Chips are my biggest food vice. I like them salty, cheesy, with salsa, corn, potato, popped, fried, baked, and everything in between. And lately, I like the sweet potato version. In fact, because of these crunchy finds I’ve pretty much given up on any other chip (which I ate pretty sparingly anyway, to be honest). I’ve had a go-to favorite for a while, but every week at the store I keep noticing more and more new bags of sweet potato chips popping up. Of course, I decided to put them to the test.
I brought six bags of sweet potato chips back to the office for the ultimate sweet potato taste off. No one minded, of course!
It was a blind taste test and participants were asked to vote for the one they thought tasted the best. We ended up with a dead heat. Five votes a piece went to Terra Chips and Kroger’s new Simple Truth brand.
We found the sweet potato Terra Chips to be thin, light, and crisp – perfect for complementing a sandwich. Just a great snack that wasn’t too filling. The Simple Truth natural sweet potato chips are much thicker and sturdier with ridges. We believe these were made for scooping things like guacamole and our Guiltless Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Each had the big sweet potato flavor that we were after.
To find the best sweet potato chip out there, we had to dig a bit deeper since we all enjoyed these chips equally. So we examined ingredients. We found an identical label once again: Sweet potatoes, expeller pressed canola oil an/or safflower oil, and/or sunflower oil. However Simple Truth added sea salt where Terra Chips has no added salt. This put Terra Chips in a very, very narrow lead.
Finally, the nutrition labels. Surely those numbers would reveal a clear-cut choice, but yet again, our ultimate sweet potato taste off was finding itself in a tie. They both have the same amount of calories, fat, saturated fat, fiber, and sugar. This makes sense considering they have the same ingredients. And then, that’s where they part ways for a very brief second – sodium. Simple Truth has a respectable 90mg because of the added sea salt while Terra Chips only has 10mg of sodium, which is naturally occurring in the sweet potatoes.
Should we name Terra Chips the winner of the best sweet potato chip title? Based on this information, yes. While extremely narrow, they did pull ahead of Simple Truth. However, neither brand meets our dietitian’s criteria for nutrition of a chip. Mary Hartley, RD recommends less than 140 calories per one-ounce serving; both have 160 calories. She recommends less than 3 grams of fat; both have 11 grams. Where they do surprise us is with 3 grams of fiber per serving, where Hartley only recommends two. So we end the hunt in a tie, naming Terra Chips and Simple Truth equals in the sweet potato chip war. (If such a thing exists.)
If you’re looking for the best sweet potato chip nutritionally, Simply Sprouted’s Way Better sweet potato tortilla chips take that prize. They met all of Hartley’s criteria except for fat, having 7 grams versus the recommended 3 grams. As far as taste goes though, Simple Sprouted was the only chip to get zero votes – so they don’t win on flavor.
The other brands we reviewed, each of which got one vote a piece, were Green Giant’s Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips with sea salt, Food Should Taste Good’s Sweet Potato Tortilla Chip, and Sweet Potato PopChips. Nutritionally they each exceeded the recommended fat and mostly failed to meet the fiber needs, but all in all were decent enough in flavor.
If you find yourself in front of that great wall of crackly chip bags, we say reach for the Terra Chips or Simple Truth sweet potato chips. Consider the calories and fat, and you can also reduce the generous 17-chip serving to cut back.
January 8th, 2013