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July 25, 2007

As the editor of new products for VT, I have the pleasure of intercepting all of the organic and natural treats that get delivered to the office. Every week we receive boxes upon boxes of new foods to try—from exotic spices, organic dips, and soy cheeses to vegan cookies, gluten-free crackers, and heaps of organic coffees and teas. But the products that always catch my eye first are the snack foods.

We all know how hard it is to find packaged snacks that we can feel good about eating, yet still satisfy that afternoon dip in blood sugar and a craving for salt. And I must say, there are at least a dozen that have come across my desk in the past year or so that I’m so attached to, I now buy them regularly.

Here’s what I’m crunching on this month:

I love Bear Naked’s (bearnaked.com) variety pack with 2-oz. bags of all natural, organic granolas. My favorite is the Banana Nut, but it also comes in Fruit and Nut and Peak Protein. The size is perfect for an individual serving and it’s hearty enough to last me through afternoon. It also makes a good breakfast on the go.

Lesser Evil Krinkle Sticks (lesserevil.com) are my fix for a salty, crunchy craving. I prefer the kick of the Cajun Kaboom! flavor. The baked potato snacks have no trans fats and only 2.5 grams of total fat per serving.

My favorite sweet snacks are any of the organic cookies and animal crackers by Healthy Handfuls (healthyhandfuls.com). I love that I’m getting the sweetness without the trans fats, preservatives, or corn syrup. When you feel like cookies, get the Chimpees—they’re  mini chocolate chip bites. For an animal cracker taste, try the lemon-vanilla flavored Koala Krackers.

Mrs. May’s Naturals (mrsmays.com) combine fruit and nuts for a sweet-and-salty treat. It’s like trail mix clusters with a super crunch. They’re vegan, cholesterol-, wheat-, and gluten-free…and delicious! I tried to pick a favorite, but it wasn’t easy, so I declare a tie between Cran-blueberry Crunch and Pumpkin Crunch.

All this talk of snacks is making me hungry. What all-natural products do you keep at your desk?

—Jacqueline Smith, assistant editor