Continuing with popular foods served at Super Bowl parties, we come to chips. These are the most popular foods of all found at parties for the big game. Among the money the salty snack industry rakes in: $278 million is spent on potato chips and $224 million on tortilla chips. But the next day, many Americans pay the price for the Standard American Diet. Antacid sales go up 20%. And 1.5 million people call in sick to work.
The biggest problem facing snack products such as potato and tortilla chips has been the use of seed soils such as canola and soybean oil. Another problem has been ingredients which aren’t organic and are sprayed with multiple pesticides. In the case of tortilla chips, that also means genetically modified corn.
The good news is over the past decade, there’s been a huge growth in chips using real ingredients. These products use healthy oils including avocado, coconut, and palm oil. The manufacturers are responsible about the other ingredients they source too. Many of them are certified organic. Some of the companies give us better versions of the classic potato and tortilla chips. Others do more contemporary takes using ingredients such as sweet potatoes, cassava flour, and coconut flour to come up with twists on the traditional potato and tortilla chips. These alternative flours are great for anybody who has issues consuming grains.
If you serve any of these chips below at your Super Bowl party this year, you’ll score a touchdown. In alphabetical order, here are the 12 best chips fried in healthy oils:
Artisan Tropic began in 2012 when the Guzmans’ daughter Maca was diagnosed with autoimmune disease. They tried all types of medicine for treatment, resulting the holistic methods working the best. This led to the Guzmans becoming passionate about food and nutrition and deciding to produce healthy snacks. As they’re Colombian, they wanted to reinvent the plantain and cassava snacks, which they loved, by making them with whole and clean ingredients. Most recently, Maca married the plantain farmer’s son Joe Agudelo. Now Artisan Tropic’s entire process from farm to snack is literally in the family. Their products are cassava and plantain strips cooked in palm oil, in the flavors of naturally sweet, sea salt plantain strips, jalapeño, and barbecue.
In 1994, brothers John and Mark Maggio founded Boulder Canyon to create snacks which were both healthy and delicious. The two learned how to make potato chips and soon started frying them in better oils, such as avocado oil. Boulder Canyon’s potato chips come in both ridged and thin textures and in the flavors sea salt, malt vinegar and sea salt, and cheddar sour cream.
FC Snacks was formed in 2007 as a family owned importer and distributor of natural snacks. They support local farmers, many of whom are direct descendants of families who first settled in the lands. Some of them even came before the Spanish conquest. FC Snacks is also involved in an initiative to engage local manufacturers in bringing back endemic plants and trees to help restore the diversity of native species. There are three labels for FC Snacks: Andean Gourmet, Samai, and Shegraa. All of the brands use palm olein to fry everything from sweet potatoes to cassava to plantains to coconuts into gourmet chips.
Originating in British Columbia, Hardbite founder Pete Schouten was determined to handcraft an all natural chip which tasted as good as the big brands but didn’t have any artificial flavors or preservatives. Pete experimented with cooking them until he got the perfect crunch, taste, and flavor. Along with using all natural ingredients, he was an advocate of non-GMO before the movement was well known. Hardbite also buys the highest quality potatoes from local farmers. As the company has grown, its product line has grown too. More recently, Hardbite introduced its potato chips cooked in avocado oil, coming in the flavors of apple cider vinegar, black truffle sea salt, spicy honey dijon, and sweet ghost pepper.
In 1998, Healthy Traditions founder Brian Shilhavy learned about the benefits of coconut oil when he moved to the Philippines with his Filipino wife and their three children. Unfortunately, at this time, coconut farmers couldn’t support their families due to the 80s and 90s negative U.S. campaigns against tropical oils. So Brian began making coconut oil himself and by the way of traditional methods from older generations. He put the coconut oil up for sale on the Internet and the demand for coconut oil skyrocketed. When Brian’s family was forced to leave the Philippines, they had to transition from buying fresh farms from their local community and shopping at a local public market to buying food on the shelves at stores with little to no information of who the food producers were. So Brian sought out well sourced food and healthy products. In 2002, he launched Tropical Traditions and then changed the name to Healthy Traditions in 2017. Today, Healthy Traditions offers a huge assortment of healthy products using traditional methods and their products contain all types of healthy oils and fats. For chips, they have tortilla chips cooked in coconut oil in numerous flavors.
