Finding delicious gluten-free snacks is easier than you think. Check out these gluten-free snack recipes and suggestions that are tasty and perfect for any time!
Should I Eat Gluten-free?
If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity by a doctor, then you know the answer to this question is an emphatic ‘yes.’
But what’s the difference between these two diagnoses? Dr. Fasano, director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, published the first study on how gluten sensitivity differs from celiac disease. He assisted in publishing research concluding that celiac disease occurs in one in every 133 people.
According to Dr. Fasano, gluten sensitivity may affect more people than celiac disease. He estimates about 6% to 7% of the U.S. population may be gluten-sensitive. That means up to 20 million people in the US could have the condition. If you are gluten-sensitive, cutting out gluten could have positive effects like reduced inflammation, clearer skin, and more energy.
Health Effects of Reducing Your Gluten Intake
If you’re curious about how gluten impacts your diet, you should pause before cutting it out entirely. Gluten-free diets became a bit of a fad in the last decade, with many companies cashing in on the trend. But without any diagnosed illnesses that cause adverse reactions to gluten, you probably don’t need to eat gluten-free. But what happens if you aren’t gluten-free and commit to an entirely gluten-free diet? It may not be as nutritious as you’d think.
According to Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Real Nutrition, cutting out gluten entirely may have adverse effects. Side effects can include weight gain, constipation, and increased hunger. Many products marked as gluten-free lack fiber-rich and high-protein nutrients, contain excess calories and added sugar, and are overly processed. If you don’t need to eat gluten-free, then you shouldn’t.
If you’re unsure whether you have Celiac or are gluten sensitive, visit a primary care doctor. They’ll likely give you a series of celiac blood tests. If they return positive, they may send you to a gastroenterologist, then a pathologist. If you are diagnosed with celiac or gluten sensitivity, you can talk to a registered dietitian. With them, you should discuss your meal plan options and how to stay healthy.
The Best Gluten-free Snacks You Can Buy
You never realize how much gluten is in processed and homemade foods until you try to live without it. Fortunately, with the popularity of gluten-free diets, they’re a little bit easier to find pre-made in grocery stores. But that doesn’t mean they’ll taste good.
If you’re a seasoned gluten-free expert, you’ve probably spent a decent amount of time browsing the snack aisle. You’re looking for those all-important words –“gluten-free” plastered across the packaging. Those words are a lot easier to find if you’re at an upscale grocery store like Whole Foods. But if you’re new to the game, here are some tried-and-true favorite snack options for when you’re craving something crunchy, sweet, or savory to keep you feeling full in between meals:
- Trail mix
- Corn chips and salsa
- Pirate’s Booty
- Popcorn (either air-popped popcorn or oil-popped is gluten-free.)
- Turkey roll-ups
- Yogurt with gluten-free granola
- Rice cakes with peanut butter and chocolate chips or raisins
- Apple sauce and cinnamon
- Fresh fruit with Cool Whip
- Chia seed pudding and parfaits
- Dried fruit
*Please note that with all store-bought foods, you should check the label before consuming. Some products add fillers that may not be gluten-free.
The Best Gluten-free snacks From Trader Joe’s
We had to include a section from one of our favorite grocery stores. Trader Joe’s has always been conscious of dietary needs, particularly when it comes to gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free items. They’re not even paying us. We really just like them.
- 3-seed Sweet Potato Crackers
- Toasted Coconut Granola
- Gluten-free Joe-Joe’s
- Gluten-free bagels
- Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips
- Organic Chia Bars
- Just The Clusters: Ginger, Almond, & Cashew Granola Cereal
- Honey Mama’s Honey-Cocoa Bar
- Gone Bananas (chocolate-covered frozen banana slices)
- Dark Chocolate-covered Power Berries
- OMEGA Trek Mix
- Jerk-Style Plantain Chips
- Organic Elote Corn Chips
Gluten-free Snack Recipes
Keep snacking worry-free with these tasty and simple recipes for gluten-free snacks.
Red Pepper Hummus
Hummus is one of my favorite snacks, gluten-free or not. It’s versatile, customizable, and tastes good with just about any veggies or chips. This red pepper variation on the traditional recipe adds some antioxidants, too. In a food processor, combine two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1/2 cup of roasted red peppers, 3 Tbsp tahini, 1 clove of chopped garlic, 3 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse to chop up the chickpeas. With the motor running, pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil and process until smooth paste forms. Transfer to a bowl and serve with pita chips, celery sticks, carrots sticks, radishes, cauliflower, or gluten-free pretzels.
Almond Butter Cookies
When the sweet tooth strikes, it can be difficult for those who can’t eat gluten, especially with desserts. Gluten is a structural protein that makes baked goods, starchy foods, and yummy junk food irresistibly moist and generally tasty. But these almond butter cookies don’t compromise.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk 1 large egg until beaten. Mix 1 cup of almond butter, 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar, 1 cup of baking soda, and 1/2 cup of pure vanilla extract. Mix everything very well. Fold in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips until combined.
Scoop the dough (about 1.5 Tablespoons each) onto a prepared baking sheet. Gently press down on the dough balls with the back of a spoon. If you find the cookie dough balls are oily from your almond butter, blot each with a paper towel. If desired, press a couple of chocolate chips onto the tops of each cookie.
Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft. For crispier cookies, bake up to 11-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover any leftover cookies and store them at room temperature for up to a week.
Gluten-free Coconut Macaroons
- Parchment Paper
- 2 large egg whites
- 3 Tbsp pure honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Place the top oven rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
- With a hand mixer, briskly beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the honey, vanilla, coconut, and salt into the egg whites until combined. Use a spatula and do not overwork.
- Scoop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Leave plenty of space in between to prevent overcrowding.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until they become golden brown on the tops and edges, around 12-14 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Quinoa Crunch Snack Bars
These amazing baked bars get major points for all the superfoods! And there’s plenty of room for customization, too. I used pistachios, honey, and almond butter. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides, then set aside.
Pulse 5 Medjool dates in a food processor until they form a chunky paste. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats (certified gluten-free), 3/4 cup of uncooked quinoa, 1/2 cup of coarsely-chopped almonds or pistachios, 1/2 cup of pepitas, 1 T chia seeds, 1/2 cup of almond butter, 1/3 cup of honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp sea salt into a bowl. Stir everything together until evenly combined.
Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and pack very firmly into an even layer. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Then, transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. You can drizzle with chocolate before or after cutting!
Share Your Favorite Gluten-free Snacks!
Whether you’ve been living gluten-free or just began venturing into gluten-free snacks, we hope you found some inspiration. What are some of your favorite gluten-free snacks and recipes? Share them with us on social and tag @getfamilyapp!