squash “rotini’ is a fun take on veggie pasta, and it could also pass for crinkle cut fries. If you hate cutting, peeling, and slicing butternut squash, this option is already washed and ready to add to salads, stir-fries, soups, casseroles, or pasta.(Prices vary; see store locator for purchase info
Known for the veggie burgers you’ve come to love, Dr. Praeger’s recently came out with a new Pure-Plant Protein line of meatless burgers, chicken, and sausage. They’re all made from pea protein and completely vegan, gluten-free, and soy free. This Sweet Heat Beet burger is loaded with six veggies and has 19 grams of plant-based protein in each patty. They’ll make an awesome addition to salads and buddha bowls or just throw it on a bun and top with your favorite condiments. (Prices vary; see store locator for purchase info)
Zucchini noodles are so 2017. Beet noodles are where it’s at. Cece’s actually sells the spiralized version of all your favorite veggies, like beets, butternut squash, golden beets, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash. The beet variety is particularly interesting because spiralizing a beet at home seems annoying, and the gorgeous purple hue will make any dish look appetizing.(Prices vary; see store locator for purchase info)
These “dried not fried” snack have just one ingredient—carrots! They satisfy your hankering for crunchy, sweet, and salty, and they’ve got plenty of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. Not only are they healthy, but they are also a vegan treat. A 1.4-ounce bag has just 140 calories, and I dare you to try not to eat the whole thing.($13 for 4; amazon.com)
There are other vegan jerkies out there, but there aren’t many that make the veggie the star. This mushroom jerky starts with, you got it, mushrooms and adds just a little bit of oil, sugar, salt, and water. They’re high in fiber, free of weird additives, and they’re the kind of ‘shrooms you’re going to want to eat all day long.($9; mushroomjerky.com)
These snacks are made from either corn or coconut and come in four funky flavors—maple bourbon, cocoa chipotle, coconut curry, and pineapple coconut rum. They are certified organic and gluten-free, and each bag sold helps fund urban farming and food education in underserved communities. In other words, this snack tastes good, does good, and is good for you.($15 for 4; amazon.com)
These pops give a whole new meaning to the word “snack.” Made with kale, chickpeas, pepitas, cauliflower, almonds, and nutritional yeast, these crunchy guys might as well be in the produce aisle. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, they also come in broccoli cheddar and sour cream and onion varieties.($25 for 6; amazon.com)
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never tried sweet potato toast before. The thought of slicing up a sweet potato and putting it in my toaster oven never really appealed to me, until now. This new frozen sweet potato toast, courtesy of Caulipower, does all the work for you. Each piece of “toast” is roasted and then frozen, so all you need to do is pop it in a toaster oven. They are just one simple ingredient: sweet potatoes, which are loaded with vitamin A, C, B6, potassium, and fiber. Top ’em with whatever you would normally put on your toast. P.S. We know this price is a little outrageous, so just keep an eye out in your local market to see if they carry these for less.($43 for 3 packages; amazon.com)
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