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Healthy Gluten-Free Snack Swaps That Actually Taste Good

Written by

GoodnessMe

Posted on

8.07.21

All gluten-free snacks are healthy, right? Wrong. With countless brands releasing their takes on the gluten-free snacks that are trending, the gluten-free snack aisle has become a little confusing.

Whether you have a hankering for something sweet or savoury, we’re here to show you how to choose the gluten-free snack option that’s better-for-you, simply by comparing the ingredient lists.

Bookmark these swaps for the next time you’re stocking up on gluten-free snacks:

The Happy Snack Company Fav-va Beans Lightly Salted

Fava beans may be small but they sure are mighty when it comes to their benefits. To start with, they make for a filling snack, giving us sustainable energy from the complex carbohydrates and protein they contain. They also contain dietary fibre, which makes them good for our digestion and the health of our gut. From a micronutrient perspective they help boost our intake by containing a number of vitamins and minerals like folate, manganese, copper and magnesium. When it comes to taste and texture, their satisfying crunch makes them a healthier alternative to a chip and still helps to satisfy any cravings we may have. They also cater for many dietary requirements by being plant based, dairy free, gluten free and nut free. They’re the perfect addition to the kids' school lunch boxes, but also make a great snack for us big kids too.

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Harvest Box - We Love Nuts

Nuts are naturally gluten free and any nutritionist will tell you they’re a great thing to snack on between meals (unless you’re allergic of course). They’re full of healthy fats, protein and fibre to keep you satisfied, while coming with their own unique blends of vitamins and minerals.


Keep in mind that not all nut mixes are created equally, with some supermarket mixes being two thirds dried fruit and just one third nuts. The dried fruits inside also contain preservatives, added sugar and vegetable oils. These are the kinds of things we want to avoid when choosing a nutty snack.

Harvest Box brings us a nut mix that’s just real food and will have you agreeing with their name ‘we love nuts’.

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Amazonia Co Creamy Vanilla Fudge Protein Bars

Protein bars are such an easy snack to grab on the go. They’re perfect when we want something tasty, but still filling enough to fuel us until our next meal. There are a few things we should avoid when choosing a protein bar. The example at the top shows us quite a few of these! Artificial flavours are an obvious one to avoid, as are artificial colours. Then we have added sugar, the highly refined maltitol and even vegetable fat, which can be inflammatory just like vegetable oils. Just because it has vegetable in the name doesn’t mean it’s good for us!

The Amazonia Co Creamy Vanilla Fudge protein bars, which use their signature plant-based blend of fermented rice protein and sprouted pea protein. Instead of artificial and highly refined ingredients like the product on the left, it’s great to see Amazonia using real wholegrains, coconut and quality protein. The combination of fibre, protein and healthy fat is a winner when it comes to staying fuller for longer.

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Harvest Box Sea Salt Chickpea Crisps

When we think of gluten free snacks that taste good, crisps are definitely one that comes to mind. Sometimes supermarket options that give the impression of being healthy because they’re made of peas are actually hiding a host of additives. Watch out for things like vegetable oil, added sugar, maltodextrin, yeast extract, flavour enhancers and other additives. Instead, try an option like the Harvest Box Chickpea Crisps, which are made up of yellow peas and chickpeas! We’re big fans of legumes because of their fibre and protein content. Fibre is great for the health of our gut, while protein is needed for so many structures and functions within our body. This combo also helps to keep us feeling satisfied, unlike nutritionally void crisps with flavour enhancers and/or yeast extract that make it harder to stop and can lead to overeating.

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Munchme Cranberry & Pistachio

Snacks containing nuts can be a filling and nutritious option due to the beneficial balance of macronutrients that nuts contain. They have the perfect combination of protein, healthy fats and fibre that help to keep us feeling satisfied between meals. With that said, there are good nut snacks and there are not so good nut snacks. Generally, many of the supermarket nut bars contain highly processed ingredients, multiple forms of refined sugar, vegetable oils and other additives. We’ll often see a long list of ingredients, many of which don’t get the real food tick of approval. Thankfully MunchMe bring us amazing options like the Cranberry & Pistachio snack, which contains minimally processed ingredients like nuts, dried fruit and small amounts of sweetener. Their real food ingredients each provide us with their own benefits, combining great taste with proper nutrition.

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Megaburn Vegan Choc Mint Chill Out Bar

You can’t go past a good protein bar when in need of a filling gluten free snack. There’s a few things to look out for when choosing a healthy protein bar, but there’s also a few things to look for. We recommend going for bars that are made up of nutritious ingredients, rather than the highly refined kind. Take a look at the Megaburn Chill Out Bar, which gets its natural sweetness from dates, protein from soy, nuts and seeds and delicious flavour from that choc mint combo. Plus there’s some gut loving ingredients in the mix, including pre and probiotics. None of the nasties in sight!

