Easy Gluten Free Snacks
By Jasmine Hanner
As seen on www.runnerclick.com
Removing gluten from your diet may at first seem like an impossible task. It certainly may feel like the end of the world at first. But fortunately, these days there are many tasty alternatives to using gluten in your baking and cooking. And there are a million different gluten-free recipes that are both mouth-watering AND healthy!
What is Gluten?
Gluten refers to a protein found in the grains wheat (including wheat berries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, Kamut), rye, barley and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). These proteins cause an adverse reaction in people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The only “cure” for these conditions is to remove gluten completely from your diet.
Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that interferes with the absorption of nutrients from the food you eat. For people suffering from celiac disease, even the tiniest amount of gluten will trigger an immune reaction that damages the lining of their small intestine. This can lead to a host of long term health issues, including anemia, depression, delayed puberty, osteoporosis, infertility, and even seizures. If you suspect you may suffer from celiac disease, talk to your doctor immediately.
Gluten sensitivity is a related condition that can cause short term symptoms very similar to celiac disease, such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, depression, and fatigue; however without any of the severe intestinal damage. The jury is still out on how to quantify this condition, scientists are still stumped on what is clearly a health issue but so far defies the different types of testing traditionally used. For this reason, if you fear you are suffering from gluten sensitivity, your doctor will most likely suggest an “oldie-goldie” method of testing: the elimination diet. You start a diet with a simple base of veggies and rice, and slowly add items back into your diet to determine what is causing your digestion issues. If it seems to be gluten, then you simply need to exclude it from your diet.
If I Don’t Suffer from Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity, Is It Still Healthy to Go Gluten-Free?
No. It is not recommended by health professionals or nutritionists to remove gluten from your diet if it is not causing digestion or health issues. Why? The simple answer is that by removing gluten from your diet, you will also be removing much of the fiber and many essential vitamins and minerals found in items containing gluten (for example, many breads are fortified with B vitamins). A person on a gluten-free diet must take special care to get the same vitamins, minerals, and fiber by adding certain foods into their diet or by taking supplements. It simply doesn’t make sense to stop eating gluten unless you know it is harming your body.
Easy Gluten Free Snacks at Home
Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites
These bacon wrapped pineapple bites are the perfect savory sweet snack for a party, as an appetizer, or even the next day as an on-the-go snack. The combination of natural sugars and protein is a natural energy boost.
This recipe is also: Dairy-Free, Low Carb
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Calories per Serving: 26
1 pound bacon slices
1 medium pineapple, chopped into bite-sized pieces; or one 20oz can pineapple chunks, drained
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
2 tablespoons green onion, sliced thinly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with foil and place a wire rack on top.
2. Cut bacon strips in half and wrap 1-2 pineapple chunks with each strip, using toothpicks or skewers to pierce the pineapple and bacon and hold together.
3. Drizzle honey over the pineapple bacon bites, and sprinkle lightly with the chipotle chile powder.
4. Bake pineapple bites, flipping each skewer or toothpick after 15 minutes. Bake for an additional 15 minutes until bacon is crisp. Top with chopped green onion as a garnish.
Breakfast Sausage Egg Muffins
These breakfast sausage egg muffins are the perfect protein-fueled breakfast, or even as a snack on the go. With a quick meal prep time, in 30 minutes you can have your breakfast or midday snacks set for the whole week.
This recipe is also: Low Carb
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Calories per Serving: 220
1 dozen eggs
1/4 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
1 cup cooked sausage, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup bell peppers, diced
1/4 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup spinach, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese (whatever kind of cheese you like best)
1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease a muffin pan with the olive or coconut oil.
2. Whisk the eggs together. Add salt, freshly cracked pepper, and cheese and mix well.
3. Portion the veggies and sausage cubes evenly into each muffin cup, and pour egg mixture over each cup until it is 3/4 full (the egg will rise, so you want to leave a little room)
4. Bake egg cups for approximately 20 minutes.
Easy Gluten Free Snacks On the Go
Gluten Free Banana-Nut Oat Muffins
These delicious banana-nut oat muffins will make you forget you are even on a gluten-free diet! Healthy, wholesome and tasty, they’re easy to whip up with only 30 minutes to make and great for a morning or afternoon snack.
This recipe is also: Low Carb, can be Dairy-Free (if milk is swapped)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Calories per Serving: 190
1 1/2 cup gluten-free oats, uncooked
2 tablespoons gluten-free oats, uncooked
1 cup gluten-free flour (get the multi-purpose blend)
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup ripe banana, mashed (usually about 2 large bananas)
1/2 cup non-fat or non-dairy milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups, or alternatively oil the muffin cups so they don’t stick.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats (keep the 2 tablespoons separate still), flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and mix well.
3. In a separate small bowl mix the banana, milk, oil, and egg. Add this banana mixture to the oat mixture and stir until ingredients are equally moistened. Add in nuts and stir.
4. Portion the batter into the muffin cups, filling each cup only about ⅓ of the way (muffin will rise as baking). Sprinkle the muffin cups with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oats.
5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack for a few minutes to cool.