InSpiral Crispy Cacao and Cinnamon Kale Chips

Kcal 130 Fat 8g Fat (Sats) 1.5g Carbs 8.9g (per bag)

There was once a time when crisps were crisps and that was that. Crisps were made from thinly sliced potatoes, seasoned with salt and deep-fried to create a saturated health risk in a bag. But since the crack down on saturated fats and our attempt to live healthier lifestyles, crisps have undergone something of a revolution. Crisps can now be baked instead of fried and they don’t even need to be made out of potatoes anymore. Vegetable crisps are the new in thing. A fad or here to stay; who can say? But what are crisps doing getting a mention @ChocolateMission anyway? Well it looks like flavours are changing too, because while browsing the shelves of my local health store I came across a bag of InSpiral Crispy Cacao & Cinnamon Kale Chips.

So just what is InSpiral? From the horse’s mouth, ‘InSpiral is a visionary concept’, whose roots grow from music festivals in the 1990s, providing unique entertainment and cultural experiences. Later in 2007 InSpiral branched out to make a lounge and café, which won ‘Vegan Café of the Year’. In 2010, InSpiral started its own wholesale business, taking their health food from the café to the stores. Their first products were a range of kale chips, amongst which is Cacao & Cinnamon.

InSpiral claim to fuse ‘gourmet flavours, nutritional research and respect for our planet’ to provide healthy, tasty, and eco-friendly snacks. How does that declaration stand up? Let’s start off with the packaging, which is completely compostable and biodegradable. Sounds impressive, but the shiny foil film inside – which in all fairness keeps the product fresh - would not be accepted in my recycling bin (at least not in my borough).

Neither fried nor baked, the kale has been air-dried, making them a lot healthier than traditional methods. This process has darkened kale’s natural green to an almost ashen grey, and the cacao powder only goes further to make the chips look like dead leave. They may not look particularly attractive, but from the open bag emanates a heavenly scent of cinnamon. Unfortunately the taste of the cinnamon is completely lost underneath the cacao, which leaves the same after taste as dark hot chocolate. As no sugar has been added to the cacao, the kale chips remain tasting like a savoury snack – which is just what you’re after when going for a packet of crisps. There is a slight bitterness from the kale, which also provides an interesting texture a bit like crunchy granola.

The 30g bag leaves you feeling entirely satiated with no lingering cravings, but at the same time does not provide the kind of comfort you would get from a packet of salt and vinegar crisps. Priced at £1.69 a bag, they are also about three times as expensive as an ordinary bag of crisps. Such always seems to be the way with healthy food.

Presentation: 7
Aroma: 10
Taste: 7
Sustenance: 10
Texture: 7
Overall: 8.2