Trader Joe’s Kale Chips. This has to be one of the most surprising products I’ve tasted all year from Trader Joe’s and I’m talking about the Trader Joe’s Kale Chips. This new vegan snack hit the shelves1 in late September and I had been hesitant to try it out. I’ve had too many ill-conceived products that try too hard to be vegan and they just didn’t pull it off. I guess I had my expectations so low for this that when I tasted them I was floored!
So, what we have here is officially called Trader Joe’s Zesty Nacho Chips. The bag is a bright green Kale color, obviously to reflect what is inside the bag, but the really fun thing is that the packaging looks like a comic book. Pow! it says on the front over the picture of the kale chips. “A real nutrient superhero of a snack and a yummy alternative to traditional chips”, it says. The picture on the front of the bag looks like someone melted cheese on the kale chips, but what it is for real is a kind of Doritos Nacho flavoring sprayed onto the dried kale.
I opened the bag and pulled out a “chip” and popped it in my mouth. Before I tell you how they tasted, let me tell you to want they are. These are dried kale leaves that have a coating of ground-up cashews, sunflower seeds, carrot powder, red bell pepper powder, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, chipotle powder, and the usual suspects like salt and pepper. So anyway, I popped some chips in my mouth and I couldn’t believe the flavors! They are spicy, but with richness. The flavor is different and somewhat like Nacho Doritos. The surprising thing is that they have a really nice crunch to them and are not mushy at all. I can get some chew from the nuts. That’s where most of the calories are coming from because I can’t believe that dried Kale has any calories. The rest is for flavoring and color, but it all works really well together.
I’m not a vegan but if you are and don’t have time to make your own Kale chips. (You can find how to make them in this book: (The Book of Kale: The Easy-to-Grow Superfood 80+ Recipes) or you just want a healthy alternative to regular chips these might be for you. I have two issues with these “chips” though. The first is the price. At $3.99 a bag, you might be better off financially by just eating a couple of carrots. The second issue is that these chips are fragile. There is a lot of “dust” at the bottom of the bag. Kind of hard to eat Kale dust. I suppose if you were a creative chef you could find a way to repurpose the kale dust to sprinkle on something or for a decorative touch around a plate.
Either way, I have to admit I really like these Trader Joe’s Kale Chips! They totally took me by surprise and I almost ate half a bag, but I was taken aback by the price. Still, even with the high price I might buy them again because they are soooo healthy for you and taste soooo good!
I am going to give them 9 Bells!