Happy Friday, friends! Today’s post is equal parts random and exciting! I’m excited about it… and I know someone out there on the internet that finds it will be excited too, but you may be wondering: Caity… are you good?! What does this have to do with anything? Chances are good, you may open this post and realize it’s not for you, and that’s okay! However, I know there’ll be someone out there that will really benefit from the links below!
I’ve been eating gluten-free since 2012, but just over 6 months ago, I decided to give grains and dairy the boot as well after experiencing a not-so-fun phase of increased inflammation and feeling pretty sick. I have celiac, and I had gone grain-free in the past, and while I felt so much better, I didn’t end up sticking with it. After not feeling great for a few weeks (and looking at my upcoming schedule and realizing just how much energy I was going to need to get things done well), I decided to give grain-free another try, and though it was a learning experience and definitely tough at times, I felt better nearly instantly & my body is much happier with me these days. Do I consider myself paleo? No, not really! I do look for paleo safe options on labels, but I don’t personally feel that I eat strict paleo myself. This girl loves snacks…
When I went grain-free, the learning curve was pretty steep. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to eat, meal prepping, taste testing expensive grain-free products that were only so-so because I wanted just a little taste of SOMETHING that didn’t require an hour of prep, or just went hungry. SO… after sticking with being grain-free for six months, I decided to create this post in hopes that it saves just one person from spending $10 on a snack that tastes like cardboard… or opting for hanger while on the road. (Been there, done both.)
Quick obvious disclaimer before we totally dive in: it goes without saying, but I’m not a dietician or nutritionist. Use this list and the information below as a way to inspire your snacking, but in no way should it be used as a diagnosis, complete guide for eating grain-free, or confirmation that these products will sit well with or work for you. What works for me may not work for you, so take my snack suggestions with a grain of salt & when in doubt… always consult your doc! I am gluten-free because of my celiac, and I avoid grains and cow dairy because my body doesn’t tolerate them well. Please know… your body is different than my body. Again, always consult a professional if you have questions!
Now if you ask me what I would recommend for someone that is considering a grain-free lifestyle, 10 times out of 10, I am going to recommend consuming real, whole foods your body tolerates well, like meats, veggies, and fruit! HOWEVER, we’ve all had those days where we just want to feel normal by grabbing a quick snack or can’t stop that one craving for pizza. After taste-testing many snacks and grain-free products, I’m bringing you some of my tried and true favorites! Are the below options healthy? Ehh debatable. Are they all delicious? Yes! Even if they are on the list, am I going to suggest that you read the ingredient list a few times before trying yourself if you have issues similar to me? Absolutely!
This post got really long, really fast, so we’re going to get started right away:
- As you’ll see from the below list… I’m pretty much obsessed with Simple Mills. I say it all the time but in my mind… Simple Mills can do no wrong. Their mixes are easy and quick to use and save you from buying huge containers of grian-free “flours” for one recipe which I really appreciate with the tiny kitchen I have. Their Almond Flour crackers are amazing, and overall, I’ve found their pricing to be pretty manageable in comparison to other brands. Grain-free products tend to be pretty pricy! I can find Simple Mills at many stores in my area, but overall, I’ve found Whole Foods to have the best stock. These are a few of my favorite items from them:
- Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers
- Pizza Crust
- Vanilla Cake Mix
- Pumpkin Bread
- Pancake and Waffle Mix
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
- Artisan Bread
- I haven’t tried it myself, but my mom and brother absolutely love the bread! On my must-try list!
- Farmhouse Cheddar Crackers
- Before I went dairy-free, I tried these! SOO good, y’all! Including them on the list for those of you that can tolerate dairy! They’re basically a Cheez-It dupe, and by far, were the best gluten-free cheesy cracker that I’ve ever tried!
- Siete is based in Texas which automatically made me love them before I even tried their products! Their chips are a cassava flour base and are literally so good. They have a ton of different flavors now, but I’ve only ever tried their sea salt ones! They are amazing with guac and make the perfect side for a Chipotle salad. I’ve also tried their hard taco shells (which are amazing) and soft taco wraps (also great, but I have a recipe for wraps that holds together a little better than these!). Target has recently started carrying Siete, but I’ve also been able to find them in a ton of other grocery stores which is AMAZING.
