“We wanted a snack with the bite of a crisp that was high in protein and lower in fat and carbohydrate. Chirps contain egg white which is one of the highest quality protein sources available. We brought you our liquid egg products for the kitchen – here’s one for the road.” Anna & Alla, Two Chicks’ founders.
I’m not normally a fan of crisps, in fact I wouldn’t be bothered if I was never able to eat them again, same goes for chips. Don’t you dare however take my 85% dark chocolate away from me, or try and stop me licking the bowl when I make a cake (a healthy or low sugar cake or alternatively full on sugar-calorie feast, it all tastes of heaven to me).
My kids agree with me.
But some people love crisps, in fact they can be some people’s ultimate weak point. They’re a perfectly addictive combination of refined carbs (be it processed white potatoes or worse, mushed, dried and reformed grains like genetically modified fake-cheese flavoured corn), salt and flavourings. Plus they’ve got a long shelf life and don’t need refrigerating, are conveniently packaged and portable, and given their bite-size nature are perfect for picking at when hungry hands need something to do.
Shame they’re just mostly nutrient void yet calorie dense junk food eh?!
Two Chicks have had their cartons of fresh egg whites in major supermarkets for some time now, and I’ve been a fan from the start. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with whole eggs, in fact they’re on of the most nutritious food on the planet, yolk included, but when a recipes calls for whites only ending up with a jug of yolks in the fridge is a bit of a waste unless you, really, really love custard.
That said, egg whites are very low in calorie yet high in protein, so if you’ve got higher protein requirements but not very high calorie ones (perhaps you’re looking to lose weight by losing fat without losing muscle), then egg whites can help you achieve this in your diet. This is not the point of this review so I’ll stop there.
Sour Cream & Onion
INGREDIENTS: Rice flour, free range egg albumen (22%), sour cream & onion seasoning (buttermilk powder, rice flour, onion powder, salt, sugar, yogurt powder [milk], yeast extract powder, natural flavourings, yeast powder, acid: citric acid, horseradish powder, parsley), soya protein [sulphites], rapeseed oil, raising agent: calcium carbonate, antioxidant: extracts of rosemary.
These were my personal favourite, echoed by the kids who were allowed to have them alongside packed lunches or as a snack on the go. They’re crunchy, an obvious statement you might think but so often crisps go stale and slightly soft even before the best before date. There was just enough flavour to be tasty but not enough to be overwhelming, make you wince, or cause embarrassing onion-breath. In fact I really liked these and am kind of sorry I gave them to the kids in the first place since I ran out pretty quickly.
INGREDIENTS: Rice flour, free range egg albumen (22%), chipotle chilli seasoning ([paprika extract, chilli, cumin, cayenne], dried bell pepper, sugar, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, tomato powder, yeast extract powder, natural flavourings, rice flour, acid: citric acid, natural colour: paprika extract, smoke flavouring, oregano), soya protein [sulphites], rapeseed oil, raising agent: calcium carbonate, antioxidant: extracts of rosemary.
Hubby’s fave (what is it with men and chillies?). A bit spicy for me these – I do like a spicy curry or chilli etc. but not so much on snacks, though that’s purely a personal favourite and no reflection whatsoever on the product. I’m pretty sure most children would make a face at these unless they come from a home where spice food is eaten often, but I think I’ve successfully converted my comfort food loving husband to reconsider his multipacks of deep fried reformed potato concoctions.
Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
INGREDIENTS: Rice flour, free range egg albumen (22%), sea salt & black pepper seasoning (maltodextrin, potato starch, sugar, sea salt, yeast extract powder, cracked black pepper, ground black pepper, black pepper extract, natural flavouring, sunflower oil), soya protein [sulphites], rapeseed oil, raising agent: calcium carbonate, antioxidant: extracts of rosemary.
Simple, versatile, don’t really need to explain the flavour here do I?! Tip – used these instead of croutons on salad! I reckon they’d make a mean ‘no bread’ breadcrumb-like topping too; roll chicken (or other meat, fish, chopped veggies etc.) in whisked egg (or even Two Chicks cartooned egg whites for a lower calorie option), then roll in crushed Chirps (and a little parmesan and garlic powder would be awesome, of just use one of the flavoured varieties), place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and voila, one tasty supper in a flash.
Nutrition Values for Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper flavour.
Chirps are high protein, low sugar, made with non-GMO ingredients and only natural flavourings. A good start. I was surprised at first that the first ingredient in all of the crisps is rice flour as it’s very high carb, but actually pure egg whites would be very light and crumbly (think meringue) and would crush to dust before they got to shelves. There’s still less than 10g carbs per bag and almost 10g protein, more than one actual egg.
Vegetarians especially need to pay attention to their protein intake, as animal proteins have a better amino acid profile. A note on amino acids; I like to make the analogy to the letters of the alphabet. We need all the letters present. Animal products (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) have all letters present. Vegetarian proteins (beans, grains, some vegetables) have only some of the amino acids, so getting a variety to make sure that overall you get every amino acid can be tricky.
Let’s not lie to ourselves, these are a processed product, and I can’t not admit that eating whole, fresh, organic, homemade foods all the time is best. But then there’s that thing called life and the fact that we’re human and sometimes we just want something yummy and naughty even thogh we know it’s bad for us. Well Chirps taste like crisps, the texture is like crisps, and come in a convenient pack like crisps. Only they won’t make your blood sugar soar and crash or make you crave another bag 5 minutes later, in fact they’re actually quite filling.
I can’t seem to stop my husband eating crisps in front of the TV in the evening but at least he’s decided he’ll eat ‘my’ Chirps from now on, and who knows I may get a hubby with a flat tummy yet!