I’m a huge fan of naturally gluten-free food. It’s usually healthier, usually cheaper, and IMHO, usually tastier, too. That’s especially this time of year when there are a lot of yummy options almost in season!
And yet…there are so many reasons packaged foods do absolutely come in handy from time to time, whether it’s because of job demands, travel, outdoor activities that prevent easy access or you just need to have something shelf-stable and portable in the car in case of emergency.
I’ve put together a updated list of some of my favorite healthier options among packaged products, with an eye out towards ones that are lower in sugar, higher in fiber and protein, and less processed. Obviously, you don’t want to forget naturally gluten-free options, too!
- Altbars® (vegan)
- Larabars®(vegan) I’m particularly jazzed about the Larabar minis!
- Pure bars®(vegan) Certified GF
- Health Warrior Chia Bars Certified GF
- Prana Bar(vegan)
- Epic bars
- Raw Revolution Bars®(vegan)
- Kind bars®
- Bumble Bars®(vegan)
- No Opportunity Wasted bar®
- NuGo bars®–Certified GF
- Zingbars®–Certified GF
- Rise bars®
- Clif Mojo Bars (only some Clif bars are gluten-free–grab carefully)
What do I consider a gluten-free healthy bar? In a nutshell, mostly ingredients your grandmother would recognize, some protein and fiber for fullness and of course, gluten-free. These also avoid artificial sweeteners and soy protein isolate.
- Bhuja Snacks®–Certified GF
- Caveman Cookies®
- Enjoy Life® (allergen friendly–none of the top 8 used)
- Funky Monkey Snacks (top 8 allergen-free facility)
- Hail Merry’s®-Certified GF
- Just Tomatoes® Fruits & Veggies
- Mary’s Gone Crackers® –Certified GF
- Nuts.com® (many options are certified GF)
- The Good Bean Roasted Chickpeas–Certified GF
- Chickpeatos–I’ve seen these in Whole Foods in Alexandria & I love them!
Quick meal options
- Amy’s has great bean soup options
- Pacific has many soups, including veggie soups
- Progresso has many options that are labeled gluten-free
- Gluten-Free Cafe
- Amy’s Organic® has frozen entrees, with vegan and vegetarian options
- Beetnick frozen foods–certified GF, lots of options
- Dr. Praeger-veggie burgers, veggie patties, fish sticks & more.
- Garden lites® soufflés and muffins, vegan and vegetarian options.
- Glutenfreeda® has a wide variety of options. Nutritionally speaking, the burritos are healthier than the ice cream sandwiches, of course
- Dr. Praeger’s® Gluten-free California Veggie Burgers (check the box—they also sell products with gluten but test gluten-free products for safety)
- Hilary’s Eat Well® Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers
- Qrunch®burgers Vegan and allergen friendly
- Sunshine burger® Nutritionally, the most fiber and protein packed g-free veggie burger I’ve seen!
- CookSimple® has a variety of boxed meals (some gluten-free, some not)
- GoPicnic® has pre-packed meals that are shelf-stable. (some vegan options)
- St. Dafour® has tinned meals (some gluten-free, some not)
Cereals: (other great breakfast options here)
- Certified g-free oatmeal—many brands are tested gluten-free:Udi’s, Glutenfreeda, Cream Hill Estates, and more.
- Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal®
- Crunchy Flax from Enjoy Life®
- Erewhon Buckwheat and Hemp Cereal®
- Kind Healthy Grain Clusters®
- Mesa Sunrise®
- Emma’s Organics
Ah, the task of finding a g-free bread with enough fiber. Try these:
Julian Bakery (variety of lower carb, higher fiber options)
Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Wellcoach in Fairfax & Alexandria, VA. She helps people with a range of dietary issues , including Celiac Disease, GI issues, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals and feeling great! Email or call 571-271-8742.