Healthy Eating

It’s Crunch Time for Beanfields Snacks

When the founders of Beanfields married beans with tortilla chips, snack magic happened in a healthy, gluten-free way.

When it comes to healthy snacks, Beanfields hit on a winning combination with … beans. Nutritionally powerful and environmentally kind, legumes are definitely de rigueur for the concerned and aware consumer. They’re a generous source of protein, fiber, potassium, and other essential vitamins and minerals; they require fewer natural resources to produce than animal proteins; and they have the added attraction of being one of the least expensive protein options available.

But cooking your own legumes is time-consuming. Could there be a more convenient way to incorporate the mighty bean into your daily diet? Snacks, perhaps?

Enter Beanfields. The founders had a love of beans and tortilla chips, but wanted to create a healthier option than fried corn, with more to offer in the nutrition department. After much experimentation in the kitchen, Bean Chips were born, and the mission to rid the world of unhealthy snack foods was off and running.

Beanfields: Better Snacks

Beanfields Grain Free Vegan Cracklins
Beanfields Vegan Cracklins are modeled after the pork rinds CEO Arnulfo Ventura grew up with. “We’d been long overdue for a plant-based alternative in this fun-to-eat category,” he says.
Photo: Harold Made

When Beanfields’ CEO Arnulfo Ventura came on the scene a few years ago, he was determined to find new ways to “bean” the snack world. Inspiration came from his daughter, whose favorite snack of a certain cheesy, crunchy variety was hardly nutritious or beneficial. “I promised her I’d make her something just as cheesy and crunchy, but healthy. She said, ‘You can do that?’ and I replied, ‘Mmmm, heh!’” he says.

Remembering the salty, crunchy goodness of the pork rinds he had grown up with, Ventura and his team set out to create a plant-based, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free version of those unhealthy-but-seductive treats. The result was Vegan Cracklins, a satisfying—and unexpected—offering.

“To sit on a shelf amongst all the animal and pork products and boldly call-out ‘Vegan Cracklins’? Priceless! We’d been long overdue for a plant-based alternative in this fun-to-eat category,” says Ventura.

But there’s more to Beanfields than just deliciousness and disruption. The company cements its environmental cred with its farming partners, all of whom grow their crops sustainably in the United States. Plus, Beanfields invests in local communities by partnering with Homeboy Industries to deliver a continuum of services, programs, and job-training to high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women.

For Ventura and all the caring folks at Beanfields, it begins and ends with this simple but powerful message: “Our families, our loved ones, and our children deserve better.  We can have fun snacking, and do it in a healthy way—they don’t have to be mutually exclusive!”

Make It!

Vegan Gluten-Free Nachos
Photo: Pornchai Mittongtare

Vegan Gluten-Free Nachos recipe