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Does that bag of weightless (well, almost) chips entice you on your binge nights? Can’t get off the fried aloo bhujia with your mug of beer? We’ve all been there and we know snacking without fried food can never feel the same. Yes, we are talking about the pubs sneaking sliced carrots and cucumbers onto our snack plates. We do appreciate the concern, but bring those crispies back.
For a long time, the quest for a healthy diet led us to several alternatives. Veggies disguised as junk food, roasted snacks that could never be as crunchy and nuts that almost always posed a storage challenge. Now, let’s get this straight. We aren’t against healthy food and have so far managed to keep on track with it for our meals. It is really the snacking that gets us. Every single time!
Evolve Snacks’ Fresh Take on Snacks
While on one hand we continued to binge on fried and sugary snacks, with our tea and our drinks, we were always on the lookout for that perfect replacement. Was it too much to ask for the perfect crunchy pairing with the beverage (or two) in an otherwise unrelenting pandemic? Turns out, it isn’t.
Evolve Snacks is quite the discovery, and then some.
But, it didn’t begin that way. At first look, Evolve Snacks is like any other e-commerce platform promising you the moon and the stars: in this case, high protein snacks that don’t compromise on flavour while still remaining healthy. We were sceptical, but decided to give it a shot anyway. And let’s just say the variety on offer had a role to play.
The Evolve Snacks website is well-designed and the pictures could make the most unappetising snacks look enticing. Yes, we are talking about those Okra chips.
While we can’t quite wrap our head around the thought behind making a crispy snack out of humble ladies’ fingers, we’ve got to admit we were rather close to getting ourselves a bag. Move over peri peri laced fried snacks, our bhindi will do the job.
We like that Evolve Snacks’ display of snacks is easy to navigate much like Gujarati farsan stores that let you navigate the miscellaneous offerings and sample some before you take them back home. And if it is those snacks you favour, you’ll be happy to see a baked version of the popular bhakarwadi in stock.
You could also choose to shop by category or benefits. The categories list has tabs like weight loss, Indian munchies, healthy kids, healthy desserts and more, to help narrow your selection down. If you shop by benefits, you can pick energy booster, brain, hair and skin, high fibre, high protein etc.
Options Aplenty with Evolve Snacks
However, we preferred choosing straight off the display, aided by the visuals. If okra chips weren’t enough, we were now having to face the difficult choice between moong dal chips and ragi chips. What’s next? Chips made out of broccoli?
As you can tell, our disdain for healthy snacks hadn’t settled by then. And yet, the flavours on offer did seem exciting. The moong dal chips came with peri peri flavouring and fox nuts came with chipotle and sriracha seasoning. It wasn’t just healthy snacks but those with a touch of gourmet cuisine.
Then Evolve Snacks had the Indian flavours: a healthy jhalmuri, kala channa puffs, chatpata rajma chips, quinoa masala puffs and the street-food favourite channa jor. There are also a handful of sweet snacks amid the many savoury options: gur channa, gur peanut candy and a chatpata amla.
Click on each of the options to see a full ingredient list and a nutritional chart. In some cases, Evolve Snacks provides pairing suggestions but they are as simplistic as ‘tea-time’ snacks. Then again, that is the beauty of snacks; they could work as well with a nightcap as with your mid-morning Muscatel tea.
The pricing is modest and most options are available in 100 gms packs enabling you to order a few to try at the same time. We would be wary if we had to order half a kilogram of okra chips at once. It’s not hard to see that Evolve Snacks understands the needs of us compulsive snackers.
After having spent more than a few minutes choosing, we picked an unusual snack for our first order. It was going to be the Oats Wasabi Mix. It’s true that, in the end, our love for Wasabi triumphed all else.
The deed was done, our order placed and our parcel of yet another healthy snack was awaited.
The Taste Test
Our order arrived nearly a week after it was placed following a few alerts about packaging and dispatch. Once we peeled off the layers of packaging, it revealed a brown bag with chic branding, much like the Evolve Snacks website. It also stated Evolve Snacks’ vision right on top, ‘Now snack smarter without compromising on taste. Guilt-free satisfaction guaranteed’. It was all looking quite promising.
On the back are the ingredients and nutritional information along with a disclaimer that reveals that these ‘mini meals’ are packed only after an order is received. This is perhaps what explains the shipment period. If a snack lives up to its claims, we are quite willing to wait for it.
Open it and you will discover that the bag is resealable and puts your storage woes to rest. It seals well and keeps the crunch intact even in humid weather. We can safely attest to that in a city like Mumbai.
We poured some of the contents out into a bowl only to discover they resemble the familiar ‘mixture’ we grew up eating. Except here, it is a combination of rice fakes, jowar (sorghum) flakes and oats with roasted Bengal gram thrown in. The snack has no gram flour, isn’t fried and claims to use only an oil spray for seasoning. It is also protein-rich.
We used a spoon to take a bite with an assumption that it would have no more than a weak Wasabi flavour. And boy, were we wrong! Sharp and piquant, the Wasabi sets your tongue tingling only to be enhanced by tangy spices. Let’s just say, it is not a snack you can have bowlfuls of.
The crispy flakes and oats along with the soft crumbly channa match well with the Wasabi and we can imagine ourselves nibbling away at this as a party snack. We did get a few friends to try it out with tea, whiskey and a G&T. It seems to have worked best with the G&T, helping cut the bitterness of the tonic water.
We are happy to report that this was a snack that satiated our need for a crunchy nibble without compromising on the taste, just as it promised to. It also reminded us of the fact that when snacking, a little goes a long way. So, if you are looking to treat your social bubble (let’s not forget the pandemic) with something that wouldn’t add to that dreaded calorie count, Evolve Snacks might be a great choice.
If you pick the Oats Wasabi Mix though, don’t forget to warn your guests before someone reaches out for a spoonful!