Whether you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, have a gluten intolerance, or live with someone who doesn’t eat gluten, you know how hard it can be to avoid the protein found in wheat, barley, or rye. For those of you who haven’t experienced it first hand, imagine having to always pass up the breadbasket, donuts, pasta, and freshly baked cookies (not to mention other products with hidden gluten, like salad dressing and even lip balm). Yep, it’s not easy.
Luckily, the food industry has caught on to the growing demand for gluten-free products and there are many more options than there were just a few years ago--no more cardboard-like slices of bread! To help you choose, our editors did a taste test on many gluten-free products, rounding up our favorite breakfast breads, sandwich breads, granola bars, and cookies. They are so good, even your most gluten-loving friends won't know they're gluten free.
Keep in mind, just because these products are gluten free, doesn’t mean that they are automatically healthier. Our editors' picks are based on taste, but luckily most of our favorite brands make an effort to use wholesome ingredients as well. But be sure to read the labels to see if they are a good choice for you and read these tips for successfully going gluten-free from our resident nutrition expert and RD, Cynthia Sass.
Glutino Gluten-Free English Muffins: Though these English muffins look like the typical gluten-free freezer variety, once thawed we found them soft and fluffy. They taste great with a drizzle of honey.
Van’s Gluten-Free Waffles: We were already fans of Van’s frozen waffles, so it was a nice surprise that their gluten-free varieties were just as delicious. One staffer said they were so good she could eat them plain.
Udi’s Gluten-Free Blueberry Oat Muffin Tops: The oats give these morning treats a heartier texture without affecting the classic blueberry muffin taste we all love. Better yet, this muffin is free of other common allergens, like dairy, soy and nuts.
Schar Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bagels: We loved that once thawed, these bagels had the same chewy texture as the gluten-filled variety…and here in NYC we know our bagels! The cinnamon raisin had just the right amount of flavor and could easily be eaten plain, you don’t even need a toaster.
Udi’s Harvest Crunch Muffins: These muffins taste like an indulgence, but surprisingly, they are filled with good-for-you ingredients like sweet potato, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds.
Udi’s Millet-Chia Bread: Besides being filled with super nutritious ancient grains, this gluten-free bread is as soft and moist as typical wheat bread. It’s perfect for making a typical turkey sandwich or a more creative take on the lunch staple.
Glutino Genius Bread: The best thing since sliced bread! Glutino hit the nail on the head with this line of gluten-free bread. No toasting required means it’s a winner in our book.
Food For Life Gluten-Free Yeast Free Brown Rice Bread: Though this bread definitely needs a good toasting, it boasts a smaller ingredient list than many other highly processed gluten-free breads and has only 1g of sugar.
Granola and granola bars:
Bakery on Main Gluten-Free Granola Nutty Cranberry Maple: You’ve been warned, this stuff is addicting. It’s a great yogurt topper, cereal substitute, or even just straight out of the bag. But watch your portion sizes because this stuff is a little high in calories.
Pamela’s Whenever Bars: These soft snack bars make for an easy breakfast on the run or afternoon snack. The Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut and Blueberry Lemon varieties were a hit with Health staffers during the afternoon slump.
Van’s Gluten Free Granola Bars: These soft and flavorful granola bars make for a perfect mid-morning snack and with 4g of fiber they will keep your tummy from rumbling before lunch. Our favorite flavors are Cranberry Almond and Peanut Butter Chocolate.
Pamela’s Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies: Everyone needs to be able to indulge in a chocolate chip cookie once in a while. These soft cookies filled with good quality (and size!) chocolate chunks won us over.
Udi’s Snickerdoodle Cookies: With the same buttery flavor of a typical snickerdoodle you would never know this was gluten-free. But we are giving you fair warning that these will go fast…their small size and great taste makes it hard to stick to the 2-cookie serving.