Every time Snacktaku posts a review of some hideous food monster, people always ask, "How are you still alive?" They also ask, "When will you eat something healthy?" Why, right now, as I eat my way through two boxes of healthy snacks from LevelUp Foods' subscription gamer treats service.
The gaming community is often stereotyped as a Doritos-eating, Mountain Dew-swilling bunch. This is because the Doritos and Mountain Dew folks have latched onto the culture like a remora on the side of a sexy gaming shark. Not a lot of healthy food companies target the market, and when they do they're often met with derision.
That's not because people who game hate healthy food. It's that most of us don't need anyone to tell us what is healthy. What we might need is a means of discovering new healthy snacks without leaving our couch. That's a service LevelUp provides.
From the LevelUp Foods website:
LevelUp Foods was created to provide Gamers a better choice in eating and drinking to help them play AND feel great! Our products will never have artificial ingredients or colours, and our selection will continue to grow with the newest and best products for you!
Let's dig in.
The first "1337" box I received from LevelUp's service arrived several months ago, so long that I bet they were kicking themselves for sending it out. "He's never going to eat this stuff. Not enough creme!" I'll show those imaginary naysayers.
Late July Organic Mini Cheddar Cheese Sandwich Crackers
It's Ritz Bits, only with no artificial anything included. Lovely cheddar tang and an excellent crunch, but I could have done without the salt. These are super salty for some reason.
Pro Bar Meal Wholeberry Blast
These things never look pretty, but this one tastes very good. I opened it to take a bite before shooting a photo, and nearly forgot to shoot the photo. Packed with raw mixed berries and nuts, this pressed food bar is what Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries strives to be.
Pressed By Kind Mango Apple Chia Bar
My wife works for Starbucks, but I don't drink coffee. Instead, I use her partner discount on stuff like this. Super-condensed raw fruit bars are just as sweet and delicious as processed chewy fruit snacks, and much better for you to boot. I could eat these all day.
Various Drink Powders
Eh, the boxes are basically three edible snacks and three drink powders. I am not a big fan of drink powders, and if I were they are all over the place. I like using these boxes to discover new things, and the powders aren't.
I wasn't planning on doing two boxes, but I took so long the LevelUp Foods folks sent another, just to see if I was still alive. I was.
The New Primal Uncured Bacon Stick With Maple Flavored Pork
A Slim Jim for healthy-ish people! Nothing but uncured bacon and spices in a collagen casing here. Only a hint of maple flavour, but its bacon game is pretty strong.
Organic Dark Chocolate Banana Bites
A really tasty bite crafted from fair trade dark chocolate and "upcycled" bananas, which is a fancy way to say bananas that weren't good enough to be sold in bunches. The banana shaming lobby's loss is our gain, as these misfit fruits are not lacking in the flavour department. This might be my third favourite way to eat bananas, after pudding and just banana.
Justin's Snack Pack Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend with Pretzels
A more sophisticated version of the cheese 'n pretzels packs you find in the supermarket. The wheat pretzels stand up strong against the relatively stiff chocolate hazelnut butter blend. I should not have eaten these after the banana bites though, as their cocoa game couldn't compete.
As with most snack box services, most of what I found inside the two LevelUp 133t boxes I received is stuff I could easily purchase around if I wanted to put in the work. That's great, because now that I am aware of these Dark Chocolate Banana Bites and Pro Bars, I am going to need a lot more of them. Subscription boxes are an excellent means to discover new and exciting things to put in your mouth.
LevelUp Foods offers a variety of subscription sizes, from these $US13.37 ($18) 1337 boxes (see what they did there) to a $US64.99 ($88) Strimmah box, which is supposed to be good for those who strim.
And there you have it. Proof that Snacktaku takes photographs of healthy snacks, with evidence suggesting we eat them as well. Time for some Hardee's.