What organic alternatives to traditional snack food are better than the original?
March 5, 2010 7:51 PM   Subscribe

What organic alternatives to traditional snack food are better than the original?

For example, IMHO, Newman's Os are much better than Oreos. I wouldn't even consider buying an Oreo box, but after a friend gave me a Newman's O, I was sold.

I also find that cheddar crackers (like Annie's Bunnies or Late July) are better than Cheezits/Cheese Nips or Ritz with cheese, in that I don't feel yucky after I ate a bunch of them.

Alas, organic snacks aren't cheap. I'm open to trying them though, if MeFi so recommends.

P.S. Would this be a good blog idea? I bet one would get lots of free samples.
posted by k8t to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Better in what way? Taste or nutrition?
posted by whiskeyspider at 8:02 PM on March 5, 2010

Response by poster: Taste.

I'd imagine that the organic products would generally be better nutrition-wise.
posted by k8t at 8:05 PM on March 5, 2010

Kashi granola bars
posted by jschu at 8:09 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like Rice Dream as an alternative to milk. Vanilla rice milk on cereal rocks.
posted by whiskeyspider at 8:14 PM on March 5, 2010

I definitely like blue corn tortilla chips (Garden of Eatin makes really tasty ones) better than any Tostitos.

But don't eat a whole bag. Oprah did and found out organic ≠ lose weight.
posted by ALongDecember at 8:20 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Annie's macaroni and cheese, "natural" peanut butter (peanut butter without hydrogenated oils), Trader Joe's fruit leather.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 8:22 PM on March 5, 2010

Mmmm Kettle Chips... Not that regular chips are all that non-organic, but dang do those things taste good.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 8:24 PM on March 5, 2010

If you do a blog, I would start by calling the major-brand foods "industrial" rather than "traditional." Most food that is made from good-quality scratch ingredients is actually the traditional food. And I'd say almost all of it is better than industrial food.

If you're looking for superior industrial-food brands that are also organic or otherwise alternative, Muir Glen Fire Roasted canned tomatoes and tomato sauce are much better than most other major brands.
posted by Miko at 8:44 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm addicted to Stonyfield Farm's Low-Fat Maple Vanilla Yogurt. Much to my dismay, they removed it about a year ago, and have only brought it back as a "limited edition." So, every time I go to Whole Foods (since it's limited edition, I haven't been able to find it anywhere else), I clear out the shelf. They used to sell their Low-Fat Pumpkin Pie too and I LOVED it, but alas, it has since disappeared. But since it's still appearing on their website, I'm assuming it's available in other cities.

In terms of fruit-flavored yogurts, I prefer the kind that doesn't require stirring a bunch of syrup at the bottom. For this reason, Stonyfield's Low-Fat Raspberry and Brown Cow Farm's Low-Fat Peach are two of my other favorites.
posted by invisible ink at 8:44 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: By traditional I mean snack foods that have become popular (like Oreo cookies) and then an organic food company makes a comparable product. I have found on occasion that the organic mimicking product tastes far superior to the original. This is what I am looking for.
posted by k8t at 8:56 PM on March 5, 2010

I think Pirate's Booty is better than most cheese puffs, and a lot of popcorns.

(I agree with you on Newman O's. I had a mint one recently and it reminded me of nothing less than a Girl Scout Thin Mint, tastewise.)
posted by gnomeloaf at 9:02 PM on March 5, 2010

Response by poster: Gnomeloaf - Newman's Os peanut butter chocolate = Girl Scout Tagalongs X 10.
posted by k8t at 9:04 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, oh, I love Tings so much better than I ever loved Cheetos.

But my real answer is wow, a lot of this stuff is easy to make better yourself.
posted by desuetude at 9:16 PM on March 5, 2010

Annie's fruit snacks are amaaaaaazing. The problem is that the packages are tiny, the boxes have only a few packages, and the boxes are expensive :(
posted by alphasunhat at 9:43 PM on March 5, 2010

I like almost anything from Trader Joe's better than the "traditional brand." Lately I've been having their organic toaster pastries (ie pop tarts) for breakfast every day at work.

Soy milk tastes 1000 times better than cow milk to me, especially the vanilla flavor.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:47 PM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

I love Back to Nature's version of Thin Mints and other cookies.

Some others:

- Peanut Butter Pows by 365 Organic vs. Peanut Butter Crunch
- Nature's Path version of pop tarts
- Julie's organic ice cream sandwiches
- Stonyfield Farm Strawberry Pomegranate Yogurt
- Cascadian Farm's Fruit and Nut Granola and Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars
- Kashi waffles
- Crofter's Organic Strawberry Preserve
- MaraNatha Organic Peanutbutter
posted by icy at 10:01 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I am shocked that drjimmy11 finds Trader Joe's organic poptarts to be anything other than cardboardy and awful. Yuck. I came into this thread specifically to warn you off of those.
posted by little light-giver at 10:02 PM on March 5, 2010

I like almond milk waaaaay better than cow's
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:24 PM on March 5, 2010

I'm not sure what the original would be (fig newtons maybe) but Larabars are my favorite packaged snack these days. Larabar website [Flash required]
posted by wobh at 10:42 PM on March 5, 2010

