Ranch dressing worries me. It's always been too pale, too typical, too something. But it must have merit, right? Finally, I've found my way home to the ranch, not in a dressing but in a snack mix. Bubba's Righteous Ranch Snack Mix is far from typical and oh-so-delicious, with un-sweet bananas, pecans, and cashews. Yes, un-sweet bananas: stay with me. Bubba's took those crunchy bits and tossed with some spices and herbs (like parsley and chives) just like from the dressing but WAAAY better and a whole lot less gloppy. Trust me on this.
When you look at the package of Bubba's, there's a bearded dude staring you down, so you might think that what's inside is trendy or hipsterish or just too artisanal to be good. No, my snacking friends, not by a long shot. And there's no relation whatsoever to that super popular movie about the running guy, which is a good thing, because life is not like a box of chocolates. Life is more like this sweet herbaceous crunchy medley of Bubba's Righteous Snack Mix. There's simplicity, there's intrigue, there's real ingredients, and there's surprise. Bananas in a savory snack? Absolutely. No typical banana flavor or sweetness — Bubba's uses green bananas that are all prebiotic fiber and resistant starch and no sugar.
One handful of Bubba's snack mix and I was ready to renounce my earlier prejudices against the mere flavor of ranch dressing and against old-school boring trail mixes. It even mellowed my dubiousness about things hipsterish and artisanal. My mind was softened into a smile of satisfaction because this crazy mix of banana chips, salty pecans, and cashews is one of the most delicious savory crunchtacular snacks I have ever eaten. The recipe includes crazy good seasonings like parsley, chives, garlic, and cilantro to eerily replicate the flavors that make ranch so popular.
Each bite is greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts and that includes the tender crunchiness of the banana chips. Bubba's has taken two nuts and a crunchy fried fruit and made something worth fighting over like the first french fry or the very last scoop of guacamole. The real food seasonings make this mix genius.
In a word: groundbreaking. In a few more words: just enough ingredients. The formula for Bubba's original mix is un-sweet banana chips plus two kinds of nuts, then add a little spices, herbs, and some apple cider vinegar for bite. That's all. It's simple, but not too simple. Real foods, really crunchy, really amazing. Ranch dressing is a "no" for me, but make it in crunchy snack form and I'm all YES.
In their own words: "Wait, what?! Did someone say Ranch?
Believe it. Bubba's Fine Foods Snack Mix is now available in the awesome flavor of Ranch. And of course, using nothing but simple, great-for-you ingredients like chives, parsley, and dill. Great taste... and great for you. Righteous dude."
Bananas provide some natural fiber along with prebiotics and potassium. The coconut oil used to crisp them also has its own great healthy fats; that's just a bonus. Bubba's uses green bananas, which means next-to-no sugar and plenty of prebiotic resistant starch.
Cashews have a rich supply of oleic acid, a classically beautifying oil, great for skin and hair. It also reduces your blood triglyceride and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and elevates your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) concentration. Cashews are also rich in linolenic acid, which can effectively lower your blood pressure, and also has antioxidant properties which defend your blood vessels from free radicals.
Cashews are an excellent source of vitamin K, which is indispensable to maintaining healthy bones, and has tumor suppression abilities. Cashew nuts are very rich source of essential minerals, especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
Pecans are one of the top 15 food sources of antioxidants, and are especially celebrated for their ability to reduce your blood cholesterol level and prevent heart diseases.
They’ve got an amazingly high content of healthy omega fats. Pecans are high in phytosterols — the best cholesterol reducing nutrient available in nature.
Pecans are very high in manganese. This trace nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that can help strengthen your immunity and protect your nerve cells from free-radical damage. Sufficient intake of manganese is mandatory for proper nerve conduction and brain function. Pecans are also a rich source of many phytochemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin.
Pecans are very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Together, these vitamins work as co-factors for enzyme metabolism inside the human body. Pecans are also rich source of additional essential minerals, such as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Now, you could just eat it out of the bag. That's pretty much the only way that I eat this crazy good stuff. Why think of any other ways to eat it when the package lasts about a couple of minutes? Ok, I kid. More like 12 minutes.
Anyway, the guys at Bubba's say that their snack mix makes for a pretty amazing salad topping, kind of like croutons but way tastier and paleo-er, if that's a word. Sounds great. I'll have to try it the next time I tear open a bag. Maybe this is the only way I'll allow "ranch" on my salads.
I'll let them tell it, the story of crunchtacular invention.
"Bubba's Fine Foods originated in 2014 by Jared Menzel, Head Chef, and his brother-in-law, Jeff Schmidgall, Head Peddler. Every bag of our gourmet grain-free snacks is artisan hand-crafted in small batches in the front range of the Colorado Rockies.
Jared, nick-named Bubba as a child, is a self-taught gourmet cook. He had recently started changing his diet to clean, high nutrient, and low glycemic foods. In order to make that happen, he replaced the processed foods that were pantry staples for most of his life. Being the connoisseur of fine foods that he is, Jared found a lot of the clean convenience foods on the market lacking in taste... and especially crunch. So he started experimenting and creating his own clean, real-food snacks in his kitchen.
Jeff, a CrossFit Trainer and Health Coach, had recently transformed his health with a Paleo life-style. While their families vacationed together in the summer of 2014, Jeff fell head-over-heels in love with Jared's crunchy, grain-free snack mix. Selfishly hoping to simply buy the snack mix to satisfy his new-found addiction, Jeff encouraged Jared to start a business selling the amazing product... and bought a domain name for a future web site right there at the breakfast table.
One month later the first bag of Bubba's Snack Mix was sold and enjoyed. The rest, as they say, is history..."
Is Bubba's Snack Mix vegan? Grain Free? Gluten-free? Paleo?
Yes. Heck, yes. Yes. Yes.