April 04, 2016

The best part about working at Cooking Light? Tasting new healthy snacks before they hit the grocery shelves. With our help, you'll choose the best store-bought products in both taste and nutrition. Snack smarter with these new winning picks.

Mrs. Renfro's Salsa: Celebrate the South by dipping chips in these deliciously sweet and spicy salsas made in the heart of Texas. Slather on tacos, nachos, or omelets for an unforgettable meal. Our favorite by far: the Peach Salsa. I'll be dreaming about it till the day I die. (Renfrofoods.com, $3.95)

Editors' Notes:"I'm not a big salsa gal, but dang, I'd eat this all day!""Hot and fruity—in all the good ways.""OMG, I dig. Sweet on the front, but then spicy once you swallow."

Nutrition:Two tablespoons of salsa range from 10 to 15 calories, with no fat and 70 to 230 milligrams of sodium.

LaLoo's Goat Milk Ice Cream: Don't let the goat's head on the packaging deter you from a creamy, dreamy ice-cream experience. Whole goat milk has less lactose than cow's milk, making it easier to digest. Higher in protein and lower in fat than most conventional ice-creams, LaLoo's three newest flavors (Mystic Strawberry, Sea Salt Caramel and Capraccino Almond Fudge) are to die for. (Icecreamsource.com, $6.99 for 1 pint)

Editors' Notes:"Super creamy and the goat-y tanginess is not overpowering. Honestly, I wouldn't even know the difference.""Fresh and refreshing! I love the chunks of strawberries in Mystic Strawberry.""So rich and delicious—good stuff with no weird aftertaste!"

Nutrition:Half a cup of ice-cream ranges from 90 to 210 calories, with 5 to 9 grams of fat (3.5 to 6 grams of saturated fat), 4 to 6 grams of protein, and 22 to 24 grams of sugar.

 

Chef's Cut Real Jerky:  As the bag says, "You had me at bacon!" Our staff went wild over these sweet and spicy flavored bacon strips. Forget the tough, chewy jerky commonly found at the grocery store. Here, uncured meat is cooked low and slow until crisp and crunchy. (Chefscutrealjerky.com, $27.96 for a 4-pack case)

Editors' Notes:

"YUM! Now, that's a real treat. The texture is so soft.""Ooo, it's spicy! Add a cold beer, please.""If the bag goes missing, I have nothing to do with it! :)"

Nutrition:One ounce of jerky ranges from 120 to 140 calories, with 6 to 10 grams fat (2 to 3 grams saturated fat), 6 to 9 grams of sugar, and 550 to 600 milligrams of sodium. Having said that, Cooking Light recommends a serving of 250 milligrams of sodium or less in most snacks. Just stick to small portions of two or three jerky strips and you'll be in the clear!

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