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You might remember a joyous occasion last fall when we attempted to make up for years of sin with a huge order from NatureBox. It was a good time and we learned a lot, but with another opportunity to review the service, we thought we'd bring a little more methodology to the table.
So we sat down and browsed the site's huge catalog of 100+ snacks, making the impossible decision on which ones to try. Then, after some thought, we came up with a few categories to vote on. Which are the best for an office breakfast? Which are the least shameful way to stuff your face through 10 episodes of Friends? It was hard work, but by Jove, we did it. Check out our winners below.
BEST HEALTHY SNACK
Clockwise from top left: Sweet Blueberry Almonds, Dried California Peaches, South Pacific Plantains, Apple Cinnamon Crave, Big Island Pineapple.
Winner: Sweet Blueberry Almonds. Dried fruit is virtuous, these almonds are diabolical. The blueberry dust is the pinnacle of flavor powder science: sweet, tart, and very, very blueberry. It would be dangerously easy to eat a pound of these out of hand, negating any of the health effects inherent in your NatureBox snacking. Pace yourself.
BEST SPICY SNACK
Clockwise from top left: Kung Pao Pretzels, Jalapeño White Cheddar Popcorn, Sriracha Roasted Cashews, Sriracha Pop Pops, Santa Fe Corn Stix.
Winner: Jalapeño White Cheddar Popcorn. This was our only landslide category, with 75% of the votes. The jalapeño tastes as it should—grassy and fresh rather than just "hot"—while the cheddar lent that familiar cheesy popcorn vibe. This was the first snack we ran out of, which was no surprise.
BEST YOGURT TOPPING
Clockwise from top left: Cranberry Medley, Sweet Blueberry Almonds, Banana Bread Granola, Praline Pumpkin Seeds, Blueberry Almond Bites, PB&J Granola.
Winner, Tie: PB&J Granola and Praline Pumpkin Seeds. These are two yogurt toppings that would be right at home in the next category. You don't see enough peanut-buttery granola and this one does the trick, while the pumpkin seeds are sugary, crunchy, and full of cinnamon. As with a lot of snacks from NatureBox, the healthy aspect here is a far second to genuine deliciousness.
BEST DESSERT FAKEOUT
Clockwise from top left: Praline Pumpkin Seeds, Dark Cocoa Nom Noms, Apple Cinnamon Crave, Mini Belgian Waffles, Cinnamon Swirl Kettle Kernels, Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites.
Winner: Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites. Holy cow were these good. They tasted just like the real thing but better. They weren't teeth shatteringly crunchy the way biscotti can be; the texture was more of a firm shortbread, which stood up to a not-insignificant dunk in hot coffee like a champ. The lemon flavor was mild and in no way astringent, simply offering a citrus counterpoint to the sweet butteriness of the cookie itself.
BEST TV BINGE SNACK
Left to right from top: Santa Fe Corn Stix, Jalapeño White Cheddar Popcorn, Italian Bistro Pretzels, Masa Crisps, Sriracha Pop Pops, Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pretzels, Sea Salt Sun Crunch, Honey Crunch Crisps, Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps.
Winner: Italian Bistro Pretzels. We considered having a "Not Before a Meeting" category just for these little guys. They are full of garlic and herbs, so maybe save them for couch time at your apartment rather than a 3pm pick-me-up. That said, nothing is more addictive than a crunchy, salty snack full of garlic and cheese. That flavor powder really gets in all those pretzels nooks, too. You'll find yourself digging around for the best ones as with cookie dough in ice cream.
OVERALL BEST IN SHOW
Left to right: Italian Bistro Pretzels, Jalapeño White Cheddar Popcorn, Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps.
Winner, Three-Way Tie: Italian Bistro Pretzels, Jalapeño White Cheddar Popcorn and Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps. The Asiago Crisps are the only item here you haven't met yet, and they are awesome. There's a very puff pastry quality to them, as well as that nutty flavor you get when cheese goes from melty to crispy. As for the three-way tie, it should go to show how strong this haul was. It does reveal an office bias toward salt, crunch and cheese but, to be fair, those are the three best snack food qualities, aren't they?
NatureBox is a snack delivery service devoted to bringing the tastiest nutritionist-approved, carefully sourced foods right to your door. Each item is made with wholesome ingredients and whether you're sweet or salty, breakfast or snacktime, gluten-free or some-of-everything, they've got the snacks for you. Sign up for a free trial and sample some of NatureBox's top sellers!