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Gluten-free foods that taste good

If you must follow a gluten-free diet, try some of these products—they'll please your palate

Published: November 21, 2014 06:00 AM

We don't recommend gluten-free diets for everybody, but 7 percent of Americans must avoid the protein—found in wheat, barley, and rye—because they have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. If you're among them, you don't want to give up flavor when you give up gluten. The good news is that we found some products that passed muster with our professional tasters.

We tasted 36 gluten-free foods that don't contain rice. Why? Our food safety experts have found that rice and rice products often contain arsenic. Many gluten-free foods are made with rice flour. Another problem with gluten-free foods: they aren't necessarily healthier. The calories, fat, sugars, and salt don't magically dissappear along with the gluten. In fact, manufacturers often bump up the sugars, sodium, and fat in their products to improve texture or flavor. So before you buy, be sure to scrutinize nutrition facts labels.

 

Gluten-free foods (with no rice!) that passed our taste test

Our professional tasters gave these a thumbs-up. Still, be mindful of nutrition.

Product

Description

Nutritional info

Absolutely Gluten-Free Original Crackers

With nicely browned edges, this product looks and tastes like a typical water cracker. Toasted grain notes and moderate saltiness are well-balanced in this crispy and crunchy snack.

9 crackers: 60 calories, 2 g fat, 50 mg sodium, <1 g fiber, 0 g sugars.

Against the Grain Gourmet Original Rolls

Slight eggy flavor; mild overall. Toasting improves texture and flavor. Relatively high in fat and sodium.

1 roll: 223 calories, 11 g fat, 272 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugars.

Bob’s Red Mill
Gluten-Free Pancake Mix

More browned-looking than a regular pancake. Mixed nonspecific grain flavors with toasted notes and slight sweetness. Overall, the flavor is better than the texture. Sodium was significantly higher than in similar mixes.

2 4-inch pancakes:
210 calories, 6 g fat, 700 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugars

Flax 4 Life Wild Blueberry Muffin

Moist, dense, and dark brown. Flavorful and fairly complex, with oats, apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Denser and less cakelike than you might expect of a blueberry muffin; more like an apple-cinnamon muffin than a blueberry one.

1 muffin: 300 calories, 14 g fat, 420 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 22 g sugars.

General Mills Corn Chex, Gluten Free

Crispy-crunchy woven squares taste of toasted corn. Straightforward taste, mild and clean.

1 cup: 120 calories, 0.5 g fat, 220 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugars.

Kind Plus Peanut 
Butter Dark Chocolate
 + Protein Bar


Lots of big pieces of nuts, with a dark-chocolate coating on the bottom and chocolate drizzle on top. Moderately sweet; a firm and chewy bar with some crunchiness from the nuts.


1 bar: 200 calories, 13 g fat, 40 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber, 9 g sugars.

Live G Free Gluten-Free Penne Rigate 100% Corn Pasta (Aldi)


Mild corn flavor makes it
a good substitute for regular pasta flavorwise, but it has a chalky texture. Adding sauce helped.

2 oz., dry: 190 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugars.

Lucy’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toasted oatmeal flavors give them more of an oatmeal- cookie taste. On the salty side, with slight-moderate sweet- ness; very light and crispy texture. Sodium is a bit high.

3 cookies: 130 calories, 5 g fat, 170 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugars.

Maninis Papa’s Pane Rustic Multigrain Bread Mix

We had to add 1⁄4 tsp. sugar to the yeast to get good results with this mix. Moist, tender, and nutty with a flavorful crust. Better toasted.

1/14 loaf: 120 calories, 4.5 g fat, 160 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugars.

Mission White
 Corn Tortillas
 Nutritional Info

Light tan with brown flecks, they have a rubbery feel
in the hand, but that doesn’t translate to the palate.
 A basic corn tortilla.

2 tortillas: 100 calories, 2 g fat, 10 mg sodium,
3 g fiber, 2 g sugars.

Smart Flour Classic Cheese Pizza

Browned mozzarella cheese on a toasted, thin, crispy crust and a slightly sweet tomato sauce. Flavors are well-balanced overall. High in sodium.

1⁄2 pizza: 340 calories, 14 g fat, 830 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugars.

XO Baking Company Fudge Brownie Gourmet Mix

Dense, moist; makes a fudgy rather than cakelike brownie. Calories and fat are similar to a regular mix.

1 brownie: 170 calories, 8 g fat, 95 mg sodium,
2 g fiber, 19 g sugars.

 

 

Other gluten-free products worth trying

Against the Grain Gourmet Three Cheese frozen pizza Lärabar Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip snack bar
Against the Grain Sesame Bagels Maninis Classic Peasant Bread Mix Miracolo Pane
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Brownie Mix
Mediterranean Snacks Lentil Crackers, Sea Salt
Flax 4 Life Mini Flax Muffins, Chocolate Brownie
Nature Valley Roasted Nut Crunch Peanut Crunch snack bar
Glutino Original New York Style Bagels
Sam Mills Pasta
 d’Oro 100% Corn Pasta Penne Rigate
Kashi Organic Promise Indigo Morning breakfast cereal
XO Baking Company Gluten-Free Pancake & Waffle Gourmet Mix

 

 

Check our Food & Drink Guide for information in nutrition, food safety, and much more.

Don't bother with these gluten-free foods

Absolutely Gluten Free Classic Cauliflower Crust Pizza Luna Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter snack bar
Ancient Harvest Gluten-Free Quinoa Penne Maninis Gluten Free Rigatoni
Breads from Anna Black Bean Brownie Mix Nature's Path Organic Mesa Sunrise Gluten Free cereal
Doctor in the Kitchen Flackers Savory Schar Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Julian Bakery Paleo Bread Almond Smart & Delicious Gluten Free Wraps Ivory Teff
Julian Bakery Paleo Wraps Zemas Multigrain Pancake & Waffle Mix

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