Seconding Tings, which are like crack. Also, fruit leathers are a million times more delicious than fruit roll-ups of any "flavor", primarily because they contain actual fruit.
posted by Mizu at 11:45 PM on March 5, 2010

I find Sun Drops way better than M&Ms.
posted by maxwelton at 2:47 AM on March 6, 2010

seconding kashi granola bars. the mocha kind (with chocolate chips and almonds) are awesome, and i don't even like coffee.
posted by janepanic at 5:48 AM on March 6, 2010

A lot of these aren't organic - Kashi bars are not organic, nor are SunDrops. I'm not sure how important that is to the OP's request - maybe brands that have a 'natural' or 'alternative' image fit the criteria just as well as organic brands.

Also, many of these brands are owned by the same major food corporations as the more conventional brands - even if the product is formulated differently.

Maybe taste is the most important criterion, in which case none of that matters? I'm just offering this as a point of clarification since it seems a lot of things are being identified as 'organic' that aren't.
posted by Miko at 6:27 AM on March 6, 2010

Fig Newmans are far superior to Fig Newtons. I like the low-fat ones.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:30 AM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Not sure if it's organic or not, but I recently had some chocolate coconut-milk-based ice cream that was fantastic. Can't remember the brand but it might have been this.

A lot of traditional ice cream is fantastic too, of course, but I was pleasantly surprised.
posted by ropeladder at 7:58 AM on March 6, 2010

Pop chips are waaaaay tastier than potato chips, and a little bag of them will only set you back like 100 calories and 4 grams of fat.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:49 AM on March 6, 2010

Sundrops are really delicious, much better than M&Ms, though they're not organic.

I MUCH prefer the vegetarian, fruit-sweetened gummy bears to the conventional kind. They're really amazing - so much more flavor.

Some of Whole Foods 365 brand cereals are really quite good - the various oatmeals, the Peanut Butter Pows, the Honey Nut Morning-Os, that sort of thing.

Like somebody else mentioned, I also really like the low-fat Fig Newmans - I wasn't expecting to like the low-fat version, but after buying it by accident I decided it was awesome. Also, Barbara's Bakery makes a really good whole-wheat fig bar that's very filling.

The chocolate coconut-based vegan ice cream is made by Turtle Mountain and is indeed organic - and I like it better than milk-based ice cream, and even gelato, and that's saying something. The mango-passion flavor is also really great.

I prefer Yummy Earth brand hard candies and lollipops to traditional ones.

Like others, I prefer the Garden of Eatin' blue corn chips to conventional corn chips.

Whole Foods makes a toaster waffle (I think it's the flax one) that is inexplicably good, and not really all that sugary or fatty.

Organic popcorn that you pop yourself turns out delicious; I much prefer it to microwave popcorn, which makes me feel like I drank butter.
posted by Cygnet at 10:25 AM on March 6, 2010

How 'bout ALL of them?

At our only local large grocery store, Fred Meyers, they have all the organics and health-foody stuff sectioned off from the main store, and they refer to that section as "Nutrition," which amuses to say the least…

Anyway, I'd say that pretty much the entire "nutrition" aisle for chips is better tasting and leaves you feeling better than any chips you'll find in the main section. Same goes for the "nutrition" versions of the cookies, candy, cold cereal, dairy, frozen foods, soups, and carbonated beverage aisles.

Of course there's also the bulk foods section, which includes lots of things, snackish and not, that you can also buy prepackaged, but will regret after trying the bulk versions.
posted by dpcoffin at 11:01 AM on March 6, 2010

The Garden of Eatin's Red Hot Blues cayenne-pepper-covered blue corn chips are the tastiest snack food I've EVER had. The reviewers on Amazon (!) seem to agree with me.

(and it's not a snack food, but totally seconding Muir Glen Fire Roasted canned tomatoes).
posted by you're a kitty! at 2:55 PM on March 6, 2010

Chocolate pudding made from avocado, dates, cocoa powder and a splash of almond milk. If you want it a bit sweeter, just put in a bit of honey.

I SWEAR by this. My girlfriend found this recipe in a book or something and the first time she made it for me I lost my mind. It's better than any chocolate pudding I'd ever had before.

She just blends them all together in a magic bullet. Can't remember the portions right now, but one could fiddle around with it easily enough to find what tastes best.
posted by fso at 3:55 PM on March 6, 2010 [4 favorites]

I find soy corndogs to be significantly more delicious than they're pork-filled counterparts.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 8:44 PM on March 6, 2010

The natural foods co-op here has organic M&MS (not sundrops) that I think taste WAAYYYY better than regular m&ms, although not everyone I know thinks so.
posted by ad4pt at 11:12 AM on March 7, 2010

Shelton's Turkey Jerky in place of [whatever jerky they sell at the supermarkets].

nthing the Trader Joe's warning. There are a handful of TJ products that are great, but whenever I forget this and go crazy at a TJ store, I end up with a fridge kitchen full of cardboard-tasting things. I don't know how to explain this.
posted by Nameless at 11:14 AM on March 8, 2010

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