Ok, so you’ve gone gluten-free. Yay, you for getting healthy! When you say you’re avoiding gluten you are probably drowned in sentiments like that one because the automatic assumption is that going gluten free also means dieting in the traditional sense of lowering calories, fat, etc. to lose weight and/or get in shape.
While gluten free diets can definitely help with this, many people simply do it because it is making them feel sick. If you find yourself in this category then you have likely bemoaned the lack of good candy and snack foods that are gluten free.
Sometimes you really just need that good, quick snack fix or sugar rush and you’re in luck because there are some great products available for gluten free snack foods and candy!
Gluten Free Cookies
Ahh, cookies. Whether soft and chewy or light and crispy, there is something so satisfying and comforting about these informal desserts. Even better, they can easily be made gluten free and still taste like the “real” thing. Oftentimes, the only real reason there aren’t gluten free versions of cookies is because the ingredients to make them are more expensive. This means you can make them at home or try one of these options if you’re not inclined to spend time in the kitchen:
Enjoy Life Soft Baked Gluten Free Cookie:
These gluten free cookies are soft and fluffy. They are also free of dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish along with being free of gluten. Buying a variety pack online can save you money and give you a chance to try all the flavors including:
- Double Chocolate
- Chocolate Chip
- Gingerbread Spice
Each 2 cookie serving has only 120 calories and 9-10 grams of sugar depending on the flavor. Sweetened with a combination of cane sugar, molasses, date paste and fruit juice these make an attractive alternative to other cookies which often contain high fructose corn syrup and other lower quality ingredients. So, yes these are healthier but they are not DIET food in the weight loss sense.
There are plenty of other gluten free cookies out there but Enjoy Life’s are one of the best we’ve found. They are also the best when it comes to addressing multiple allergies and dietary concerns.
Gluten Free Snack Bars
Snack bars can really save you on a busy day when you just don’t have the time to stop for a full meal. Unfortunately most includes some kind of wheat or oats that make them a bad idea for anyone with a gluten sensitivity. You can make your own kind of trail mix and blend it together with honey to create a bar but this can be messy and takes time you might not have.
KIND brand products are especially good for gluten free snackers on the go. Their website states: “Yes, all KIND products are gluten-free. Our products are tested for gluten and meet FDA’s proposed requirement of 20ppm (0.002%) of gluten.”
KIND savory and sweet varieties have a bit of sweetness combined with savory ingredients so they are not exclusively a dessert and can be eaten more as a snack.
KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Gluten Free:
This flavor of KIND bar is absolutely chock full of crunchy nuts, savory sea salt and decadent drizzles of dark chocolate. While not an option for anyone with a nut allergy, these are still great for gluten free snackers and with 7 grams of protein and only 5 grams of sugar, these provide a well-balanced energy boost in between meals. BONUS: All KIND ingredients are GMO-free.
Gluten Free Candy
While many candies may not have gluten as a direct ingredient, they are processed in a facility that handles gluten products that can cross contaminate. Many products won’t be expressly labeled gluten free either which can be a real problem during parties and events where candy is being passed out and you want to partake but don’t have the original bag it came in.
Sometimes it’s Gluten Free and Sometimes it Isn’t: To make matters worse, some candies may be gluten free most of the time, but during busy holiday seasons alternate facilities may be used which will present a cross-contamination risk.
Mars Chocolate, for example, is not a gluten free company but they are committed to labeling their products accurately and warning when there could be gluten present. You will notice that during certain times of year there is a gluten warning on certain Mars Chocolate products and other times there aren’t.
Here are a few candies that are most likely to be gluten-free but still check the label when possible:
- Plain M&Ms (in any color): These actually meet the more stringent standards for gluten-free certification, however, seasonable M&M flavors are, typically, not gluten free and neither are pretzel M&Ms.
- Almond Joy and Mounds: All varieties of these coconut-filled, Hershey brand candy bars are gluten free.
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar: Only the plain 1.55 oz. size is considered gluten-free along with the 1.45 oz. size Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar.
- Laffy Taffy (including Laffy Taffy Rope)
- Wonka Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip
For a complete and up-to-date listing of what is and what isn’t gluten free in the candy world, visit the VeryWell.com Gluten-Free Candy List.
Savory Gluten Free Snacks
Potato chips and corn tortilla chips are naturally gluten free because they aren’t made from wheat but some brands still pose a cross-contamination risk. Once again, label reading is your friend but here is a short list of savory snacks that are considered gluten free according to their manufacturer:
- Frito Lay: Frito Lay has a pretty extensive list of gluten free products for the U.S. market. Products sold in other countries may have slightly different ingredients and manufacturing facilities. For a complete listing visit their site here: Frito Lay Gluten Free Products.
- Cape Cod Potato Chips: All varieties meet USDA standards for gluten-free products.
- Eatsmart Naturals: Eatsmart has a range of chips that don’t have gluten ingredients but only one is certified as being gluten free and that is their Garden Veggie Crisps.
For a complete and up-to-date listing of what is and what isn’t gluten free in potato chips, visit here, VeryWell.com Gluten Free Potato Chips.