favorite packaged snacks | foodloveswriting.com

It’s almost Christmas! While we’re hitting the road for Ohio, we thought we might share a roundup of some of our favorite packaged snack-type products (proof that we don’t make everything we eat). When we’re road-tripping like we are this weekend, when we’re out for the night and want a snack, when we’re stuffing stockings, when we’re looking for a special treat that we don’t want to spend an hour making, it’s usually one of these products we reach for, and, while none of these companies has sent us their products free, paid us to promote them or in any other way requested that we mention them here, we’re sharing them because we think they’re just that good*. All made of whole foods, with short ingredients lists you can pronounce and easily recognize, they’re also the kind of snack foods you don’t have to feel any guilt about choosing.

A. Kit’s Organic Bars: These organic snack bars are great for keeping in your car or purse for snacks on the go. Made of whole fruits and nuts, they’re gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free. In the chocolate almond coconut version pictured, the name is almost longer than the number of ingredients, which are just dates, almonds, unsweetened chocolate and coconut. (Sources: Haggen, Fairway Market, New Season’s, PCC, REI, Sprouts, Sunflower, Wegman’s, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods; or, online)

B. LARABAR: An oldie but a goodie, the LARABAR is practically an on-the-go snack staple. Made of pure ingredients and in a variety of flavors, LARABAR products can be found almost anywhere food is sold—here in Nashville, we’ve bought them at Whole Foods, Wal-Mart and Kroger.

C. Coconut Secret Coconut Bars: You may remember our finding these bars over Thanksgiving. They’re such a treat—and in four different flavors (we’ve yet to try the mint)! I like the chocolate-covered (chocolate sweetened with coconut crystals!) coconut version best; Tim prefers the coconut macaroon bar. They are organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, GMO-free and low on the glycemic index. (Sources: Coconut Secret Store Locator)

D. Hail Merry Chocolate Tart: We’re all but addicted to these tarts, which come in chocolate, chocolate mint and almond butter, among other flavors. We stay away from agave nectar, which the non-chocolate versions all seem to have, but we love maple syrup, which is what the chocolate ones are sweetened with. (Sources: Hail Merry Store Locator)

E. Jovial Einkorn Cookies: The box above is the first we’ve ever purchased of Jovial einkorn cookies, but it probably won’t be the last. Made of the same flour we’ve been using predominantly lately, these cookies are a little more of a splurge, treat-wise, with a longer ingredient list. But the chocolate cookies taste like creamless oreos and are great for dunking in a hot drink. (Sources: We’ve only ever seen these at Whole Foods, but they’re also available online.)

F. GT’s Kombucha: We should buy stock in this stuff. High in probiotics, fizzy like pop, available in a variety of flavors, GT’s kombucha has our hearts. (Sources: GT’s Store Locator)

G. Harmless Harvest Raw Coconut Water: 100% raw coconut water with nothing added, never heated, wonderfully sweet and delicious. We’ll also add that Harmless Harvest has good customer service—when we contacted them about a fluke bad bottle, they were more than helpful. (Sources: Store Locator)

H. Fearless Chocolate: They’re not cheap, but when you want to celebrate, these raw chocolate bars are as good as it gets. (Sources: Fearless Store Locator)

I. Tulsi Tea: You will need hot water for this one, but it’s one of our favorite teas, so we are including it anyway. Did you know Tulsi tea is an adaptogenic herb, which means it helps balance the body’s functions (i.e., good for stress and hormones)? Plus, it’s high in antioxidants, which help to neutralize free radicals and reverse oxidative damage. (Sources: Available online and in various grocers. I’ve even seen this tea at TJ Maxx.)

Now it’s your turn—favorite snacks to buy? Go!

*Disclaimer: We are aware of and respect those who choose not to buy from one or more of these companies because of concern about other products their parent companies sell (such as products with GMOs). While we are not there yet, we think there’s a valid case to be made. Nonetheless, this post should be taken strictly as an endorsement of the products listed, rather than unqualified endorsement of the companies they come from.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Lan | angry asian

    i’m a huge fan of paul newman cookies, like their chocolate chip cookies …
    i also love Late July Organic crackers, they’re like ritz but without the dairy and other processed stuff.
    simply sprouted Way Better Snacks (sweet chili flavor) is like crack, only natural…
    the last road trip we went on dw & i made hummus & had cut some veggies, as well as brought a case of clementines (tis the season!)

    safe travels!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Can I just say that hummus and veggies are my crack lately, haha. Cannot get enough! Happy holidays, Lan! : )

  2. Laura

    I LOVE coconut water, but I’m discouraged by the common tendency of most manufacturer’s to heat the product. So excited to discover Harmless Harvest via this post! Already called the local health-focused grocers to see who stocks it. So pumped! Thanks for this Shanna. Lovely round up of goodness for the road :)

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Hooray! We are so with you. Plus, PS, bonus — the raw coconut water tastes sweeter. It’s such a treat!

  3. Shannon

    I just recently tried Kit’s for the first time. I am absolutely crazy about the cashew flavored bar. Happy road – tripping!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      I like how you think!

  4. Summer Harms

    Suuuuuper excited about this post!! Thank you guys so much! I’m constantly on the look out for a convenient snack to grab at the grocery store, but with a baby girl in tow I never seem to have enough time to read labels like I want to :) I usually end up just grabbing another Larabar, but now I’m excited to branch out!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Yay! Love sharing a love of real food with you, Summer. Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. hootenannie

    LARABAR made your list! I feel proud. :)

    Merry Christmas to you and Tim – and thank you for so many amazing posts in 2012. xox

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thank YOU for your support, Annie. We’re glad to know you (and LARABAR). : )

  6. alexandra @ sweet betweens [blog]

    Oh, we already love coconut water, but will now have to try the raw version. We are also fans of Larabar, and Hail Merry products are great [got to meet one of the executives at a conference here in nashville – love the business story, too]. Synergy with chia is one of my favorite treat-my-self’s too [I’m usually just drinking water after I have my morning caffeine]. Will have to try those coconut bars [c] too. great round-up, shanna! thanks for sharing!

    We’re leaving for our 13 hour drive to NJ [with the dogs, of course. gah!] and if I plan well enough in advance, we usually stock up with lots of bottled water, hummus + veggies, pretzels + cheese and fruit in a cooler. That way we’re not so tempted by the fast food stops along the way.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      I am so glad you left this comment, Alexandra, because it gave me one more reason to love Hail Merry tarts, haha!

      For anyone else reading this, turns out Hail Merry has a pretty cool startup story in that it grew out of a mom baking snacks for her kids and then her kids’ friends and their parents and then a backyard kitchen facility and eventually a full-on nationwide business. Thanks for the info, A — so cool!

  7. Jessie V

    WOW what a great list! i’ve had some, and am excited about trying the other new ones – yippee!! i esp like coconut things. YUM.

    have you tried this new marzipan treat? http://www.nuttyness.com/ – my friend’s husband (from norway) creates them! delicious!!!!!!

    on a side note – do you do water kefir? i’d be happy to send you some grains – we make some every day, and they are SO delicious with lemon juice. packed with probiotics. and, the kefir dudes keep growing, so i keep giving. it is MUCH different than milk kefir (which i do not like).

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thanks so much for that generous offer, Jessie! Just emailed you. : )

  8. Brooke @ Food Woolf

    I love this round up! What a great selection of suggestions! I’ll be sure to take your advice on my next road trip!

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