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How Do I Choose the Best Gluten-Free Treats?

By Emily Espinoza
Updated May 17, 2024
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To choose the best gluten-free treats you should think about what kind of treats you like best and whether you want packaged food and mixes or if you would rather make your own treats from scratch. There are many different kinds of gluten-free foods available, so you are sure to find a treat that suits your specific likes and tastes. Many companies offer a variety of pre-made foods and mixes, if you want to buy something from a store. If you enjoy making your own treats from scratch, there are a variety of gluten-free recipes and techniques to use.

Just like with any kind of treat, the first step in picking the perfect gluten-free treats is to think about what you like best. You can find sweets such as cookies, cakes, and brownies or savory treats like chips and pretzels all in gluten-free forms. Also think about when you want to have your treat and where you plan on eating it. A treat that will be best for a get together at home might not work as well for a quick snack to take with you to work and vice versa.

There are many brands of pre-made, gluten-free treats available, in health food and online stores, that make finding your favorite snack just a matter of testing out different options. Pick your favorite kind of treat, and try different brands until you find one that you like best. If you want something freshly made but don't want to locate the ingredients yourself, look for gluten-free baking mixes. Be prepared to pay more for these items than you would for traditional varieties, as they are specialty foods that sell to a smaller market. If you don't mind a little trial and error and possibly paying a little more, then the convenience and reliability of store bought gluten-free treats might be the best choice for you.

Another option that can be cheaper and more enjoyable for some people is to make gluten-free treats from scratch. Recipes are available on many websites and in specialty cook books. Some ingredients are naturally gluten-free, which means that some recipes can be gluten-free without using any substitutions that you may not be familiar with. Candied fruits, gelatin dishes, and some peanut butter dishes fall into this category and might be good choices if you want to make something gluten-free without having to venture into using items that you aren't comfortable using. If you are willing to use different ingredients and are craving a more traditional kind of treat, many cakes and sweets can be made with a gluten-free flour such as xanthan gum, guar gum, or pre-gel starch.

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Discussion Comments
By bythewell — On Oct 25, 2014

@KoiwiGal - If you've got a serious gluten allergy you might be better off making your own food anyway. Gluten is a very difficult ingredient to completely remove from processed food, because so much of it is made on machinery that processes food with gluten.

That's another reason why items like gluten free bread or gluten free muffins are so expensive. There aren't many places that are set up to make gluten free items exclusively, and they would tend to be smaller and more expensive to run than bigger factories.

But there are hundreds of recipes online for different gluten free treats and with a little bit of planning and understanding of nutrition it's not that hard to set up a gluten free kitchen at home.

By KoiwiGal — On Oct 25, 2014

@pastanaga - That's the problem with gluten-free snacks in general. Partly it's because the ingredients are more expensive, or more tricks need to be used to get the snack to the right texture. But it's also true that gluten-free items are more expensive because it's a fad at the moment.

I respect people's right to eat whatever they want, but I just wish that this fad would pass so that people who have real gluten allergies could go shopping without breaking the bank. Making your own gluten free treats helps a little bit, but not everyone has the time to do that.

By pastanaga — On Oct 24, 2014

I've got to say that using almond flour in place of wheat flour for gluten free chocolate cake isn't really a negative thing at all. Almond flour makes for a very rich, moist kind of cake, almost fudge-like and I much prefer it to the other kind. It's usually just called a "flour-less" cake even though you are just using a different kind of flour.

The only thing is that it's much more expensive than normal flour and that's why I don't tend to have it that often myself.

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