Trying to find gluten free snack ideas can be a pain. The majority of the options in the store are filled with extra sugar or other ingredients to replace the taste that removing the gluten takes out.
There are some that are great for you. You can even make your own in some cases. Here’s a look at 15 that you need to try out to make sure you power yourself up while on the road. They’re perfect for the summer months.
A word of caution:
When you are looking at store options, make sure you read the full label. Some of the snacks will be based on normally gluten-filled ingredients. The manufacturers take out the gluten, which will change the taste. Without gluten, some of the snacks taste a little like cardboard so the manufacturers will need to add other ingredients in.
Sugar is one of the commonly added ingredients. We know that sugar causes high blood sugar and insulin levels and can lead to obesity and Type II diabetes.
Make sure you read all the labels for any product that you buy. This will tell you if there are ingredients that you shouldn’t really have in excess. It will also tell you if the products are definitely gluten free – as in officially made that way – or are just in the wrong aisle or with poorly marketed packaging.
#1. Vegetable Sticks with Hummus
While they seem boring, there is certainly one thing for certain: you will get healthy gluten free snacks. You just can’t go wrong with vegetable sticks, and they’re excellent with hummus, salsa, and other gluten-free dressings.
If you don’t trust the manufacturers, you can make your own salsa and hummus to take on the road. Just pop in a sealable tub, and you are on your way. Chop up your own vegetables and don’t forget to pack some broccoli and cauliflower florets to take on the road with you.
The majority of vegetables and dips will last in car journeys. When you’ve had enough, you just pop the tub back on, and you avoid spillages in the car! Put the vegetables in sealable bags to help keep them fresh – you need the crunch – and avoid getting bits of them between the back car seats!
#2. Pack Sliced Chorizo, Turkey, and Ham
Chorizo is one of the best for the road. It’s made without any gluten added to it, and it doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge. Even in the hottest of summers in your car, you’ll be left able to enjoy something with substance.
Watch out for the amount of chorizo you do eat. It has oils to it. While they can be good for you in small quantities, too many will raise your blood pressure and cause problems for your arteries.
Turkey, chorizo and other meats are full of protein. You won’t actually need to eat as many of them because you’ll feel satisfied much quicker than you would with the likes of chocolate and sugar-filled foods. You eat fewer calories in a shorter space of time.
Pack it already sliced up to make it travel-friendly. You can put it all in a sealable bag for easier carrying.
Watch out for sausage. While mini sausages can seem like the perfect travel companion, some of them are made up with gluten to bind the meat together!
#3. Carry Protein Bars Around with You
It’s important to feel full and satisfied while traveling. This will help to keep the number of calories you consume to a minimum.
Well, that’s where protein bars come in hand. They’re full of protein – hence the name – so they break down in the body slowly. You’re feeding your muscles rather than just feeding your gut and energy levels.
Protein bars also tend to have plenty of oats, which are naturally gluten free. You’ll also get dried fruit for some extra fiber in your snack. You will need to check the labels as some of the fiber goodness does contain gluten naturally.
#4. Make Your Own Muffins and Scones
Some of these will only last the first part of your car journey or a short trip, but they are still worth considering. If you make your own, you can use only gluten-free ingredients to avoid any problems in the gut.
Pack your muffins full of fruits, like blueberries and bananas. In fact, you can make banana as one of your base ingredients to completely cut out the gluten without adding extra sugar for the sake of the taste!
Scones last a little longer than muffins, especially in the heat. You can also make them savory much easier than with muffins. This is great when you want to cut out even natural sugars from your diet.
#5. Look Out for Corn-Free Popcorn
So, popcorn is usually off limits because of the gluten. You’ll want to stay away from the pre-popped gluten free bags, too. They have added sugars and all sorts of additives in the flavorings.
To protect your health, look out for corn-free bags of popcorn. Always keep an eye out for the ones that are air-popped – or the bags where you pop them yourself. Make up a large bag and throw it in the car. You can make up selections of smaller bags if everyone wants their own.
