The answer is pretty obvious with the title: Take Root has won me over. I mean, I’m not saying that I adored every single thing that I tried from the box that I ordered, but for the most part I was utterly impressed. In fact, I wasn’t shocked at all to learn that they won a KATHA Award for Best New Snack Food in the recent IFEX Philippines for their line of veggie chips. I got really hooked on these chips myself.
The cool thing about this company is that it was founded by two snack-loving ladies who had health issues in the past: Aileen and Monica. (I don’t know them personally. I just did a little reading on their site.) They were also inspired by the healthy food scene in New York, where they once lived and worked. I love New York but its healthy food scene can be crazy expensive, so I’m relieved we get a little slice of that here on our own shores thanks to Take Root.
Take Root has amassed a good following for their kale chips, but what introduced me to them was their Bliss Balls. I got curious and checked out their website and was surprised to see that they already had a good lineup of products, all of them pretty attractive to me. I had a hard time deciding which ones to try, and my shopping cart was a bit of a mess, but when I clicked to the last page I saw that they had these box sets.
I picked The Junk-Free Lover Box (Php 1,100) because it contained a flavor of nearly every product in their lineup, so it was a great way to determine whether I was going to turn into a loyal customer of this brand or not. Below is what The Junk-Free Lover Box contains:
This box has 9 items: 2 Kale Chips, 2 Cocoroons, 1 flavor of Bliss Balls, 2 Rooted Bars, 1 flavor Granola, and 1 Banana Chewies. You might’ve noticed that it doesn’t contain the Salad Snackers. While I did include the Salad Snackers in the topmost photo of this post, it was actually something I bought separately because I wanted to try it. It’s not part of the box you guys. 🙂
Anyway, I just thought I’d make that bit clear before proceeding to talk about what I bought. I’ve taste-tested them and will rate them as I go, so that you guys can also get an idea of what to expect from Take Root’s product lineup. If you’re “not into that healthy stuff” this brand might actually surprise you. Their offerings do not taste like food that’s been made with all-natural ingredients at all.
Burnt Honey Granola with Cranberries (5/5)
Crunchy low-fat granola clusters that is sweetly satisfying and packed with flavor. Ingredients include rolled oats, almonds, cranberries, honey, and other spices.
When they say this tastes of burnt honey, it really does! I really really like that sweet, kind of toasted sensation I got from that burnt honey component. It’s hard to explain! The granola is just rightly sweet with a hint of spices, crisp without being hard to chew, and just really delightful. I love this with cold milk in the mornings, and I hate that it comes in a teeny package haha!
As a fan of homemade granola (since I do make some myself too), I have nothing but good things to say about this one, so let’s move on to the next!
Banana Chewies (3/5)
As you can see, this is made using lacatan bananas and nothing else. They are dried gently, allowing some of the natural sugars to seep out and sort of caramelize all over the banana.
Eating bananas dried like this is a bit weird at first. Imagine eating super sweet overripe bananas but instead of them being mushy, they are chewy with a good bite. They have a strong taste, kind of like banana-flavor tinged honey. After the initial surprise of this very new way of eating bananas, I think it’s something the tastebuds adjust to. But I prefer eating just-ripe bananas instead of overripe bananas (which I just use for baking) so I personally think I can skip this on my next order.
These kale chips are probably Take Root’s pride and glory. They are made with all-natural, pesticide-free kale sourced from local farms in the Philippines. (I am all for supporting local farmers!)
As many of you might’ve heard, kale is enjoying a moment as a superfood right now, because it is a nutrient-dense veggie. Take Root has recognized kale’s superpowers and are now making these kale chips that are “never baked or fried, but dried at low temperatures.” Dehydration helps to retain nutrients more than baking and frying does, and the best part is it makes these snacks guilt-free.
The Vegan Cheeze Kale Chips score a 5/5 for me. I really enjoyed the cheese-like aftertaste of the dried cashew coating around those dried crunchy leaves. I love digging out the gigantic leaf pieces!
This doesn’t have actual cheese in the bag, but I think they’ve done a good job replicating the flavor. There’s a hint of tang from the lemon and a bit of saltiness from the sea salt. When I opened this bag and started munching, I literally could not stop!
Meanwhile, the Sour Kream and Chive only gets a 3.75/5, just because I felt a little bit disappointed by them.
One of my favorite flavors is the the sour cream flavor and I guess I was expecting so much from this. I even saved it for last haha! Unfortunately, I didn’t think that it captured the flavor entirely, but it wasn’t bad by any means. It had a really nice chive aftertaste actually, but it just lacked a little something.
