My 10 Favorite Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Simple Snacks
Wether you are back in the office, on the go with the kids, or just don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen, I have a list of easy, versatile, and tasty gut friendly snacks. In my home I have a lot of taste buds to satisfy so diversity and flexibility is important to keep my clan satisfied.
Having quick and well-balanced snacks are key in keeping blood sugars balanced and gut health a priority. Your gut health is directly linked to your brain health. Healthy snacks can help with that 3pm slump, reducing brain fog, improving focus, and also keep you from overeating at your larger meals.
I hope you can use this as a quick-guide on your next grocery haul to make your life a bit simpler and healthier.
I am here to show you that eating gluten-free and dairy-free does not have to be tasteless and challenging. If you are focused on whole natural foods and nutrient dense packaged foods, I promise you won't miss gluten or diary!
1. Apples and Nut Butter
A classic snack that never disappoints. The sweet crunch from the apple and the smooth nutty flavor from the nut butter. Choose peanut (if tolerated), almond, cashew, or even sunbutter to pair with your apple. Honeyscrip is one of the best if looking for an apple recommendation.
Not just any crackers though. My favorite go-to is the Simple Mills Garlic & Herb or Mary's Gone Crackers Everything Crackers, both fantastic gluten-free full of taste crackers. When looking for a gluten-free cracker you want to avoid vegetable oils like rapeseed oil, safflower, and corn oils as well as added sugars like maltodexrin and dextrose. Sprinkle some sea salt and chili powder on your avocado mash to kick the flavor up a notch!
3. Brazil Nut Wrapped Dates
Oh me oh my! The sweet and salty bite taste like a treat but it so good for you! Brazil nuts have a key mineral that is crucial for thyroid health -- selenium! Take medjool dates without the stone and wrap it around 1 brazil nut like a warm blanket...and eat it! Knock 2-3 of these back and you hit your selenium goal for the day. Boom!
4. Veggie Slices & Ranch Dip
Who doesn't love a good ranch dip? The problem is all the added and unnecessary ingredients in salad dressings is what wreaks havoc on your gut. My favorite dairy-free option is the Primal Kitchen Ranch and it is the cleanest non-homemade ranch that I have found. It is avocado oil based where most dressing are canola oil based which is highly inflammatory for your gut and no added sugars! A win in my book.
Choose 2-3 of your favorite veggies for color, texture, and nutrient variety. I absolutely love the sweetness of sugar snaps, mini bell peppers, and carrots with the saltiness of the ranch. YUM!
5. Cucumbers and Hummus
Another easy and quick go-to snack that packs protein, fat, an fiber! The trifecta for blood sugar control. Slice the cucumbers a little thicker to easily scoop the hummus!
Remember, not all hummus are created equal. You reach for it thinking you are making the healthier choice when in fact so many hummus brands on the market fill theirs with inflammatory vegetable oils and gums. Try to find brands with olive oil or no oil and no added gums like guar. Being half Mexican, I am always looking to add some spicy to my foods. My fave is HOPE Jalapeno & Cilantro Hummus. Add some garnish or just eat it like chips and salsa!
6. Ants On A Log aka Celery, Nut Butter, and Raisins
A childhood favorite of mine that I still frequent. A quick nerd out moment please.
The fiber in celery is not the only thing that contributes to great digestion. Your digestive health depends on the activity in your stomach, intestines and your colon, and these tissues need B vitamins to function properly. The combined efforts of the B vitamins are essential for helping your body use fats and protein efficiently for digestive health. Celery packs B3, B2, B6, and B1! Bam!
You add some nut butter, I love almond or peanut, top with raisins you have the perfect combo of sweet n creamy, salty, and chewy! My mouth is watering just writing this!
7. Nuts & Dried Fruit
Probably one of the easiest snacks you could put together yourself or find at a convenience store. True there is a lack of fiber in the fruit once it has been dehydrated and a concentration of fructose...but let's get real for a minute. I much rather you grab the trail mix than the Snickers bar.
Sure if you can buy a clean dried fruit and a bag of unsalted raw nuts like cashews and create your own grab and go mini bags, even better...but sometimes time is truly against us and convenience overrules. Don't beat yourself up, choose the healthiest option and know that you made a great decision.
8. Tortilla Chips & Black Bean Dip
A yummy classic but easy to reach for ingredients that won't serve you. Preparation is key when indulging in combos that can throw your gut off balance. A great chip brand without the inflammatory oils is Siete Foods. I love their tortilla chips made in avocado oil and without all the added extras. Packaged bean dip can also be a challenge, but I found a delicious and clean is the 365 Organic Bean Dip from Whole Foods. If you don't have access to Whole Foods and want to find a clean bean dip, look for one without added oils, gums, and artificial flavors or dyes.
A super satisfying and filling snack that won't disappoint. Pinky promise!
9. Green Olives & Berries
Don't knock it until you try it! Green olives are filled with healthy fat and packed with antioxidants to help with free radicals in our blood. Berries are also high in fiber and antioxidants. Combine the two for a fat and fiber blood sugar stabilizing inflammatory fighting snack.
The sweet of the berries and the tangy of the green olives sends your taste buds on a ride that you will want to keep coming back to.
10. Coconut Yogurt, Berries & Pumpkin Seeds
When I became dairy free it was so hard to find a yogurt that I liked. I tried the almond based and cashew based ones but couldn't fully find satisfaction in those. It wasn't until I stumbled coconut yogurt when I felt like I finally found a true replacement. My absolute favorites are Cocoyo or Cocojune. Both are great probiotics and taste super creamy. The one drawback to coconut yogurt is the lack of protein, so I like to add my own with seeds or nut butters. Include some berries for fiber and a little added sweetness and you have a snack that will certainly keep you satisfied until your next large meal.
When it comes to planning gut healthy, quick and satisfying snacks, it does not have to be complicated to not only get the job done, but well! Strive for the better option not perfection and in a pinch at the very minimum remember to always include fat, fiber, and protein where possible or at least fat and fiber or protein and fiber to ensure you keep your blood sugar balanced. Balanced sugars are key for a well functioning gut and happy hormones!
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