The Miami Herald

A new breed of gluten-free goodies

Wheat crackers are so boring, so passe, especially with so many people showing signs of wheat sensitivity. But if wheat and gluten are out, what’s in?

Crackers and chips made with other whole grains, nuts and legumes. They sound like wholesome hippie fare, but they’re a new breed of great-tasting, gluten-free snack.

Mary’s Gone Crackers ($4.49, 6.5 ounces) were created by Mary Waldner, who was diagnosed with Celiac disease and was desperate for something wheat-free and snack-worthy. Made with brown rice, quinoa, flax and sesame seeds, they’re organic, whole grain and vegan.

These flat discs offer terrific crunch and a taste to match. They’re available in a bunch of flavors, from toasty original to assertive black pepper. One serving — about 13 crackers — contains 140 calories, 5 fat grams, 190 milligrams sodium and 3 grams each of fiber and protein.

Lentil Crackers ($3.50, 4.5 ounces) from Mediterranean Snacks are square in shape and light in body and flavor. The original flavor tastes a little like Wheat Thins but without the wheat. They’re made with lentil and corn flours, milk and sugar, but are gluten-free and non-GMO. A 1-ounce serving — about a dozen crackers — contains 110 calories, 3 fat grams, 200 milligrams sodium, 1 fiber gram and 5 grams of protein.

Blue Diamond, makers of all things almond, now offer baked nut chips ($2.99, 4.25 ounces). These tasty triangles are the sassier, snackier sister to Blue Diamond’s nut thin crackers. They’re almost as addictive as tortilla chips but contain half the fat. They’re baked, not fried and made with whole grain brown rice flour and almonds. A 15-chip serving contains 130 calories, 3.5 fat grams, 170 milligrams sodium, 1 fiber gram and 3 protein grams. The chips come in a vegan-friendly sea salt flavor, as well as nacho flavor and sour cream and chive.

All chips and crackers are preservative-free and available at Whole Foods and some supermarkets including Publix and Fresh Markets.

Dip

Pea and Mint Puree

A trade-up from your standard cracker deserves a trade-up from your standard dip. This refreshing pea spread is lighter than hummus, naturally sweet and brilliantly green. It’s just the thing for summer. Spread on crackers, scoop up with chips and fresh veggies. We’re past the season for fresh peas, but frozen ones do the job just fine.

1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed

1 garlic clove

1 bunch mint (about 1 cup of leaves, loosely packed)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor for 2 minutes or until smooth and well-combined. Taste for salt. Makes 1 1/4 cups, 4 to 6 servings.

Per serving: 173 calories (69 percent from fat), 14 g fat (1.9 g saturated, 9.9 g monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 3.4 g protein, 10.5 g carbohydrates, 3.8 g fiber, 192 mg sodium.





© 2012 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.miamiherald.com