|Some of Landgarten's tasty range of organic snacks|
"Immergruen who....?"Immergruen is the importer of these, and other health foods into the UK. It's a company that has started just a few years ago from spotting a gap in the market and taking steps to address a real need. From the outset, I can only admire people with a real entrepreneurial spirit with the drive in starting a business, especially when it is backed by some clear principles. Amongst the range of health food, Landgarten is the newest addition. In coming from Austria, where there is a commitment to growing organic food, it is guaranteed to be free from any Genetically Modified Organisms. That's really important these days and I'll do a blog ramble about that some other time.
Organic Soy Snack
First off is to tell you about the pack in the middle of the photograph above. It's grown in Austria by Herbert Stava. He is a man who wanted to find an alternative to other snacks which are all too easily fatty, covered in preservatives and generally divorced from the way nature intended foods to be. He invented his own hot air roasting technique which contributes to the overall taste. There's just a tiny amount of sea salt (1%) as the only added ingredient - so no added fat, E numbers, extra calories or other junk.
"Soya beans without any additives must be boring!"No not at all. It's true there isn't a strong taste, so I guess that means just about everyone will like them. They have a fairly pleasant and mild taste and they are quite enjoyable to eat. First impressions are about how crunchy they are and I must admit I became a little cautious wondering if they were tooth crackers. You shouldn't have any problems here - although they are crunchy, you can hold one between two fingers and crush them easily. Instead, just enjoy that crunchy texture and mild taste.
Another surprising thing is how filling they are. The 55g pack doesn't seem that much but believe me, you'll feel really full if you eat a whole pack in one go (now there's a challenge!). To put it another way, you'll never have a more filling 200 calories.
Organic Soy and Chocolate Snack Mix
These are a very interesting twist on the other beans. Covered in Belgian dark, white and milk chocolate they are very sweet and enjoyable. Still the same crunchy beans but with a lovely covering.
I needed some further input on this so first I asked my wife to try some. "Pretty good, I like the white ones best of all". Daughter #1 took one look and retained her scepticism of her Dad's taste in healthy food. Daughter #2 tried one and then refused to give me the bowl back - I think we can safely read into this how some teenagers will enjoy these, others need to develop a more trusting taste!
You say Soy beans are good for you?I reckon they are, espcially when they are without the extras. I'd say the calories content is modest at 397 kcal per 100g. Total fat content is high at 24.7g but saturated fatty acids are very low at 3.5g. Certainly no transfats so no problems there. The polyunsaturated fat is 15.2g and remember that as this is found mainly in plant oil it's an essential part of a healthy diet. Usefully they have a really high fibre content with 17.3g per 100g - this is a welcome consideration in the Western diet of low-fibre highly processed foods.
Overall, Soya beans are a good wholesome food and this brand is even more valuable as so much of the worldwide production involves genetically modified beans. So conclude, in terms of good, wholesome organic food, these are hard to beat.