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16 best gluten-free snacks that are tasty and kind to tummies

From crisps to bars to bakes – we followed our gut on this one

Emily Goddard
Friday 11 March 2022 15:11
<p>One in 10 people in the UK avoid gluten, but the choice of free-from foods is growing</p>

One in 10 people in the UK avoid gluten, but the choice of free-from foods is growing

Over the last decade or so, gluten-free foods have emerged from obscurity to go from specialist health food products to mainstream supermarket staples. Free-from aisles are growing, bringing choice and variety to the one in 10 people in the UK who avoid gluten altogether.

Among that cohort are those with coeliac disease, an autoimmune condition that damages the gut lining when gluten – the protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye – is eaten. And according to Coeliac UK, the condition affects one in every 100 people. And others might experience non-coeliac gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy.

Unfortunately, the condition has no cure, and the only treatment is a diet free of gluten for life. Besides being found in obvious foods such as pasta and bread, gluten lurks in other places, including sausages, fish fingers, soy sauce and some chocolate and crisps. In fact, what people embarking on this lifelong change will likely have found is that almost everything in a packet seems to contain gluten.

When picking up a quick snack, you really need to know your onions (or rather, grains) or pick products explicitly marked as gluten-free. Luckily, the number of specialist gluten-free snacks continues to edge closer to that of gluten-containing ones. To help you discover your favourites, we’ve rated some of the best around.

How we tested

We tracked down a wide variety of gluten-free snacks, both sweet and savoury, that will keep you going until your next meal. There are crunchy titbits, chewy morsels and even some with exotic flavours in the mix. We’ve rated each on their taste, texture and how satisfied they left us. Stock up on these delights, and you’ll always have something on hand when the urge for a light bite strikes.

Read more:

The best gluten-free snacks for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Creative Nature ultimate snack taster bundle: £16, Creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk
  • Best all-natural snack – Chika’s taster box plantain crisps, 12 packs: £11.85, Chikas.co.uk
  • Best gluten-free brownies – Positive Bakes brownie and blondie selection gift box, 25 portions: £22.95, Positivebakes.com
  • Best throwback snack – Crave pickled onion monster feet, 80g: £1.73, Thevegankind.com
  • Best vegan gluten-free sweet treat – Flower and White vegan meringue bar taster pack, 10 bars: £14.99, Flowerandwhite.co.uk
  • Best vitamin-enriched snack – Perkier variety snack box, 8 bars: £9.99, Perkier.co.uk
  • Best fruit snack – Soul Fruit discovery box, 10 bags: £15, Soulfruit.co.uk
  • Best for crunch – Shore Seaweed chips mixed case, 12 packs: £24, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for carnivores – The Can-D Food Co premium candied smoked bacon, 100g: £8.95, Can-d.co.uk
  • Best gluten-free crackers – Cru8 raw carrot and sesame crackers, 35g: £2.65, Meltedinside.com
  • Best dip – ChicP beetroot and horseradish houmous, 150g: £2, Ocado.com
  • Best lentil chips – Properchips mixed box, 16 x 20g packs: £13, Proper.co.uk
  • Best cheesy nibbles – Cheesies variety pack, 6 x 20g bags: £8.99, Cheesies.co.uk
  • Best biscuits for cheese – Seggiano organic buckwheat digestive biscuits, 150g: £4.40, Seggiano.com
  • Best for kids – Eat Real veggie straws kale, tomato and spinach multipack, 5 x 20g bags: £2.20, Sainsburys.co.uk
  • Best keto snack – Nibble simply multipack, 12 x 36g packs: £17.99, Nibblesimply.com

Creative Nature ultimate snack taster bundle

Best: Overall

Rating: 9.5/10

People with coeliac disease, and all manner of allergies and intolerances for that matter, will appreciate Creative Nature’s approach to snacking – that is, free of the top 14 allergens including dairy and nuts, but packed with flavour. This brilliant selection box of sweet goodies includes some of the brand’s popular snacks, such as its filling protein bars, oatie bars and – our favourites – gnawbles. These are like light and crunchy, allergen-free Maltesers covered in chocolate and with four exquisite flavours, including hazelnut and a protein salted caramel. In total, 11 sweet snacks are included, which also makes this bundle excellent value for money.

Chika’s taster box plantain crisps, 12 packs

Best: All-natural snack

Rating: 9/10

All too often, grabbing a snack means eating something that’s been highly processed and doused in artificial nasties, and that’s why we love Chika’s plantain crisps. They are entirely natural and contain only ingredients you would find in your own kitchen: a bit of salt, sunflower oil and chilli, which is why they are iyanu, the Nigerian word for amazing.

The lightly salted flavour has the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, while tantalising chilli adds a bit of warmth, and both flavours are super crunchy and ever so satisfying. Another thing we love about Chika’s is that it donates two per cent of its profits to its initiative that supports girls in Africa through education.

