gluten free recipes

By Mary Frances Pickett

Three Gluten Free Summer Snack Ideas

I got an email this week from a reader who wanted gluten free snack ideas, so I thought I’d share our current favorites =) I really wish we weren’t driving today because I could get some hilarious pictures of the kids digging into any three of these options. Maybe later =)

1. Raw Jicama with Sabra Red Pepper Hummus

Jicama is a roughly cylindrical root/tuber type vegetable that may be unfamiliar to you unless you’ve enjoyed some authentic Latin American cooking. The outside peel is a tan color and you peel that off. The inside is white, crunchy, and and somewhat similar to a watermelon in texture, just crisper. I slice the jicama into long sticks and then we dip it in the Sabra Hummus.

Sabra Hummus carries a gluten free label, and it’s one of my favorite foods right now. Many grocery stores carry it, but the price is usually best at Walmart. Walmart also usually has jicama in the produce section, so we generally get this snack when we’re shopping at Walmart.

2. 2% Plain Greek Yogurt with Honey

Our kids seem to be able to handle Greek yogurt pretty well, so I like to get this for them as a special treat or when they’ve had a stomach upset from accidentally eating gluten. We use the 2% varieties because I want the kids to get fat in their diet. We use the plain because we’re reading through Winnie the Pooh at bedtime and my kids get super excited about eating honey =)

So, for this snack we scoop some yogurt into a bowl, drizzle it with honey (the kids prefer raw honey) and dig in. If it’s a super special treat then we’ll also add almonds or dried fruit on top.

3. Melon, melons and more melons

Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew….if it’s a melon my kids will eat immense quantities. Melons are in-season right now so it’s a great, and usually affordable, snack choice.

The only difficulty with melons is determining if they are ripe. A ripe cantaloupe should smell like cantaloupe when you hold it close to your face and sniff. The rind of a cantaloupe looks like a green or yellow ball with heavy tan webbing on top. A ripe cantaloupe is more yellow than green underneath the webbing.

I still haven’t figured out how to pick a good honeydew, so we generally get the pre-sliced selections for that. I do sniff the package to see if I can smell honeydew, and if not we keep looking.

The best way to pick a good watermelon is to get an honest farmer whose grown a lot of watermelons to pick it for you. If you don’t have one of those handy, then I do as my grandmother taught me and look for the ground spot. The ground spot is the area where the watermelon lay on the ground. It should be more yellow than white when the watermelon is ripe.

I also look over the rind, making sure that there are no squishy parts. I also pick up a few melons that look good and see if any of them seem heavier for their size than others. A good watermelon should have plenty of water in it, and that will make it heavier.

Gluten Free Cooking School - playing with watermelon snack

Why Do You Keep Mentioning Snacks for the Kids and Not For Yourself?

I noticed as I was writing this that I kept referring to the kids. These snacks are not just for kids! I enjoy all of them myself. But, our kids need snacks a lot more often than John and I do, so when I fix these snacks it’s generally for the kids.

One thing that John and I have noticed after 18 or so months of eating a mostly grain-free and sugar-free diet, is that we’re just not as hungry. I rarely need a snack between meals. It’s actually more common for me to skip a meal because I’m not hungry, than to get hungry between meals. I mention this only because some people believe that it’s necessary to snack between meals, especially if you want to lose weight, and I thought it would be useful to state that this has not been our experience when we’re eating grain-free and sugar-free.

What’s your favorite summer snack? It looks like we’ll be dealing with heat for a few more months. Is there anything in particular that we should try while it’s hot and there are lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in season?

Gluten Free Cooking School - manhandling a watermelon

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