With healthy puffed snacks taking over the pantry, it was only a matter of time before the beloved avocado got in on the trend. For the first time ever, Avocado Puffs ($24 for eight-pack), aka puffed snacks made out of avocado, are on the market courtesy of Avo Crazy, a brand owned by The Naked Market (a by millennials, for millennials healthy food and drink company).
Are avocados worth the type? Here’s what a nutritionist thinks:
I have to admit, I’m a little surprised it’s just now happening. After all, there’s already avocado ice cream, milk, and portable avo toast. (We’ve also been using avocado oil on regular chips now for years.) But it turns out that making puffed avocado snacks was tricky to execute. “The key to the product is our use of avocado powder in the puffing process,” co-founder Harrison Fugman says. But as every avocado lover knows, they’re a fickle fruit, taking forever to ripen and then going bad pretty quickly after being cut open. In order to make sure the powder didn’t go rancid, Fugman says they dehydrate the avocados and remove the fat in the process. (Unfortunately, that means you’re not getting the same healthy fats in the puff as you would in a normal avocado.)
But even figuring that out wasn’t the end of the road. Co-founder Alex Kost explains that making a puffed snack from avocado flour had never been done before. There wasn’t a tried-and-true blueprint they could use, so it took a lot of trial and error. The key to the brand’s success, he says, was combining the avocado powder with rice flour, which is neutral in taste, plant-based, and also gluten-free—a win all-around. That, in addition to perfecting the spice blends for the three flavors (vegan cheddar, vegan ranch, and barbecue), took six months.
Fugman and Kost were kind enough to send me a few bags to taste-test. (I have a tough gig, I know.) After taking it upon myself to try all the flavors, here’s what I can tell you: What you really taste when you snack on these puffs is the bold flavorings—which I personally was into. TBH, I wouldn’t know they were made of avocado just by trying them. (If anything, the rice flour has a stronger taste.) And, like, other puffed snacks, the texture is so darn satisfying to bite into.
Checking out the nutrition panel, there aren’t any red flags, but the avo puffs aren’t exactly a gold mine of nutrition either (unlike the fruit in its non-dehydrated form). They are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan, which makes them friendly to many different kinds of eaters. They’re also relatively low in sodium for a chip, with two of the three flavors clocking in at 190 milligrams of sodium per serving. (The vegan cheddar has 290 milligrams of sodium per serving.) The puffs also have a small amount of potassium, with 46 milligrams per bag. (Although it’s recommended to get 4,700 milligrams a day—which would be a lot of puffs.)
The bottom line: There’s no snack that can beat the avocado in its purest form. But considering all the sodium-loaded chip (and puff) options out there, these avocado puffs are certainly a delicious alternative if you’re interested in shaking up your snack game. And if you’re an avocado super fan, they’re a no-brainer.
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