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Late July tortilla chips are almost good for you

Probably only in heaven, my dreams or some other alternate reality will tortilla chips be a required food group. But Late July brand tortilla chips come closer to being nutritious than most. And there’s nothing really bad for you in them.

Late July sent me some chips to try out, so here’s my verdict. If you’re going to eat chips, these are a good choice for many folks. Five of the flavors are vegan. They’re also kosher, gluten-free, made with whole grains, and free of trans fat, high-fructose corn syrup, GMOs, synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, peanuts, tree nuts, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.

So what is left to put in a chip? Mostly whole grains, oil, seeds, a little sugar and salt. Of the five flavors I tried, they ranged from 120 to 140 calories per serving, with 40 to 60 of those calories from fat. Serving size is 9 to 13 chips, depending on the flavor. I wish I could say I had greater chip restraint and always stick to the serving size. The good news is, if you eat double the serving size, that two grams of fiber per serving adds up. Pretty soon you’re getting 16 percent of the recommended daily value. Unfortunately, you’d have to eat the whole bag to get an appreciable amount of iron or vitamin C.

My favorite flavor by far was the Red Hot Mojo, made with jalapenos and red peppers. The next best was Summertime Blues, their blue corn variety. Some of the others, like the restaurant style Chia and Quinoa tasted like an ordinary delicious tortilla chip.

The packaging is gorgeous. The bags are deeply colored with little bouquets of sunflowers, chili peppers and corn surrounding a portrait of each chip.

Late July was founded by Nicole Bernard Dawes, whose mother owned a natural food store in the 1970s. Always a snack lover, she’s been developing her healthier snack foods for many years. Dawes is a board member of the Organic Trade Association. Congress has invited her to speak about organic agriculture’s economic impacts. This is one high-powered tortilla chip maker.

Find Late July chips at stores nationwide. Bags retail for $3.49 per 5.5 or 6-ounce bag.

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