Calling It: Shiitake Mushroom Chips Are the New Kale Chips

Photo: Stocksy/Suzanne Clements
Generally speaking, snack chips have a not-so-nutritious rep for being vehicles of poor-quality ingredients—and long lists of 'em at that. Nowadays, though, smarter satisfying choices make up a corner of the noshing scene in the form of crispy kale, beet, and even protein-packed egg-white options. The latest healthy addition to hit the market uses a star ingredient that's already been tapped for tea, topical beauty, and enlightened travel: mushrooms.

The China-sourced shiitake mushroom is vacuum-fried for a crunchy chip and debuts in four flavors: original, spicy buffalo, honey onion mustard, and black pepper.

The non-GMO and cholesterol-free shiitake mushroom chip by Mudlrk is part of the in-flight snack company flyGREEN. It's projected to be available online by the end of this month and in stores later this year in its four debut flavors (original, spicy buffalo, honey onion mustard, and black pepper), Food Navigator reports.

The China-sourced funghi is vacuum-fried in a closed environment "where the oxygen level is lowered and therefore the boiling point for the oil is lowered, and therefore your frying time can be lessened—ultimately it gives you the crunch of the chip," according to Mudlrk's founder, Trace Ostergren. Unfortunately, the highly unsustainable palm oil is used for frying, although Ostergren did design eco-friendly packaging.

If you're wondering what munching on this snack will actually do for your bod, go ahead and take a seat, because long list of superfood benefits to be gleaned from shiitake mushrooms is overwhelming. Not only has the sought-after funghi been shown to boost human immunity and destroy cancer cells, but also it has anti-aging properties, thanks to two antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione. Plus, those who have troubled skin will be happy to know that the surge of selenium in this mushroom has been found to improve acne and other skin conditions.

So the next time that mid-afternoon slump comes a-knocking, a few handfuls of vacuum-fried mushroom chips just might satisfy your hunger pangs and wellness needs. (Ciao for now, kale.)

On the prowl for other snacks that are exciting and good for you? Here are some options straight from the Whole Foods HQ and even more that wellness experts swear by.

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