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Swap a Low Carb Caramel Bar for Tasti’s Salted Caramel Wholefood Balls

Spot the difference. One look at each of these products’ ingredients lists and it’s clear that Tasti’s version wins for being the least processed. When comparing two products from the same category, more often than not, the one with the shorter ingredients list will also be the one with real wholefood ingredients you actually recognise (and no highly processed ingredients like artificial sweeteners and soy protein isolate).

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Swap a Quest Bar for a 180 Nutrition Superfood Protein Bar

We’d reach for a 180 Nutrition Superfood Protein Bar over a Quest Bar every time because it has a shorter AND sweeter list of ingredients. Props to 180 Nutrition for using real ingredients to add flavour and nutritional value to their bars - like mineral and fibre-rich date paste instead of the artificial sweetener sucralose for sweetness.

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Swap Fantastic Delites for Ceres Organics Brown Rice Crackers

We say YES to snacks made with a short and sweet list of real ingredients...and NO to the ones with:

  • A long ingredient list - usually a red flag for a highly processed product
  • Numbered ingredients - a red flag for synthetic additives
  • Flavour Enhancers - a sneaky term for MSG
  • Refined flours and sugars - these offer zero nutritional value

You’ll find none of the above in Ceres Organics’ wholegrain Brown Rice Crackers; once you try their moreish Sea Salt & Vinegar flavour, you’ll never go back to the super processed version.

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Swap Kettle Chips for Proper Chips

Three things we look for when choosing our chippies (because life's too short to never eat them):

  • No added sugar; yep, the sweet stuff even manages to sneak its way into savoury snacks.
  • No ingredients that sound like they came from a lab, a red flag for synthetic additives.
  • A short and simple ingredients list (Pro-tip: when comparing two products from the same category, the one with fewer ingredients will probably be the least processed option)

And that's why Proper Crisps get our big tick of approval. They also happen to be delicious.

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Swap Rice Pudding for Macro Mike’s Plant Protein Pudding

Unlike a grab-and-go rice pudding, Macro Mike Protein Pudding has loads to offer in the nutrition department:

  • 21.3g of protein, which helps steady blood sugar and curb cravings.
  • Less than one teaspoon of sugar per serve, compared to almost five teaspoons' worth of sugar in that rice pudding.
  • A good amount of fibre, thanks to almond and fava bean protein (The fibre content on the nutritional info panel isn't mandatory, so if the fibre content isn’t stated, that’s probably because it’s low in fibre).

Available in six fun flavours (think Chocolate Fudge and Banana Custard), you’re sure to find a Macro Mike pud that tickles your fancy.

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Swap Additive-Loaded Dried Fruit For Nibblish Gently Baked Strawberries

A simple swap that's pretty self-explanatory when you skim the ingredients. Those gently baked strawberries from Nibblish are made with just two ingredients, with no room left for white sugar, or the additives and preservatives we'd rather not see in our snacks.

We've been snacking on Nibblish’s strawberries straight from the packet, or adding a handful to homemade trail mix (delicious with dry-roasted almonds for a salty/sweet, chewy/crunchy combo).

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Swap supermarket herbed chips with Proper Crisps Onion and Green Chive

Proper Crisps Onion and Green Chive are a delicate balance of Gourmet Onions, Chives and Marlborough Sea Salt will definitely tantalise your taste buds. There crisps are hand cooked in small batches by talented Proper Chefs. We loved ours dipped in a fresh guac.

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Swap a supermarket 'Nut Bar' with this Go Natural Almond Cashew Bar

In a nutshell (#sorrynotsorry), we love this Go Natural bar because: It has a much shorter and sweeter list of ingredients than some at the supermarket (less ingredients usually means LESS processed), it's low in sugar, with 6.1g (about 1.5 tsp) of sugar per bar, and 13.5g of sugar per 100g, it's sweetened with just a little rice malt syrup and honey, instead of refined sugars (AKA glucose syrup and caramelised sugar syrup).

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Swap Roll Ups with Nutra Organics Berry Yum

A simple swap for little ones (or the kid in you). If you've ever skimmed the ingredients lurking in lunchbox-friendly snacks, it can be kind of scary. But don't stress, we're here to help you filter out the not-so-nutritious options - so you can go straight for the snack alternatives that will actually do the kids some good.

We love the Berry Yum Biotics bar because it's:

- Based on sustaining and nourishing ingredients - like plant-based vanilla protein and fibre, omega-3 rich chia seed meal, and antioxidant-rich berries
- Free from refined sugar and concentrated fructose (AKA 'concentrated fruit puree' and 'apple juice concentrate')
- Free from highly processed maltodextrin (a bulking agent with zero nutritional value)
- Free from numbered ingredients (processed additives)
- Boosted with loads of good stuff for good health all-round - like gut-loving prebiotics AND probiotics, plus vitamin D-rich mushroom powder

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