21 Quick and Nutritious Gluten-Free Snacks
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, avoiding gluten is imperative (1).
However, you may struggle to find good snack options.
Though many convenient gluten-free snacks are available in stores, some may be unnecessarily high in calories or added sugars.
However, you don't have to rely on packaged foods for your next snack. It's also simple to make your own.
People with celiac disease should choose snacks rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as dietary restrictions and gluten-related intestinal damage may increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies (2, 3).
Here are 21 quick and nutritious gluten-free snacks.
1. Popcorn with Fruit, Chocolate and Peanuts
For a snack, lightly drizzle air-popped popcorn with melted dark chocolate and toss in fiber-rich dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or cherries. Add peanuts for a good source of healthy fat and plant-based protein (5).
Chocolate and peanuts are naturally gluten-free. However, some may have additives, so be sure to choose products that are certified gluten-free.
2. Turkey-Wrapped Cheese Sticks
Notably, intolerance to lactose — the natural sugar in dairy products — is common in people with celiac disease, but this often improves as your intestine heals on a gluten-free diet (1).
3. Instant Oatmeal with Apple, Walnuts and Cinnamon
Oats are naturally gluten-free but may be contaminated with wheat and other grains during growing, harvest, transportation, and manufacturing. Therefore, you should only buy certified gluten-free oats (1, 8).
For a warm, filling snack, combine plain, instant oatmeal with apples, walnuts, and cinnamon.
4. Cucumber-Hummus Sandwiches
Hummus is a nutritious, protein-rich dip made from ground chickpeas and sesame seeds. Premade gluten-free hummus is sold in supermarkets.
To make mini sandwiches, spread hummus on thick, round slices of cucumber. If you desire, add another slice on top of the hummus.
5. Grass-Fed Beef Jerky
The protein in beef jerky makes it a filling snack. High-quality beef jerky, including gluten-free and grass-fed options, has become more widely available. Notably, grass-fed beef is higher in nutrients like anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and antioxidants (5, 6, 9).
6. Fruit and Nut Tortilla Roll-Up
Warm the tortilla briefly in the oven, then spread one side with a thin layer of chunky, unsweetened almond butter. Top with fresh berries or half of a diced apple and roll the tortilla tightly.
7. Toast with Beans and Olive Oil
To make a satisfying, protein-rich snack, heat canned navy beans and spread them over toast. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The toast can also be topped with fresh herbs.
To avoid gluten contamination from toasters, it's a good idea to invest in a new one and only use it for gluten-free foods. When you're away from home, reusable toaster bags can prevent contact with crumbs (1).
8. Yogurt Parfait with Granola
To make this snack, alternate layers of plain Greek yogurt with berries or other fruit, then top with gluten-free granola and nuts or seeds.
Many yogurts contain live and active bacterial cultures that help break down lactose. Thus, you may tolerate these yogurts even if you don't digest milk well (9).
9. Bite-Size Zucchini Pizzas
Gluten-free pizza can be hard to find, but you can make your own with vegetables in place of crust.
Cut zucchini into thick, round slices and brush each side with olive oil. Put the slices on a lined baking sheet in the oven and broil each side for about two minutes, or until they start to brown.
Next, spread pasta sauce on each slice and top with shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Broil for one minute to melt the cheese.
10. Sweet and Crunchy Stuffed Dates
For a simple snack, fill pitted dates with unsweetened, crunchy peanut butter or a mix of chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes.
Three dates (72 grams) have 5 grams of fiber, which is 18% of the RDI. People on gluten-free diets are sometimes deficient in fiber and may experience constipation, so these dates may aid your digestive system (5, 16).
11. Mango with Lime Juice and Chili Powder
Chili powder may either be a blend of spices or simply ground chili peppers. To avoid contamination, make sure yours is labeled gluten-free.