- These are the reason I go to Wegmans when I leave DC! (DC doesn’t currently have a Wegmans that I know of 😭) These pretzels are grain-free and are so crunchy and delicious. I’ve only ever been able to find them at Wegmans (and buy like 3-7 bags of them when I DO go), but I’m holding out hope that I’ll be able to find them other places soon.
- The perfect sweet and crunchy treat if you love coconut!
- These were a bit of an acquired taste because the texture can be a little chewy, but I can’t live without them now! I like they have fewer ingredients than regular protein bars & they are so easy to stash in my bag for a wedding day or trip to the gym. My favorite year-round flavor is the dark chocolate and sea salt, and in the fall, I stock up on the pumpkin spice!
- An easy granola bar for on the go! They have tons of different flavors and each bar has just a few ingredients which I love! One of these always seems to find its way into my gym bag!
- My mom found these at Costco, and y’all… they are LEGIT so good! (PS Pro-Tip on that note: Costco has a lot of great gluten and grain-free items!!) These Paleo Bars remind me more of those Chewy granola bars from childhood and less of a protein bar, but they are pretty filling. It is SO perfect to grab in a pinch or when you are craving something sweet.
- I’ve avoided protein powder for the most part over the last couple of months because I don’t love how processed it is, and it never really sat well with me. My mom (who is also grain-free!) encouraged me to try this one, and I’m happy to report that it is both delicious and sits well! I had a hard time finding it in stores in DC, but I found it in Wegmans when I was stocking up on pretzels. Just a heads up: Garden of Life has other protein powder, but the grain-free specific protein powder says it on the front of the package AND is in a bag, not a canister. I love using this stuff in my chia seed pudding and smoothies!
- The people at Banza need a raise… I’m not sure how they managed to make chickpeas into pasta and rice, but I’m so glad they did! Even before I was grain-free, I found Banza to be my preferred gluten-free pasta (Over other alternatives like corn, rice, beans & lentil) because it sat well with me and held up well when cooked. I recently tried Banza rice (This is harder to find in stores than the pasta!!), and I was equally impressed!
- I’ve found this at Target, and it is one of my favorite snacks! It’s literally just grain-free granola, but it’s so good! I’ve put it in smoothie bowls and also just eat it straight from the bag. There are a few different flavors, but my favorite is linked above! (Vanilla Poppy Seed!)
- Is this bread delicious? Yes. Is this bread $15/loaf? Also yes. Did I buy it once because I desperately wanted an egg sandwich and avocado toast when I was about 2 months into my grain-free adventure? You bet. I found it at Whole Foods, and while it was great, I ate it sparingly (shoutout to that pricetag) and don’t think I’ll be buying it on the regular or anytime soon. With that being said, it held up great with toppings like avocado and egg which is rare for any kind of gluten-free bread and is a miracle for grain-free bread. I don’t find that I miss bread, and the price tag just isn’t worth it for me! I did want to include it though for those that were missing bread.
- These are amazing! I love that they are created locally by a female-owned business almost as much as I love how they taste! They’re chewy grain-free and vegan chocolate chip cookies that I eat way too fast. I have to limit how often I buy them because I tend to eat them quickly & when I eat too much at once, my tummy isn’t always the happiest with me. With that being said, as an every now and then treat, they’re amazing! I can find them at a few grocery stores in my neighborhood, but you can also buy them online! I love the mini cookies because they last a little longer, but there is also a full-sized cookie!
- My favorite place to shop grain-free on a budget! Traders is great for produce and proteins and also has a few other products that I love. As always, read the ingredients, but I’ve found that I can find items that are typically pretty pricy other places for a relatively decent price at Traders. These are a few of my favorites: almond meal & almond flour, chia seeds, garlic salt/spices, plantain chips, vegan pesto, coconut milk & other non-dairy “milk/creams”, canned beans/chickpeas, egg whites, pico de gallo, ghee, nuts, nut butters, ketchup & frozen veggie gnocchi.
There you have it! I’ll be updating this post if I think of anything else or if I try anything else that is lifechanging! Is there something grain & dairy-free that I absolutely must try?! Let me know in a comment!
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