Snack #1 – Caramel Apple (repeat): At 80 calories (and 26 grams of sugar) this is a not too damaging sweet snack. The caramel sauce is really extraordinary, with flavor beyond just sweetness. I do prefer fresh apples to dried apple slices, but I also understand that isn’t realistic for a mail order snack subscription. At any rate, I do think this is a good offering. Dare I admit to licking the remaining sauce out of the container after dipping the apple slices?
Snack #2 – Chinese Shiitake (repeat): This soup is really more of a meal than a snack, even though it is only 90 calories. It has a mild broth, with shiitake mushroom slides, corn, and rice noodles. You put the noodles and vegetables in a cup, along with the paste for the broth, and add hot water. I think this is one of the better soup offerings from Graze, not least because it is both filling and not too salty. It’s the sort of thing that’s nice to have on hand for times when I had a breakfast meeting and am not super hungry at lunchtime, but know I will want something to get me through the afternoon.
Snack #3 – Herby Bread Basket (repeat): This 90 calorie snack has mini basil breadsticks, oregano rice crackers, and garlic crostini. The herbal flavors (both basil and oregano) are strong. I think the oregano rice crackers are the best part of this, while the garlic crostini are pretty ordinary. Overall, it’s a good savory snack, with lots of crunch and flavor.
Snack #4 - Cocoa & Vanilla Protein Flapjack (repeat): If you’ve read any of these snack reviews before, you know about Graze flapjacks, which are soft, rolled oat granola bars. This one has subtle cocoa flavor, which is always a good thing. There are 250 calories, which is not so great, but that does include 9 grams of protein, from a mixture of sunflower seeds, flaxseed, and soy. So, overall, I think the nutritional profile is no worse than any other granola bar. And it more filling than many other things of this ilk. I admit I like some of the other flapjack flavors better, but this is still good.
Snack #5 – Creamy Ranch Kern Pops (new): These are partially popped corn kernels, with a sour cream and onion seasoning. They’re 150 calories according to the container, but the web site says they’re 140. That discrepancy isn’t going to kill me. Anyway, the texture of these is more like corn nuts than like popcorn, which is fine with me. I liked the seasoning, too, which was subtle but did have a definite sour cream tang. Overall, I was surprised by how much I liked this snack and was glad for the portion control, because it’s the sort of thing I could see myself mindlessly snacking on cup after cup of.
Snack #6 – Garden of England (repeat): This fruit snack has 80 calories and consists of soft apple pieces, mini strawberries, and black currants. This is my favorite (so far) of Graze’s dried fruit snacks, largely because of those tiny little strawberries. I also like the balance, with the tartness of the black currants offsetting the sweetness of the apple and strawberries. Delicious.
Snack #7 – Vietnamese Pho (repeat): This is not really very pho-like, but it is a decent afternoon pick-me-up if you ignore that, particularly since it is only 60 calories. It’s a little on the spicy side, which is okay with me. I found that the star anise dominated the flavor profile, but it could just be that it’s a flavor I am particularly sensitive to. There are sesame seeds, which are pretty much overwhelmed by the broth flavor, along with shiitake mushrooms, which give a bit of meatiness, but are a bit too chewy. The rice noodles are in smaller pieces than I’d prefer, since part of the pleasure of Asian noodles is that it’s socially acceptable to slurp them. Overall, this is okay, as long as you don’t think of it as actual pho. (If you do want actual pho, by the way, and you are in Crystal City, there is a good Vietnamese food truck that comes on Thursday.)
Snack #8 – Cinnamon Pretzel (new): The name of this is slightly misleading, as it consists of poppyseed pretzels and caramelized honey and cinnamon almonds. So the pretzels themselves don’t have cinnamon. It’s 140 calories. The pretzels are fine, as pretzels go, but it’s the cinnamon and honey almonds that are the real star of this. I like glazed nuts, in general, and when there is cinnamon in the glaze, it’s all the better.
Overall, I’ve continued to be pleased with the variety of snacks I get from Graze. They’ve added a bunch of new snacks recently, with a focus on superfoods (stuff like chia and acai and green tea), so I am looking forward to trying some of those.