Delicious Gluten-Free Snacks
Gluten-free foods are becoming more and more popular as people become aware of the benefits of eating a gluten-free diet. Many delicious and healthy gluten-free options are available, so there's no need to feel like you're missing out on any health benefits due to gluten intolerance.
Health-wise, it's also worth noting that gluten-free foods are lower in calories and carbs than their wheat-based counterparts, making them a great choice if you're watching your weight.
Moreover, it's the ideal choice for people who have celiac disease or are otherwise intolerant to gluten. 1% of Americans are diagnosed with celiac disease, while up to 6% are believed to have "non-celiac gluten sensitivity" (NCGS). As such, it's crucial to have gluten-free snack options available when you're craving something to eat but can't have wheat products.
Sweet Snacks for a Gluten-Free Diet
Here are six sweet gluten-free snack ideas you can easily make at home for those sweet cravings:
Oatmeal & Granola Bars
Oatmeal bars are a great gluten-free snack because they contain fiber and nutrients. You can make them at home with rolled oats, peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. Just make sure you get certified gluten-free oats for a naturally gluten-free diet.
It's a great no-bake recipe that combines all the ingredients to form a sticky, peanut butter dough. You can add a bit more honey or peanut butter, or almond butter if you prefer, for dry mixtures.
Then, you place everything on a pan lined with parchment paper and press to get an even layer. Finally, you can use a small glass to smoothen the top.
Afterward, you have to freeze the bars for about 15 minutes and remove them from the pan. Then, cut them into small squares and enjoy!
You can also find pre-made oatmeal bars at the store, but check the ingredients list to ensure they are gluten-free. And as an alternative to the peanut butter and chocolate chip recipe, several online sources give fruit-based variations. A popular alternative recipe is for apple oatmeal bars. Of course, if you want to try different flavors, you can always substitute apples for goji berries, pumpkin seeds, or any dried fruit. The pumpkin seeds especially will make for a great fall-inspired snack.
Peanut Butter Energy Balls
This keto-friendly recipe will be your new favorite. It calls for old-fashioned rolled oats, peanut butter, and honey. You can also use almond butter or other types of butter. Add kosher salt, cinnamon, vanilla or chocolate protein powder, and mini chocolate chips. This sort of snack is great for people with a sweet tooth that don't want to indulge in snacks that contain an excessive amount of added sugar.
Just like the oatmeal bars above, you must combine all ingredients in a bowl and freeze them for only five minutes. You want the mixture to be still malleable enough to form into balls.
You can use a small cookie scoop or a melon baller for uniform balls. To get fancy, you can use a mini muffin tin to shape the balls. Just press the mixture into each cup and then freeze until solid. You can even turn them into peanut butter cookies by just pressing them flat.
These will last two weeks in an airtight container in the fridge and three months in the freezer. They're a great alternative to gluten-free granola bars if you want to mix things up.
If you'd rather find them in the store, here is an option we've found.
Most bread products might be full of gluten, but you can easily create your banana bread naturally gluten-free. This recipe is not only gluten-free but also vegan, refined sugar, and dairy free.
You can use gluten-free flour or rolled oats along with very ripe bananas, vanilla extract, almond milk, coconut oil, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. In addition, you can use coconut sugar or chocolate chips to make it a bit sweeter.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, almond milk, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Mix well until everything is combined.
Add gluten-free flour or rolled oats, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir until everything is combined. If you want chocolate chips or chopped walnuts to your bread, add them now.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bread. Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving this sweet snack.
These gluten-free cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth! They're made with simple ingredients, such as egg whites, honey, vanilla extract, unsweetened shredded coconut, and salt.
This recipe calls for baking. First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Beat the egg whites until you see stiff peaks.
Then, gently fold the rest of the ingredients into the mixture using a spatula. Make sure not to overwork the batter.
Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure each mound is about two tablespoons and has at least one 1-inch of space between them.
Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Here's a similar version we've found online if you'd rather order instead of bake!
You can also cut thin slices of fruits, like apples, bananas, and pears, and dehydrate them to create naturally gluten-free fruit chips. A popular example is apple chips, which are even packaged and sold at most grocery stores if you don't have the time to make them at home. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can also bake the fruit into apple chips (or the fruit of your choice) at a low temperature until they are crispy.
Once they are dried or baked, sprinkle some cinnamon on top for an extra flavor kick, which makes apple chips reminiscent of apple sauce. These make a perfect sweet and healthy snack to take on the go or to pack in a lunchbox.
Other flavors popular are banana chips, which make for a delicious crunchy snack on the go, and plantain chips, which originate in Latin America and Africa.
Yogurt Parfaits & Fruit Salad
Fruit and granola yogurt parfaits are one of the best gluten-free snacks because they're delicious and versatile. You can use any fruit you like and any gluten-free granola. Layer yogurt, fruit, and granola in a jar or cup for a quick and easy snack. If you have more time, you can make parfaits in glasses or bowls by layering the ingredients.