12. Tomato-Basil Mozzarella Skewers
Skewered foods make festive appetizers for gatherings. Plus, they're easy to make and enjoyable whether or not you're gluten-free.
For a twist, try serving them with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
13. Black Bean Salad with Avocado
For an easy, filling snack, toss half of a cubed avocado with 1/4 cup (43 grams) of black beans. Add chopped onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
14. Do-It-Yourself Trail Mix
Nutritious trail mix ingredients include nuts, seeds, and unsweetened, dried fruit, such as goji berries and apricots.
It's best to buy these foods in packages rather than bulk bins due to the risk of gluten contamination from containers and scoops.
15. Vegetable Soup
A serving of gluten-free canned soup makes for a great snack. You can also freeze homemade soup in small glass containers for eating later.
Always check that canned soup is certified gluten-free. Besides obvious glutenous ingredients like noodles and barley, some soup is thickened with wheat flour.
16. Tuna Lettuce Cups
Avoid canned tuna with gluten-containing ingredients, such as broth made with wheat protein.
17. Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter and Banana
Rice cakes are commonly made with whole-grain brown rice. Some also contain other nutritious gluten-free whole grains, such as quinoa or sorghum.
Thin rice cakes are about half the thickness of regular ones and work well as sandwiches. Top them with unsweetened peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon.
18. Sweet Potato Chips with Tzatziki Sauce
For extra flavor, pair the chips with tzatziki sauce, which is a yogurt and cucumber dip. You can buy it premade or make your own.
You can also make your own chips. Toss thin slices of sweet potato with olive oil and sea salt, then spread on a pan and bake at 400℉ (204℃) for about 25 minutes or until the edges brown. Flip the chips once during cooking.
19. Honeydew with Raspberries
For a refreshing snack, toss cubed honeydew melon with raspberries, then sprinkle with fresh mint.
Honeydew and raspberries are naturally gluten-free and packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins, including vitamin C.
20. Egg-Salad-Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers
Miniature bell peppers are perfectly sized for snacking. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds before adding egg salad.
To make the salad, chop a hard-boiled egg and mix it with diced green onion and plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Eggs are a good source of vitamin B12, which up to 41% of people newly diagnosed with celiac disease are deficient in. This vitamin is essential for energy production, nerve function, and DNA synthesis (3, 5, 21).
21. Pear Drizzled with Dark Chocolate
For a sweet snack, melt gluten-free dark chocolate and drizzle it over a sliced pear, then top with crushed walnuts for a boost of protein and healthy fat. Pear slices are also tasty dipped in unsweetened almond butter.
The Bottom Line
Gluten-free snacks don't have to be difficult to make. Plenty of tasty, unique snack combinations can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet.
To avoid nutritional deficiencies, choose whole foods packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
If you're craving healthy, homemade snacks, try some of these ideas today.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Katy Neusteter
The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.
