Gluten Free Snacks: The Complete Guide
What Does Gluten Free Mean?
It can be one of the hardest things in the world to have to adjust to a gluten free kitchen. There can be several reasons to go on a gluten free diet, including celiac disease, gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or just trying to be healthy and lose weight. 1 in 133 Americans have celiac and can’t eat gluten.
Gluten can be harmful to your body because it triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine lining. Gluten can interfere with how you absorb nutrients from your food. This can lead to stomach issues, osteoporosis, and sometimes even infertility, nerve damage, or seizures.
Being gluten free means you need to avoid wheat and other grains like barley and rye. While corn, rice, and quinoa contain trace amounts of gluten, it is not enough to cause any problems.
If you can’t have gluten, you will need to be sure to include foods in your diet that are rich in vitamins, fiber, and minerals to ensure that you are still receiving all of the nutrients your body requires.
Benefits Of Being Gluten Free
Cutting gluten out of your diet provides you with a whole host of health benefits. Some of those include:
- Improves Energy Levels: People who are sensitive to gluten are typically tired all of the time. Chronic fatigue can be caused by consuming gluten products. This, in turn, damages your intestines and prevents your body from absorbing essential nutrients like iron. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which leads to debilitating fatigue. By switching to a gluten free diet, you give your body a chance to heal your intestines and absorb the proper nutrients. This will improve your energy levels so you can go about your day without getting tired.
- Eliminates Bloating: If you suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you are no stranger to diarrhea, gas, and bloating. That is because the gluten creates blockages in your intestines, which can be quite painful. By switching to a gluten free diet, your stomach will be less uncomfortable after eating and also stay flatter.
- Reduces Joint Pain: While most people think of gluten intolerance only causing gastrointestinal tract issues, it can also have further-reaching effects. Eating gluten can cause inflammation in your gut, as well as your joints. Joint pain, especially in the wrists, back, and knees, is relatively common for someone that can’t tolerate gluten. By taking care only to eat things that your body needs, you can help prevent joint pain and lessen the symptoms if they have already begun to rear their head.
- Decreases Depression: People with celiac disease are prone to suffer from depression. Following a gluten free diet can help you balance your hormones, be happier, and improve your quality of life.
- Reduces The Frequency Of Headaches: Scientists have begun studying the connection between gut and brain health. People that can’t tolerate gluten are more likely to have migraines or headaches. Switching to a gluten free diet can help you heal your gut, as well as reduce the frequency of your headaches.
- Improves Bone Health: If your body can’t absorb gluten, it can also suffer from calcium deficiencies. Calcium malabsorption is linked to bone problems like osteoporosis and osteopenia. By eating healthier and avoiding gluten, you can better balance your body’s nutrients and improve your bone mineral density.
- Reduces Lactose Intolerance: Sadly, people who suffer from gluten intolerance also suffer from lactose intolerance. This results from the gut lining producing enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in dairy products. Lactase can damage your gut, which is why it is imperative not to eat gluten if you also struggle with dairy or lactose intolerance. If you avoid gluten, you can reduce your gluten intolerance and your lactose intolerance symptoms.
- Prevents Hair Loss: In some cases, gluten can trigger hair loss. If you have suffered from celiac disease or gluten intolerance for many years and have not realized it, you may suffer from malnutrition or vitamin deficiencies, or autoimmune diseases. Starting a gluten free diet can help you reverse hair loss, improve hair texture, and increase your hair density.
- Improves Skin Health: Having gluten intolerance can cause you to have a higher risk for rashes, like eczema and psoriasis. By cutting gluten out of your diet, you can improve your skin health and potentially eliminate skin problems.
What Are Gluten Free Snacks?
While it can seem daunting at first to find healthy and inexpensive gluten free treats, there are plenty of options out there. It used to be that you could only find gluten free options in fancy health food stores, and it cost a fortune. Nowadays, you can find gluten free options in any grocery store, as well as homemade treats you can make from the comfort of your own home! You can also use them to make healthy after school snacks. While there are plenty of natural gluten free foods like fruits, veggies, and nuts, there are also plenty of snacks and gluten free meals.
Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas
- Oatmeal, with a bit of maple brown sugar or chia seeds sprinkled on top, is the perfect start to your day. You can also add some apple, blueberries, or strawberries to your oatmeal if you want to enjoy fresh fruit at the same time.
- Bananas + Cocoa Nibs + Coconut Flakes: Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and protein. Add a few sweet cocoa nibs and coconut flakes on top of some banana slices, and you have a delicious and healthy snack. If you want to jumpstart your morning with some protein, add your favorite Crazy Richard’s nut butter too.
- Blueberry Persimmon Banana Protein Smoothie: This sweet and tasty breakfast is the ideal breakfast to take with you on the go.
- Grab a cup of Greek yogurt and sprinkle some flax seeds or sunflower seeds for an energy-filled breakfast.
- Make-Ahead Gluten Free Pancakes: These easy-to-make pancakes are perfect for making the night before and heating up the next day. With tasty Crazy Richard’s peanut powder and honey and bananas, these pancakes are to die for.
- A yogurt parfait with granola can be a perfect fit for a gluten free and lactose-free diet. Most yogurts contain live and active bacterial cultures and probiotics that assist in breaking down lactose. This means that even if you can’t tolerate gluten or digest milk well, you should still be able to enjoy yogurt with your breakfast.
Gluten Free Snack and Dinner Ideas
- If you want the perfect bite-sized treat without having to prep anything, you simply have to try Crazy Richard’s Wholly Rollies! Our frozen peanut butter protein balls will quickly become the next family favorite. Since there is no egg or dairy in them, you can eat them straight out of the freezer or put them in your lunch bag and enjoy them later at room temperature.
- Granola + Peanut Butter + Dark Chocolate Chips: Simply add Crazy Richard’s creamy peanut butter and some decadent chocolate chips to your granola, and you have a delicious sweet snack. Your kids are sure to love this snack too!
- Microwave a sweet potato until it is soft (for about 10 minutes), and then scoop the insides from the skin into a bowl. Top with maple syrup and walnuts, and you have the perfect fall meal.
- Coconut Ginger Salmon With Thai Peanut Zoodles: These tasty ingredients are the perfect combination for a healthy dinner.
- Cauliflower Arancini: Cauliflower makes the ideal flour substitute when cooked into delicious arancini balls with some oregano and cheese added for extra flavor.
- Grab a rice cake or two for a quick snack on the go.
- Believe it or not, quinoa is gluten free. Quinoa is rich in fiber, antioxidants, amino acids, and minerals. It is also high in protein. Add some zucchini, peppers, sea salt, and you have the ideal tasty and filling dinner.
- Tortilla chips with salsa are also a yummy addition to a gluten free diet.
- Turkey wrapped cheese sticks are a tasty, protein-rich snack that can satisfy your hunger while still being healthy. To make them, all you need to do is wrap a slice of turkey around a cheese stick, and voila! You have the perfect and easy snack to take with you on the go.
- Toasted pumpkin seeds with a bit of chili powder sprinkled atop are a delicious savory snack to help keep you awake through long hours of work.
- Cucumber Hummus Sandwiches: Hummus can be made from ground chickpeas and sesame seeds, so it is gluten free. Spread some hummus on rice crackers or cucumbers, and you have a delicious snack.
- Mix some peanuts with raisins and chocolate chips for a yummy and salty trail mix you can take anywhere.
- Zucchini Pizza Bites: gluten free pizza can sometimes be hard to find. However, you can make your own mini pizzas with vegetables as a substitute for the crust. Cut the zucchini into thick slices and brush each side with olive oil. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and broil each side for two minutes, or until they are slightly browned. Next, spread some pasta sauce on each slice and then top with a bit of shredded cheese. Put it back in the oven and broil for one minute, or just until the cheese is melted.
- Another tasty gluten free snack is egg salad stuffed mini bell peppers. Simply cut the bell pepper in half, remove the seeds, and then add the egg salad inside the bell pepper and you have the perfect savory appetizer.
- Spread some cream cheese on some crackers or use it as a veggie dip for a delicious snack.
- Peanut Butter Zoodle Chicken Salad: 100% gluten free and packed full of healthy veggies, this savory soup will have everyone going back for seconds, that’s for sure.
