Innovating in the "better-for-you" foods industry means you're not just making salads and veggie bowls. Often times, it involves creating alternatives to the more junky but beloved foods that got us through college and our earlier years, like Hot Pockets.
At this year's Expo West, we found a paleo Hot Pockets alternative on the market, and it could be the perfect substitute for those who enjoy the nostalgic item, but can't eat dairy or wheat anymore.
Created by gluten-free and paleo food producer Mikey's, their take on the classic hits the flavor notes you would expect. However, they utilize a plant-based cheese substitute on the inside and a unique crust made from ingredients like cassava flour, konjac, sunflower flour, and chia seeds.
Behind the pockets is chef Michael Tierney, who's worked at Michelin-starred establishments like The French Laundry and Eleven Madison Park. He's part of a growing movement of chefs bringing their talents to the grocery store space, making sure that flavor is capitalized as much as function. Tierney started Mikey's with an English muffin recipe, and his product lineup has since evolved to include offerings like these pizza pockets.
While Mikey's isn't vegan (they use actual pepperoni and ham in their various pocket products), they still are a better-for-you alternative that cuts out many of the major allergens. To have all of that absent while retaining all of the sensory attributes of a classic Hot Pocket is pretty impressive, making these a must-try substitute to the original.
You can find Mikey's pockets at over 5,000 retailers nationwide, including Sprouts, Target, Publix, Walmart, and Whole Foods. For a full list of stores, take a look at their product locator.