The story of Jackson’s Chips starts with the Megan and Scott Reamers’ son Jackson getting diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder. After trying various methods to improve his health and quality of life, they found that a high fat low carb diet worked the best. The entire family began living a HFLC lifestyle, but they missed eating snack foods. So they attempted cooking locally sourced and thinly sliced sweet potatoes over their stovetop. They loved how the sweet potato chips tasted. Their son Jackson’s legacy lives on through the chips he inspired and the company. Jackson’s Chips has sweet potatoes fried in avocado oil in the flavors of sea salt, spicy tomatillo, and carolina BBQ plus a coconut oil sea salt option.
Kiwa founder Martin Acosta had a calling to change the world. At the beginning, he had just five employees and basic plantain chip machinery, but he also had a room filled with dreams. It took the company a year and a half to figure out what exactly they were going to do, to put the basics of the business into practice, and to get selling. In 2009, Kiwa introduced their first product, the vegetable chips mix. Presently, Kiwa is a global leader with their vegetable chips sold in over 30 countries. They take part in the Direct Trade program. This program connects farmers to manufacturers, building long term trusting relationships between the two sides, guaranteeing better working conditions, technical support, and a higher pay for the farmers. Kiwa has also shifted from its traditional farming practices to regenerative agriculture. They work directly with farmers in eight of Ecuador’s 24 provinces and northern regions of Peru. Kiwa’s offerings are all cooked in palm and come in mixed vegetable, plantain, and cassava chips.
Since 1998, Jans Enterprises‘ mission has been to improve people’s quality of life by providing them with better food products. Their product line consists of everything from beverages to dairy products to desserts to chips. Among Jans’ chips are organic yellow and purple sweet potato chips fried in coconut oil. Jans also has non-GMO cassava chips mixed root chips cooked in palm oil.
Unsatisfied with all of the chips on the market, Ancient Crunch founder Steven A. set out to create a chips with two simple requirements. First, the corn must be naturally grown and the tortillas must be naturally prepared. Second, the tortillas need to be free of any inflammatory seed oils. So he came up with MASA, the first tortilla chips made with both organic corn and grass fed tallow. Steven is now working on his next project known as vandy crisps.
Siete‘s formation can be traced to founder Veronica Garza’s family of seven (or siete in Spanish) helping her overcome numerous health challenges. As a teen, Veronica was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune conditions which made her fatigued, overweight, and depressed. So her family began exercising and joined her in following a low-inflammation, grain free diet. Being a Mexican American family in South Texas, using lettuce in place of the flour and corn tortillas for tacos and fajitas wasn’t cutting it. Veronica began making grain free tortillas. When her Grandmother Campos told her that the grain free tortillas tasted better than the flour tortillas her grandmother had been making for decades, Veronica knew she had a winning product she could sell on the market. The first products were tortillas and tortilla chips made from cassava flour and fried in avocado oil. Siete has since delved into avocado oil potato chips and corn chips and even sauces, seasonings, churro strips, and cookies. Their tortilla and potato chips are available in a wide variety of flavors.
In 1996, a group of Columbian producers formed the company Unibán to sell their bananas directly to the market. Then in 2004, they decided to create a snack brand called Turbana as a way to give extra value to their fruit while also providing the banana producers with an alternative to market with it. A snack factory to produce the banana chips was built in 2008 and bananas chips entered the market in 2010 in 6 different flavors. More recently, Turbana has expanded into chips made from cassava, yuca, and plantains. Palm olein is used for frying in all of their chips.
Xochitl president and founder Carlos Salinas comes from a family making chipotle salsa for over 90 years. Carlos taught himself how to make the salsas while he was growing up. Friends would tell him all the time that he should market it. One day, a woman called him up at random and asked for 200 jars. Carlos was up for the challenge and then began making small batches of his salsa and test marketing it. The acceptance of his salsa drove him to develop other products. Among them are the corn chips in various flavors but all fried in palm olein. Since its founding in 2005, Xochitl remains 100% minority owned and operated.