My Favorite Gluten Free Snacks
The most difficult issue in being gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and whatever-else-free, is that it requires advance planning when it comes to food. There is very little "fast food" that isn't cross contaminated with wheat (among other suspicious things) and when I'm traveling it can be difficult to find restaurants that I can trust.
As a result, 've become someone who assumes I won't be able to find things to eat. I even packed a bigger suitcase so I could include snacks when I went to Orlando last month. And I'm always incredibly grateful when a friend or family member whom I'm going to visit asks me in advance what foods they can have around the house for me. That's love.
This is an incredibly incomplete, subjective list, but I hope it helps you think about creative, relatively healthy snacking for yourself or a loved one.
1. Banana with Peanut Butter
This may seem like a throwback to childhood, but a sliced banana with some awesome peanut butter is so satisfying. It's a little bit sweet and a little bit savory and just right for a quick breakfast, an afternoon snack, or even dessert. A word of warning: as with all packaged foods, you must read the label on the peanut butter to make sure it is truly gluten free (for me, as well as soy free). If you want to make this even more special, look in the natural foods section of your grocery for Earth Balance Peanut Butter with Coconut Oil. This spread is a life changer! If that's not available to you or you want to improvise, I recommend drizzling a little honey on top of regular peanut butter. Very messy yet extremely tasty.
2. Enjoy Life Snickerdoodles
This company is wholly committed to making allergy friendly products that actually taste fantastic. Free from 8 of the most common allergens, you can trust that it's extremely likely there is a product from this company that will be safe for you or a friend. My favorite, the Snickerdoodles, are actually soft and have an excellent spiced flavor. I've read the label, and I honestly think the secret to the cookies tasting so good is the rosemary extract. (Rosemary extract! Who would have thunk it?) Coming in at a close second are their Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies, though I have to eat them sparingly, partly because too much chocolate doesn't sit well with my stomach and partly because they are so addicting that it's hard to stop at just one!
3. Clementines & Apples
Fruit may seem a bit obvious, but having fruit around is convenient and healthy. Clementines satisfy my cravings for something sweet and sour, and apples are great to take with me on the road. I can easily eat them in between business meetings. I also don't have to worry about either of these foods getting stuck in my teeth, and that is always a big concern for me!
4. Corn Tortilla Chips
Again, you have to read the label to be sure that the tortilla chips are 100% corn and cooked in corn oil, but a handful of these with some homemade salsa or 5 minute guacamole is the perfect afternoon (or late night) snack. (Want to make your own 5 minute guac? In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2 avocados [skin and seed discarded], 1 peeled and smashed clove of garlic, 2 or 3 tablespoons of diced red onion, 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped cilantro, a pinch of kosher salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice. Pulse about 10 times, until avocado is smooth and ingredients incorporated. It's perfect every time.)
A palmful of roasted cashews or candied almonds can stop a hunger crash from spiraling out of control. I put nuts in a small ziplock bag or reusable plastic container and tuck them into my purse. I'm especially thankful I have them when I am sitting at a band competition to watch my stepdaughter and everyone around me is eating hot dogs or M&Ms. They are probably jealous that I thought ahead and brought something more interesting to eat.
6. Sweetened Almond Milk
You can buy vanilla or chocolate almond milk in "juice box" sizes and they don't need to be refrigerated. I take them with me when I travel for work (I even took some to Orlando) along with my own Gluten Free Honey Nut (Corn) Chex cereal. Sure, people look at me strange when I come to breakfast with my own food, but I'm awfully thankful that I have it when I see only danishes and dried up scrambled eggs available at the hotel's continental breakfast. And a bowl of cereal in the afternoon tastes just as good as it does in the morning.
Now you have seen my list, but what about you? Do you have a go-to gluten free snack for yourself or a friend that you recommend?