Biting into Mary’s Gone Crackers, a Nutrition Diamond in the Rough

The Buzz. The award-winning natural cracker, Mary’s Gone Crackers, really has a Mary behind it. Suffering from celiac disease, Mary Waldner created her own gluten-free crackers using whole grains and seeds for a tasty solution to beat the gluten-free blues. She toted bags of her crackers to parties and restaurants, where they gained a following. In 2000, Waldner took the plunge and mass produced her beloved crackers. Since then, she developed a deep commitment to preserving the environment through sustainable practices and has traveled the world to observe how her grains and seeds are produced.

The Basics. The original seed cracker has a simple ingredient list of organic whole grain brown rice, organic quinoa, organic flax seeds, organic brown sesame seeds, organic wheat-free tamari, and sea salt. The nutritional line-up for one 30 gram (g) serving (13 crackers) is 140 calories, 5 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 190 milligrams (mg) sodium, 3 g fiber, 21 g carbohydrates and 3 g protein. With their unique crunchy quality, the crackers are famously filling. Since the crackers? popularity took off, Mary’s Gone Crackers has diversified its flavors to include Caraway, Black Pepper, Herb, and Onion, as well as Gone Crackers Crumbs and Sticks and Twigs in Chipotle Tomato, Sea Salt and Curry flavors.

The Bonus. Mary’s Gone Crackers are minimally processed and full of whole grains and seeds. In addition, they are organic, wheat-free, dairy-free, contain no added fats and pack in 450 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, 3 g fiber and 3 g of protein per serving. This nutritional profile makes them suitable for heart-healthy and weight-conscious diets. A new single-serving (1.25 ounce) pack can aid in portion control and convenience.

The Bust. Priced at about $4.00 per 6.5 ounce package (six servings/78 crackers), Mary’s Gone Crackers don’t come cheap. But keep in mind that the ingredients in these crackers don’t come cheap, either. The box isn’t big and it might be easy to down one-third or more at one sitting, although the sheer crunchiness of the crackers provides a stop guard against overindulgence. Low-fat dieters might complain about getting 5 g of fat in a serving, but remember that these are healthy fats trom whole plant foods, not from refined oils.

The Bottom Line. These nutrient-dense, crunchy crackers offer plenty of nutritional rewards, rather than the empty-calorie feasting so commonly found in the cracker section of the supermarket.

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