Local Gluten-Free Snacks That Are Healthy and Delicious | Coho Market
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Local Gluten-Free Snacks That Are Healthy and Delicious

What Are Gluten-Free Snacks? 

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes many negative health effects, like damage to the small intestine, when gluten triggers the immune system. In order to treat the disease, celiacs limit their gluten, the storage proteins in wheat, rye, barley, and other cereal grains.

According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, roughly 1% of Canadians are celiac, with the population seeing an approximately 35% increase in celiac disease in recent decades. With celiac disease being undiagnosed 90% of the time, even more Canadians are unknowingly suffering from the effects of too much gluten consumption. Many other individuals have a gluten intolerance, which is associated with symptoms like bloating and stomach pain, that requires that they reduce if not eliminate all forms of gluten.
 
Maintaining a gluten-free diet can be incredibly time consuming since it requires close reading of labels and doing extensive research on companies’ sourcing and production processes. Gluten-free food can’t contain ingredients that contain gluten, nor ones made in facilities that risk cross-contamination. Oats, for example, on their own are permissible, but often come into contact with other grains with gluten. Therefore, only completely uncontaminated oats can be considered gluten-free.
 
While there are many gluten-free snacks out there, it’s important to choose ones that are nutritious and use whole, natural ingredients. Snacks high in fibre, B vitamins, and iron can fill some nutritional gaps caused by a lack of wheat in a gluten-free diet.
 

What Are Some Types of Gluten-Free Snacks? 

Happily, the number and range of gluten free snacks are increasing. Whole foods, like nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, are very healthy options. Typical snack items, such as crackers, and granola and energy bars, can all be modified to include only gluten-free ingredients, like rice and nuts. Other products like popcorn, chips, and corn tortilla chips usually don’t contain gluten, as long as they are kept natural and free of additives with gluten. Bakeries are also making more gluten-free muffins, cookies, and cakes, but it’s really important to pay attention to their nutritional content since they can often have excess amounts of sugar.
 

Where to Buy Gluten-Free Snacks?

With the increased prevalence of celiac disease, more grocery stores are stocking gluten-free snacks. Retail outlets that prioritize local producers, health, and more specialized diets tend to carry gluten-free items. Examples within Vancouver include online companies, like Spud, or in-person retailers like Choices Markets and Jarry’s Market in Ladner. There are also retailers such as the Low Carb Grocery in Burnaby that focus on gluten-free selections.
 

Some Local Gluten-Free Snack Brands to Know 

Below you’ll find a curated and diverse list of local gluten-free snack ideas that will keep you satiated without sacrificing your gut health.
 

Next Level Bars

Founder Eric Lofgren went in search of healthy protein bars at his local supermarket and left disheartened at the selections available. Besides seeking a nut-free product, he also wanted one that was free of refined sugars, artificial fillers, and celiac-friendly. The now former engineer embarked on rigorous research development to eventually arrive at Next Level Bars, which are delicious, filling, and nut- and gluten-free. Using only whole plant-based ingredients, they provide a stable energy boost when eating needs to be quick and convenient. “The Apples, Spice, and Everything Nice” contains dates, organic dried apples, as well as comforting spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. And “The World’s Healthiest ‘Chocolate Bar’” gives you the pleasure of a chocolate indulgence, but with tons of iron and protein that will keep you feeling virtuous.

Next Level Bars
 

Eve’s Crackers

Eve Laird was battling eczema and decided to make shifts in her diet to combat her skin issue. She created crackers that would be good for her: ones that are gluten-free, vegan, and use only real ingredients. The crackers come in various flavours, like black sesame with brown Canadian flaxseeds and chia seed, and sunflower seeds with golden Canadian flaxseeds and chia seeds. High in fibre, these gluten-free healthy snacks have both great crunch and savoury flavour. They go especially well with a tasty spread.

The True Nosh Company’s Goji Granola and Granola Bites

Noshing can be good for your body, as proven by these two gluten-free, plant-based snacks. Owner and dietician Renée Chan crafts products free of sugar, gluten, and preservatives in order to combat the onset of diseases like diabetes. The company’s granola comes packed with fibre and organic ingredients, like gluten-free rolled oats, dates, pumpkin seeds, dried goji berries, and flax seeds. If you’re looking for an easy way to fuel up, their Granola Power Bites are ideal. The True Nosh Company adds fig to their delicious granola before pressing it into nuggets for on-the-go munching.
 

Mindfoods’ Chia Puddings

Get out a spoon and enjoy these creamy and healthy chia puddings. As opposed to dessert puddings, Mindfoods specializes in functional versions that are vegan, gluten-free, and free of preservatives and artificial flavourings. Your body will be particularly thankful that the puddings contain gut-friendly prebiotic fibre, 15 essential minerals and vitamins, and adaptogenic mushrooms and herbs, which aid in combating stress. The pudding comes in three flavours: Cosmic Cacao, high in antioxidizing superfoods; Strawberry Zen, which packs a Vitamin C punch for stronger immunity; and Banana Prana, which features freeze-fried banana, walnuts, chia seeds, lucuma, and maca.

Mindfoods Banana Prana

FreeYumm

FreeYumm’s pledge to produce inclusive food began when founder Sarah Clarke saw her son excluded when his friends shared food. The company’s gluten-free baked goods are free of common allergens, including peanuts, eggs, and dairy. FreeYumm stands by the purity of their baking facility, as well as the high quality of their ingredients. Their baked bars have simple, nourishing ingredients combinations, such as one with dried blueberries, gluten-free oats, and honey. Their crackers, which are super crunchy, feature seasonings and spices like nutritional yeast, paprika, and chili powder, to add savoury flavour to each bite. They’re a great snack to put in your backpack as you head out the door.

BiTE Snacks’ Protein Powders

It’s time to get on board for the next sustainable superfood: crickets! A Vancouver company is enthusiastically Bringing Insects To Everyone with their gluten-free, highly nutritious, and planet-friendly products. Although you may be hesitant to try them, crickets actually have a host of nutritional and environmental benefits, including being high in protein, containing more calcium than milk, and requiring substantially less water and land than livestock. BiTE sells cricket protein powders in two flavours, chocolate and vanilla, which you can add to smoothies, shakes, or any other snack that you want to amp up nutritionally. Besides the cricket protein, the powders feature other all-natural ingredients, such as organic pea protein, hemp protein, and kale. The rich, satisfying taste of the powders will convince you that crickets not only are a nutritious food source, but also taste good.

 Bite Snacks Protein Powder

NoochPOP 

While popcorn can be a great snack, it can become unhealthy when topped with butter, tons of salt, and artificial flavour enhancers. NoochPop offers amazing taste while being naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and entirely plant-based. The flavour of their popcorn comes from nutritional yeast, a vegan seasoning that’s creamy and cheesy, and an excellent source of vitamins, protein, and minerals. If you love savoury snacking, you’ll enjoy grazing on the Kinda Nacho and Kinda Garlic options, while fans of kettle corn will be reaching for Kinda Sweet n’ Savoury.

Healthy Gluten-Free Snacking Is Possible

Because all of these companies are so passionate about their customers’ health, they have found ways to make gluten-free munching tasty and nutritious. Their commitment to transparent labelling and pure ingredients takes the guesswork out of finding  gluten-free snacks.

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