Tag Archives: snacks

Beanfields Chips: move over Doritos!

It’s a miracle that most Doritos are gluten free. They’re available everywhere, and bring you right back to pizza parties in the 3rd grade. However, no one feels great after eating a bag of Doritos. Your tongue turns bright orange and you haven’t eaten anything with nutritional value. 

But what if you could have a chip that tasted eerily similar to a Dorito, only made out of beans and rice? With a good dose of protein and fiber? AND they’re low in sodium, low in fat, and gluten free? 

Enter Beanfields!

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The good people at Beanfields sent me samples of all of their flavors to try, but I think that the Nacho or Pico De Gallo ones are my favorites. They’re light and crispy, and completely snackable. The Sea Salt and Unsalted are more suited to dipping in hummus or salsa and would make a great alternative to the less-healthy corn tortilla chips.

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The sad thing is that when i looked in this box I thought, “Wow! I have a lifetime supply of chips!” Then two weeks later they were all gone. 

Use the store locator on Beanfield’s website to find them at a store near you! 

Three gluten free snacks you should be eating

I’m always on the look out for new gluten free snacks, since I’m convinced that I’ve already tried about 80% of them. Here are a few that I’m loving right now:

1. Planter’s Pumpkin Spice Almonds

I got a GIANT canister of these sweet babies from Target for $3.24. Yes. Three dollars and 24 cents. I’d run there right now and see if they still have any. I also was impressed because usually products like this are “made in a facility that also processes wheat”, but these are totally gluten free.

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2. Go Raw Super Chips

My latest work snack has been Go Raw Super Chips. I’ve tried the chocolate and spirulina ones, and they’re really addictive. You can eat a whole bag of them for the same amount of calories as a bag of Fritos, and they’re about 100 times better for you.

Warning: the spirulina chips look really scary because they’re bright green, but they taste mostly like coconut and sweet dates, so be not afraid.

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3. Bakery on Main Apple Raisin Walnut Granola

While this isn’t exactly the healthiest granola out there, it sure is delicious. I love that all of the ingredients are really high quality (giant walnuts and raisins) and there are big chunks of granola in each bag. I add this to a bowl of Honey Nut Chex and almond milk when I’m feeling like a cold breakfast.

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Any new gluten free snacks I should try?

Ian’s cookie buttons – eat like a kid

Even though I have a grown up job, I still tend to eat kid snacks throughout the day. When 3pm rolls around my brain gives me a couple of options: 1) eat about 50 jelly bellies from the communal jar 2) sit around and whine about how hungry I am until I go home 3) find a snack. Lately I’ve been loving the cinnamon cookie button pouches from Ian’s. They’re single serving packs of little crunchy cookies that satisfy my need to munch.

The cinnamon and ginger in them gives them a ton of flavor, and while I wouldn’t exactly say they’re packed with nutrients, they’re definitely better than the Jelly Bellies.

Next up on my list to try are the not-so-healthy chocolate covered wafer bits.

Something I’m NOT going to try? These weird-looking egg and maple breakfast sandwiches. No thank you.

But the cookie buttons? Yum!

Ian’s: All Natural Allergy-Friendly Foods

Top 8 mainstream gluten-free snacks

I saw a post about gluten free mainstream products, so I thought I would do my own. My fridge and cupboards are usually about 80% natural/organic and 20% mainstream products, and I usually only buy mainstream products that I LOVE and can’t live without. I did not include things that are obviously gluten free, whole foods, or things that are incredibly healthy really, but things that are truly just snackable.

1. Mini Snickers bars – not that you can call a candy bar a snack, but I love a couple of these in the middle of a rough work day. And don’t get me started on how adorable the Easter pastel colored ones are.

2. Chex cereal – even though the sugar count is high, still great for snacking

3. Archer Farms (Target) fruit strips – Perfect for a hit of sugar before a run, and they’re not too chewy or fake feeling

4. Orville Redenbacher’s kettle corn – this with white chocolate chips is my go-to late night movie or work snack

5. Fritos – horrible for you, but so addictive. On top of veggie chili is so ghettolicious. The flavor twists Honey BBQ flavored ones are also gluten free. And equally awful for you.

6. Skinny Cow truffle bars  – White Mint is my fave, I have one of these pretty much every day.

7. Emerald cocoa roast almonds – my aunt introduced me to these. It’s the closest you can get to dunking almonds in chocolate while still keeping them healthy.

8. Mentos – more of a mint than a snack, but sometimes I eat like five of them. In which case I make them a snack, albeit a bad one.

Any guilty pleasure gluten free snacks to add?

Mrs. Crimble’s: when gluten free goes wrong

Last week Mrs. Crimble’s cheese bites were on sale at Whole Foods. And since I’ll buy pretty much anything on sale and gluten free, I figured “what the heck?” and threw them in my basket.

The cheese bites replace wheat flour with cheese, which is cool, and also looked like Bugles on the package. And my heart still beats for Bugles, so I had high hopes for these little cheesy babies.

