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Popchips – Review

A number of weeks ago Tiffany told me about a great new snack chip she had while at work, they are called Pop Chips.  I’m not big into snacks like this but thought it may be worth a shot, their claim to fame is they aren’t fried, they aren’t baked and they use all natural ingredients – kind of a novel idea!  A week ago I was hunkered down in a hotel working and made a run to the grocery store for food to keep me going and I saw a display of Popchips so I picked up a bag.

bag of popchips

My first thought is that they are a little pricey for what they are, then again I was in a pricey area so I’ll reserve branding them as expensive until I shop around for them locally.  The next thing I noticed is the “share bag” their larger bag, is only 3 ounces, compared to 8.5 ounces or more in regular bags of chips for the same price it makes popchips seem rather expensive.  But let’s not hold that against them just yet.

They are healthier, they are using all natural ingredient and due to the way they are processed they are lower in fat.  My “go to” chip of choice is Cape Cod Original Chips when I’m going to eat chips, which is pretty infrequently in my life.  Comparing the same 1 ounce serving size the Popchips do have 1/2 of the total fat, 4 grams compared to 8 grams from Cap Cod chips and no saturated fat, compared to 1 gram from the Cape Cod chips, score one for Popchips!  What does concern me is the sodium, one ounce of Cape Cod original chips have 110mg of sodium compared to a staggering 280mg from the Popchips, score one for Cape Cod.  The Popchips have fewer calories coming in at 120 which 35 come from fat compared to 150 calories from the Cape Cod chips which 70 come from fat.  It seems the caloric difference is directly tied to the higher fat content of the originals.  Cape Cod does offer a Reduced Fat chip and that makes it a much closer battle.

I guess if you count calories the Popchips have an advantage, but the Reduced Fat Cape Cod chips only have 10 calories more.  If you are looking for lowest fat, the Popchips do win hands down they are low in fat for a potato chip, even the Reduced Fat Cape Cod’s have 6 grams of a fat per serving compared to Popchips 4 grams.  If you’re watching your sodium, avoid Popchips they seem to be just full of it!

How about taste, do they live up to the hype, are they a viable low fat replacement to the regular potato chip? I think the best answer here is maybe?  They do taste good, but they are not a regular potato chip, then again they never really claimed to be regular, they are Popchips.  If a regular potato chip and a toasted rice cake had a child it would be a Popchip.  It tastes like a lighter potato chip but there is a certain toasted taste to them that borders on tasting burnt.  The texture is miles off, it reminds me more of a rice cake than a potato chip.  While they are all natural they are heavily processed.  You’ll notice the image below all of the chips are the same exact size and perfectly round.


Some develop waves and have holes in them but you can clearly see they all came from the same mold.  I obviously don’t have access to exactly how they are processed, I suspect they shave, mash or somehow create a potato paste of sorts and then apply their famed heat and pressure to “pop” them in a mold.  While it may be all natural ingredient you can tell they are heavily processed.  Call me old fashioned but I like natural ingredients as they are provided for us by mother nature.  Often the more we do to an ingredient the further we get from it’s original taste, shape, texture, etc… and that appears to the case with Popchips, they sort of taste like a potato, but something is just a miss to my palate.

I think my biggest complaint was the almost burnt taste they had.  They were pale and appeared to cooked correctly, but they had a heavily toasted taste to them that wasn’t terrible but it also didn’t make me want to keep eating them.  It’s 3 weeks later and I still have 1 serving from the 3 ounce bag left.  I wanted to try the original chips first before I attempted any of their flavored chips, I will likely try them again but if my second impression mimics my first it will be my last.  I eat potato chips so rarely that when I do I want it to be a potato chip, not mashed paste that is heated and pressurized.

I may be wrong in my theory about how they are processed, however their site is particularly vague and I suspect that my theory is pretty close to accurate.  I would love to hear if I’m miles off, so if anyone with insider info reads this please let me know.

I took one final image, a close up to try to capture they texture of these chips – be sure to click the image to see the original size.

Closeup of Popchips

Popchips are an interesting concept, but sometimes I just want to eat real things instead of a concept.

Roasted Chickpea Snacks

Roasted Chick Peas - Spicy

Holiday time is party time and party time means snacks. Although I appreciate Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) and have used them in a number of dishes over the years including Hummus, I had never tried them roasted before. In my repertoire of snacks are a number of variations using peanuts, almonds, pecans, etc. and now I have added roasted Chickpeas to the mix. They are lower in fat than nuts and have a significant amount of insoluble fiber which is good for the digestive system.

