Raw-Foods Chips Not Bad

Brad's Raw Chips

Brad's Raw Chips

I Paid: $6.99 for a 3-ounce bag (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 3 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

There's something refreshingly un-fun about Brad's Raw Chips, which are marketed not as "The chip ya gotta pop!" or "All that and a bag of wow!" but rather as "This one dude, Brad Gruno, was an overweight, stressed-out mess after a long career in the telecommunications industry, so he decided to make the world's healthiest chip, which would be neither baked nor dried but dehydrated at less than 115 degrees so as to keep intact the health-sustaining raw vegetable enzymes."

Suck on that, Pringles.

The chips (which are also gluten-free) come in zany flavors like Kale, Sweet Potato, Indian, and Red Bell Pepper (the four that I sampled), plus others such as Hot! Kale and Beet.

What they lack in salty, fatty street appeal, they nearly make up for with the sheer force of their earnestness. The Red Bell Pepper chips pack lively, natural red pepper taste, a good hard crunch, a lot of paprika, and an earthy, oppressively wholesome aftertaste—they're not bad, but not craveable.

The Kale chips absolutely nail that metallic deep-leafy-green veggie flavor, and they're terrific with French onion dip. This may defeat the point overall. I don't care. I'm dipping mine in French onion dip.

The Sweet Potato chips start naturally sweet with the flavor of maple syrup. As the flavor progresses, nutmeg steps on the sweet potato taste, which could be more intense. But all that said, there's a clean, harmonious finish.

And the Indian chips start with ginger and curry and finish with a serious lingering burn that is really only curable by the application of sour cream or chucking the bag over your shoulder and eating something else.

If you know what's good for you, you'll give these a try (some Whole Foods locations carry them)—subbed one-for-one for typical chips, they're a lifestyle improvement.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.