Log In

Reset Password

Harvest Snaps: Antidote to a potato chip habit

Fake it and just finger the holes at the hard parts.

The music teacher said as much to me just before the third grade was about to go onstage with our flutophones and perform at the South Temple Elementary School Annual Spring Concert in 1970. And while I’ll admit to having very little musical ability to this day, her last-second request resulted from a lack of something else.

In those immortal words of the best little man to ever grace the NBA, Allen Iverson, “We be talkin’ about practice.” A total lack of practice.

Not once had I picked up my faux flute outside of class, let alone twice a week for an hour as the teacher had urged, despite - in the argot of the era - “digging” the story she told to motivate us to do so. That the best concert pianists in the world still practice for hours every day and begin each session by playing the scales.

As if they were third graders still learning how to finger the keys and depress the pedals.

I especially enjoyed that story because it jibed with one my basketball coach had shared about the best NBA shooting guard circa 1970, Jerry West. That he began every shooting session 18 inches from the basket and stayed there until he swished 25 one-handed, form-perfect, flat-footed shots in a row.

Both anecdotes, though old, immediately come to mind as evidence that greatness isn’t ever really permanently attained. It’s a continuous process and begins anew every day.

Although some nutritionists disagree and allow their clients one cheat day a week, I see “great” eating - selecting and consuming food in a way that not only satisfies your hunger and your taste buds but also enhances your health - as a continuous process, too. That, besides avoiding cheat days, you should begin every shopping excursion with the intent of replacing one not-so-good-for-you food on your list with one a bit better.

Today, you’ll learn about a food swap like that has definitely improved my dad’s diet - though he didn’t have to go shopping for it.

About three months ago, Heather Wakely of Reach Public Relations asked me if I’d like to sample Harvest Snaps, a plant-based, baked snack made with whole peas, lentils, or beans packed with protein and a fair amount of fiber designed to keep energy levels high and satisfy, according to Wakely’s email, “spring snack attacks.” After reading the Nutritional Information on each variety, I realized all are really healthy, so I agreed to perform a taste test and possibly write about the results - even though there was a big problem with this plan.

It’s my taste buds. I don’t trust them.

As I have written for years, most taste preferences are not inborn but acquired, and by eating the way I do, I’ve acquired some strange ones. For instance, I’ve come to crave frozen cauliflower microwaved to death (usually 14 to 15 minutes) and mashed, and now eat it that way three to five times a week.

When my dad tried it, he called it “disgusting mush.”

So even though I really liked the taste of almost all of the types of Harvest Snaps flavors and subsequently purchased the Parmesan Roasted Garlic type on my own, I figured dear old dad - a guy who snacks on potato chips and eats them with just about any type of lunch - was a better taste tester.

First he tried the Mango Chile Lime flavor made with black beans and said they were “too sweet and spicy.” He found many of the other flavors “fine,” but when he tried the Tomato Basil, he immediately nodded in approval and said, “Now these I could eat any time.”

So his ever-loving son has been buying him two, 3-ounce bags a week since then, and he has stopped eating potato chips with lunch - or even as a snack. That’s right, a soon-to-be-88-year-old guy who ate potato chips his whole life, now eats Tomato Basil Harvest Snaps instead.

While the savings of 400 calories per month helps keep his weight down, it’s more important that he now consumes in that same amount of time 102 fewer grams of total fat, 1330 fewer milligrams of sodium, and 50.4 more grams of fiber - all from a single dietary change.

Something not so important to dad but possibly important to you: Harvest Snaps contain no artificial flavors or preservatives, no GMO’s, and are free of the common allergens gluten, wheat, soy, peanuts, and eggs. Another consideration is that while you can order them through Amazon, you don’t have to.

I purchase Harvest Snaps at Giant in Lehighton (they’re found near the very front of the fresh produce section) and the Store Locator on their website indicates their products are also available at Country Harvest in Palmerton and the Turkey Hills in Jim Thorpe and Nesquehoning.