Going gluten free is 90% willpower and 10% finding the right food to eat. Most people balk at the idea of getting rid of an essential part of our American diet. Even when it’s our best interest health-wise it can be a challenge to get out of our comfort zone and give up gluten.
With nearly three years of gluten-free living under my belt I can say it gets easier as time goes on. The hard part is usually those first few weeks when cravings and the smell of fresh baked goods can tempt you.
There is so much you CAN eat when you’re gluten free that it helps to focus on those areas instead of trying to replace all your favorite gluten foods (like bread or cereal) with more fresh foods. Fruits, vegetables, proteins like meat and eggs, seafood, most dairy products, and a variety of grains are part of a balanced gluten-free diet.
The key to going gluten free is to do your research. Know what to look for in food ingredients, plan ahead before you go out to eat, and stock up on snacks.
For the most part eating a gluten-free diet isn’t all that difficult once you look past the burger bun for dinner, or the sandwich bread for lunch.
Most of my snacks consist of obvious stuff like Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and raw vegetables like carrot sticks. There are times that you’ll need gluten-free replacements for snacks and treats, though. Thankfully there are a ton of great options, and I’ve share some of my favorites below including review of products from Udi’s and CrispRoots that were sent to us to try out.
While it’s not an everyday thing cupcakes are great for celebrating. It’s especially important when you (or your kids) are celebrating someone’s birthday.
There are lots of cupcake stores that sell gluten-free cupcakes, but I recently found the BEST and most affordable option. Using an Udi’s Gluten Free Double Vanilla Muffins Double Chocolate muffinswith or without some added icing makes the perfect sweet treat for any celebration. Also if you’re in the Rehoboth Beach area go to Cake Break for awesome gluten-free cupcakes (they offer a great selection of ‘regular’ cupcakes too).
Crunchy Gluten-free Snacks
There are times when you need a good crunchy snack. These snacks are great crunchy snacks to eat on the go, as a snack, or as a side with a meal.
Popcorn-I’m a sucker for stovetop popcorn, especially kettle corn, and when you make it at home you can control the amount of fat, sugar and salt you add.
CrispRoots– These are newer to our pantry, but I’m in love. Made from cassava root these chips come in a variety of flavors. They are a little heartier than your typical potato or tortilla chip so they are great for dipping. My favorite flavor is Thai Ginger. I personally didn’t love the original or sea salt on their own, but they were great when accompanied by guacamole, hummus or salsa.
Organic tortilla chips– I am a chip and salsa addict. The chips are crunchy, the salsa is spicy, and they make a great snack or side to any meal. I prefer organic chips because they often don’t have a ton of unnecessary stuff added, and I prefer to avoid GMOs whenever possible.
Mary’s Gone Crackers-these are a heartier cracker and are great with hummus or a spread. They are definitely more ‘sturdy’ than a traditional cracker.
Brown Rice Crackers- Speaking of crackers, these Vegetable Brown Rice Snaps are a family favorite. Like many of the options I share my kids will gobble them up if I’m not careful! They are light, crunchy, and the ‘vegetable’ flavor is really good!
Udi’s Ancient Grain Crisps-tasty and healthier than chips, these offer up some great flavor and crunch.
While some bakeries offer gluten-free pastries and muffins, sourcing them can be tough especially if you don’t live in a metro area. That’s where Udi’s comes in. My long-time favorite has been the blueberry muffins, but I have a new favorite now.
These Harvest Crunch muffins are quite possibly the best muffins ever (gluten free or not). The tang of cranberries, the crunch of pepitas, and the sweetness of sweet potato come together to make one delicious muffin. These are perfection slightly toasted with a small pat of butter and a hot cup of tea or coffee on the side.
I also love to make my own when I have time, and while I am partial to this gluten-free strawberry muffin recipe it’s easily adaptable to other fruits as well.
I’m a big fan of bars for meals or snacks on the go. I often carry a KIND bar or Udi’s granola bar with me in my purse, especially when I travel. Since a busy schedule can get in the way of meal time I find that these make a great substitute for breakfast or I might even eat one as dessert. You can buy packs of KIND bars on Amazon for much less than you’ll spend at the grocery store. Udi’s recently introduced their Udi’s Gluten Free Granola Bars, chocolate chip is my favorite by far.
Do you have any favorite gluten-free snacks to share?
Disclosure: Udi’s and CrispRoots sent me a variety of products to sample, some are shared here. Affiliate links are included in this post.