Public Health<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUyNDY3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MDkxMTkwNn0.pyP14Bg1WvcUvF_xUGgYVu8PS7Lu49Huzc3PXGvATi4/img.jpg?width=980" id="8e577" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1efb3445f5c445e47d5937a72343c012" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="3000" data-height="2302" />
Wild and Scenic Merced River, California. Bob Wick / BLM<p>Let's begin with COVID-19. More than <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank">16 million Americans</a> have contracted the coronavirus and, tragically,<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank"> more than</a> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank">300,000 have died</a> due to the pandemic. While health officials encourage hand-washing to contain the pandemic, at least <a href="https://closethewatergap.org/" target="_blank">2 million Americans</a> are currently living without running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater treatment. Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/23/millions-of-americans-cant-afford-water-bills-rise" target="_blank">aging water infrastructure is growing increasingly costly for utilities to maintain</a>. That cost is passed along to consumers. The upshot? <a href="https://research.msu.edu/affordable-water-in-us-reaching-a-crisis/" target="_blank">More than 13 million</a> U.S. households regularly face unaffordable water bills — and, thus, the threat of water shutoffs. Without basic access to clean water, families and entire communities are at a higher risk of <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2020/08/05/488705/bridging-water-access-gap-covid-19-relief/" target="_blank">contracting</a> and spreading COVID-19.</p><p>We have a moral duty to ensure that everyone has access to clean water to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Last spring, <a href="https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/coronavirus-stimulus-bill-explained-bailouts-unemployment-benefits.html" target="_blank">Congress appropriated more than $4 trillion</a> to jumpstart the economy and bring millions of unemployed Americans back to work. Additional federal assistance — desperately needed — will present a historic opportunity to improve our crumbling infrastructure, which has been <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/23/millions-of-americans-cant-afford-water-bills-rise" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">grossly underfunded for decades</a>.</p><p>A report by my organization, American Rivers, suggests that <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/09223525/ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-2020.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Congress must invest at least $50 billion</a> "to address the urgent water infrastructure needs associated with COVID-19," including the rising cost of water. This initial boost would allow for the replacement and maintenance of sewers, stormwater infrastructure and water supply facilities.</p>
Economic Recovery<p>Investing in water infrastructure and healthy rivers also creates jobs. Consider, for example, that <a href="https://tinyurl.com/y9p6sgnk" target="_blank">every $1 million spent on water infrastructure in the United States generates more than 15 jobs</a> throughout the economy, according to a report by the Value of Water Campaign. Similarly, <a href="https://tinyurl.com/yyvd2ksp" target="_blank">every "$1 million invested in forest and watershed restoration contracting will generate between 15.7 and 23.8 jobs,</a> depending on the work type," states a working paper released by the Ecosystem Workforce Program, University of Oregon. Healthy rivers also spur tourism and recreation, which many communities rely on for their livelihoods. According to the findings by the Outdoor Industry Association, which have been shared in our report, "Americans participating in watersports and fishing spend over <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/30222425/Exec-summary-ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-June-30-2020.pdf" target="_blank">$174 billion</a> on gear and trip related expenses. And, the outdoor watersports and fishing economy supports over <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/30222425/Exec-summary-ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-June-30-2020.pdf" target="_blank">1.5 million jobs nationwide</a>."</p><p>After the 2008 financial crisis, Congress invested in infrastructure to put Americans back to work. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act <a href="https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/25941-clean-water-green-infrastructure-get-major-boost" target="_blank">of 2009 (ARRA) allocated $6 billion</a> for clean water and drinking water infrastructure to decrease unemployment and boost the economy. More specifically, <a href="https://www.conservationnw.org/news-updates/us-reps-push-for-millions-of-restoration-and-resilience-jobs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an analysis of ARRA</a> "showed conservation investments generated 15 to 33 jobs per million dollars," and more than doubled the rate of return, according to a letter written in May 2020 by 79 members of Congress, seeking greater funding for restoration and resilience jobs.</p><p>Today, when considering how to create work for the <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10.7 million</a> people who are currently unemployed, Congress should review previous stimulus investments and build on their successes by embracing major investments in water infrastructure and watershed restoration.</p>
