Unless you're trying to orchestrate the most formal dinner party, having a few casual pre and post dinner munchies set out doesn't hurt and will actually help prevent any guests from becoming "hangry." One of my favorite ways to do this is to make a little chips and dips bar, which is always a big hit. This season though, I've been thinking more about how to incorporate some healthier options that will still be tasty enough to be devoured by guests. No carrot sticks please. Here are some versatile picks that bridge those two needs.
Top Left: Cabo Chips have the cutest packaging and a hearty tortilla chip texture that withstands extra thick dips. My favorite flavor is the Mango Chili Lime, which is spot-on but still subtle enough to pair with intense fruity salsas. All of Cabo Chips products are non-GMO, which is an important thing to look out for with corn.
Top Right: Beanfields are a gluten-free alternative to corn chips made with varieties of beans. In other words, no need to worry about your daily fiber intake with a handful of these chips. My favorite is the White Bean with Sea Salt, which has an almost creamy feel.
Bottom Left: Saffron Road Baked Lentil Chips are really light and crisp so they pair well with creamy and light hummus style dips. I enjoy the texture of munching on these alone and like the Cucumber Dill flavor the best.
Bottom Right: Popchips Ridges are a fun addition from everyone's favorite popped chip brand. The ridges make these especially fun to snack on. My favorite is the Cheddar & Sour Cream, which hits the flavor mark exactly without weird additives or preservatives.
For alternative savory snacks, I'm a big fan of the Quinn Touch of Honey Pretzels. Just slightly sweet, they only contain 2g of sugar per serving, whereas some honey pretzels have upwards of 10g. You can also check out Quinn's Farm to Bag transparency efforts on their website to find out where the grain came from, which is always an empowering tool for consumers.
Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas are available in a few unconventional and interesting flavors like Falafel and Korean BBQ. Offering a surprising amount of protein in an organic form, these are extremely filling and satisfying as a snack.
To accompany any cheese selections, the Saffron Road Lentil Crackers are a must. Each cracker is the perfect thickness for dipping into creamy cheeses and has a milder flavor (I liked Cracked Pepper!) that doesn't compete with your favorite bries.
Lastly a little something for everyone's sweet tooth. Pre-popped popcorn in yummy flavors can be such a good snack. The Quinn Coconut Oil Popped Popcorn is such a good sweet one with subtle coconut flavor. With just three organic ingredients, it's as healthy as dessert snacking can be. Pair with some healthier chocolate treats like the Theo Chocolate Clusters, which are addictingly tasty and chock full of flavanols for actual cocoa-related health benefits. Of the three flavors, my favorite is Lemon Hemp, a bright citrus-y hit.
What kinds of healthier snacks do you like to serve to friends? Any recipes?