While there’s nothing wrong with the predictable hunger killers – peanuts, pretzels, a piece of fruit — these go-to mini-meals are distinctly uninspired. Our weekly Man Snacks series will help you fight the scourge of boring snacks.
One out of five Americans make gluten-free foods part of their diet. If you’re one of the many people who are skipping gluten because of a medical condition like celiac disease or for another reason, the good news is that there’s no shortage of foods to eat. Here’s a list of five gluten-free snacks for you to munch on.
1. Cajun Sweet Potato Fries
A single cup of sweet potato provides an impressive 377% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C, plus generous doses of vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium. Basically, sweet potatoes are a super food. These spicy, baked fries a great healthy side for sandwiches and burgers, but they’re tasty on their own too. The recipe is from Minimalist Baker.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 2 tablespoons olive, canola or melted coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper*
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut sweet potatoes into thin, even matchsticks with a very sharp knife. Transfer to two baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings and sugar, then toss.
Arrange fries in a single layer on baking sheets and bake for 15 minute. Then, flip/stir to cook fries on the other side. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and either serve as is, or drizzle with maple syrup or honey. Serve plain or with your favorite dip.
2. Foolproof Fudge
When you’re craving something sweet, a bite-sized piece of fudge hits the spot. This one-pot candy doesn’t require any special tools to make (like a candy thermometer) and requires just a few minutes of active prep time. Recipe from the Gluten Intolerance Group.
- ⅔ cup evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mini-marshmallows
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Directions: Line an 8-inch square pan with foil. Combine milk, margarine, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add marshmallows and chocolate chips, stirring just until marshmallows are all melted.
Fold in vanilla and nuts. Pour into pan. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Invert pan onto cutting board. Remove foil and cut fudge into 1-inch squares.
3. Homemade Graham Crackers
Homemade graham crackers are a great snack for both gluten-free kids and adults. This recipe from Elana’s Pantry (which makes 24 crackers) is easy to make and has just four ingredients. Serve crackers with fresh fruit or a gluten-free spread, like a nut butter or Nutella.
- 1½ cups blanched almond flour
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 2 tablespoons yacon syrup (a kind of sweetener)
Directions: In a food processor combine almond flour, arrowroot, salt, and yacon syrup. Process until dough forms.
Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it is ¼-inch thick. Cut into 6 rectangles (5-by-2½-inch). Score rectangles into four equal parts and poke holes in the surface.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 9 minutes. Cool for 1 hour, then serve.
4. Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
Not only is this delicious dip completely gluten-free, but it can be made with ingredients you may already have on hand in your kitchen – no need for a special trip to the store. Serve with gluten-free crackers or with fresh-cut vegetables. This recipe is from Simply Gluten Free and serves two.
- 1 (15-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped or 2 green onions finely chopped
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 6 to 12 dashes hot pepper sauce (depending on taste)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 handful Italian parsley, roughly chopped (omit if using green onions instead of shallot)
Directions: Put roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, shallot (if using), cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until mixture is smooth. Add Italian parsley or green onions and pulse a couple of times. Serve at room temperature.
5. Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad
The combination of salty feta cheese with sweet watermelon makes for a light and refreshing summer snack. You can use either fresh arugula or mint in this recipe, which comes from Celiac.com.
- ¼ large watermelon, cut into 1-inch chunks, chilled and with as many seeds as possible removed
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 small bunch of arugula or mint, chopped
Directions: Combine watermelon, feta, and mint or arugula in a salad bowl and toss to combine. Serve immediately.