- Sprinkle some lime juice and chili powder on mango slices, and you have the perfect snack that is chock full of vitamin A and vitamin B6. It is easy to become deficient in those particular vitamins if you have celiac disease, so you will want to be sure to have plenty of fresh fruit in your diet.
- Toss some black beans, onions, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and avocado together, and you have yourself quite the delicious salad.
- Vegan Carrot Thai Peanut Soup: This heavenly soup is absolutely to die for! Easy to make, it is the perfect soup to welcome in the autumn season.
Gluten Free Desserts
- PB Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites: This recipe is so simple to follow a child can easily make them. These heavenly dough balls are a must-have in any kitchen.
- Vegan White Chocolate Pumpkin PB Cups: These delicious peanut butter cups are the perfect gluten free alternative and best vegan snacks.
- Halloween Pumpkin, Spider, and Bat Cookies: Grab a bag of Crazy Richard’s frozen Wholly Rollies. These delicious peanut butter balls come in three different flavors: PB & strawberry, PB & Cacao, and PB & cinnamon oatmeal. Set the Wholly Rollies to thaw on the counter for a few hours. Stick some broken pretzel stick pieces in them to create pumpkins or spiders, and some chocolate chips to make faces. Voila, you have the perfect Halloween treats.
- Hazelnut Protein Cookies: These cookies pack the perfect punch of protein to give you the energy you need to make it through your day.
- Use some gluten free or rice flour for tasty baked goods, like muffins, cookies, or banana bread.
- Flourless Applesauce Spice Cake: Grind gluten free oats, combine applesauce, nuts, and tasty spices for one of the best moist cakes you will ever taste. And the best part? It is 100% gluten free and healthy to boot.
- Fruit And Nut Cookies: Add some dried cranberries, almonds, and peanut butter for the ideal cookie. You can swap out any flour like rice flour in a recipe for the perfect healthy snack.
- Almond butter cookies are the perfect gluten free snack to take in your lunch bag.
- Did you know that popcorn is gluten free? That’s right; you can enjoy your favorite movie snack with a guilt-free conscience. If you want to spice up your popcorn, drizzle some melted dark chocolate or toss in fiber-rich dried fruit like cherries or cranberries. You could also add some peanuts for a bit of extra crunch.
- It can seem daunting at times, but you can also make your own bread while conforming to a gluten free diet. Lucky for you, you don’t have to go without bread and sandwiches while eating healthily. You can substitute oat or rice flour for regular flour and enjoy eating yummy bread.
- Besides banana and zucchini bread, you can also make sweet potato bread while substituting the unhealthy gluten-filled flours for rice or nut flours. You can either make your bread with sweet spices, or savory spices, whichever you prefer.
- PB Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: These gluten and dairy-free cookies will quickly become a family favorite. These cookies are extremely easy to make and tasty with creamy peanut butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, chocolate chips, and spices.
- While not friendly to lactose-intolerant people, ice cream is gluten free and can be the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
- Low Sugar No Bake Cheesecake Cups: Believe it or not, these tasty cheesecake cups don’t include a single bite of gluten! And, to make them even easier for you, you don’t even have to cook them! You simply use some of Crazy Richard’s Wholly Rollies, some cream cheese, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, and you have the perfect dessert for any occasion. You can even drizzle some of your favorite toppings like chocolate chips or peanut butter if you want them to be extra delicious.
As you can see, just because you are cutting gluten out of your diet doesn’t mean that your meals will be bland and only include rice and beans. There are plenty of gluten free and healthy options out there without having to change a thing in the kitchen. And for recipes that contain gluten, you can often substitute oat, rice, or almond flour for wheat flour instead.
Eating a gluten free diet doesn’t have to be complicated. By cutting out gluten, you can begin to experience the health benefits of having more energy and having a healthier and more fit body.
It’s easy to be gluten free and still have food taste delicious and be healthy at the same time! As an easy place to start you out on your health journey, try out some of Crazy Richard’s Wholly Rollies or their famous and 100% all-natural nut butter options. They go well with practically anything and can be found at Amazon, Walmart, or grocery stores near you. We look forward to seeing you soon and are happy to be a part of your fitness journey to a happier and healthier you.