So, while on vacation last month, I enjoyed eating my aunt’s junk food.  There was a bag of these in addition to the dark chocolate supply (which I also raided).  They are not an everyday food, but exactly the sort of salty calories I wanted after a long day of skiing. After eating a handful or two, it was easier to contemplate cooking.

Product: Cheese puffs, jalapeno
Made by: Barbara’s Bakery

Delicious, and reasonable in terms of price.  A “healthy” version of Cheetos, they lack the artificial color and flavoring but have all the crunch and enough cheese (*cough* added fat) and salt to make them taste like junk food.  For a salty snack, they could be worse. They are made from whole grain corn, and pretty much recognizable ingredients. Compared to actual Cheetos, one serving is lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, salt, and cholesterol. One serving of Barbara’s Cheese Puffs is also higher in fiber and has a barely noticable amount of vitamin A.

They do not contain any gluten from the ingredients. They do contain milk and soy, but are processed in a plant that also processed nuts, seeds, wheat and peanuts. This product is NOT tested for contamination by the above-mentioned wheat, but I seem to be fine eating them.  And I ate the whole bag over the week.

Conclusion: I’ll eat these again. But in moderation, like when I’m on vacation. Or just ran a half marathon in 80 weather.