The symptoms of food allergies vary widely. Some can be uncomfortable or unpleasant, while others are life-threatening. If you’re allergic to common allergens such as wheat or dairy, it’s helpful to keep a few creative and allergy-free snacks on hand. A rotation of tasty, safe treats is more fun for snacking. Explore new choices like fruit purées or plant-based chocolate! A little variety can help keep you more satisfied when you eat.
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1. Fresh Fruit
When your usual allergy-free snacks get boring, grab fresh fruit! There are many fruit options and ways to eat them. Whole pears and nectarines are perfect. Or try sliced apples and grapes in a fresh fruit salad. Whether you like to munch on an entire fruit or eat in pieces, here are a few more choices to make snack time interesting:
- Dragon Fruit
Eat your fruit alone or combine fresh flavors for a unique and delicious treat. Fruit is packed with vitamins and low in calories. It’s also easy to add to meals and simple to swap to keep things interesting. Best of all, you make a nutritious snack when you eat allergy-free.
2. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a sweet, wholesome alternative to fresh fruit. It’s easy to store and combine with other ingredients for a filling treat. Plus, it has a nice chewy texture that differentiates it from many of the crunchy, allergy-free snacks. Keep raisins and dried cranberries on hand to eat out of the box or bag. If you’re making breakfast or lunch, you can add them to a hot cereal or salad. For those new to eating dried fruit, try a fan favorite like cherries or apricots.
Golden raisins are a nice treat any time of day, but you may also be interested in dried mango chunks or apple slices. Try dried strawberries or dates. Some people don’t know you can dry pineapple or blackberries for a satisfying snack. We like to recommend blueberries or figs for something off the beaten path. Other common, delicious choices include kiwi or cantaloupe.
3. Fruit or Veggie Chips
Potato chips are delightfully salty and crunchy but are not the healthiest choice. Why not explore fruit or veggie chips instead? Some of the same fruits you enjoy dried also come in a satisfyingly crunchy chip form.
It’s easy to find fruit and veggie chips in most grocery or health food stores. If you like to bake, try this DIY fruit and vegetable chip recipe. We love making and eating apple chips and baked plantains. Pear chips and kale chips are so snackable you’ll have to make a deal with yourself to put them down. Make beet chips or parsnip chips at home. Or try a recipe for chips made with bananas or sweet potato slices. Eat them plain or season them with spices like salt or cinnamon. They’re portable, so you can enjoy them on the couch or take them when traveling.
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Popcorn is a classic snack that almost anyone will enjoy. It’s a gluten-free grain that is good for most people with allergies. Buy plain popcorn without the included dairy butter or additives. Then, you can keep it undressed or season it as you wish. Popcorn is so easy to make that you can have a quick snack whenever you get hungry. It also stores well, so you can pop a bag and keep some of it to snack on later. If you’re a fan of healthier snacks and big flavor, some of the best popcorn toppings include:
- Sea salt
- Nutritional yeast
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Curry powder
- Dried chives
- Dried rosemary
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
If you want to make a sweeter popcorn recipe, try a sprinkle of ginger or cocoa powder. How do you keep the toppings on the popcorn? Toss it in a drizzle or two of vegan butter or olive oil. The moisture will help the herbs or spices stick to the kernels. Now, you have a sweet or savory snack that tastes amazing and keeps you allergy-free!
5. Vegan Chocolate
No, you’re not dreaming. Allergy-free snacks can include chocolate! Check the ingredients list before eating. However, many of the best vegan mini chocolate bars are milk and soy-free. Most vegan chocolate bars don’t contain animal products, which is perfect for people with dairy or egg allergies. Most dark chocolate bars and plant-based chocolates are gluten-free. Double-check every bar if you have nut allergies. Plain dark chocolate bars are usually okay, but some plant-based chocolates include tree nuts or nut butter.
There are many ways to enjoy plant-based and vegan chocolate as an allergy-free diet. Snack on a bite-size dark chocolate bar, or add vegan baking chocolate to your recipes. Bakers can make everything from chocolate cake to brownies with allergy-free ingredients. Some of our favorites include dark chocolate baking discs made with pure cacao and non-alkalized cocoa powder.
6. Gluten-Free Pretzels
Pretzels offer a nice twist on the usual allergy-free treats. There are many pretzel types to keep snack time interesting. Pick gluten-free pretzels to make sure your snack is allergy-safe. Then, decide whether to dress up your pretzels or eat them plain.
Classic hard pretzels make a satisfying snack, especially when paired with a plant-based milk or fruit smoothie. For a little extra flavor, dip the pretzel in hummus or guacamole. Pretzel rods are tasty when eaten alone or drizzled with melted vegan chocolate. Twist pretzels and mini pretzels are salty and crunchy snacks that you can take with you wherever you go. Enjoy them by the handful, or try them with a fun pairing like salsa or black bean dip. Allergy-free snacks are anything but boring!
Find Your New Favorite Allergy-Free Snack
Food allergies should be taken seriously, but they’re also something you can work with to enjoy delicious snacks stress-free. Educate yourself on your allergies and the food ingredients that can make you sick. Then, be sure to choose allergen-free products that you can enjoy alone or add to your meals.