Each taster box contains six, 35g bags each of the lightly salted and tantalising chilli flavour plantain crisps, so this is a serious bargain for a top-quality product.

Positive Bakes brownie and blondie selection gift box, 25 portions

Best: Gluten-free brownies

Rating: 8.5/10

Sometimes, only a sweet, indulgent bite will do when it comes to snacking, and there are few sweeter and tastier than these brownies from this gluten-free, plant-based family business. This selection box is perfect as a gift for a loved one or yourself, and opening it to find 25 perfectly portioned brownie and blondie bites brings an instant smile.

You’re also unlikely to become bored because included are eight wonderfully different flavours, such as caramelised white chocolate blondie, hazelnut brownie, mango and ginger and a classic brownie. The texture of each flavour varies, but all are delightful.

If you are buying this for yourself, 25 bites might sound like a lot to get through before they pass their best, but the handy thing about these is that they can be stored in the freezer and taken out 20 minutes before eating to keep them fresh.

Crave pickled onion monster feet, 80g

Best: Throwback snack

Rating: 8.5/10

People of a certain age will know what we mean when we call this our best throwback snack. These are a bag of pure nostalgia and a crunchy, flavourful one at that. But this pickled onion flavour, which we actually think are better than the original because of their super punchy taste, are from a brand that makes delicious snacks and treats especially for people who avoid allergens. As well as being gluten-free, these are egg-, milk- and lactose-free, and they’re suitable for vegans.

Beware of one thing: these crisps are outrageously more-ish, and 80g is a generous bag, so perhaps put a portion in a bowl rather than eating them from the bag if you’re alone, because you’re at risk of polishing off the lot.

Flower and White vegan meringue bar taster pack, 10 bars

Best: Vegan gluten-free sweet treat

Rating: 8.5/10

Some might assume that being vegan and gluten-free can be restrictive, but actually, there are plenty of snacks in our roundup that would be suitable. Finding vegan, gluten-free chocolate snacks could, however, be slightly trickier, but we think we’ve found one of the best here. These dreamily light, sweet bars have a tasty, crunchy meringue centre, either chocolate or strawberry flavoured, and are enrobed in creamy vegan “milk” chocolate. They hit the spot when something sweet is called for, without being too heavy. We especially like that they come in plastic-free paper packaging, and that they are made with natural colours and flavours.

Perkier variety snack box, 8 bars

Best: Vitamin enriched snack

Rating: 8/10

A nourishing, balanced diet should provide you with all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, but sometimes we might need a little help from a supplement. Taking vitamin and mineral pills is fine, but we’d much rather eat that goodness in the form of a satisfying snack bar like these.

Inside the box are four energy bars, three vitamin bars and one active cultures bar. The vitamins bars are especially impressive because they contain your entire recommended daily allowance of vitamins D, C and B12, while the energy and active cultures bars are high in fibre and contain gut health essentials.

Besides the goodness inside, they all taste fantastic with crunchy nuts and seeds, fruits and natural sweetness from ingredients such as date syrup. Perkier also does good by donating excess products to food banks and using only 100 per cent recyclable packaging.

Soul Fruit discovery box, 10 bags

Best: Fruit snack

Rating: 8.5/10

Fresh fruit is, naturally, a perfect gluten-free snack for anybody in need of a bite to eat, but the superfruits in this discovery box are hard to come by in the UK and are the ideal treat for exotic flavour lovers. The bundle includes two bags each of soft dried dragon fruit, dragon fruit chips, soft dried keo mango, keo mango chips and jackfruit chips.

Each type is sensational, but our favourite is the soft dried dragon fruit, which includes slices of both the white-fleshed and pink-fleshed pitaya varieties. It is a chewy, flavoursome snack that is not too sweet, but just right.

Our only grumble is that we wish more could be stuffed into each bag. Although, happily, these snacks are carbon-neutral and all-natural, with no added sugar, preservatives or sulphites, and they’re also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Shore Seaweed chips mixed case, 12 packs

Best: For crunch

Rating: 7.5/10

This is a seaweed snack, but not as you know it. These more closely resemble crisps than dried, dark green nori sheets, but sustainable Scottish seaweed is one of the main ingredients, and that unmistakably salty, umami taste is there. This mixed case contains four bags each of the lightly salted, sweet sriracha and Asian Peking flavours. The lightly salted brings out the umami flavour, and the other two are punchy, both with sweet Asian notes. The best thing about them is the scrumptious crunch. These snacks are also suitable for vegans as well as high in fibre and iodine.

The Can-D Food Co premium candied smoked bacon, 100g

Best: For carnivores

Rating: 7/10

This is not a snack we’d come across before, but we were certainly intrigued and had to try it. What we found was an ingenious, meaty, astonishingly delicious snack perfect for carnivores. Bitesize, beechwood smoked dry-cured bacon is coated in grade A Canadian maple syrup and baked to create the stickiest, most indulgent snack.