They're delicious snacks to serve kids during summer or after school. However, if you want something more substantial, add some protein to the mix by including Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. You can also find dairy-free alternatives to yogurt.
And if you aren't much of a yogurt fan, that's okay! As a personal choice, lose the yogurt and keep the fruit to make a yummy fruit salad that will fill you up and quench your thirst. Or substitute the yogurt for whipped cream cheese to really bring out a unique, textured flavor.
For salty cravings, here we outline a gluten-free version of many of your favorite savory snacks:
Tortilla Chips and Guacamole
Tortilla chips and guacamole are the perfect gluten-free snack for when you're craving something crunchy and savory. Check the ingredients on your tortilla chips to make sure they're genuinely gluten-free. Some brands will add wheat flour to their ingredients, so always read the label carefully.
That's why making your own tortilla chips at home is best. It's easy to do, and you can control what goes into them. Cut corn tortillas into triangles, brush with olive oil, and bake at 400°F until crispy. Serve with homemade guacamole or store-bought for an easy snack everyone will love.
Cheese-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
These cheese-stuffed cherry tomatoes are the perfect gluten-free snack if you're craving something salty with a hint of tanginess. You'll need a pint of cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, red onions, olive oil, wine vinegar, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. You can add dried dill weed and garlic powder for a more complex flavor.
First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Next, grease a baking sheet lightly and set it aside. Next, mix the feta cheese, red onions, olive oil, wine vinegar, and spices in a small bowl.
Cut a hole in each cherry tomato and use a spoon to fill the hole with the cheese mixture. Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. The cheese should be melted by then. Serve and enjoy.
Baked Kale Chips
You can create a savory, sugar-free version of fruit chips using kale. Kale is a nutrient-rich, leafy green vegetable low in calories and fat. It's also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K and folate.
To make kale chips, start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Then, wash and dry a bunch of kale leaves before tearing them into pieces. Next, toss the kale with olive oil and sea salt. Spread the leaves on a baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes or until the chips are crispy.
Roasted chickpeas are a great alternative to potato chips. Plus, they are more nutrient-dense than chips and other processed snacks, which makes them one of the best gluten-free snacks. Chickpeas are also a good source of fiber, protein, and iron.
To make roasted chickpeas, start by preheating your oven to 400°F. Then, rinse and drain one can of chickpeas. Next, spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Be sure to dry the chickpeas thoroughly before roasting them; otherwise, they will not be as crispy.
Once the chickpeas are dry, add your favorite seasonings for tasty flavors. Some good options include olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. Then, bake the chickpeas for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy. Let them cool and enjoy.
You can even add these roasted chickpeas to your gluten-free Chex mix to add more flavor and texture to your snacks.
If you're not up to making gluten-free snacks from scratch, hard-boiled eggs are a foolproof way to have a healthy snack on hand. Not only are they gluten-free, but they're also packed with protein and nutrients. Boil a few eggs at the beginning of the week and store them in the fridge for quick and easy snacking throughout the week.
You can also try adding some flair to your hard-boiled eggs by mashing them up and adding some diced celery, scallions, and gluten-free mayonnaise. This makes for a delicious egg salad that can be served on top of gluten-free crackers or bread or just eaten as is.
For days or weeks when you don't have time to whip something up, you can opt for Blue Nest Beef's BoboLinks. These are gluten-free beef sticks made from 100% grass-fed beef. It doesn't contain grains, hormones, antibiotics, or dyes, so you can be sure you're getting a quality product.
It's shelf-stable for up to six months, which makes it an excellent staple for your pantry, especially when you're on the go. And since it's naturally high in protein and low in fat, it's a nutritious snack to boot!
The ingredients used in these beef sticks include Himalayan Sea salt, celery juice powder, organic spices, and lactic acid starter culture. The snack is enclosed in a dye-free collagen casing for safer consumption.
This on-the-go snack can also help you jumpstart your gluten-free lifestyle by making gluten-free snacks easy and accessible.
Tips for Making Gluten-Free Snacks
Here are three tips to remember when making gluten-free snacks:
Know Your Ingredients
The first step to making sure your snacks are gluten-free is to check the ingredients. Be wary of processed foods and ingredients when avoiding gluten. Instead, opt for whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer's website or call their customer service line to double-check that an ingredient is indeed gluten-free.
Identify Hidden Sources of Gluten
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is also found in many processed foods as an additive or hidden ingredient. When trying to avoid gluten, it is essential to be aware of all the possible sources of gluten in your food, such as sauces, gravies, salad dressings, and marinades.
Watch Out for Cross Contamination
Cross-contamination occurs when gluten-containing products come into contact with gluten-free foods. For example, this can happen when food is prepared in a shared kitchen or even when food is packaged in the same facility as gluten-containing products.
To avoid cross-contamination, only purchase gluten-free snacks that are audited and certified by a third party. In addition, be sure to check the ingredients list and allergen information on the packaging to ensure the product does not contain any traces of gluten.