When you have food restrictions or allergies, you often lose the option to pop into any restaurant or store for a snack when you are out and about. After finding myself starving on numerous occasions, I finally wised up to the importance of snacks. There are tons of gluten-free snacks on the market now, but since I avoid processed foods, I went on the hunt for items that were relatively shelf-stable and had very few ingredients. These are some of my favorites that have saved me from getting hangry when too many hours have passed in a situation where I’m unable to eat. I’m always looking for new snacks to add to my rotation though, so what are some of your favorite snacks when you are on the go?
1. Sprouts Organic Kale Chips: I’ve written about my kale chip love before, but these are my current favorite. The ingredient list is super clean and they run about $5.99 so a little less than many on the market. I really love the sea salt variety too but for a fun change, I’m in love with these spicy, crunchy chips.
2. Larabar & Kit’s Organic Bars: I’ll admit that bars are a saving grace for me, as they fill me up and give me some nutrition when I don’t have time for real food. I’m really discriminating when it comes to bars on the market as so many have tons of added sugar and questionable ingredient lists, but I love these two because they contain only nuts and fruit. Although Larabars are more well-known, I do prefer the texture of the Kit’s one a little more as it is slightly drier and this dark chocolate flavor is perfect for when I’m craving something sweet.
3. So Delicious Coconut Yogurt: I used to be a big fan of yogurt before going dairy-free and was so excited when I discovered this yogurt because it’s the perfect snack that actually will hold you over. I love this particular unsweetened one because it only contains 1g of sugar and has a clean ingredient list. Lately I’ve become obsessed with cacao nibs and I usually add some, as well as almonds and if I have time, strawberries, for a great snack or meal.
4. Bare Organic Apple Chips: When I’m at home, one of my frequent snacks is a sliced granny smith apple, but I only like them cold and sliced, so when I’m out, these Bare ones are my favorite. What I love about these particular ones, is that they only have one ingredient: apples. They also have an addicting thin, crispy texture and are perfect when I need a snack that is going to last me for more than a few bites.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you can’t go to a Walgreens without being surrounded by an aisle of chocolates and sweets. For the gluten-free guy or gal though, this can be difficult as it means an endless sea of nutritional information to read to see what is safe to consume. This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do the work for you and share some great gluten-free options that will make your significant other, friend, family or even yourself, very happy.
- See’s Candies: I’m excited to report that all See’s products do not contain gluten so you can enjoy all of your favorite chocolates safely. For Valentine’s Day, they offer a variety of chocolates in their red hearts, in various sizes. Before going dairy-free, I loved See’s chocolates and highly recommend the Nuts and Chews heart! If you have other food allergies, check out this list to see which chocolates are safe for you.
- Necco Sweethearts: For a classic treat, you can’t go wrong with a box of Sweethearts! These have been around since 1866 and billions are made every year. With their cute sayings and fruity flavors, they are the perfect little gift.
- Hershey’s Kisses: For another classic treat, Hershey’s kisses are always great for Valentine’s day and you’ll likely see these laying around the office or in your kid’s valentines. Feel free to treat yourself to Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate, all Hershey’s Kisses Filled Chocolates and Hershey’s Kisses Special Dark, Mildly Sweet Chocolate, which are all gluten-free. It’s important to note, however, that the other Hershey’s Kisses not listed are not gluten-free.
- Taza Chocolate Bars: I first had the opportunity to try Taza Chocolate this summer and instantly fell in love with every flavor I tried! They are rich and delicious and are dairy-free, soy-free, vegan and organic. This cute bundle in the Mi Corazon pack contains the Coco Besos Coconut bar, Raspberry Nib Crunch and Sea Salt & Almond which are sure to be the way to your valentine’s heart.
- Vosges Exotic Truffle Collection: For your foodie valentine, opt for this truffle box full of flavors from around the world. All of the truffles sound unique and amazing, just like your valentine! These also come in several sizes too to fit any budget. (Important to note: only the square box, not the heart box is listed as gluten-free, despite containing the same truffles.)
Valentine Treats to AVOID:
- Godiva Chocolates: According to their website, Godiva states that all of their products may contain gluten and they do not recommend any person with a gluten allergy consume their products. The same also goes for dairy and nut allergies.
- Brach’s Conversation Hearts: Although gluten is not on the ingredients list, Brach’s states that it is packaged on shared equipment that contains gluten, so this might be an option depending on how sensitive you are.
- Lindt Truffles and Gift Boxes: Definitely avoid these as many of their truffles and chocolates contain barley malt powder and in some cases, wheat flour. They also state that many of their chocolates may come in contact with products containing gluten.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts: Like all Reese’s seasonal items, the Hearts are not gluten-free, nor are the Unwrapped Minis. However, the regular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are gluten-free so you can still get your chocolate peanut butter fix!
