What is Gluten Sensitivity & Coeliac Disease?
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It's also often present in processed foods like pasta, bread, sauces, juices, and confectionery. When people with gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance eat foods that contain gluten, they can experience symptoms like bloating, brain fog, fatigue, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.If you think you may be gluten-sensitive, it's essential to talk to your doctor about it.
One of the most common forms of gluten intolerance is Coeliac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Specifically, Coeliac Disease is when the microvilli in the small intestinereact abnormally to the presence of gluten and can cause malabsorption of foods, resulting in nutrient deficiencies, anaemia, weight loss, digestive upset, pain and fatigue.
The diagnosis of Coeliac disease typically requires a blood test, followed by an endoscopy which looks for damage in the gut. Treatment includes adopting a gluten-free diet, addressingmicrobiome health, and monitoring nutrient intake. Again, it's always best to consult a health provider to discuss any concerns, or for more information on gluten intolerance.
If you’re looking to avoid gluten in your diet, you may be unsure of where to start. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious snacks that don't contain any traces of gluten - from sweet treats to savoury bites.
Here are 21 of the best gluten-free snacks to help you stay healthy and happy.
21 Delicious Gluten-Free Snacks
- Australian Dried Apricots
- Australian Sultanas
- Blanched Slivered Almonds
- Black Sesame Seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Callebaut Dark Chocolate
- Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
- Cinnamon Almonds
- Cranberry Trail Mix
- Crystallised Ginger
- Dark Chocolate Blueberries
- Dried Figs
- Dry Roasted Peanuts
- Macadamia Butter
- Organic Chia Seeds
- Organic Medjool Dates
- Organic Goji Berries
- Pitted Prunes
- Raw Pistachios
- Shredded Coconut
Ideal for on-the-go, gluten-free snacking are these extra-large, vibrant Australian dried apricots. What's great about them, is they're entirely free of added sugar and GMO-free. They have a distinctively sweet yet sour taste, with a moreish chewy texture. Not only are dried apricots utterly delicious, but they're alsolow GI, full of vitamin A, E and dietary fibre. Enjoy them with peace of mind, knowing they're gluten-free and good for you.
When it comes to making gluten-free snacking easy and enjoyable, nothing beats having some Australian Sultanas at the ready. These sweet jewels are a favourite for both little and big kids. In fact, they could well bethe perfect dried fruit snack. Ideal in the lunchbox or in your desk drawer at work. Sultanas are naturally low in sugar, loaded with B vitamins, iron and potassium and help withdigestive function and balancing blood glucose levels during the day. Sultanas should be a firm household favourite and on regular rotation in your gluten-free snack repertoire.
There's something about blanched and slivered almonds that seems to elevate the humble almond to new heights. They have a creamy texture yet still retain their wonderful crunch, which makes them a great gluten-free topping for almost anything.Almonds are uniquely high in vitamin E, which is essential for muscle activation andprotects nerve and brain cells. Add blanched slivered almonds to breakfast bowls, salads, trail mixes, rice pilaf, anything really! They have a unique texture and taste that ticks a gluten-free box as well, yes!
If you haven't triedblack sesame seeds, now's the time to give them a go! Black sesame seeds have a more intense and nutty flavour compared to white sesame seeds. They can be included in plenty of dishes like curries, stir fry recipes, salads or even breakfast cereals to add some extra texture and umami flavour. Other than being gluten-free, black sesame seeds are incrediblygood for you. Research has shown that black sesame seed consumption is linked with lowered blood pressure, and improvements in heart disease and liver disease. Impressive!
Brazil nuts are famously healthy, being the nut (food) with the highest selenium content. This means they're the number one food to help support thyroid function, which has downstream benefits on skin, weight, digestion, hormones and immunity. So even if you're not sensitive to gluten, Brazil nuts are good for you!
Callebaut boasts the most delicious, top-shelf, chocolatier-quality chocolate drops around, and they're also wonderfully gluten-free. As if you need extra incentive to eat chocolate. But there it is anyway! You can now melt and temper chocolate like a pro, with these chocolates at your fingertips. Also available in white and milk chocolate... just saying.
