Interestingly, Enlightened started in 2013 with ice cream bars that had less sugar and more protein than conventional ice cream snacks. From there, the company developed ice cream pints and eventually broad bean crisps to create a healthier, higher-protein, lower sugar alternative to both salt and sweet cravings.
The company is dedicated to making delicious food that is also good for you. Enlightened uses minimal, high quality ingredients. The ingredients in all of their products provide adequate protein and fiber to keep you satisfied without compromising taste. They don’t use food fillers with empty health claims or glorified foods (like chicory root extract) to create the nutrition and taste.
Even though I don’t consume dairy, as a vegan I have wanted to try the Enlightened Roasted Broad Bean Crisps for some time now. This seemed like just as good of a time as any. When looking at Amazon, I was amazed at all the vegan roasted broad bean flavor options from Enlightened foods including Sea Salt, Mesquite BBQ, Garlic and Onion, Sriracha, Wasabi, Sweet Cinnamon, Cocoa Dusted and Single Serve Variety Packs. I bought the single serve variety pack on Amazon and would encourage you to do the same to get a flavor for all the snacks but to keep things simple, I’m reviewing the sea salt flavor first (and playing it safe). 😉
Taste Experience – 10 out of 10
I’ve tried roasted and dried garbanzo beans, but I was excited to see that the roasted broad bean crisps are flatter and much wider than garbanzo beans. Broad beans are just another name for fava beans. Fava beans are consumed regularly worldwide but not as much in Western cultures.
When opening the high-protein vegan snack crisps, I see what looks like black pepper specks. However, I’m not sure what this is honestly as there is no black pepper added in the Enlightened Sea Salt Roasted Broad Bean ingredients.
The beans are crispy but not super crunchy like they will break a tooth (this is how I feel about some of the dried garbanzo bean varieties). They are lighter in weight and density than almonds or most nuts would be. The texture is honestly right on point. It’s the perfect crunch for an afternoon snack or as a topper.
The overall taste is pretty plain but comforting. The large roasted bean that is lightly salted with a perfect crunch reminds me of what a thicker egg roll would be like but without being fried and drenched in oil (and PS these Sea Salt Enlightened Roasted Broad Bean Crisps are delicious).
The size of the bean is perfect – not too big and not too small. The high-protein vegan snack (that doesn’t need to be refrigerated) is great on its own but also as a salad and soup topper. I added the Sea Salt Enlightened Roasted Bean Crisps to salad for lunch and in my tomato soup as a crouton for dinner. I loved them plain but I REALLY loved them as a crouton. The beans added the perfect crunch without actually tasting “beany.” More so, I love topping foods with these vegan bean crisps because they add a significant amount of protein and nutrition. By comparison, most tradition croutons are only empty calories with no fiber or micronutrients and packed with salt.
I tend to be cautious when providing reviews because I want them to remain honest and straightforward and refrain from too many over the top glowing reviews, but these plant-based snacks are quickly becoming my new favorite! I can’t wait to try out the other flavors but then again, I love the sea salt flavor so much that I might just keep ordering that one on Amazon. You should try them out too – no beans about it!
Nutrition – 10 out of 10
The bean snacks is lightly roasted in sunflower oil so with only 100 calories per serving and 3 grams of total fat, the roasted beans have less calories and fat than a comparable one ounce (28 gram) size of nuts. There is a total of 15 grams of carbohydrate per serving with 5 grams of fiber and one gram of sugar making Enlightened Broad Bean Roasted Snacks a great choice for anyone watching their carbohydrates, calorie intake, or just trying to choose lower glycemic vegan foods.
The beans provide seven grams of protein along with a good source of iron (10% daily value) and calcium (2% daily value). The protein is equivalent to the same amount as in one egg but without the added fat and cholesterol found in animal products. Protein helps maintain satisfaction at and in between meals along with functioning as enzymes, antibodies, messengers, and assisting with cell structure in the body. Many non-vegans will be concerned that by eating vegan, you may not consume adequate protein but by choosing high-protein vegan snacks like these on Amazon, you’ll meet your protein needs and give your body a tasty boost of deliciousness.
The Non-Vegan Review – 10 outta 10!
These are awesome little suckers. I seriously could eat a 5 pound bag of these in one sitting. I had no idea you could turn a fava bean into such a tasty snack. These little bean poppers remind me of king corn. Same sort of crunch, but way better for you. Each little 1 oz bag has 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. You vegans are really sneaky with your alternative snacks. Sliding in that protein and fiber without us knowing. How are we supposed to get a proper (unhealthy) snack nowadays with all of these healthy alternatives?! But, seriously, if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or any of the other carrot-slaying subsets, these Enlightened bean poppers are an awesome way of getting protein in your diet. Because y’all know, that’s the first question us “regular” folk are going to ask you: “Where do you get your protein?” Listen up bobo, I get my protein from Enlightened Beans, so step on back, because you have just been enlightened! Non-vegan husband out.
Enlightened Roasted Broad Bean Vegan Crisps in Sea Salt are hands down my new favorite way to add a convenient sprinkle of protein to soups, salads, smoothie bowls, and wraps. The beans are crisp but without being overly crunchy and remind me a lot in taste of a tortilla chip – slightly salty, simple, and delicious. I can’t wait to try other flavors but until then, as a Registered Dietitian and purveyor of all things vegan and plant-based, you must do yourself a favor and buy the Enlightened Roasted Broad Bean Crisps! Use this link to buy on Amazon and help a fellow vegan out. Gracias!