Is there such a thing as a healthy chip? There are a lot of “healthier” chips out there, but often that means less fat and calories, not necessarily a more nutrient-rich food. Simply 7 Snacks showcases 7 standards, aiming to create a gluten-free product with no trans fats, cholesterol, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and using simple ingredients with all natural recipes to produce “simply delicious” chips. Although all natural doesn’t technically mean anything, Simply 7 defines this term as using ingredients that are closer to their original form (i.e., less processed).
That all sounded just fine to me so Simply 7 sent over a big box of their chips to taste-test, which included quinoa, lentil and hummus chips (4 flavors of each type). Geez, it was definitely what you'd call snack heaven!
My downfall with snacks, especially the salty-crispy-savory kind, is that I can’t stop munching...until my fingers hit the bottom of the package. They’re never filling so it’s easy for me to keep going. So I rarely keep these types of snacks in the house. This weakness of mine is the one and only negative I’ll place on Simply 7 Chips. But that’s entirely my fault of no self-control, so here’s my more objective nutritionist view:
Ingredients: Simply 7 Chips do contain real quinoa, lentils and chickpeas but in flour form, along with other starches like potato starch, rice and corn flour. Because these flours are stripped of natural fibers, the chips are not a good source of dietary fiber (<1 gram per serving). Expeller pressed safflower oil is used in all the chips. I looked up “expeller pressed,” which means the oil is extracted from the safflower seed through basic mechanical force rather than with use of chemicals (therefore felt to be healthier); read more about that here. Various spices and sea salt are the other common ingredients. Depending on the flavor, you'll see other ingredients but as Simply 7 promises on its website, they are recognizable.
Nutrition: The chips have no artery clogging trans fats or cholesterol, and are low in saturated fat (≤0.5 grams) and carbohydrates (12-18 grams per serving). All varieties contain about 130 calories and 5 grams fat per 1-ounce serving; the lentil chips are smaller so you get about 30 chips per ounce in comparison with 20 chips with the quinoa (with classic potato chips, you'd be eating twice the fat at half the portion size). The big bonus with the quinoa chips is 9 grams of protein per serving. Considering I’d eat at least two servings, that’s a nice boost of protein from a snack. They’re not low in sodium ranging from 260-420 mg; something to keep in mind if you're prone to bloat!
Flavor: Overall they tasted great! The texture reminded me of the Asian shrimp chips I grew up with—minus all the grease. These chips were satisfyingly crunchy and zesty but not at all oily. The Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Sour Cream Quinoa tied for my favorite flavor. Close second was the Cheddar Quinoa. The best basic no-frills chip was the Sea Salt Quinoa with just a hint of salty flavor though it was actually lower in sodium than the other varieties, at 260 mg.
Bottom Line: Since the flavor of the quinoa vs. lentil vs. hummus did not differ greatly, I’d choose the quinoa for its protein value. But back to my one negative, my weakness of portion control…each bag is only 3.5 to 4 ounces, meaning there are 3.5 to 4 servings per bag. As I would easily eat at least two servings and the retail price is $3.69 a bag, it’s not likely I’d add these to my weekly shopping list. However, these would definitely be my go-to chip if I had a salty snack craving. They taste great even if healthy is not your focus. If you can control the portions (or don’t care about that), then absolutely check these out. You can get them discounted on Amazon when you buy in bulk.
Disclosure: I received a shipment of Simply 7 Chips to help facilitate this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.