FEAST FOR FREEDOM
Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

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When you're trying to eat more whole food it's a good idea to plan ahead for snacks and treats.

Snacks - chips, guacamole, coconut shrimp, cheesecake cookies
Image by: Thora Toft

Since they're often some of the worst foods, the effort you spend in planning will pay off big time.

I'll provide links to several recipes below so you can find something that fits in with your eating plan.

Getting Started:

Most snack food won't be perfect, but you can reduce a little bit of the problems, or a lot of the problems.

You can decide if you'll focus on something with less sugar, or lower carbs, or less processed oils, or you'll eat less of it, etc.

If you make them yourself you have a much better opportunity to use the best possible ingredients.

Sweet Snacks:

You can use less sugar or use a natural sugar substitute that's a bit better (stevia, monkfruit, honey, maple syrup).

You can make cream cheese based no bake cookies if you're going for less grains. You could make something like gluten / grain free apple crisp instead of pie.

You can also use way less chemicals when you make it yourself. Homemade whipped cream can be made with just pure cream; add a tiny bit of sugar to make it just a bit sweet. No spray can needed.

Things like homemade ice cream are excellent when you're on a higher fat diet, because you can use recipes that just use cream instead of milk. You can also reduce the sugar, or use natural sugar alternatives. You can even make your own fruit sauces that are really simple and much better than fake fruit syrup.

You can make fruit based dairy free ice cream (sorbets) if you're cutting out dairy, and sweeten with a natural sugar alternative.

You can even make pudding from non traditional ingredients. Such as chocolate pudding with a base of avocados. I know that might sound really weird, but the texture is perfect, and you can't taste the avocado at all. Or you can make peanut butter (or almond butter) and banana pudding and you can even add chocolate to make another great treat everyone will love.

If reducing or cutting out sugar is a goal, your taste buds will adjust to a LOT less sugar over time. I can attest to that personally! I probably eat 90% less sugar than years ago, and even when I do some baking I use about 1/2 of the sugar the recipe calls for, and it still tastes really sweet.

Even if you're not looking to reduce anything in particular, making your own sweet treats gives a great chance to eliminate all artificial additives, and use better quality ingredients and be able to make much closer to whole food treats for your family.

Savory Snacks:

You can use quality oils instead of cheap processed seed oils (coconut oil, butter, lard).

You can make homemade potato chips with homemade dip or guacamole if you're going for reducing poor quality oils. As an alternative to potatoes you can even make fried plantains.

You can make deep fried snacks with gluten or grain free batters such as coconut shrimp.

You could choose a recipe that's quite different than you're used to, such as having homemade chicken wings instead of popcorn, if you're going for lower carb.

You can make your own roasted seeds. Either start with plain seeds, and toss them in butter and salt and oven roast them. Or you can even make your own roasted pumpkin seeds.

You can make your own popped corn in an air popper or on the stove, and sprinkle on your own seasoning mixes instead of premixed popcorn or popcorn seasoning. This may not seem like much of a change, but reducing the chemicals is a big deal for a lot of people. We assume such a tiny amount won't make much difference, but it really can. Even the tiniest amount of msg or a number of other types of additives will give me a migraine for a couple days, so I can attest to the fact it doesn't take much to have an effect.

Just like with sweet treats, making savory treats from scratch will give you a big chance to eliminate the additives, and it's always better to use high quality ingredients. You can make closer to whole food treats for your family.

Recipes to Make Whole Food Snacks:

Experiment with some different treats that suit your tastes and food plan, so you're always ready when you have some craving - you can indulge and not feel guilty, or at least not quite as guilty.

Here's a collection of recipes for sweet and savory treats for you to try out. Enjoy! (The only recipe I mentioned that I don't have a link to is chicken wings.)

Ice Cream and Sorbet:
Fruit Sauces:
Puddings:
Grain and Gluten Free Cookies:
Chips and Deep Fried Snacks:
Chip Dip and Spice Mixes:

Cook, eat and indulge!

Thora

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