Don’t forget about adding some nuts and dried fruits in, which leads us to the next snack idea.
#6. Make Up Your Own Trail Mixes
Like protein bars, trail mixes are excellent for keeping you feeling full. They’re full of protein and fiber, which break down in the body slowly. You’re left feeling satisfied sooner, and for longer, so you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
Make up your own trail mixes instead of buying them. While there are some pre-made gluten-free options, you end up running the risk of extra sugars. By making your own, you have the advantage of putting whatever ingredients you want into them.
Mixed chopped nuts, seeds, and dried fruit tend to be the best options. Watch out for dried fruits, as they are full of natural sugar which will break down quickly. You just need a small amount to add to the taste and make your nuts and seeds a little sweeter.
Add in some of your corn-free popcorn to create a fun trail mix for the kids.
#7. Make Your Own Granola Bars
Granola is full of gluten, but that doesn’t mean it is completely off the list of foods to eat. You can make your own granola bars instead. They’re simple to make and can be made a couple of days in advance. They will last a few days into your road trip.
Here’s the recipe for some dark chocolate and peanut butter granola bars.
- 1tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup of raw honey
- ½ cup of peanut butter
- 2tbsp coconut oil
- ½ cup of almonds
- ½ cup of walnuts
- ½ cup of cashew nuts
- ½ cup of pecans
- 5 dates
- 1/4cup of coconut, shredded
- ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips
- Combine the first four ingredients in a pan over a medium heat
- Put all the nuts with the dates into a blender, blending until a course sand
- Add in the sunflower seeds and coconut, pulsing until the seeds are chopped roughly
- Remove the coconut oil mix from the heat and stir in the nuts
- Pour into a pan lined with parchment paper, and use parchment to press the mixture into the pan to help with the setting process
- Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and freeze for two hours
Chop up the granola bars as big or as small as you’d like. This part will depend on the size of the tubs or bags that you’re taking for your car journey.
#8. Don’t Forget Your Rice Crackers
While the majority of crackers on the market have gluten, rice crackers tend to avoid it. They can make some of the best snacks for car journeys. What you’ll want to do is check the label before you buy to make sure a certain brand is gluten free.
Some of the gluten ingredients will depend on the flavors. The companies may add in certain flavors to some of the rice crackers available, so you’ll want to check each individual type of rice cracker that you want to try out.
Now you just have to decide on the size of rice crackers. Some manufacturers have now brought out smaller packets with bite-sized options. They’re almost like crisps. Try out these for kids if you want them to avoid arguing with each other or pestering you each time they want another cracker.
You can break your crackers down with your trail mix to add more to that.
#9. Make Up Your Own Crisps
While most packets of crisps will be gluten free, they’re not always the healthiest options on the market. You can make your own that are full of nutritious benefits.
No, these are not traditional crisps as you know them. It’s about finding some vegetables that you can chop up and pop into the oven to take with you. They’re options that you can eat hot or cold, depending on when you break into them on your car journey.
Kale crisps and sweet potato crisps are among the most popular. Add a bit of oil and just roast them for a 5-20 minutes (depending on how well done you want them and the type of vegetables you’re eating).
You’ll have crisps that your kids love and they’ll as you for them for their lunches!
#10. Make Your Own Macaroons
How about macaroons for your travels? These are made without extra sugar, as well as without gluten. Your kids will love them. The annoying part will be them constantly asking for more!
- 3 cups of coconut flakes
- ¼ cup of warm water
- ¼ cup of coconut oil
- Artificial sweetener of choice to taste
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup of cacao powder
- Vanilla extract to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400F
- Mix the coconut flakes with the water and oil in a bowl, stirring until the flakes are completely saturated
- Mix the eggs and sweetener in another bowl, before pouring into the coconut mixture
- Add in the cacao powder and mix well
- Roll up the dough into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and then flatten them slightly
- Bake for about 15 minutes, allowing to cool before freezing
By freezing the macaroons, they will last longer. You can also take them straight out of the freezer for the car journey, and they taste so much better ice cold! Freeze in sealable bags to make the travel easier.
