January 20, 2016


Gluten-Free Snacks that Satisfy Your Hunger Today, there is a wealth of crowd-pleasing gluten-free snacks ranging from sweet to savory. Many of these snacks can be transformed with innovative recipes into hunger-crushing meals or creative riffs on existing classic delectables. Being Gluten-Free Never Tasted So Good Approximately 1 in 133 Americans (or roughly 1% of the population) has celiac disease, a condition that necessitates a special diet that excludes gluten-based food products, according to Celiac Central. The organization estimates that 83% of people who have the disease, don’t know it or have been misdiagnosed. This is because celiac disease can be asymptomatic and can present as another disorder. Gluten is the binding protein found in wheat, barley, and rye-based products. While the uninformed may assume that the only dietary restriction to those on a gluten-free diet is bread (which, honestly, is limiting enough), the reality is that many types of foods incorporate wheat, barley, and rye. Many companies produce gluten-free versions of everyone’s favorite snack foods that accommodate those who are on a gluten-free diet as well as the estimated 83% of Americans who have celiac disease without knowing it. As science learns more about celiac disease and gluten intolerance, restaurants and grocery stores have been more accommodating for those on gluten-free diets. They’ll find lots of delicious recipes that include sinfully delicious baked goods as well as savory pizzas, pastas, soups, and sauces. 5 Easy, Tasty Gluten-Free Snacks Even though there are more options available to the gluten-free population, coming up with creative snacks that satisfy both hunger and cravings for a fun, quick bite is easier said than done. We’ve come up with a list of the top five gluten-free crowd pleasers that are easy to make: • Peanut Butter & Celery: If this classic snack doesn’t bring back memories of those golden moments between school and homework, we don’t know what will. Peanut butter and celery is a quick fix and has all of the snack enjoyment essentials: salty, savory, and crunchy. • Frozen Grapes: Another classic, frozen grapes are best enjoyed as a snack at the beach or when you’re seeking reprieve from the sweltering summer sun. Put them on toothpicks or short skewers before freezing to make for quick, healthy, fun-to eat fruit-sicles. • White Cheddar Popcorn: What movie night curled up on the couch is complete without a big bag of popcorn? Yes, popcorn is gluten free. In fact, all forms of corn are free of the protein. • 3-Minute Guacamole: Scoop out two avocados into a bowl, squeeze in the juice of one lime, sprinkle in a little salt and pepper to taste, and – if you’re feeling fancy – chop a little cilantro and add it to the bowl. Mix with a fork and viola, instant gluten-free dipping. • Unsalted Potato Chips: Unsalted potato chips make a perfect accompaniment to guacamole – and any dip for that matter – because their natural flavor lets the dip shine. Recipes to Jazz Up Your Snack Life While we fully respect and encourage getting your snacks already flavored to your liking, there’s much to be said for the versatility of the lightly salted or unsalted & unseasoned popcorn and chips. So, a little butter, a fully stocked spice rack, and innovation go along way; however, before you start getting creative, try a few classic DIY spice recipes on your popcorn or chips first: • Garlic Parmesan Topping: Start by mixing your dry ingredients: ¼ teaspoon each garlic and onion powder, and 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan. Next, warm your chips or popcorn in the microwave (30-45 seconds). Next, heat a little butter (2 tbsp) in the skillet or microwave. Once it’s melted, drizzle over your chips or popcorn. While ingredients are still hot, sprinkle the dry mixture over the popcorn or chips and toss to blend. • Salt & Pepper Topping: Warm 2 tbsp oil in the skillet. Drizzle over your chips or popcorn. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper, toss, and enjoy. You can easily add other dry ingredients like paprika, onion powder, dill, basil, etc. (or try it with fresh herbs) and even things like crushed Cheez Doodles dust to take your blends to the next level. Of course, kitchen creativity extends well beyond the realm of crafty chip and popcorn seasonings. Picture these snack-inspired delights: • Kettle Cooked Sour Cream & Chive Cheesecake • White Cheddar Chicken Fingers • Potato Chip Crusted Hashbrown Casserole • Popcorn Marshmallow Cake These are only a few super-creative recipes that will transform your snacks from a quick bite into a hunger-satiating experience. So, being gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up snacks and filling, fun foods. All we advise to those avoiding gluten is that you please snack creatively.

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