I’m a sucker for Mexican food, and eat it all the time because it is so easy to get the same delicious flavors you would find in your favorite cheesy, greasy restaurant entrees in a healthy, fresh and easy meal at home. I always have fresh tomatoes, onion, cilantro and avocado stocked to dice and add a little Mexican flare to chicken, fish, fajitas, and salads for hardly any calories. Keeping soft, corn tortillas on hand over the bleached flour ones lends a more indulgent restaurant-style feel to a meal, but, you know, I could never find a healthy and satisfying substitution for the crunch of a traditionally lard-laden tortilla chip.
Enter Beanitos: crunchy, yummy tortilla chips made from whole beans and whole grains. These fiber-filled little guys are always gluten-free, wheat free, and soy free, packed with 4 g of complete protein, with no cholesterol and no trans fats. They come in 4 great flavors, including Pinto and Flax and Cheddar Cheese, which boasts whole pinto beans, whole brown flaxseed and whole grain rice as their first three ingredients and Black Bean and Chipotle BBQ, whose first two ingredients are whole black beans and whole grain rice. At 140 calories per serving, and 20 percent of your daily fiber these make a healthy filling snack that fits into almost anyone’s diet.
The chips actually taste great, too. I usually base my taste opinion on that of my friends’ who refuse to eat a healthy food unless it is unwittingly served to them and/or it’s free. I eat a clean diet, and have become accustomed to the tastes of “health food” so I find the true test is if you can hand it over to fast food junkies and they will actually eat more than one bite.
I poured them in to a bowl, threw out the bags that might blow my “they’re just regular chips” cover and handed them over. Not only were bags of these demolished in one reality TV session (which can stretch for hours if it’s just the girls) but the “what’s this cardboard crap?” I was expecting actually turned into pleasant “mmmm’s” between crunching.
Sticking to my devotion to finding ways to make healthy Mexican food, these tortilla chips are perfect for my tomato and avocado dip, as well as low calorie salsa and a healthy bean dip I make consisting of just pinto beans, garlic and diced onions smashed to paste. They are also great on their own, especially the flavored varieties.
The general consensus was that the Black Bean tasted most like traditional tortilla chips, with the Pinto and Flax giving a little bit more of an I-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it flavor. The Chipotle BBQ has a sweet and smoky taste while the Cheddar Cheese is delicious and salty, but if blindfolded, I would never guess were cheese flavored, so don’t expect a Cheeto substitute here.