I’m a snacker. I would choose pita and hummus over a proper dinner any night of the week. I also don’t love to cook, nor do I actually like eating hot food at night (weird, right?), so I’ve always been a snacker. I eat more during the day and at night I tend to graze, but over the past few years I’ve found myself drawn to the same snacks – some healthy, some not. I almost lost my mind a few weeks ago when No Frills had goldfish crackers on sale for $1 a bag. I bought 12 bags. No joke. And I can easily down an entire bag for dinner. I also learned in 2013 after visiting a naturopath that I had a rather severe sensitivity to corn syrup and corn-based products in general. And it turns out that corn syrup is in everything. Seriously. Its the herpes of snack-food ingredients.
It was obvious that I needed a smarter snacking plan.
Last summer I looked into a healthy snack delivery service called NatureBox. At the time, they were still in beta testing for Canadian customers, and we didn’t yet have the option to ‘customize’ our box. I checked back in a few weeks ago and was delighted to learn that the customizing abilities for Canada were up and running. I promptly ordered the free trial, paying just shipping and handling for four snack-sized items and one full-sized item, selected by NatureBox.
After I placed my free trial order, I went ahead and signed up for the monthly subscription of five full-sized snacks. The cost works out to be just under $30 Canadian per month. Seems like a lot, but when I consider what I spend a month on snacks anyways, the benefits outweigh the (slightly) higher price tag. After completing a quick survey to review my snacking preferences (this is where you can indicate any dietary requirements or restrictions such as vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free), I began to load up my ‘Pantry’ with healthy fun snacks, the first five of which would be included in my first box. These are customizable, and you can go in any time and select items from your pantry to include in your next order with an easy-to-use drag and drop tool. I’m obsessed with my pantry. Despite the aforementioned corn sensitivity, I did include some products that are popcorn-ish, and will cross my fingers that the sensitivity really is more syrup-based than kernel based.
Highlights of NatureBox products (according to the company) include:
- No high-fructose corn syrup (yay!)
- No hydrogenated oils
- No artificial anything, including colours, sweeteners and flavours
- No added sulfites
- Yes to high-quality, nutritious ingredients
- Yes to thoughtful sourcing
Just a few days after I placed my free trial order, I received my first NatureBox. It consisted of snack-sized packages of a fruit snack, cashews, pop pops (the popcorn-like product), almonds and a full-sized bag of dessert-y chocolate ‘nom noms’.
The first snack I tried was the cranberry medley which was pomegranate and acai-flavoured dried cranberries with blueberries. These were sweet and tasty with no lingering aftertaste that I find common in fruity snacks (likely caused by corn syrup). Thumbs up.
The second snack I ate were the jalapeno cashews. These were my favourite. Satisfying and definitely spicy. I would order these over and over.
Next up I had the parmesan garlic pop pops. Pop pops are basically half-popped popcorn kernels. They were certainly garlicky and parmesan-y (more garlicky) but I found the flavours a bit overwhelming and they hurt my retainer. To be honest, I shouldn’t have been eating popcorn anyways! But they came in the trial and I was curious.
I tried a few of the dark cocoa nom noms and gave the rest of the bag away to a friend. They were moist and reminded me a bit of coconut macaroons. On a morning after that friend had slept over and we were heading for brunch, just one nom nom was enough to ease the hangover-related hunger pangs. Overall I don’t love chocolate, and I’ve heard great things about the peanut butter version of these. Not my favourite, but they were fine.
My last snack was the garden tomato crunchies. These were almonds with a ‘tomato spice.’ Delicious! The spice tasted more like BBQ than tomato, which worked for me.
Overall I was very satisfied with the snacks, and am looking forward to my first proper order with all full-sized bags. I’ll post a review when I get through those.
Note: This post is not sponsored. I am paying for my NatureBox subscription out of my own pocket. Speaking of pockets, my pockets were – until I decided to try and make better snack choices – typically filled with the aforementioned goldfish crackers. I’ve been casually referring to pockets as CrackerPockets™ for years. Because that was the only thing I ever used my pockets for – a vehicle/storage centre for crackers. And then my friend told his niece that pockets were for crackers and now her mom probably hates me on laundry days. So really I’m doing this to save the pockets of small children from staining due to cheese dust (and also saving my denim jacket in the process). I’m practically a saint.