People in some parts of the world eat Chickpeas every day. Not only are they a healthier snack option for you and your guests, they just might be a great conversation starter. More information about the health benefits of Chickpeas can be found on the World’s Healthiest Foods website.

Here’s how I made these:

The main ingredient in this snack is the Chickpeas themselves, which must be cooked in order to change their physical composition into a crunchy snack. You could use canned Chickpeas, but I preferred to make them freshly prepared from dried. My favorite place in Houston for purchasing dried legumes is a place on Westheimer called Phoenicia.

Dried Chick Peas

I took two cups of dried Chickpeas, placed them in a pot, covered them with water and brought to a boil. Then I turned down the fire and simmered for three hours, until they were tender. Next I drained them, spread them out on oven sheets and baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to get them dry enough to accept the coatings (stirring every 10 minutes). This produced about five cups of cooked oven dried Chickpeas.

Then I added them to the following recipes:


1 c Chickpeas, cooked and oven dried

1 T Tahini
1 T Olive oil
1 t Garlic powder
1/2 t Salt, Kosher

Mix coating ingredients in a bowl, add Chickpeas and stir to coat. Spread in one layer on an oven pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until crispy. Be careful not to let them burn.

Roasted Chick Peas - Hummus


1 c Chickpeas, cooked and oven dried

1 T Olive oil
2 t Chili powder
1 t Garlic powder
1 t Red pepper (Cayenne)
1 t Louisiana Habanero Hot Sauce
1/2 t Cumin
1/2 t Paprika
1/2 t Salt, Kosher

Mix coating ingredients in a bowl, add Chickpeas and stir to coat. Spread in one layer on an oven pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until crispy. Be careful not to let them burn.

Louisiana Habanero Hot Sauce


1 c Chickpeas, cooked and oven dried

1 t Wasabi paste
1 t Peanut Oil
1 t Soy Sauce

Mix coating ingredients in a bowl, add Chickpeas and stir to coat. Spread in one layer on an oven pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until crispy. Be careful not to let them burn.


1 c Chickpeas, cooked and oven dried

2 t Sriracha sauce
1 ½ t Peanut Oil
1 t Rice Vinegar
½ t Kosher salt
½ t Red Pepper
¼ t Garlic powder

Mix coating ingredients in a bowl, add Chickpeas and stir to coat. Spread in one layer on an oven pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until crispy. Be careful not to let them burn.

These recipes provide you with several options for different tasting Chickpea snacks depending on your personal preferences and those of your guests. Roasted Chickpeas lend themselves to a variety of seasoning combinations. We at Lukewarm Legumes will be experimenting with different flavoring blends for this snack in our Test Kitchens and will be posting our findings right here, so stay tuned.

Perfect Popped Popcorn

I don’t know about you, but I love popcorn. So does my household. I have been using a technique for years to make popcorn that always gets rave reviews. One of the secrets is to facilitate the release of the steam produced in the process away from the popped corn. This results in a much lighter and crisper popped corn.

Popped Popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain healthy snack providing fiber, antioxidants, protein, B vitamins & minerals, and includes polyphenols similar to that contained in fruits and vegetables which could help reduce the incidence of heart disease and cancer. Its nutritional value can be fortified by sprinkling it with Parmesan Cheese, which provides additional protein and calcium. Another use is to make it part of a snack mix including dried fruits, nuts, and unsweetened cereal. Plus popcorn can be used to make popcorn balls for your next party.

Here is my method:

Popcorn and Oil

First place two to four tablespoons of vegetable oil (I like to use corn oil) in a large pot with one cup of popcorn kernels. Over medium high heat stir the popcorn and oil mixture until the kernels begin to pop (stirring helps to evenly heat the kernels and help popping). Even though you might have to deal with a few flying kernels of popcorn using this method I think you’ll find it well worth the trouble. Another tip with popping corn is to make sure you have the heat high enough, or the kernels will not pop properly.

Popcorn Starts Popping

Once the kernels begin to pop, cover the pot with a sheet of aluminum foil that has slits cut into it to allow for the release of steam. At the point the corn has popped enough to prevent the kernels flying out of the pan, uncover the popcorn and allow it to completely pop.

Covered Popcorn

If you like to salt your popcorn, you don’t need to purchase popcorn salt, which can be relatively expensive, but can easily make your own by placing a cup or two of regular table salt into your food processor and processing until it becomes a very fine powder.

Popcorn Salt