Gluten-Free Snack Attack!

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When hunger strikes, these nutrient-packed snacks are super-satisfying

America is a nation of snackers. Recent data suggests that, on average, Americans consume about 25 percent of their daily calories in the form of between-meal snacks. Far too often, these calories come from nutritionally lackluster items like sugary sodas, chips and candies.

It’s easy to fall into a snacking rut and get stuck in the same rotation of go-to junk food. That’s why it’s a good idea to have better options to quell hunger pangs and get a quick nutritional boost when cravings hit.

These gluten-free recipes breathe new life into snack time. Serve them for kid-approved after-school nibbles. Enjoy them to counter the dreaded 2:00 pm office slump. From crunchy to sweet, they’re sure to delight.

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Gluten-Free Roasted Carrot Hummus with Tortilla Chips

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Roasted carrots lend a slightly sweet touch to this healthy gluten-free hummus, served with crunchy homemade gluten-free tortilla chips. This recipe makes enough to feed a hungry gathering. Use extra hummus as a delicious sandwich spread or freeze it for future use.

Hummus

1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into
1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
-Juice of ½ lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Chips

4 gluten-free tortillas
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Toss carrots with oil and place them on a baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until tender and beginning to darken, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

3. Place roasted carrots, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, orange zest, cumin and salt in a food processor container and blend into a smooth hummus.

4. To make chips, stack tortillas on a flat work surface and slice in half. Stack again and slice in half. Then slice each large triangle in half to make smaller triangles. Arrange triangles on 2 baking sheets and brush them with oil.

5. In a small bowl, stir together thyme, garlic powder and salt. Sprinkle over tortilla triangles, place in preheated 400°F oven and bake until golden and crispy, about 6 minutes.

6. Serve tortilla chips with hummus.

Each tablespoon contains 52 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 122mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 1g protein, 2 Est GL.

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Gluten-Free Curry Swiss Chard Chips

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Move over kale chips. Chard chips are ready to take over as the new healthy snack. It’s hard to believe that eating greens can be so addicting. For a fiery kick, season gluten chips with cayenne pepper. These are best eaten within 2 days of preparation.

1 large bunch Swiss chard
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon.

2. Rinse Swiss chard leaves and slice off stems and center ribs. Slice the leaves into fairly large pieces of equal size (2- to 3-inch squares) and dry with a paper towel or a salad spinner.

3. Toss chard with oil until all the leaves are coated. Season with curry powder and salt, tossing to coat.

4. Arrange chard pieces in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.

5. Place in preheated oven and cook until dry, darkened and crispy, about 10 minutes. Turn leaves over halfway through cooking. Watch chard toward the end of cooking time to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Each serving contains 56 calories, 4g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 385mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 1g sugars, 2g protein, 3 Est GL.

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Gluten-Free Trail Mix

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Whether trapped in a cubicle or lost in the woods, you’ll find pure satisfaction from this nutritious gluten-free trail mix. The buckwheat delivers toasty crunch while chewy protein-rich jerky adds unexpected savory flavor.

⅓ cup uncooked buckwheat groats
½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
3 cups brown rice crisps/puffs or puffed quinoa
3 ounces gluten-free jerky, chopped
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
½ cup dried apricots, sliced
½ cup unsalted almonds, pecans or cashews, optional
⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1. Toast buckwheat in a heavy dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until darkened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. (Be careful not to burn the groats.) Remove buckwheat from pan.

2. Place pumpkin seeds in the hot skillet. Toast seeds over medium heat until they begin to darken, stirring often, about 3 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine buckwheat groats, pumpkin seeds, brown rice crisps, jerky, chocolate chips, dried cherries or cranberries, dried apricots, nuts (if using) and coconut flakes.

Each serving contains 321 calories, 16g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5mg cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 7g sugars, 11g protein, 20 Est GL.

Gluten-Free Frozen Fruit Skewers with Chocolate Drizzle

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Sometimes the simplest snacks are the most fun. Who wouldn’t line up for chunks of sweet frozen fruit adorned with chocolate sauce? For variety, try pieces of fresh kiwi, pineapple, apricots and peaches.

2 bananas, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 mango, cubed
1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon.

2. Thread fruit alternately onto 6 bamboo skewers. Arrange fruit skewers on prepared baking sheet in a single layer, making sure skewers don’t touch each other. Place in freezer 1 hour or until fruit is frozen. Transfer skewers to a zip-top bag and keep frozen until ready to serve.

3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of lightly simmering water, stirring often until melted. Alternatively, microwave chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted.

4. When ready to serve, remove skewers from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for a couple minutes to slightly soften. Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve.

Each serving contains 119 calories, 4g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 1mg cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 15g sugars, 1g protein, 7 Est GL.

Photography by Matthew Kadey

Gluten-Free PB&J Blini Sandwiches

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Small pancakes hailing from Russia, blini are often served as a fancy appetizer adorned with caviar. Here they make the elegant base for a whimsical, nutritious twist on PB&J that will delight kids and adults alike. These gluten-free blini can be made egg-free; see instructions below.

Blueberry Chia Jam

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup or agave syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ tablespoons chia seeds

Blini

1 cup GF&M all-purpose flour blend or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend of choice ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
-Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
½ cup + 3 tablespoons unflavored milk of choice
1 tablespoon coconut oil (not coconut butter)
⅓ cup seed butter or nut butter of choice

1. To make Blueberry Chia Jam, place blueberries, sweetener and cinnamon in a blender container and puree. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in chia seeds. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

2. To make Blini, combine flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, gently beat eggs and stir in milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter; add additional milk if mixture is too thick. Let batter rest 10 minutes.

3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by the tablespoonful into pan and heat until edges begin to brown and bubbles form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 minute more or until golden brown on the bottom. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed, making about 22 mini pancakes. Cool on a wire rack.

4. To serve, spread some seed butter or nut butter and blueberry-chia jam on a blini and top with another blini.

Each serving contains 260 calories, 13g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 73mg cholesterol, 244mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 8g sugars, 8g protein, 16 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Blini Sandwiches, omit 2 eggs. Add 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch to dry ingredients. Mix well. Combine 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespoons hot water. Let cool. Use this mixture in step 2 to replace the eggs.

Contributing chef Matthew Kadey, RD, (muffintinmania.com) is author of The Muffin Tin Chef and The No-Cook, No Bake Cookbook (Ulysses Press). 

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