On a Quest for Healthy Chips

When a friend of mine (Jenny from Pugs & Pearls!) told me she was getting some samples of Quest Protein Chips, I was ecstatic.  Chips are one of those forbidden foods; the ones that are SO bad for you, there’s no way to justify eating them.

Up to now, I’d resigned myself to making my own pita chips (better, if not great, for you) and/or pretending baby carrots were “just as good” with hummus (they’re not).

Enter Quest Protein Chips.

Available in five popular “real chip” flavors (BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, Sea Salt, Cheddar & Sour Cream, Salt & Vinegar), I was given three to try – and try I did.  They promised me 21g of high-quality protein with zero sugar and only 120 calories – sounds good, right (see label, below)?

First up were the BBQ, since that’s the flavor I love the most, and they were – odd.  Weirdly chemical-tasting, the chips kind of melted in my hands before they even got to my mouth, providing a sensation less of eating chips and more the feeling of trying to shovel warm chocolate into your mouth before it melts into oblivion.

So I moved on to Sea Salt, thinking the plain variation would complement a dip (again, hummus) better than a flavored chip.  I may have been correct IF the chips could remotely hold up to being dipped, which they couldn’t.  They shattered in the dip like a pane of thin glass, leaving shards all over my Sabra.  No thanks.

The final frontier was the Cheddar & Sour Cream, which was definitely the best of the bunch taste-wise, but was still strangely unsatisfying.  Every bite I took make me wonder: why am I eating this?  I finished the bag in about 4 seconds, but felt like I hadn’t eaten anything…and worse, it made me want to seek out actual chips to eat.  Double fail.

In short, I appreciate what Quest nutrition is trying to do here.  They’re turning protein – something many of us seek to eat more of – into a convenience product.  It’s a good concept.  But at the end of the day, I’d rather stick to real food – hard-boiled eggs, nuts, chicken  breast – for my protein needs.

Do you rely on any protein “substitute” products?  What are your favorites?

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