Enzo's Table store in the outskirts of Clovis, CA
Thanksgiving is here, which for many of us means awkward conversations with family members we’ve silenced on social media for a reason, not to mention a table full of heavy foods that evoke memories less of autumn and more of Hometown Buffet and Cracker Barrel. Now, we don’t mean to diss anyone who loves them a Butterball or canned cranberry sauce, but if you know you need to cancel out your Thanksgiving dinner at your Uncle Archibald’s (because of the cuisine and company), our Thanksgiving snacking guide may offer you some hope — or at least a much-needed distraction.
If you don’t order from Amazon, skip this part. If you can’t help yourself, well, this relatively new brand, Aplenty, has some tempting options. We sampled two kinds of the Amazon brand's granola. The apple pie flavor came very close to your grandparents’ apple cinnamon dessert specialty. The pumpkin spice was definitely tasty, but we had a hard time detecting the pumpkin. Now, if you’re limited to a few hardcore rules about ingredients, Aplenty granola may not be your thing. Nevertheless, the granola is low-sodium, non-GMO, and if fiber eludes you during the long holiday weekend, these bags of granola may — ahem — help you out a bit, if you catch our drift. Aplenty also makes a decadent cinnamon bun-flavored pancake mix, but watch yourself if you’re sensitive to sugar.
Shameless plugs are not beneath us here at TriplePundit, and we find now is good as any of a time to tout Enzo’s Table, one of the finest companies in the San Joaquin Valley. Their locally grown nuts and dried fruit are to die (and online order) for, but they have a real winner in their fantastic biscotti. Enzo’s boasts an outstanding assortment of classic flavors, but our favorite by far is the pistachio cranberry biscotti.
Now, if you really wanna talk decadence, order a bottle of Enzo’s olio nuevo, the first milled olive oil of the season. Pressed from the olive varietal arbequina, this olive oil is cloudy and has a buttery yet peppery taste. Use it to accent various appetizers, or do what we Romans did: We dipped the biscotti in the oilo nuevo. At $30, it’ll be the most expensive condiment you’ll ever buy, but it’s well worth it. You don’t fry with it, you slather it on something that is already tasty. A gentle reminder: You’ll need to use it up fast, as it’s very fresh. Enzo’s staff advised us to lap it up within six months max.
(And they're like, it's better than yours.) Maybe your idea of a Thanksgiving treat comes in liquid form. Then you might want to try out Trader Joe’s maple-flavored non-dairy beverage that is vegan and oat-based. It’s one of the few seasonal snacks that isn’t pumpkin flavored (not that pumpkin is a bad thing, but TJ’s does go a bit cray cray every fall with its blizzard of seasonal pumpkin products). It may not necessarily whisk you away to Vermont in autumn, but this maple treat is fine on its own or with a bowl of hot oatmeal — better yet, a homemade oatmeal cookie. If you’re watching your sugar intake, tread carefully as an eight-ounce glass has 12 grams of added sugars.
Many of us don’t necessarily think of Target as a sustainability leader, but as far as big-box stores go, it's ahead of the pack when it comes to more sustainable products, worker pay and community work. Hence, for probably the first time ever, we’re praising a product with no real sustainability bona fides (the horror!). Frankly, Target’s mass-produced, private-label pumpkin spice pretzels are the bomb. If you’re not into yogurt-covered snacks, try them anyway. It’s hard to limit yourself to only one. It’s kind of like eating a mini pumpkin pie; only, it really isn’t. There’s just that nice salty crunch followed by a sweet pumpkin mouth feel that isn’t overpowering.
Face it, there are some snacks and indulgences we love but would never admit it to anyone in person — but we delight in having a spoonful or two of it when no one else is around. Fix & Fogg’s pumpkin pie butter is a supreme example. Made out of cashews, pecans, almonds and, yes, pumpkin, this 10-ounce jar of Thanksgiving happiness will guarantee you’ll never look at any squash the same way ever again. You could spread it on waffles or toast, but by the time you spoon it all, there won’t be any left.
Yes, we get it. You happen to mention you don’t eat dairy or anything gluten, and you get a Lucille Bluth judging look that makes you want to hide like Buster or roll your eyes like Lindsey (apologies if you don't get the Arrested Development references). The brand Hu has long been a leader when it comes to ethically sourced snacks such as chocolate. Well, its grain-free ginger snaps are among the goodies that would put any other brand’s cookies to shame, gluten or no gluten. Try them with the oat beverage mentioned above!
Okay, right. Technically, supplements are not snacks, though trying out Fungies’ mushroom-based gummies may change your mind. The lion’s mane gummies could help your overall focus, memory and healthy mood; and, unlike most berry-flavored treats, these were quite tasty. The apple-flavored reishi mushroom gummies are supposed to assist with one’s immunity, relaxation and “healthy aging.” On that last point, we’re only through about half the bottle, so don’t give up on your retinol face cream or the neighborhood Botox specialist quite yet.
If an old fashioned, Manhattan or spiked eggnog is in your plans, you’ve got to try the lineup from Bespoken Spirits. We were smitten with the bourbon whiskey, which evokes aromas of pumpkin pie spices, grains like pumpernickel and the sweet umami of mocha. We made a milkshake with a local vegan coffee ice cream and it was the bomb, literally (shh, don’t tell anyone, but it was after work hours). The brand’s rye whiskey has scored its share of rave reviews as well.
That bourbon may have gotten you through the Thanksgiving meal, but you may be feeling it the next morning. Consider this ethically-sourced coffee from Pure Origin. With various roasts from the Congo, Kenya and Peru, the purchase of this three-pack of whole bean coffee will help fund community projects such as medical care, women’s education and clean water.
“It’s one banana phone, Michael. What could it cost, $10?” — Lucille Bluth of Arrested Development.
Okay, she actually didn’t say that (she was talking about real bananas), but after a bananas Thanksgiving with people with whom the only thing you have in common is DNA, you may need to decompress to your favorite tunes — or dish over the phone about all of the shenanigans with your allies. So while this is technically not a snack, the Banana Phone is shaped like one, and you’ll probably be scarfing down snacks as you recount your turkey day follies, so this makes the list.
In that case, consider the Banana Phone, which will connect to your favorite people or tunes via Bluetooth. It’s a conversation piece — literally. And, the company is donating 1 percent of its revenues to Gearing Up for Gorillas to support their preservation within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. FYI, what does it cost? $40.
Image credit: Leon Kaye
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.