TakeOut's Meal-in-a-Bag Puffs Take the Guilt Out of Having Just a Snack for Lunch

I definitely wind up having snacks in place of real meals more often than I'm proud of.

Whether I'm too busy or too lazy to whip together some real food, it can be tempting to resort to snacking on some chips rather than something more substantial. And that tends to backfire, because when all I have in my belly are nutrient-poor empty carbs, I can feel my energy drain fast.

But what if there was a chip that actually had substance to it, making that substitution less of a sacrifice? That's precisely the idea behind TakeOut's "Meal-in-a-Bag" Puffs. They're loaded with a bunch of stuff your body needs, so you can eat chips for lunch—and when the folks behind the new brand reached out to me, I couldn't resist the offer to try them for myself.

The Puffs

TakeOut's Meal-in-a-Bag Puffs are flavored baked rice, pea and proprietary veggie blend puffs that offer more than your average snack. Each 3 oz. bag contains 400 calories and 21 grams of protein, plus 30% or more of your daily calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iodine, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium and molybdenum—and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K. That's a lot of vitamins and minerals, and all in the form of a tasty rice puff.

TakeOut is also completely plant-based, as well as soy-free and non-GMO. They come in four flavors—Pizza Partay, White Chedda, Chill Ranch and Hella Hot—and sell for $3.99 per bag, or in eight-packs for $31.92.


The Flavors

Pizza Partay

I started with the Pizza Partay variety, and I have to say that eating my first puff, I wasn't immediately wowed—but that definitely changed over time. The rice and veggie combination puff did have a kind of "healthy" underlying taste that I quickly got accustomed to, and while the seasoning (tasting of tomato, herbs, garlic and cheese) didn't pack much of a punch at first, the more I ate, the more I grew to love the taste. It wasn'exactly the flavor of pizza, but I've never had a chip that was.

But truly, I was more curious about how I'd feel after eating them than I was with the flavor, and I have to say I was completely satisfied in that department. I opened up a bag on a morning where I didn't have time to have anything for breakfast, and though I didn't scarf down the whole thing in one go, they left me feeling satisfied and full without being too full. Maybe simply knowing I'd had a good serving of vitamins and minerals made me feel less lethargic, but they got the job done, and I was happy to have them again the next time I needed a quick but solid boost.

TakeOut Puffs: Pizza Partay

(via Outstanding Foods)


White Chedda

We all have certain expectations when it comes to cheese puffs, and I don't think TakeOut's White Chedda puffs disappoint in the slightest. The white cheese flavor is sharp without being overwhelming, hitting the palate at the start of the experience of each puff before mellowing out. They're savory and super snackable, and it's seriously amazing the cheesy flavor can be achieved without real dairy. This is one snack I'd gladly have in place of lunch, and it was just as satisfying as the flavor that came before it.

TakeOut Puffs: White Chedda

(via Outstanding Foods)


Chill Ranch

As someone who loves ranch-flavored snacks, I was looking forward to this TakeOut puff, and it didn't disappoint. These ones were creamy yet tart, with the flavors of sour cream, onion and garlic coming through strong and masking the veggie taste of the puff itself. Again, I was impressed by the flavors achieved with plant-based ingredients. I found these the easiest to munch on of all four puff flavors, and of course, they were just as satiating.

TakeOut Puffs: Chill Ranch

(via Outstanding Foods)


Hella Hot

Up to the point of trying Hella Hot, I'd mostly had TakeOut as a breakfast substitute. For this flavor, I decided it best not to gobble up fiery treats first thing in the morning, and instead used it to supplement a lunchtime meal. Rather than being a bright red color, they're a savory-looking orange color. When I first popped one into my mouth, I got flavors of garlic and onion and it didn't seem hot at all, but as I chewed, the heat really started to spread. It hits with a lingering spiciness that stays on the tongue and builds into the throat and nose. Honestly, don't go for these unless you like things hot.

With these, I can't see myself eating a whole bag in place of a meal, because they're just too darn hot and I can only get away with snacking on a handful before it's too much. They don't have the citrusy zing of other hot puffed snacks, as they're all about the heat. If you crave all things flamin' hot, this might be right up your alley. Otherwise, a mix-and-match situation with another flavor will probably be a better alternative for you.

TakeOut Puffs: Hella Hot

(via Outstanding Foods)


Bottom Line

In my opinion, TakeOut's Meal-in-a-Bag Puffs taste great and help me feel like I've eaten something worthwhile, even when I'm strapped for time or don't feel like making a "real" meal. At about $4 per 3 oz. bag, they're probably a little pricier than your average bag of chips—or maybe even what you were planning to eat for lunch—but given all the goodness inside, the cost makes sense.

Of course, the flavor won't necessarily be for everyone, either. If you think the taste of pea-based chips is too strong, for example, you might be turned off by the veggie flavor of these puffs, particularly with certain flavors. However, once you do find a flavor you like, it's not hard to get hooked.


Want to learn more about pea-based snacks? Click HERE to find out all about PeaTos.