Please note that I complied this list from my own research and by reading nutrition labels and allergy information. Before you consume, I always recommend reading the label as ingredients are subject to change.
-What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day treat?
-Any other treats you would like me to investigate if they are gluten-free?
When I first found out that I had celiac, one of my inital thoughts was of all the things I was never going to eat again. Most of that was unnecessary thinking because there are great companies out there that make breads and pasta and treats. But what about those traditional family recipes? The favorite in my family is my Grandma’s German Chocolate cake. Every birthday growing up, my siblings and I would request it and no other store-bought version could ever compare. For my brother’s birthday this year, I was making him dinner (his fave paleo pad thai) and wanted to make him a cake as well. But because my kitchen is completely gluten-free and I can’t handle gluten ingredients, making him the original was out. So I decided to challenge myself a bit and see if I could transform Grandma’s traditional cake into a paleo one. I scoured the internet for recipes and couldn’t find a single one for a paleo, two-layer, German chocolate cake! Finally, I found this recipe for the chocolate cake but instead of making it as a bundt cake, I made two traditional 8-inch round cake pans. But the frosting was still alluding me because nothing looked like my Grandma’s recipe, which was always the best part and star of the cake. Working from my Grandma’s recipe I transformed it into a paleo one and was so pleased with the results. It had the same amazing flavor and stayed together perfectly on the cake! One thing to note is that this isn’t a truly healthy recipe, it’s definitely one for a treat! But since it was his birthday, I was going for paleo + taste above all, rather than how healthy I could make it which is how I generally cook.
Paleo German Chocolate Cake Frosting
- 2 Cups Coconut Sugar
- 1 Can Coconut Milk
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 1 Cup Earth Balance Coconut Spread or Coconut Oil
- 2 t. Vanilla
- 2 2/3 Cups Shredded Coconut
- 2 Cups Chopped Pecans
- Mix coconut sugar, coconut milk, egg yolks, coconut spread/oil and vanilla in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly for 45 minutes to 1 hour. It’s a serious arm workout and all stoves are different, but it took mine about an hour to thicken up.
- Once thickened, combine saucepan mixture with shredded coconut and pecans in a large bowl.
- Mix all ingredients together until well combined and frosting sticks to a spoon when you lift it up.
- Leave to cool and set on the counter for 20 minutes.
- Frost cake!
My Grandma always uses a double batch of frosting (that’s what the above is) so that there is lots of frosting on the cake. When you go to cut a piece, there should be a very generous amount of frosting in between the layers and on the top and sides. When it all came together, I was so happy with how it turned out and then it was time for the true test- did my family think it tasted similar? It was met with rave reviews and was absolutely delicious! It’s not the easiest recipe, given how long it takes to stir the frosting, but it is definitely worth it, so pull up a chair and start stirring. I promise it won’t disappoint!
-What’s your favorite family recipe?
Instead of doing one of the popular What I Ate Wednesday posts, I thought I’d show you some of the things I have made recently! I usually only post about recipes that I create but I cook a lot of recipes from other gluten-free bloggers. So today I’m featuring photos of my creations, a little about why the particular recipe rocks and a link to the recipe in the title! One thing they all hold in common though, is that they are all delicious and are great recipes for people who think eating Paleo means you can’t have yummy food. Spoiler alert: You can. For even more recipe ideas, be sure to follow me on Pinterest!
Flourless Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
This is one of my favorite muffin recipes because the ingredients are super simple and ones that I always have on hand. It’s a quick and easy recipe that also happens to be delicious. I like to keep my muffins in the refrigerator and they are perfect for that pre-meal snack when you are starving but making something else, or a snack any time of day. I follow the recipe exactly but find that they take about 15 minutes in my oven, rather than the 10 the recipe suggests.
Paleo Pad Thai
This is a recipe that I have made numerous times now, including this weekend as my brother requested it for his birthday dinner. It really is that good. If you are new to spiralized noodles, or paleo cooking in general, this recipe is a game changer. With the tahini and almond butter in the sauce, it’s also super filling which isn’t always the case in paleo, vegetarian recipes. Another great thing is that you can prep the recipe in advance and then when guests come, or you get home from work, throw it all together on the stove and have dinner ready in 10 minutes.
Paleo Nut-Free Chocolate “Peanut Butter” Cookies
Taylor makes amazing desserts and these cookies are no exception. Her original recipe calls for Sunbutter making them a great nut-free dessert, but because I can have nuts, I substitute either almond or cashew butter. I’ve always loved chocolate cookies, but there is something about the texture of these cookies that makes them unique. Even people who claim not to like chocolate cookies (I don’t understand them, but they exist) happen to love these little pillows of deliciousness.
-What’s one of your favorite recipes right now?
-Would you like to see this as a new GGGF series?