Racial Justice<p>American Rivers also recommends that Congress dedicate <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/09223525/ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-2020.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">$500 billion for rivers and clean water over the next 10 years</a> — not just for the benefit of our environment and economy, but also to begin to address the United States' history of deeply entrenched racial injustice.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.epa.gov/npdes/sanitary-sewer-overflows-ssos" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">23,000-75,000 sewer overflows</a> that occur each year release up to <a href="https://www.americanrivers.org/2020/05/fighting-for-rivers-means-fighting-for-justice/#:~:text=There%20are%20also%2023%2C000%20to%2075%2C000%20sanitary%20sewer,to%20do%20with%20the%20mission%20of%20American%20Rivers." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10 billion gallons of toxic sewage</a> <em>every day</em> into rivers and streams. This disproportionately impacts communities of color, because, for generations, Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color have been <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/flooding-disproportionately-harms-black-neighborhoods/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">relegated</a> to live in flood-prone areas and in neighborhoods that have been intentionally burdened with a lack of development that degrades people's health and quality of life. In some communities of color, incessant flooding due to stormwater surges or <a href="https://www.ajc.com/opinion/opinion-partnering-to-better-manage-our-water/7WQ6SEAQP5E4LGQCEYY5DO334Y/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">combined sewer overflows</a> has gone unmitigated for decades.</p><p>We have historically treated people as separate from rivers and water. We can't do that anymore. Every voice — particularly those of people most directly impacted — must have a loudspeaker and be included in decision-making at the highest levels.</p><p>Accordingly, the new administration must diligently invest in projects at the community level that will improve lives in our country's most marginalized communities. We also must go further to ensure that local leaders have a seat at the decision-making table. To this end, the Biden-Harris administration should restore <a href="https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401#:~:text=Section%20401%20Certification%20The%20Clean%20Water%20Act%20%28CWA%29,the%20United%20States.%20Learn%20more%20about%20401%20certification." target="_blank">Section 401 of the Clean Water Act</a>, which was undermined by the <a href="https://earthjustice.org/news/press/2020/tribes-and-environmental-groups-sue-trump-administration-to-preserve-clean-water-protections#:~:text=Under%20Section%20401%20of%20the%20Clean%20Water%20Act%2C,seeks%20to%20undermine%20that%20authority%20in%20several%20ways%3A" target="_blank">Trump administration's 2020 regulatory changes</a>. This provision gives states and tribes the authority to decide whether major development projects, such as hydropower and oil and gas projects, move forward.</p>
Climate Resilience<p>Of course, the menacing shadow looming over it all? Climate change. <a href="https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/IFRC_wdr2020/IFRC_WDR_ExecutiveSummary_EN_Web.pdf" target="_blank">More than 100 climate-related catastrophes</a> have pummeled the Earth since the pandemic was declared last spring, including the blitzkrieg of megafires, superstorms and heat waves witnessed during the summer of 2020, directly impacting the lives of more than <a href="https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/IFRC_wdr2020/IFRC_WDR_ExecutiveSummary_EN_Web.pdf" target="_blank">50 million people globally</a>.</p><p>Water and climate scientist Brad Udall often says, "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQhpj5G0dME" target="_blank">Climate change is water change</a>." In other words, the most obvious and dire impacts of climate change are evidenced in profound changes to our rivers and water resources. You've likely seen it where you live: Floods are more damaging and frequent. Droughts are deeper and longer. Uncertainty is destabilizing industry and lives.</p><p>By galvanizing action for healthy rivers and managing our water resources more effectively, we can insure future generations against the consequences of climate change. First, we must safeguard rivers that are still healthy and free-flowing. Second, we must protect land and property against the ravages of flooding. And finally, we must promote policies and practical solutions that take the science of climate disruption into account when planning for increased flooding, water shortage and habitat disruption.</p><p>Imagine all that rivers do for us. Most of our towns and cities have a river running through them or flowing nearby. Rivers provide clean drinking water, irrigate crops that provide our food, power our homes and businesses, provide wildlife habitat, and are the lifeblood of the places where we enjoy and explore nature, and where we play and nourish our spirits. Healthy watersheds help <a href="https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059952" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mitigate</a> climate change, absorbing and reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Healthy rivers and floodplains help communities adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change by improving flood protection and providing water supply and quality benefits. Rivers are the cornerstones of healthy, strong communities.</p><p>The more than <a href="https://archive.epa.gov/water/archive/web/html/index-17.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">3 million miles</a> of rivers and streams running across our country are a source of great strength and opportunity. When we invest in healthy rivers and clean water, we can improve our lives. When we invest in rivers, we create jobs and strengthen our economy. When we invest in rivers, we invest in our shared future.</p>
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