So, let me start by saying that these, in no way, tasted like sour cream and onion. They tasted like…nothing really. With a slight aftertaste of cheese. They’re also too pointy and thin, so it’s like eating sharp cheese paper.

This video review from GFree TV seems to agree with me – they’re just not good.

They’re not salty, don’t taste like much, and were overpriced (I think about $4 for about a single-serving bag).

I also saw on Mrs. Crimble’s website that they make the chocolate macaroons that I hated. They looked just like the Girl Scout cookies Samoas, which were my favorite. But they were really dense and overly chewy. I ended up throwing out the package. And that’s saying something, considering I’m a cookie monster in training.

I would have been better off making my own gluten free Samoas with this recipe from Gluten Free Betsy.

Is it because Mrs. Crimble’s is a British company? Who knows. Just don’t buy it. Even if it is on sale at Whole Foods :)

El’s Gluten Free Snacks: Bagel Chips and “Medleys”

Apparently El’s Kitchen has been all over the place lately getting the word out about their gluten free bagel chips and Gardetto-like snack mix called “Medleys”. I saw a giveaway on Gluten Free is Life yesterday, as well as a review from Gluten Free and the City. Maybe they’re looking to build out their testimonials section?

Well, I’m happy to help! They were so nice to offer to send me a sample bag of each as well.

When they arrived in my mailbox I immediately ripped them open and dumped them on a plate to see what was inside.

Bagel chips on the bottom, Medleys on the top

This is not your average snack mix, people.

The Medleys mix was so interesting and fun!

There were corn nuts, which I don’t even remember eating before, and now I don’t know how they were absent from my life for 24 years. So yummy! Like edible popcorn kernels mixed with a nut. Plus there were these potato cracker/chip pieces that were ultra crunchy and had ridges on them. And to round it out, there were little Frito-like corn chips.

All covered in delicious spicy coating of Worcestershire, honey, paprika, cumin, and a bunch of other ingredients.

The bagel chips are really crunchy and thin, but I was dying to dip them into something. So I pulled out some smoked salmon dip from Whole Foods and got to it.

And that is the bagel chips’ natural state. SO good with the dip. They’re so crunchy that they didn’t break when I loaded it up with dip.

But, I didn’t stop there.

Last night I decided that they needed to go on top of soup. I used to get soup at Bruegger’s Bagels and use their bagel chips to dunk in my soup. Those were thick, and still a bit hard to gnaw on after they waded in the soup for awhile (in a good way).

Doesn’t that homemade roasted corn and poblano chowder look good?

Oh, who am I kidding? I bought one of those pre-made quarts of soup from Whole Foods. I did add in fresh broccoli, yellow squash, and a salmon fillet. That has to count for something, right?

Kind of like I remember. I think that if I’m truly going to get the Bruegger’s effect, I’ll need to make my own really thick bagel chips from gf bagels at some point.

Still, they made a pretty great topper. I think I still prefer them with that smoked salmon dip. Yummmm

El’s doesn’t sell their products in DC yet, so you’ll have to buy them online. Or check if they have them in your area on their website. They would make a great gift for your gluten free BFF too, since it’s a specialty product that you won’t be able to recreate.

I think we can safely say that El’s owns the market in gf bagel chips and snack mix. Crunch away!

Eat this, not that.

I’ve always been kind of obsessed with “Eat this, not that” type comparisons. They have them on the Today Show all the time, comparing high calorie/high fat meals to ones that are healthier. So when I spotted the book “Eat This, Not That! The No Diet Weight Loss Solution” at the library, I decided to pick it up and see if there were any gluten free items in it.

There wasn’t a dedicated gf section, but there were some items that surprised me.

And this is what I learned…

Eat this: Soy Crisps and True North almond crisps

Not that: Nacho rice chips (but they’re so good!)

None of the cereals on the “Eat this” list were gf. But Chocolate Chex were on the “Not that” list! (In my head I think of it as the naughty list, like Santa. I still love chocolate Chex and will eat it regardless).

But, on the “Eat this” list I found Tamari soy sauce.

And finally, a fun fact: Starbuck’s Frappucino drinks have the same amount of sugar/calories as two servings of ice cream! Gimme the ice cream any day.

Are there any other gluten free foods that you think would be on the “Not That” list?   And do you eat them anyway?

Good Things Wednesday

Yes, I know last time it was Good Things Sunday, but I’ve never really been a stickler for consistency :)

1.  Yesterday a very good thing happened – my order of Skinny Crisps came in the mail! I loved these the moment I tried them at G-Free NYC, and according to their website they don’t have any retail locations in DC.  So, I bucked up and ordered online – $26 for three bags and shipping, so about $8.50 a bag, which is only a dollar more than they were at G-Free NYC, so I didn’t feel too gypped.

Gimme three! Cheese, Cinnamon (my fave), and Chocolate

2.  I also learned how to actually cook a good steam-fried egg this weekend after reading my friend’s blog!  Usually I end up with the white all over the pan, breaking the yolk, or just giving up and turning the whole thing into scrambled eggs.  I served my perfect egg with salsa and spinach – I was so proud.