#11. Make Your Own Grain-Free Cookies
By keeping grains out of your recipes, you’ll be able to make most of your baking gluten free. This is what you’ll get with these cookies, as other ingredients will create a similar grainy texture when you need it.
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 1 1/3 cups of coconut, shredded
- ¼ cup of walnuts
- ¼ cup of chocolate chips or raisins
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients together
- Scoop out the dough to create small balls and place on the cookie sheet, flattening with a fork
- Bake for 15 minutes
You’ll need to let them cool before eating and store them in an airtight tub. The tub will be perfect for carrying with you on the road.
#12. Do Your Own Peanut Bars
It’s time to create bars that you can just pick up and go. They’re excellent for everyday snacks, as well as ones that you can bulk make and pop in a tub for on the road.
- ¼ cup of peanut butter
- 2tbsp butter/coconut oil
- 2tbsp honey
- 1tbsp coconut milk/cream
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 2tbsp sweetener of choice
- ½ cup of peanuts, preferably dry roasted
- Sea salt to taste
- Mix the honey, peanut butter, and butter in a dish and microwave for a minute
- Whisk in the extract and cream immediately
- Stir in the sweetener and salt
- Fold in the peanuts
- Line the mixture on some wax paper and chill in the freezer
If you want to make them travel ready, you can transfer them into sealable bags once hardened a little. They will need to be moved into the fridge to soften slightly for the road.
#13. Make Some Travel Candy for the Road
You don’t need trail mixes and cookies. You can make your own candy if you want. Yes, candy can be fine for you as a snack, but you will need to eat this in moderation!
- ½ cup of butter
- ½ cup of peanut butter
- ¼ cup of coconut oil
- ¼ cup of coconut butter
- 1/2tsp sweetener
- 1tbsp cocoa powder
- Melt the butter, coconut oil, peanut butter, and coconut butter in a saucepan on a medium heat
- Add in the sweetener and cocoa powder, mixing completely
- Pour into ice cube molds and put in the freezer
You can eat the candies right away. Once they’re out of the freezer, they will start to melt, but you don’t get a complete puddle because of the consistency of the coconut oil and peanut butter.
#14. Create Travel-Friendly Cheesy Biscuits
Like with muffins and cookies, being gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some of your favorite snacks. These cheesy biscuits use substitutes to prevent you completely missing out.
- 6 eggs
- 6tbsp butter
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of baking powder
- 1tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup of coconut flour
- 8oz of cheddar cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Whisk the eggs with the salt, butter, garlic and baking powder
- Blend in the coconut flour until there are no lumps
- Stir in the cheese, until completely combined
- Place rounded sections of dough on the cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes
While these will taste delicious straight from the oven, you can eat them on the go. Pack them in an airtight tub, and they will last your whole road trip.
#15. Travel with a Smoothie Instead
Smoothies are far more portable than you would think. You just have to pour the mixture into a bottle, and you have a drinkable snack on the go. They’re excellent for children and adults of all ages.
- 10 oz of blackberries, frozen
- ½ cup of coconut milk
- ¼ cup of liquid whey protein can use coconut milk to replace it if you want
- Handful of spinach can be omitted but worth it for the extra nutrients
- 1tbsp maple syrup
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- ½ lime, juiced
- Combine everything together in a blender and process until smooth
You can strain the mixture if you want. This will get rid of the blackberry seeds. Pop the mixture back in the blender after this and combine fully to make it smooth and creamy. The seeds will add a little extra fiber to your travel drink.
Buy or Make? It’s Completely Up to You!
We’ve given you a list of ideas for gluten-free snacks on the road. You can make your own if you want, which will help to keep the sugar content down. However, if you’re in a rush and just want to get to the grocery store quickly, we’ve given you a few options to look out for.
Just remember to read the labels. “Gluten-free” isn’t one of those marketing terms that is regulated. Companies promote products this way, even if there is a trace amount of gluten and that could be enough to set your digestive system off.
Look out for companies that put your health first. If in doubt, make your own because you will put it first each time.