Friday, January 13, 2012

Intermittently Flavorful, Special K Southwest Ranch Baked Snack Cracker Chips Are Still Easy To Enjoy!

The Good: Tastes good, Exceptionally healthy
The Bad: Not as flavorful as I tend to like, Comparatively expensive
The Basics: Despite being very healthy, Special K’s Southwest Ranch Cracker Chips are not flavorful enough to get resounding cheers from me.

As my loyal readers know, I have been on something of a health kick since a little before the new year began. As a result, my reviews are likely to start reflecting that with some food reviews of healthier snacks. Why? These are pretty much the only things I am allowed to eat as I get back into shape and my amazing wife loses weight. Actually, though, for all of my bashing of health foods on principle, it is hard for me to say anything truly bad about Special K’s Southwest Ranch Baked Snack Cracker Chips. In fact, at their worst, these chips simply suffer from being less flavorful than comparable chips and in that way, they simply live up to the stereotypes of such snacks.

That said, the Special K Southwest Ranch Cracker Chips are more flavorful than many comparable products on the market and represent a wonderful, healthy, option for those looking to reduce their weight or get fit!


Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips, for those who are not familiar with them, are something right between crackers and snack chips. They are reminiscent of small, thin rice cakes and are very light. Special K has marketed their Special K Cracker Chips chip line as an alternative to fattier, saltier chips and rice cakes. They are actually just flavorful enough to compete (though virtually anything competes against rice cakes on the flavor front! The Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips feature a dusting of ranch powder on many of the chips. The chips look like little round chips that are slightly curved, almost like mini suction cups!

Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips come in a 4 oz. box. With the 30 g serving size representing 27 chips, the 4 oz. box has only about three and a half servings. The chips are round and pretty uniformly 1 7/8” in diameter. They are white with multicolored specks where the flavor powder is and they have a similar lightness to rice cakes.

Ease Of Preparation

Special K Cracker Chips Southwest Ranch are simple to enjoy; all you need do it open the bag inside the box and remove the chips from it! There is no trick to eating Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips; they are a snack that is ready to go from the bag to the mouth.


Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips smell almost exactly like a warm pizzeria. The spices are very similar from the aroma that the crackers have to them. As an interesting note, the crackers that do not have the flavor spices on their surface still have a faint, spicy aroma, so all of the chips are pretty consistently inviting.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the taste. The chips that lack the surface appearance of the southwest ranch flavor are, as they appear, problematically bland. Those chips taste like condensed ricecakes; light but mostly flavorless. They bear only a slightly salty tang to them and no real flavor.

However, the ones that look like they are covered in Southwest Ranch spices actually are. The flavor is salty and tangy, like what one expects from a baked potato with ranch dressing or a sour cream and chive potato chip. Those with the flavor leave the tongue dry with an aftertaste like pepper and they truly are delightful!


Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips are, as they are billed, a very healthy snack. The main ingredients are potatoes, potato starch and brown rice flour before the ingredients take a turn into the weird and chemical-sounding. I was a little more surprised to note that the shelf life of these chips is a little over seven months; the box we bought the first week of January was not set to expire until July.

Each thirty gram serving of Special K Cracker Chips Southwest Ranch has 110 calories, twenty-five of which come from fat. There are also 3 grams of dietary fiber. While there are 2.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein, there is a whopping 230 mg of sodium, which represents 10% of one's RDA of sodium. There is a smattering of Calcium and Iron, but nothing significant. There is a dietary note that the Southwest Ranch includes milk, wheat and soy ingredients, which prevents them from being Vegan compliant or gluten-free.


Kept in their bag in the box, Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips will remain fresh for about seven month and as long as the bag is resealed, one suspects they will last for a few weeks before getting stale. Honestly, I’m not sure how one would recognize one of these as stale as they have a little “give” to them even when they are fresh!

Cleanup is simple as well. Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips are a dry food and thus leave no mess behind. Because they have the flavor crystals on them, though, they do leave a powdery residue when eaten in quantity. But, if you simply wash your hands and throw out the bag, cleanup is done! I advocate recycling the box, too.


Southwest Ranch Special K Cracker Chips are a great alternative to potato chips for those who are on a diet or just trying to get fit. They are flavorful enough to recommend, but not quite so flavorful that those who really love chips will convert.

For other foods, check out my reviews of:
Tostitos Hint Of Pepper Jack Corn Chips
Wonderful Pistachios
Peeled Organic Apricot-a-lot


For other food and drink reviews, please click here to visit my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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