If you have Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, following a gluten-free diet can help prevent uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. But you may have noticed that this diet seems to be quickly growing in popularity among people without a gluten allergy.
Regardless of why you may choose to remove gluten from your diet, coming up with gluten-free snack ideas can sometimes be a challenge.
While there may be plenty of gluten-free foods at the grocery store these days, many conventional snack foods are made with gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat, barley, and rye.
To help you out, we’ve rounded up a variety of the best gluten-free snack ideas, from savory treats to sweet recipes you can easily whip up at home. Read on for 11 of our favorite recipes!
What is a Gluten Allergy?
So, where does the gluten-free diet come from anyway? A gluten allergy (different from a wheat allergy) is what’s part of a condition called Celiac disease.
For people with this condition, consuming gluten can lead to the intestinal damage and nutrient malabsorption that is characteristic of Celiac disease.
The symptoms of Celiac disease can vary in type and intensity, but generally include:
- Abdominal pain
- Foul stools
- Weight loss
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Feelings of depression
- Feelings of irritability
- Menstrual irregularities and/or fertility problems
- Neurological issues
Interestingly, over the years, more and more people with Celiac disease are presenting with milder and non-GI symptoms as opposed to more severe or specifically GI related symptoms.
This may make it challenging, in some cases, to differentiate between Celiac disease and other non-celiac gluten sensitivity or intolerance. If you believe you may have an allergy to gluten, you may want to check with your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.
11 Gluten-Free Snacks to Try
For anyone following a gluten-free diet, you’ll know it’s always handy to have some suitable snacks on hand to munch on during the day. Here are some of our healthy gluten-free snack recipes you can whip up and grab on the go!
1) Dukkah-Crusted Squash Wedges by BBC Goodfood
Not only are these squash wedges gluten-free, they’re also a great savory snack that will satisfy your taste buds. They’re also full of nutrients due to ingredients like butternut squash, olive oil, and hazelnuts.
We recommend eating these wedges as dippers in your favorite hummus, cream cheese, or guacamole dip.
- 50 grams blanched hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
2) Grain-Free Hot Cross Buns by Root and Revel
Many people feel like they’re missing out on their favorite treats or comfort foods when they start the gluten-free diet. But with this grain-free hot cross buns recipe, you’ll be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
To support a healthy blood sugar response, try pairing this snack with a protein source such as Greek yogurt and peanut butter.
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 ¼ cup almond flour
- 5 tablespoons ground psyllium husks
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped apricots
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter
- 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon water
3) Easy Paleo Snack Mix by Cook Eat Well
While most trail mixes don’t contain wheat flour, you may want to be careful as there can sometimes be a possibility of cross contamination.
This paleo snack mix eliminates that issue and can be whipped up at home in just a few minutes, making it a great snack for those with busy lifestyles. It’s also very easy to customize to your liking!
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons smoked sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon smoked hot paprika to taste
4) Breakfast Superfood Yogurt Bowl
This superfood yogurt bowl is a great option for breakfast and even makes a tasty afternoon snack on a gluten-free diet. This is a great way to boost your daily protein intake, and the fresh fruit also provides lots of nutritious vitamins and minerals.
- 1 cup Fage Total 5% plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 cup assorted fresh fruit
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free granola
- Drizzle of honey (optional)
- Sprinkle of coconut flakes (optional)
5) Epic Baba Ganoush by Cookie and Kale
This baba ganoush recipe is a classic Lebanese appetizer that makes for a lovely dipping sauce or spread for gluten-free pita, raw veggies, or the dippers of your choice! This dip is gluten-free, dairy-free and full of delicious flavor.
- 2 small-to-medium Italian eggplants
- 2 medium cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more if necessary
- ¼ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ¾ teaspoon salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of smoked paprika, for garnish
- Serving suggestions: warmed or toasted pita wedges, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, cucumber slices, etc.
6) Blueberry Collagen Smoothie by Nutritious Minimalist
This smoothie recipe is another blood-sugar friendly option, but it can also satisfy your sweet tooth. With collagen, flaxseeds, and blueberries to provide protein, fiber, and antioxidants, this smoothie is a very nutrient-dense snack. It’s also a great lower carb option, and the use of almond milk makes it suitable for a plant-based diet.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons collagen powder
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
7) Tex Mex Popcorn by a Couple Cooks
This popcorn recipe is a southern take on classic popcorn and may just become a fan favorite to anyone who likes a touch of spiciness. Try it out for your next movie night—it makes for a creative and delicious gluten-free snack!
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
8) Moroccan-Spiced Carrot Hummus by The Kitchn
A lower-carb take on regular hummus, this carrot hummus recipe is super easy to make and blood sugar-friendly. You can use it as a dip with veggies such as zucchini, cucumber, or bell peppers for a refreshing, nutrient-dense snack.
- 1 pound carrots
- 3 whole cloves of garlic
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Fresh cilantro, minced, to serve
9) Spiced Crispy Chickpeas by a Couple Cooks
Try these spicy roasted chickpeas if you’re looking for a crunchy snack that’s quick to throw together. Chickpeas are a good source of fiber and protein making this option a no-brainer for anyone looking for a satiating gluten-free snack.
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
10) Kale Chips by Minimalist Baker
These kale chips are a great alternative to regular potato chips or tortilla chips that can be higher in calories. These homemade chips are full of vitamins and minerals from the kale, plus the spices can easily be customized to your liking!
- 1 large bundle curly green or purple kale
- 1-2 tablespoon melted coconut or avocado oil
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
If you just want to keep your pantry stocked with ready-made snacks, RXBARs are a great on-the-go option! These bars contain very simple ingredients that are listed out on the front of the packaging.
Made simply with egg whites, dates, and nuts, these bars contain 12 grams of protein and can be a good source of healthy fats.
Gluten-Free Ingredients To Stock Up On
While these healthy snacks are great if you want to whip up some yummy appetizers or treats, keeping your fridge full of gluten-free ingredients can be a big help too!
Here are some nutritious kitchen staples you may want to consider stocking your fridge and pantry with to help you keep your snack options open.
- Greek yogurt
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Nut butters (such as peanut butter or almond butter)
- Assorted nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
- Dark chocolate
- Gluten-free crackers
- Colorful veggies
Should I Go Gluten-Free?
With all the buzz around the gluten-free diet, you may be asking yourself, “Should I go gluten-free?”
The answer is that it depends on what your unique body needs. While removing gluten from your diet can be helpful if you cannot properly digest or tolerate gluten, there may be some potential drawbacks for people without a gluten intolerance.
You should discuss if a gluten-free diet is the right choice for you with a registered dietitian or doctor.
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Heather is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN, LDN), subject matter expert, and technical writer, with a master's degree in nutrition science from Bastyr University. She has a specialty in neuroendocrinology and has been working in the field of nutrition—including nutrition research, education, medical writing, and clinical integrative and functional nutrition—for over 15 years.