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It’s hard enough to know which snacks are office-appropriate and easy to prepare, but things get even more complicated when you’re also looking for something that’s gluten-free. Snacking at the office is a necessity — but it should ease your stress, not add to it. For this reason (and also to share my personal passion for gluten-free foods), I’ve made a list of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest gluten-free snacks out there. Whether you’re a baller on a budget or a girl boss on the go, there’s something delicious waiting for you below.
Let’s face it, we aren’t all Martha Stewart—and I don’t know about you but I’m okay with that. But gluten-free snacks don’t have to be extremely costly and time-consuming — you just have to look for the right recipes. For those of you who like to cook or are willing to take a little more time to pack things you’ll enjoy, here are some snack options you can throw together in your own kitchen.
Most trail mix recipes are super easy to make gluten-free because they don’t require baking, cooking, or mixing with liquids. This is a great gluten-free snack to make at home and take in a baggie to the office to snack on. Trail mix allows you to get protein and natural sugar without having to feel guilty.
I use two trail mix recipes regularly: Monkey Munch and the Ultimate Paleo Mix. Monkey Munch is sweeter and more of a dessert snack for me whereas the Ultimate Paleo is great for a healthy morning snack or lunch item.
Monkey Munch includes banana chips, salted peanuts, almonds, chocolate chips (if you are dairy intolerant as well Enjoy Life has great tasting dairy-free chocolate chips, bars, and mixes), raisins, and coconut flakes. The Ultimate Paleo includes cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds (I like to use flax seeds instead), raisins, and chocolate chips. Both are delicious and nutritious, and your coworkers will love you if you make a big batch to share with everyone.
Hummus and Carrots
You have to be extra careful when choosing hummus if you’re gluten-free. Oftentimes we think that something like hummus won’t contain anything we’re allergic to, but always read the label because you’ll be surprised. My favorite brand is Sabra because it’s packed with flavor (which you often lose when you go gluten-free) and is relatively healthy.
Whichever brand you choose, however, is fine and will make no major difference. All you have to do it wash your carrots (or any other vegetable you like such as celery), open your hummus, and start dipping!
Nut Butter and Apples
Apples dipped in peanut butter is a snack that most of us have been eating for as long as we can remember. It’s a great combination of protein and sugar (the good, natural kind). However, if you’re allergic to peanuts or just looking to try something new, there are tons alternatives to regular peanut butter.
Almond butter is a crowd-pleaser in my house because it’s a little sweeter than peanut butter but also maintains the same creaminess. If you’re allergic to almonds and peanuts, there’s cashew butter (which is what I eat). I’ll be honest, cashew butter isn’t going to taste like Jif peanut butter. But if it’s your only option, you’ll come to think it tastes pretty good — and if you just absolutely love cashews you should definitely give this a try. Either way you slice it (pun intended) it’s tough to beat apples dipped in any kind of nut butter.
Banana Nut Muffins
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like a muffin and coffee in the morning from your favorite coffee shop around the corner. Unfortunately, they’re not usually gluten-free. But who needs to pay a bunch of money for a gourmet muffin when you could make them in the comfort of your own home? These are great to make one night when you have a little free time and, depending on how many you make, they can last you for a few weeks! You don’t want to leave them out on the counter for that long but you can freeze them and then it’s as simple as popping one in the microwave at home or work. I use this recipe for Paleo Banana Nut Muffins.
These are great gluten-free snacks to make one night when you have a little free time and, depending on how many you make, they can last you for a few weeks! You don’t want to leave them out on the counter for that long but you can freeze them and then it’s as simple as popping one in the microwave at home or work. I use this recipe for Paleo Banana Nut Muffins.
Over the past two years, Pinterest has become my best friend for creative recipe ideas. Possibly the best recipe I’ve come across is one for gluten-free Peanut Butter Protein Cereal Bars — yum! While most oat bars that you find in the store contain gluten, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own that are just as good (if not better). These cereal bars are a great energy boost in the morning before work, and really any other time of the day. But be careful; they’re addictive!
Fruit or Vegetable Smoothies
Smoothies are one of my favorite go-to gluten-free snacks because they’re filling and (usually) taste delicious. They also take very minimal time and ingredients, which is good for people who never have enough hours in the day.
Fruit smoothies will almost always taste better than vegetable smoothies because they contain more sugar which makes them sweeter—but on the flip side, since they have more sugar, they aren’t as healthy for you. With my fruit smoothies, I get a few cartons of strawberries from the grocery store, clean and cut them, and stick them in the freezer. This is because I don’t like using ice in my smoothies and the strawberries act as a solid that makes it less runny. I like to use So Delicious Dairy Free Yogurt (because I’m lactose intolerant) but any regular yogurt will work just as well to help with consistency. Add a chopped banana, half an orange or some blueberries, and blend to your desired thickness. Voila, a quick and tasty office snack!
As far as vegetable smoothies go, spinach makes a good thickener (which replaces the strawberries for your fruit smoothies). I usually add kale and carrots (sometimes tomatoes if I’m feeling adventurous or have nothing else in the pantry), and blend it all together with some type of yogurt. With this kind of smoothie, I do recommend some type of sweetener—my go-to is Stevia—to take the earthy edge off.
If you want the best of both worlds, you can also combine these two smoothies. A blend of frozen strawberries, banana, blueberries, yogurt, and kale or spinach will actually taste good and be a little healthier than just fruit alone.
