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Gluten-Free Snacks and Standout Cereals!
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Gluten-Free Snacks and Standout Cereals!

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04.03.13
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Dear HG,

I follow a gluten-free diet, and I get so excited when I see gluten-free finds in your emails. What are some of the best gluten-free snacks on supermarket shelves?

Gluten-Free Gary

Hi Gary,

There are a lot of gluten-free products out there, but not all of them are impressive in both the calorie and taste departments. Luckily, many of them ARE, and I've got picks for every craving...

The Crispy and the Crunchy - I love Crunchmaster crackers, and the new-ish kid-friendly Crisps line is especially amazing. There are Cinnamon & Sugar Grammy Crisps and Cheddar Cheezy Crisps, both crazy flavorful and delicious. Each serving (25 Grammy Crisps or 60 Cheezy Crisps) has 120 - 130 calories and 2 - 3g fat (PointsPlus® value 3*). That's a lot of crisps per serving! Also great are Mediterranean Snacks Baked Lentil Chips. These super-light and airy crisps come in fantastic flavors like Cucumber Dill and Parmesan Garlic, and a 1-oz. serving (about 22 chips) has 110 - 120 calories and 3g fat (PointsPlus® value 3*). Nice!

Surreal Cereal Finds - Chex offers half a dozen whole-grain gluten-free cereals, including Honey Nut, Chocolate, and Apple Cinnamon (the latest, and my favorite!). A serving (3/4 - 1 cup) has 100 - 130 calories and 0 - 2.5g fat (PointsPlus® value 3 - 4*). Not only are these good in the a.m., but they also make great ANYTIME snacks!

Snack-Bar Bash - I love LUNA Protein Bars. They come in fun flavors like Mint Chocolate Chip and Cookie Dough, and each one has 170 - 190 calories and 5 - 8g fat, plus 12g protein (PointsPlus® value 4 - 5*). The new ALT bars by Larabar are also gluten-free. (And they contain PEA PROTEIN. Cool!) Another favorite of mine is Perfect Foods Bar Lite Cranberry Crunch. It's made with peanut butter and dried fruit, and it's SO GOOD. Each bar has 200 calories, 10g fat, and 10g protein (PointsPlus® value 5*). Cranberry Crunch is the only Lite flavor, but there are Mini versions of a couple of non-Lite flavors, with 100 calories and 6g fat each (PointsPlus® value 3*). These aren't shelf-stable, so you'll find them refrigerated near the yogurt. And saving the best for last, my newest obsession, which just so happens to be gluten-free: Quest Bars!!! They come in many insanely amazing flavors. My favorites are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Apple Pie, and Cinnamon Roll! Each bar has 160 - 210 calories and 5 - 10g fat, plus a whopping 16 - 19g fiber and 20 - 21g protein (PointsPlus® value 4 - 5*). YUM!

Decadent Dessert Find - Getting your hands on a great-tasting dessert that's guilt-free AND free of gluten is definitely not easy. Amy's Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies, however, ROCK. These new sweets are crammed with fudgy chocolate deliciousness. Each brownie (about 1/5th of the pan) has 150 calories and 6g fat (PointsPlus® value 4*). Find them frozen at Whole Foods. This find is a MUST-TRY!

Grande Dame Van's - And finally, the jack-of-all-trades in the gluten-free game: Van's! Check out all the incredible items that Van's Natural Foods has in its lineup: baked crackers (we're obsessed at the HG HQ), whole-grain cereal, chewy snack bars (Cranberry Almond's a fave) and, of course, WAFFLES!

Still hungry? Click here for a bunch more gluten-free goodies! 

Hi Hungry Girl,

I know you like Fiber One Original, but what other cold cereals do you recommend? What should I look for, nutritionally speaking, when choosing a cereal?

Serious 'Bout Cereal

Hi Serious,

Good Q! The original Fiber One cereal is fantastic because it's SO versatile. Click here for proof! But there are many other great cereals to put in your breakfast bowl. Check 'em out...

Fun Flavored Cheerios - The classic Os have come a long way! Now there are flavors like Cinnamon Burst, Dulce de Leche, Chocolate, and Multi Grain Peanut Butter (my FAVORITE). And as decadent as these sound (and taste), the stats are completely impressive. Each serving (3/4 - 1 cup) has 100 - 120 calories and 1 - 2g fat (PointsPlus® value 3*).

More from Fiber One Cereals - I like pretty much every cereal in the F1 lineup. My top picks are the 80 Calories Chocolate cereal (3/4 cup has 80 calories, 1g fat, and a PointsPlus® value of 2*) and the Caramel Delight (1 cup has 180 calories, 3g fat, and a PointsPlus® value of 5*). Love these! Just like the Original, they're incredible in recipes. Click here, here, and here to see!

Puffed Stuff - It can be a little boring on its own, but mixing unsweetened puffed cereal (like wheat, corn, or rice) with other cereals is a great way to enjoy a giant cereal bowl without giant stats. (Click for a fantastic recipe.) There are only about 60 calories and 0g fat in a cup of these puffed cereals (PointsPlus® value 1 - 2*). For 70 cals per cup, Kashi's original 7 Whole Grain Puffs are really good too!

Speaking of Kashi - I really like the Honey Sunshine, Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal, and Simply Maize cereals. Each of 'em has 120 calories or less per serving (PointsPlus® value 3*). Nice!

Other good options? Kellogg's Krave, Barbara's Puffins, Peanut Butter Toast Crunch (amazing!), and Special K Cinnamon Pecan Cereal.

In general, I look for cereal that's low in fat (3g or less) and high in fiber (4 grams or so) with no more than 150 calories per cup. BTW, serving sizes can vary greatly among cereals (anywhere from 1/4 cup to 2 cups), so keep that in mind when reading labels. And don't forget to account for the calories coming from the milk you add to your cereal bowl. Click here for my favorite milk swap and here for more milk 411. Happy chewing!

Pass this on to your gluten-free friends and cereal-loving gal pals (or guy pals). Click "Send to a Friend" to share!

CHEW ON THIS:

It's National BLT Month, a.k.a. April. Celebrate with a BLT B-fast Burrito, BLT Pizza, or BLT Wonton Crunchies!

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*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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