Chocolate Hazelnut Butter - it's gluten-free and it's also vegan! Enjoy it as is or add a scoop to puddings, cakes and smoothies. This popular blend of toasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate has a smooth, chocolatey flavour that oozes richness and decadence. And the best part? It includes all the health benefits associated with these two ingredients.Hazelnuts are high in B vitamins, minerals and essentialomega-3 fats, which keep your skin and cells working well.Chocolate is high in plant phytochemicals that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidative. I’ll take the jar to go!
So simple, so sweet and so gluten-free! Here we have Australian-Grown premium almonds, doused in a mix of cinnamon sugar before slow-roasting. The result? An addictive, crunchy combination of sweetness and spice. These cinnamon almonds are simply devilish and heavenly all at once! But hey, they're gluten-free and we all need a treat sometimes, right?
Treat yourself to a scrumptious and nutritious mixture of cranberries, sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds and apricots. This trail mix is ideal for a long journey, as pre-workout fuel when exercising or as a gluten-free snack for the kids. Whether you know it as trail mix, Hiker's mix orschmogle, this nut-seed-fruit combo is a celebration of everything these three foods have to offer. Healthy, energising and delicious!
Crystallised Ginger is a delightful gluten-free treat, made with ginger root that has been cooked until tender and then dusted with sugar for added sweetness. It’s got a familiar intensity and spicy-sweet flavour that’s sure to hit the spot. Ginger famously helps with nausea, respiratory health and brain health. Even better, ginger has far-reachinganti-inflammatory effects on the body. If you're a fan of ginger, now's the time to enjoy this grown-up gluten-free sweet treat!
My personal favourite for a double down ofantioxidants! Indulge your taste buds with chocolate-dipped blueberries, lovingly crafted from the finest pesticide-free dried blueberries, here in Australia. Gluten-free, vegan and preservative-free, if you haven't sampled chocolate-covered blueberries, you haven't lived!
Dried Figs (Turkish Figs)
Sourced from Turkey (naturally!) for an authentic sweet and exotic treat. Dried figs are an incredibly healthy snack, withpotent anti-cancer properties according to some recent research. Chop them up and add a handful to full-fat yoghurt with a drizzle of raw honey for a quick and healthy gluten-free snack.
Peanuts are part of the legume family, making them cousins to beans, lentils and soy. Not only do they contain high levels of protein and fat, but also a range of essential vitamins and minerals vital for good health. Peanuts are full of minerals like magnesium and are naturally high in polyphenols such as resveratrol, which helps promote a healthy heart. Enjoy theoriginal healthy nut in all its gluten-free glory!
LSA (Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds & Almond Meal)
Have you heard ofLSA? It's a healthy combination of linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds that packs a punch with its abundance of vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids. Collectively, this trio of ingredients helps support optimal digestion, regulates hormones and helps you stay fuller for longer. Sprinkle this gluten-free superfood over your cereal or smoothie bowls to kick-start the day's nutrition.
If you're seeking a change from traditional peanut butter, there are so many other nut butters to explore! Macadamia butter is a creamy, smooth and heavenly alternative that works well in desserts and bliss balls as well as smoothies. Like all nuts,macadamias are gluten-free and give you a boost of healthy fats and minerals for brain and heart health.
Aside fromhemp seeds, chia seeds are the most abundant plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. These little seeds are versatile, full of nutrients and can help with many different areas of health. From cancer tobrain health and immune function, chia seeds pack a huge nutritional punch. Add a tablespoon to smoothies and porridge or make your own chia pudding with fruit.Chia seeds should undoubtedly be a pantry staple in your gluten-free kitchen!
There is little wonder why Medjool dates are known as thediamond of dates. The soft caramel notes of these beauties are unmatched in the world of dried fruit. Happily gluten-free and utterly moreish. One of my favourite ways to enjoy dates is in a wintry anddecadent gluten-free sticky date pudding. Enjoy!
Sometimes referred to as Wolfberries, Goji berries are a powerful superfood. 100% organic and gluten-free with a bright ruby hue, these red fruits have been cultivated for thousands of years in the mountainous areas of Asia. Not only are they delightfully sweet, but their high antioxidant content of vitamin A and polyphenols providesincredible anti-aging benefits.