Yogurt and Granola
This is a simple combination that can be easily whipped up to curb your mid-day hunger. Nothing’s worse than hearing your stomach growling with three more hours left in your work day, which is why you should always be prepared. Like I said before, I use So Delicious Yogurt, but whichever yogurt you choose just depends on your own personal taste and food sensitivities. Any kind of gluten-free granola works as well.
Sometimes I’ll do vanilla yogurt with dried fruit granola, and other times I’ll mix strawberry yogurt with caramel granola. Whichever combination you choose, just stir up your yogurt and pour your desired amount of granola into the cup. Stir them together as much or little as you like and, finally, chow down!
Avocado on Gluten-Free Toast
Before you turn up your nose at the idea of avocado on toast, try it! It’s hard to find something to make gluten-free bread appetizing at times (especially some of the frozen brands), but with a little avocado, olive oil, crushed peppers, and sea salt, I promise you’ll love it. This is also a crazy quick recipe you can whip up practically anywhere—all you need is some bread and an avocado. This can be anything from a quick lunch on a busy day to an appetizer you bring to your next work function.
This snack takes maybe (and I mean maybe) 30 seconds to get going. Go get some grapes from the store (make sure they’re good with no bruises), wash them, place them in a ziplock bag, and stick them in the freezer. A few hours later you’ll have a flavorful snack that you can literally just grab and go.
Popcorn Drizzled in Peanut Butter
My mouth is watering just thinking about this snack. One of my guilty food pleasures (and I don’t have many because of my allergies) is peanut butter—I eat it on anything and everything. So, when my favorite thing ever (peanut butter) gets to mix with my second favorite thing ever (popcorn, preferably Skinny Pop), I can’t help but get excited.
You can change this snack up to meet your time constraints and personal preferences as well. The route I like to take is spreading popcorn on a cookie sheet, then microwaving the peanut butter until it’s the perfect mixture between runny and solid, and then drizzling it over the popcorn on the sheet. After this, I usually wait a few hours to let the peanut butter cool and harden a little, and then all you have to do is put it in a bag and you’ll be good to go at work for days to come (if you even make it that long without eating it all).
Gluten-Free Bread with Olive Oil and Garlic
You can recreate the bread and olive oil dip you get at Italian restaurants in just minutes at work. All you need is gluten-free bread, olive oil, and garlic—easy enough, right? Personally, I like toasting my bread before I eat it (and I especially recommend this if your bread is frozen) because it becomes softer. The perfect ratio of olive oil and garlic is unique to you—however, I strongly suggest as much garlic as possible. My family gets our bread from a local bakery in town called Dempsey’s, but frozen bread like Udi’s works just as well for texture and substance.
For those of you who either don’t have the time or the desire to make your own gluten-free snacks (which there’s nothing wrong with), here are a few gluten-free goodies that you can pick up at the store or order online.
Potato Chips/Veggie Chips
While many chips aren’t gluten-free, there are so many that are—and it’s probably a good thing the ones we can’t have aren’t gluten-free because they’re no good for you anyway. Most brands of potato chips have migrated towards gluten-free (just make sure to look at the label), like Kettle Brand Chips and Lay’s in the recent years. These are an easy and quick snack that you can have practically any time at work.
Veggie chips are also tasty and healthy. My favorite brands are Terra, which are potato chip shaped and come with anything from yucca to sweet potatoes, and Sensible Portions Veggie Straws, which are more like french fries and aren’t made with real vegetables like Terra.
Frozen Edamame Packs
You can buy edamame in the frozen section of practically any grocery store you walk into. Edamame is low in fat and calories and high in protein—which is great for a health nut or someone trying to watch their weight. I used to eat two packages for lunch, and that would keep me full for the rest of the day (granted, I’m not suggesting that you only eat edamame every day for lunch). This gluten-free snack is not only quick, easy, and nutritious, but it’s also inexpensive—a single pack is less than $5.
Granola is so versatile, which is what makes this such a great office snack. You can eat it by itself in a bowl (which I do all the time), add milk and make it into cereal, and even add it into your morning oatmeal. There are also so many different kinds of granola, each with their own distinct flavor combination, so it’s practically impossible to get tired of it. I eat Bear Naked Maple Pecan mix and Nature’s Path Summer Berries Granola the most — and I highly recommend you give them both a try.
While gluten-free pretzels are hard to come by, once you find ones you love it’s hard to go back. My go-to are Snack Factory’s gluten-free pretzels because I kid you not, they taste exactly like the real thing! They have many different options like caramel sea salt, chocolate covered, and original. But you can’t really go wrong, no matter which type you choose. Whole Foods and most Krogers have a wide selection of gluten-free pretzels — it’s just all about trial and error.
Oatmeal (I recommend Quaker’s gluten free selection) is a great choice when you’re trying to feel full without having to sacrifice hundreds of calories. It only takes a minute and a half in the microwave (which most offices have) and doesn’t make a mess —what’s better than something that’s easy to make and clean up?
You can grab one of these healthy, protein-packed bars for the office any day. They’re filling, low in fat, and, most importantly, delicious. Kind has 30+ different bars, all of which are gluten free. Most of them are dipped or drizzled with some kind of chocolate or caramel — count me in! I highly recommend keeping one in your purse for those hard days when you can’t leave the desk, or better yet, don’t want to.
Blue Diamond Nut Thins
These are an essential item to have at the bottom of your desk when hunger strikes. You can spread some butter on them for a quick, low-calorie gluten-free snack or even bring along some cheese in a bag and have cheese and crackers as your afternoon snack. Blue Diamond’s Nut Thins will make you wonder why you ever ate other crackers in the first place. You can also pair them with practically any dip or hummus out there.