These Chickpea Cheese Puffs Have 7 Grams of Plant-Based Protein and Are Dangerously Good
I'm a sucker for a cheesy puffed snack. If the bag is in front of me, there's only about a 10 percent chance I'm not going to finish it, so I was thrilled to learn about new chickpea-based puffs from Biena. A cheesy, crunchy snack but with seven grams of plant protein and fewer carbs and calories per serving? Um, yeah, that sounds like a less dangerous option to keep stocked in my house. Biena is the brand behind highly snackable chickpea products like Thin Mint-flavored chickpeas and Sea Salt Roasted Chickpeas, and this latest release is the most delicious yet.
There are three satisfying flavors to choose from: White Cheddar, Vegan Ranch, and Blazin' Hot. I happen to subscribe to the "white cheddar is better" mentality when it comes to all snacks, so that's hands down my favorite, but the zippy ranch and spicy options are great, too. Oh, and there's absolutely no artificial coloring in these puffs, so the Blazin' Hot flavor gets its orange hue from beets, black currants, and tomatoes — pretty cool. The snack has between 140 and 150 calories per serving, and the single-serve bag has 90 calories and six grams of net carbs.
Because of cheese and buttermilk seasonings in the spice mixes for White Cheddar and Blazin' Hot, Vegan Ranch is the only vegan flavor in the lineup. But all three flavors are vegetarian and made of the same puff base, which is a mix of chickpea flour, chickpea protein, lentil flour, and salt. These are so much more filling than regular cheese puffs because of the protein and substitute for regular flour, to the point where I actually want to stop eating them after a handful because I'm genuinely full.
If you, too, have a hard time resisting a cheesy snack but want something that's a little better for you, I highly recommend adding these to your cart. They're hitting grocery store shelves nationwide beginning in April, so keep your eyes peeled, and check out each flavor ahead in the meantime.