Each 100g pack is made with 200g smoked bacon and 66g maple syrup. The contrast of sweet syrup with salty smoked bacon is a flavour revelation, and these meaty nibbles can be eaten on their own or used in dishes such as canapes or atop salads. The only obvious downside is the price; this is not a cheap snack but a delicious one, nonetheless.

Cru8 raw carrot and sesame crackers, 35g

Best: Gluten-free crackers

Rating: 8/10

Looking at these crackers, you certainly wouldn’t immediately think they are raw, but maybe that’s part of the appeal. The goodness of the healthful ingredients – natural seeds, carrots, herbs and spices – is maintained during the low-temperature drying process that allows the separate elements to bond to form a satisfying crunchy cracker with a brilliant texture and oodles of flavour. These are, again, on the pricey side, but they are packed with high-quality ingredients and are satisfying. They are also best eaten with dips (see below) or cheeses or salads.

ChicP beetroot and horseradish houmous, 150g

Best: Gluten-free dip

Rating: 9/10

We couldn’t exactly include crackers without mentioning the perfect dip for them, and this is the best we’ve tasted. Earthy beetroot and zingy horseradish combine to create a perfectly balanced flavour and wonderfully smooth and creamy texture that is ideal for dipping, but also for dolloping on salads. The brand was founded by a chef who decided to find a way to put all the food waste in the catering industry to good use, and so, this houmous made from wonky vegetables was born. Made with natural ingredients it’s also suitable for vegans and those avoiding dairy.

Properchips mixed box, 16 x 20g packs

Best: Lentil chips

Rating: 8/10

Lentil chips are not new, we’re sure we’ve all tried at least one bag, but have included them in our roundup because of how well they’re made and the brilliant, powerful flavours. These include sea salt, sweet sriracha chilli, barbecue, sour cream and chive and salt and vinegar. The latter is our favourite because it is among the punchiest iterations of this classic combo, perhaps second only to the famously strong Discos. These lentil chips are perfect as a light snack with a good crunch.

Cheesies variety pack, 6 x 20g bags

Best: Cheesy nibbles

Rating: 8.5/10

We’ve long been fans of Cheesies, but we still can’t get our heads around how they turn little bites of cheese into such moreish crunchy snacks; it’s witchcraft. Inside each bag is a different variety of cheese, namely cheddar, emmental, goat’s cheese, gouda, chilli cheese and red leicester, but only one ingredient: cheese. It’s just cheese, dried and baked, but the result is a tangy, umami, crunchy dream. They are the perfect partner to a glass of wine and ever so satisfying.

Seggiano organic buckwheat digestive biscuits, 150g

Best: Biscuits for cheese

Rating: 7/10

From cheese to more cheese, but not quite. With this snack, you’ll need to add a cheese of your choice that will sit perfectly on top of these deep brown gluten-free biscuits. They’re definitely the savoury type of digestive, not the sort you’d dunk in tea, and they have a robust flavour, thanks to the stoneground organic whole grain buckwheat. These biscuits are handmade in small batches in Puglia, and they’re hearty and crunchy – a must on your cheese boards.

Eat Real veggie straws kale, tomato and spinach multipack, 5 x 20g bags

Best: For kids

Rating: 8/10

The kids will be all right with these tasty, crunchy snacks made with vegetables, including potato, spinach, tomato, kale and beets. They look like long, square tubes in multiple natural colours to correspond with the flavours and are suitable for a light bite or in a lunchbox alongside other snacks. The flavours are hard to differentiate, but they all have savoury, almost salty, notes without being overpowering. We think these are the best value snacks in our roundup, with each bag in the multipack costing less than 45p.

Nibble simply multipack, 12 x 36g packs

Best: Keto snack

Rating: 7.5/10

Our selections in this roundup have mostly been pretty carb-heavy so far, but we wanted to recommend these snacks for people following a low-carb diet. The multipack contains four bags each of the double choc chip, choc chip cookie dough and lemon shortbread flavour titbits.

The bitesize pieces all have a cashew nut base, with makes them ever so creamy and filling, and they contain other natural ingredients and flavours to give them their unique tastes. The texture is a lot like a fudgy cookie dough or biscuit batter, which is always pleasurable to eat. As well as being low carb, they also contain 60 per cent less sugar and 160 per cent more protein than standard cookie dough.

The verdict: Gluten-free snacks

If variety is the spice of life, you can’t go far wrong with the Creative Nature ultimate snack taster bundle, which gives you three types of sweet snacks, all with different flavours. It is also a safe bet for people worried about gluten contamination because it comes from a brand designed specifically for people who avoid the top 14 allergens, including gluten. The flavours are delicious, and even in one box, you have snacks with various textures.

We’d also like to mention Crave pickled onion monster feet for the nostalgic charm, and Chika’s taster box plantain crisps for the all-natural ingredients, social responsibility credentials and reasonable price.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on gluten free snacks and other foodie buys, try the links below:

Inspire your elevenses with our best snack boxes to bring variety to your tastebuds

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