Who Wants a Healthy Cookie?

Fruit thins and milk
Frankly, I think the point of cookies is not to be healthy, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a range of alternatives. After all, sometimes an apple or orange just doesn’t satisfy the way of baked treat can. Still, the trend of marketing snack foods as healthy or good for you just makes me roll my eyes.

So it was with a certain amount of both curiosity and skepticism that I tried Newtons Fruit Thins, Fig and Honey.

Let’s take this from the top down, shall we?

The package touts “made with real fruit” as opposed to what–fake fruit? One would certainly hope that it’s made with fruit as opposed to chemicals, but is it made with either figs or honey?

Turns out: yes. The ingredients list reads:

Unbleached enriched flour*, sugar, whole grain wheat flour, soybean and/or palm oil, rolled oats, dried figs, raisins, honey, salt, baking soda, rice flour, soy lecithin, natural flavor (contains cinnamon).

*I left out the bracketed enriched bits for the sake of clarity.

I also noticed a few other things. While enriched flour is one of those borderline ingredients (why pump vitamins in when they can be achieved through other ingredients goes the argument), sugar, salt and baking soda are all simple, understandable ingredients–the same ones we bake with in our own kitchens. Not too bad, Nabisco, not too bad.

So they seem fairly simple cookies, which I definitely prefer, but they’re still cookies. Emphasizing the words “fruit” and “thins” on the package doesn’t take away from the fact that they are a snack and not a building block of a healthy diet.

But how do they taste?!

At first I couldn’t put my finger on it–the flavor reminded me of something familiar but it wasn’t immediately recognizable. They are crisp–even several weeks after opening the package they were still crisp and not stale–and studded with bits of dried figs and sweet without being too sweet. In fact, the only downside of that first cookie was that the figgy bits were so dense that they can easily get stuck to your teeth. Still, once you’ve encountered the first one you tend to bite more carefully and the problem is avoided.

When Todd got home and I had him taste one, it finally clicked what the scent and flavor reminded us of: oatmeal raisin cookies. Now, we happened to really like oatmeal raisin cookies so this was a good thing.

As tasty as the cookies are on their own–and they are!–I can see these wafer-style cookies being used in a number of sweet and savory sandwiches. Filled with a sweetened boursin cheese or a salt chevre they’d make a nice little afternoon or late-night snack. Maybe even use them for s’mores instead of graham crackers!

Would we buy these over our chosen cookie indulgence, the mighty Oreo? Probably not as a general rule. But if I were looking for something tasty and non-chocolate for a road-trip snack or just wanted something different, Newtons Fruit Thins are a little higher on the list than they would have been.

Have you tried this or any of the other flavors of Newtons Fruit Thins? What did you think?

~~~oOo~~~

As part of the FoodBuzz Featured Publisher Program I was sent a free package of the product to try. All opinions are my own.

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