Snack Attack is a new column featuring nibbles that writers and editors on the LSA team truly enjoy. This week, Deputy Editor Shatricia Nair shares the best gluten-free snacks that are available in Singapore. Spoiler alert: They don’t taste like cardboard.
Once upon a time, people who were gluten-free in Singapore had but a few options if they wanted to survive the mid-day munchies.
There were those styrofoam-y rice crackers — at times thinly dipped in chocolate in an effort to mask the signature cardboard-esque staleness — and the occasional muffin that was as dense as the bimbo you went to school with. But best of all, there was fresh fruit, the healthiest gluten-free snack that could possibly exist, yet so psychological unrewarding that even the rice crackers sounded like an indulgent treat.
The frustration is real, but we’ve truly come a long way here when it comes to gluten-free snacks. The diet requires eliminating any traces of gluten found in food, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale — a cross between wheat and rye. Like a glue that holds everything together, it’s what helps foods like bread and pizza maintain their shape and give it a chewy, satisfying texture.
Unfortunately, this means that gluten-intolerant folks like my partner have had to make do with very slim pickings whilst I piled on the calories with wild abandon. Until now. The gluten-free snack industry has boomed over the past year as more and more people either avoided gluten due to sensitivity or for its immediate health benefits, which include reducing chronic inflammation, easing digestive symptoms and better energy levels.
Whether you’re a celiac, are mildly intolerant, or are simply trying to cut back, these gluten-free snacks are light, tasty and (somewhat) nutritious, so you can finally toss the edible styrofoam aside and deal with your munchies like a regular human being.
Perfect for cheese platters or simply as an easy mid-day snack, these potato-based crackers are made with Gouda cheese, and are seriously addictive with its generous cheesiness and crunch.
Those who’ve had to give up this all-American classic will find plenty of joy in this gluten-free version. These savoury braided pretzels taste just like the ‘real thing’, and are gently dusted with sea salt and baked to golden perfection – perfect for movie nights by the fistfuls.
Oats do not contain gluten naturally but are often contaminated by other grains during the production process. Scottish brand Nairn’s has my vote for using only carefully sourced pure gluten-free oats to ensure zero cross-contamination during the growing and milling process. While the brand offers other delicious flavours like chocolate chip and coconut dark chocolate, these crisp stem ginger version triumphs for being a less sweet version of the tea time classic, all while packing the same warm spiciness as a regular ginger snap.
A tasty and healthier alternative to potato chips, these oven-baked crisps are laden with seaweed, sesame seeds and almonds to be a light and crunchy snack rich in essential minerals and vitamins. Each serving of the morish snack is only 55 calories, and because of the nuts will keep you satiated for longer. If you were trying to cut down on snacking, these are just as great when crumbled on top of salads.
Sweet popcorn is obviously superior, but for those who hang out with naysayers, this mix is the next best alternative. This one is made with organic corn that’s been sustainably farmed, and then popped with coconut oil for an extra nutty and wholesome flavour, before being seasoned with raw, fair trade organic sugar from India and organic sea salt from Marlborough, New Zealand. Perfect if you want a light but satisfying snack to share.
Made with rice, these plant-based snack puffs come in a trio of flavours — cheese, lightly salted, and sweet chilli — for any occasion. They’re also baked to be healthier and lighter than other fried snacks in the market, and are each packed full of flavour (none artificial, thankfully) for maximum satisfaction. It’s also free from other allergens like dairy, nuts, soy, and palm oil so it’s suitable for those with special dietary requirements.
Filled with rich, decadent Belgian chocolate, these all-butter cookies are a mix of the holy trinity — dark, milk, and white chocolate chunks — for the ultimate sweet treat. Serve with a cuppa joe for the ultimate mid-day indulgence.
Made only from Cello’s award-winning parmesan cheese, these crisps are airy, crunchy and a great source of calcium. The high-protein treat is a moreish alternative to regular crackers, especially with a glass of wine. They’ll also do double duty as tasty toppers for soups, pasta dishes, and salads.