Gluten free choices have come a long way since celiac disease has developed into a much more commonly diagnosed condition. Gluten free snacks have especially catapulted onto the mainstream supermarket shelves, giving those who suffer a way to snack, without stress.
Bars on the Go
Lara Bars are nut and fruit bars that serve as an excellent gluten free snack, touting such flavors as cherry pie, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate coconut and banana bread. The ingredients are truly all natural avoiding sweeteners, dyes and fillers. The taste is clean and sweet (but not so sugary sweet that your teeth start screaming for help) and the texture is soft, slightly chewy and slightly crunchy.
These bars are also an excellent source of good carb sustained energy with B vitamins and Omega-3’s, plus they are also Kosher. Other brands that get high marks are EnviroKidz (great for adults too) Organic Crispy Rice Bars and Kind Fruit and Nut Bars that are similar to Lara Bars but offer some choices with added calcium or B-complex.
Pretzels, Chips, Even Dips
Glutino makes a crunchy satisfying gluten free pretzel that comes in twists, sticks, sesame rings and pretzel shape. They will stand up to most pretzel connoisseurs and are dairy, egg and trans-fat free. Most corn or rice chips are gluten free, including Fritos and Tostitos brands. Rice cakes can be found almost anywhere and have the added benefit of low calories. Most cheeses melted into a fondue like dip work well along with a tapenade (ground up olives). The Dippy Chick Company gets some good reviews offering some offbeat choices like Pepper Pajama Party and Ya Gotta Jump, Chive and Wail dips.
Breakfast and Dessert
A smoothie is a great breakfast snack. Use rice or nut milk, mix with fruit, ¬†gluten free protein powder, some ice and stevia (natural sugar substitute) and you will be satisfied and energized right up until lunch. Glutino also makes apple, blueberry and chocolate breakfast bars along with vanilla, chocolate, lemon and strawberry dessert wafers that should have a caution sign on the box warning that you may eat too many. Another gluten free dessert is the ever sought after cookie. Fortunately, there is a plethora of choices including chocolate chip, ginger snap and other flavors from the company’s such as Enjoy Life Foods, Mi-Del, Kinnikinnick Foods and of course Glutino.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bake
There are great gluten free flour substitutes that can be found in most health food stores. Look for Tom Sawyer’s brand, Arrowhead and Whole Foods 365. Baking gluten free snacks saves money and can be fun.
Freeze the Fruit
It may not be the most exciting snack, but it is gluten free and delicious. Peel a banana, gently push a shish-kebob stick into one end, wrap it in saran wrap, and put it in the freezer. After a few hours you have yourself a tasty gluten free banana popsicle. The same goes for grapes which when frozen taste like sweet, crunchy candies. Try freezing applesauce. It gets hard but when it thaws it is like apple ice cream.
NOTE: It is important to continue to maintain the habit of checking and re-checking ingredient labels to be sure each item complies.