Delightfully sweet and succulent, prunes make the perfect gluten-free snack or ingredient for cooking. One of the only functional foods that have been proven to help mitigate the effects of osteoporosis,prunes are an interesting and often overlookeddried fruit.
Honestly, though, prunes, are ridiculously healthy for just about anyone. High in dietary fibre, antioxidants and B vitamins, they are anti-inflammatory and support digestion. They're not super sweet so they can easily be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
With no added preservatives and being non-GMO, raw pistachios are the perfect choice for a classy gluten-free snack. Their sharp flavour, firm texture and vibrant green and purple hues bring life to your dishes while offering a touch of elegance. Pistachios have a wealth of research that demonstrates theirhealth benefits in humans. Unsalted and unshelled, they can be enjoyed in salads or desserts as well as in baked goods.
Lastly, we have shredded coconut. Tropical unsweetened shredded coconut is made from ripe coconut flesh that has been dried and cut into long shreds. Shredded coconut is tender, full of flavour and fragrance that's of course, gluten-free to boot. This unique ingredient adds a distinct flavour and texture to cakes, curries, muesli bars and desserts. Yum!
Enjoy 21 Of The Best Gluten-Free Snacks and Treats Today
Eating gluten-free foods doesn't have to be a chore. There are plenty ofdelicious and nutritious gluten-free snacks that can fit into your diet, from Medjool dates to goji berries, Brazil nuts, prunes, pistachios and shredded coconut. All these foods provide special health benefits while being naturally gluten-free!
Whether you suffer from coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity, or just want to lead a healthier lifestyle free of wheat-based products, these snacks are the perfect place to start. Going gluten-free can seem daunting at first, but with a bit of research into snacks and meals that don't contain any wheat or gluten-containing ingredients, you can enjoy delicious gluten-free snacks and meals without having to worry. Remember that not all foods labelled as “gluten-free” are necessarily healthy, so read the label to ensure what you're eating is actually good for you.
Al-Farsi, M. A., & Lee, C. Y. (2008). Nutritional and functional properties of dates: a review. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 48(10), 877–887. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408390701724264
Biesiekierski, J. R., & Iven, J. (2015). Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity: piecing the puzzle together. United European gastroenterology journal, 3(2), 160–165. https://doi.org/10.1177/2050640615578388
Coeliac Australia. https://www.coeliac.org.au/s/coeliac-disease, viewed 15 April 2023
Kim, Y., Hertzler, S. R., Byrne, H. K., & Mattern, C. O. (2008). Raisins are a low to moderate glycemic index food with a correspondingly low insulin index. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 28(5), 304–308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2008.02.015
Martínez Leo, E. E., & Segura Campos, M. R. (2020). Neuroprotective effect from Salvia hispanica peptide fractions on pro-inflammatory modulation of HMC3 microglial cells. Journal of food biochemistry, 44(6), e13207.https://doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13207
Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrients, Vitamin E, https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-E, viewed 14 April 2023
Saenghong, N., Wattanathorn, J., Muchimapura, S., Tongun, T., Piyavhatkul, N., Banchonglikitkul, C., & Kajsongkram, T. (2012). Zingiber officinale Improves Cognitive Function of the Middle-Aged Healthy Women. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 383062. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/383062
Wikipedia Contributors. (2023, April 14). Vitamin E. Retrieved from Wikipedia website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_E#Functions, viewed 14 April 2023
Wu, X., Qian, L., Liu, K., Wu, J., & Shan, Z. (2021). Gastrointestinal microbiome and gluten in celiac disease. Annals of medicine, 53(1), 1797–1805. https://doi.org/10.1080/07853890.2021.1990392
Yang, Y., Wang, J., Zhang, Y., Li, J., & Sun, W. (2018). Black Sesame Seeds Ethanol Extract Ameliorates Hepatic Lipid Accumulation, Oxidative Stress, and Insulin Resistance in Fructose-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 66(40), 10458–10469. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b04210
Zhu, R., Fan, Z., Dong, Y., Liu, M., Wang, L., & Pan, H. (2018). Postprandial Glycaemic Responses of Dried Fruit-Containing Meals in Healthy Adults: Results from a Randomised Trial. Nutrients, 10(6), 694. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060694