With the first day of this new year come old resolutions. Work harder! Live better! Eat healthier! Flash forward to the second day of the new year and I’m sure I’ll be procrastinating about looking for a new job as I stare dead eyed into the fire pit where my running shoes are slowly, slowly melting. But I can still eat healthier, with the help of Graze. Started by seven friends sick of chips and candy, Graze is a subscription box service that offers a better way to snack, delivering a selection of four individually sealed, portion controlled punnets (little plastic containers) to your door each week.
There are two types of boxes. The Nibble Box, which pulls from the full 90 item menu of natural treats, pure nut mixes, rolled-oat granola bars and juicy dried fruit; or the Calorie Counter Box, which focuses on a selection of 50 snacks between 50 and 150 calories. For $6.99 per week, you can have a box shipped to your home or office. Wherever you are most tempted by vending machines, Graze is there to provide a healthy alternative that sacrifices the chemicals, additives and high fructose without sacrificing the taste.
Herby Bread Basket
basil baguettes, garlic crostini and oregano rice crackers
Ooh, so this is what Chex Mix looks like when it dresses up for formal events! I really enjoyed this delicious herby bread basket, which was packed with basil, garlic and savory spiced flavors. I especially enjoyed the rice cracker, which was super crunchy and super seasoned, balanced out by the more mild flavors of the crostinis and baguettes. I’ll definitely try this bread basket again, with or without a black tie event on my social calendar. Rating: Love
golden flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
This blend of sunflower, pumpkin and golden flaxseeds is one of Graze’s “Nutritionist Picks,” a nutrient dense trio packed with vitamin E and iron. It smelled like something you’d feed a guinea pig. It tasted better than it smelled, thankfully, but the nutty flavors and chewy consistency would have been greatly enhanced by just a pinch of salt. Just a hint. Just a few minutes spent soaking in the presence of salt, pressed next to it but not touching on a crowded elevator. This is the thing you power through to justify the popcorn. Rating: Trash
toffee sauce with soft apple pieces
I wish they had fully committed to making these apple pieces into apple chips. The taste is good, with sharp notes of granny smith, but the texture was way too tough, almost leathery. They would have been better had they tended toward the softer or crunchier end of the texture spectrum, not this sadly spongy, flaccid state between. But they get a pass thanks to the toffee sauce, which was deliciously creamy and deviously sticky. Rating: Like
In my opinion, popcorn is a foolproof snack food pleasure – buttered, salted, sugared, spiced or cheesed, as long as it isn’t burnt it’s going in my tummy. This was light and fluffy, just the way popcorn should be. I was pleased I could see the pepper, but the taste wasn’t as strong as my eyeballs had led me to believe. It left a nice burn in my mouth after a couple of handfuls, but I found myself wishing it had been pepper-ier. Obviously, if you’re about to feast on Twist of Black Pepper Popcorn you like pepper. You know what you’re getting into. So don’t be coy, Twist of Black Pepper Popcorn! Rating: Like
The best thing about Graze is that the more you use the service, the better it gets. By logging into your account and assigning a preference to each snack using Graze’s four tier rating system – trash, try, like and love – you can customize your snacks based on your preferences. Though the assortment will still be random, it won’t be as random. Mark that Herby Bread Basket as “love,” and you’re sure to get it in a future box. Mark those Booster Seeds as “trash,” and they will never darken your door, or sadden your mouth, again. And you can search and select things you’d like to “try,” a process made easier by Graze’s grouping of snacks into categories like savory, chocolate, pure fruit, super seeds and whole nuts. You can even further customize your box according to your religious/dietary requirements with three filters – Dairy/Milk, Non-Vegan or Non-coeliac – each of which allow you to “trash” all snacks in that group with a single mouse click. There are other services that have a similar menu system, but that doesn’t make Graze’s any less impressive.
So I wasn’t head over heels for my first box’s selection, but I did fall in like with the service. Graze’s easy to navigate website, simple to use rating system, clean and clever packaging, huge selection of snacks and creative flavor combinations make it a safe bet for fellow office drones looking for a tasty way to break up the monotony of the work week. And with new items rotating into the menu, including Peach & Passion Fruit Parfait, Lemon Drizzle Flapjacks and Spicy Sriracha Peas & Corn, Graze is worth another taste.
Healthy munches between lunches
Graze isn’t the only healthy snack subscription service out there, but it is one of the best thanks to a wide variety of snacks that are all individually packaged, portion controlled, and nutrition rich. I loved that the full nutritional info for my Graze box was included on a card packed inside, and that you can find the same info for each of their 120 snacks, mixes and oatmeal bars online.