Both flavors are super crispy, and regardless of flavor, they are extremely addicting, especially when you’re aware that they’re guilt-free. I felt more guilty about not sharing than about the calories I consumed finishing a bag of these. 😐
A bag of five soft and chewy coconut cookies, created with coconut oil to attain a buttery mouthfeel. It is made using cashew flour, for all those wondering if these are gluten-free. These cocoroons are like a cross between a brownie and a coconut macaroon, minus the extreme sweetness and guilt.
The Lemon Cocoroons score a 3.50/5 because of me and my tastebuds. I am a huge fan of lemon flavored things so I am really hard to please in this department. When it comes to lemon flavored anything, I want it punchy and bright and tastebud tickling, and this was more subdued. It’s really a matter of personal preference, but I will say that I love how the coconut and lemon mix together in these cocoroons.
The Dark Cacao Cocoroons score a 4/5, just a little higher. I love the mix of cacao and coconut in these little rounds. Sweetened by honey, the taste of these aren’t as deep a chocolate as the Bliss Balls, and they taste predominantly of coconut.
Here’s a photo of the crumb of these cocoroons. It reminds me of brownies or those dense chewy cookies.
These are considered the energy bars of the Take Root lineup, minus all the scary artificial energy-boosting additives and preservatives. They are primarily made of oats and a mix of other things, and come in two flavors.
The Tropical Cashew Cookie Rooted Bar scores 4/5. It’s made from oats plus the other grains indicated on the package, then flavored with unsweetened tropical fruit, nuts, and spices. The hit of cinnamon in these bars is pretty clear, and indeed the dried fruits (predominantly pineapple, I should say) really give this bar a tropical taste and scent.
This Tropical Cashew is the sweeter one between the two flavors. I love love love the presence of crisped rice throughout the bar, giving you a nice crunchy pop in every bite. (I’m a sucker for puffed rice, so what!?)
The Cacao Roasted Almond Rooted Bar is totally my jam, and I give it a 4.5/5. Again, oats and gluten-free flours were used for this, but it is the raw cacao nibs alongside the almonds, cashews, and other spices that really get me. I super loved the earthy bits of cacao along with the crunchy crisped rice.
The texture of these bars make them super chewy. Not chewy as in exhausting to eat, but chewy in a way that you’d want to go in for another bite. I didn’t eat the whole bar in one sitting because it is a bit sweet thanks to the honey, but slicing it into finger-sized portions work. I always tell myself, “Last na to…” and then proceed to get another thin slice.
I forgot to test whether this gives the promised energy boost. Maybe I have to order one again and eat it before my work outs to check. (What an excuse!)
Bliss Balls Dark Chocolate Brownie (5/5)
Hand-rolled balls of chocolate goodness, made with dates, coconut flour, cocoa powder, and coconut nectar. Guilt-free but indulgent at the same time!
Ahh, the very thing that started my Take Root love affair. I LOVE THESE BLISS BALLS. They make me feel… happy. I keep this in my bag and eat just one per day because I want to preserve it for as long as possible. Does that make me weird?
These are really like chewy brownies, and I love the dark chocolate flavor they have. The sweetness is the same kind you get when you eat dates, which tells me there is very minimal added sweeteners to these. I am super obsessed with these. I want to try the peanut butter ones too.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Snackers (4.5/5)
A crunchy salad in a bag, dressed in a tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. These chips will give you an entirely new impression on the word ‘salad’.
When I opened this and shared it with my salad-loving Dad, he gave me a weird face hahaha! Well that’s good news, more for me! I think people who aren’t used to the balsamic dressing will probably think this tastes a bit off, or that they can’t quite put their finger on the flavor, but I liked it. Liked it so much I had to keep this bag out of sight so that I didn’t finish the whole bag! There’s a certain earthy tang to it, but now that I think about it, I wonder if I would be able to determine if it was balsamic if I didn’t know.
So in this bag you’ve got a mix of kale, carrots, and tomatoes. I loved digging out the tomatoes the most. They are tangier than the rest of the veggies in the bag, and you can tell they were gently dried because they have a bit of moistness retained. This has less of that cashew crust on the leaves compared to the kale chips, but I think it’s a way to control the stronger flavor of balsamic.
WHEW! What a lengthy review this was! Take Root has transformed me into a snack monster, so I guess I don’t have to repeat how impressed I am by this brand. The only thing I wish this had was a Nutritional Information printed on the packaging.
In any case, I am already prepping my shopping cart for a new batch of orders, but I’m waiting a bit to see if the ever-elusive Garlic Cauli Broc Chicharon will become available any time soon. I’ll be ordering the alternate flavors for all the stuff I didn’t get in my box, so I’m very excited! Maybe another round of reviews will come up here? We’ll see… 🙂
What do you guys think, are you going to give Take Root a go? Sound off below, and share with me your comments, especially on the other flavors and products I haven’t tried!
Full disclosure: This review is not sponsored in any way. All products in this post were bought using my own money and I have not received any monetary compensation for writing this review.