Whether you have Celiac disease, are gluten-intolerant or avoid gluten for other reasons, you probably know how tricky it can be to find safe and healthy snacks that are also portable. Fruits and veggies fit the bill, but having a little more variety on your snack menu is a good idea. After all, who wants to eat the same snacks day after day—especially when there are so many delicious options out there just waiting for you to try?
The following gluten-free snack ideas will keep your taste buds happy, your belly full and your body safe. Best of all, you can stock them in your desk drawer at work, your car, purse, gym bag or pocket for good-for-you eating wherever you are!
1. Seaweed snacks
It might seem a little odd to munch on “sea vegetables,” but hear us out. These ocean-derived snacks are not only gluten-free, they offer a light, crunchy texture with umami flavor and a hint of sea saltiness. Available roasted with sea salt or in flavors such as toasted sesame or wasabi, seaweed snacks are a tasty and healthy alternative to ordinary chips, packing in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and fiber.
2. Apple chips
A juicy, crisp apple makes a great snack—unless you’re somewhere where it’s hard to wash your hands of potential post-snacking sticky-ness! Instead, tear open a bag of baked apple chips. Entirely gluten-free, these sweet, crunchy snacks deliver the nutrition of fresh apples, whether you like sweet red, tart green or cinnamon-dusted varieties. No napkins required!
3. Kale chips
A dark green, leafy vegetable loaded with protein (3 grams per single cup!), fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K, kale is often enjoyed raw in salads, blended into smoothies or baked into crunchy gluten-free chips. Like other snacks on this list, you’ll find many flavors, ranging from mango habanero to honey mustard. Look for kale crackers and kale tortilla chips, too.
4. Freeze-dried edamame
Those same little bean pods you love to order as an appetizer at Asian restaurants can also be enjoyed as an on-the-go gluten-free snack. Popped from their shells and freeze-dried, edamame makes a crunchy snack that delivers an extra protein punch—we’re talking 13 grams for a half cup serving (not to mention 10 grams of heart-healthy and appetite-fulfilling fiber!). For a hearty version, try dry-roasted edamame. Looking for something lighter? You might prefer edamame puffs.
Otherwise known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a gluten-free snacker’s dream! Of course, they can be transformed into everyone’s favorite dip and spread—hummus. Or, munch on roasted chickpea snacks. For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss dark chocolate-covered chickpeas. Chickpeas notable fiber content helps keep you full while its nutritional profile – boasting loads of protein, vitamins and minerals – makes them the perfect addition to a healthy, gluten-free diet.
Movie theaters aren’t the only place to munch on popcorn! Pass on the heavy butter and salt, though. There are plenty of healthier, gluten-free, pre-popped popcorn snacks to try. For example, Pop Art Gourmet offers gourmet rosemary truffle or a white cheddar jalapeno flavors. Prefer to keep things neat? Try Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes, with zero grams of trans fat and just 60 calories for 11 cakes!
Got a sweet tooth? Mixed nuts are a gluten-free snack that can satisfy sugar cravings and pack in a ton of protein. Try making your own trail mix and add a scoop of Enjoy Life gluten-free chocolate chips! You can also add in cranberries, raisins, or other dried fruits for a texture variety and a pop of sweetness.