3.  I created a new food invention – chocolate almond protein pudding!  I impulse purchased a bag of Better Bowls pudding mix from Giant a couple weeks ago, mostly because of the big yellow “Gluten Free” label at the top of the bag.  They also market themselves as “the healthiest brand of pudding”, so, can’t go wrong with that!

Then I was looking for a good post-workout snack after my group training class at Stroga, and it seemed like a good time to bust it out.  I amped up the protein and yummy-factor by adding some whey protein and almond butter.


Better Bowls Chocolate Almond Protein Pudding

2 cups soy milk plus an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup

1 1/2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder

2 T almond butter

Mix it all together and let it set for 10 minutes (or 3 minutes in the freezer if you are ravenous and need to eat it right away or you’ll pass out…not that I did that or anything…)

All good things!  I hope Martha Stewart doesn’t sue me for copyright infringement.  Nah – she’s probably too busy flirting with Snoop Dog for that.

Think thin?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Think Thin bars since I watch this video on their website about why they make their products gluten free.

Gluten Free Diet Facts: Video by ThinkThin from ThinkThinTV on Vimeo.

The CEO of Think Thin has been gluten free for 12 years, and I love that the company is expanding and products are available in more and more stores.

Think thin bars also recently went through a label makeover, from this:

Old label

to this…

New label

Love the new look since it makes it much easier to determine which flavor you’re picking up; I can hone in on the blue icon to find my favorite white chocolate chip ones.

These are a great meal replacement, post-workout, or big snack option for me, since they have no sugar and 20 grams of protein.  Similar to Larabars, they are amazing frozen as well.  The Think Thin Bites are even better, since they’re half the size and usually I only want to eat a few bites of the big ones at a time.

The only thing that I have to complain about with Think Thin bars is that their marketing strategy seems off to me.  As far as I know, they are the only true gluten free protein bar (besides things like Kind bars that have natural protein from nuts in them).  But by marketing themselves as “weight management” bars, I think that they are actually a turn off to the gluten free community.  Maybe it’s just me, but I get immediately turned off when gluten free products try to hand hold with weight loss products.  I don’t want to “think thin”, I just want a dang snack that will fill me up and not make me sick.  It also seemed off to me that the CEO said that Think Thin was based off of “food that brings back her Italian heritage” and cooking in the kitchen with her grandparents? I don’t know when I ever cooked with protein blend isolate or maitol with my grandma.  But I appreciate the sentiment.

Match up: Fruit Leather vs. Fruit Strips vs. Fruit Rollups

Whenever I’m in line at Whole Foods, I’m enticed by the 49 cent fruit strips they have near the check out.  I’ve gotten a couple, so I figured I should put them to the test.  The contenders are a more “crunchy” version, Kaia Fruit Leather, and the classic kids treat, Fruit Rollups.

First up: Kaia Foods Gogi Orange Fruit Leather

Ingredients: Orange, bananas, gogi berries

Before I ate this, I didn’t see that there were bananas in it.  They probably use nanners to give the leather some sweetness, since there’s no added sugar.  I appreciate the simplicity of the ingredients, but not the way it tasted.

Kind of like eating a really thin, dirty orange peel.  It was definitely fun to eat, and good for me, but not necessarily the tastiest thing I’ve ever had.

Next up: Whole Foods 365 Organic Blueberry Fruit Strip

Ingredients: apples, organic natural flavor, fruit juice concentrate (blueberry and lemon)

Image from mandysmeals.com

There are a ton of varieties of the Whole Foods strips (those that I can think of off the top of my head = peach, berry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, apricot).  All of them have apples listed as their first ingredient, but due to the fruit juice concentrate in them, they have a strong taste of whatever fruit flavor is in them.  They’re not as chewy as either Kaia or Fruit Roll-ups, but they feel more natural that way (like, fruit shouldn’t be impossible to get out of the grooves in your teeth).  They have a bit of texture to them, but are generally a great small snack for pre-workout, or when you just need a little sugar.

And the hometown favorite: Fruit Roll-ups, made by Betty Crocker (who knew?)

Ingredients: a whole lot of stuff.

I was impressed when I saw the clear “gluten-free” label on the front of the box.  That Betty Crocker really has high gf awareness.

That said…Fruit Roll-ups were not like I remembered them to be.  When I was a kid each one felt almost like a blanket of chewy fruit goodness.  You could punch out shapes in them, stick your tongue through one, and amuse yourself for hours on end.  As an almost adult, it was just kid of…ordinary.  The colors are blinding (especially the unappetizing blue/green one), it gets stuck in your teeth, and it takes me about 45 seconds to eat one.

And the winner?

Whole Foods 365 Fruit Strips! 

I would choose these even over my old childhood staple Fruit Roll-ups, and I would choose just about anything over the Kaia ones.  So, stock up…they are only 49 cents each, after all.