Need snack help, and have a list of allergens which limits me...
August 18, 2009 6:47 PM   Subscribe

Trying to lose those last few pounds, and snacks are my downfall. I am getting tired of Ye Olde Afternoon Trail Mix. I need some new ideas for carby/protein snacks (to accompany a piece of fruit) which are portable, will keep in my bag all day, and which are compatible with my daunting list of food allergies.

I've lost almost 20 pounds in the last year, and kept it off, for the most part. But it's creeping on again because I am so sick of my snacks that I am tempted by treats when I'm out. I need something a little more substantial in the afternoon, so for as long as I have been tracking, I have been eating a satisfying, filling snack of a piece of fruit and a 1/2 cup of trail mix consisting of rice puffs, craisins or raisins, and soy nuts or sunflower seeds. I am sick of it! I want something else of a similar feel and of a similar satiety. BUT...I have some food allergies, and it's tricky to find things. My restrictions right now (all of these have been verified by medical testing...)

NO wheat products
NO corn products (incl. corn starch)
NO flax
NO tree nuts or peanuts (soy nuts are fine but I am sick of them)
Limited dairy (it's fine in small doses as an ingredient, but no milk or cheese)

Please do not suggest fruits; the snack I am trying to find substitutions for is IN ADDITION to a piece of fruit :)

So far, my list of ideas is pretty minimal. Hummus with carrot sticks or rice crackers with turkey pepperoni. I need stuff I can pack in a tupperware and take with me when out. Something carby/proteiny which can be enjoyed with a piece of fruit.
posted by JoannaC to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think wasabi peas conflict with any of your dietary restrictions. Spicy and gorgeous.
posted by Paragon at 6:53 PM on August 18, 2009

Best answer: Shelled edamame
Wraps made of leaf lettuce & slices of turkey, rolled up (you'd obviously want to refrigerate though)
Baked & marinated tofu cubes (I make my own, but also like White Wave brand)
Wasabi Peas
Beef jerky
Cucumber slices with some kind of non-dairy dressing dip
posted by pluckysparrow at 7:01 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Beef jerky is my quick snack fix. It's not quite as big serving-wise, but the fat content makes you feel fuller, plus it has a nice salty taste/mouthfeel. Check the calories, but it's not too bad caloriewise and actually goes well with pieces of fruit.
posted by jessamyn at 7:03 PM on August 18, 2009

Rice cake?
posted by misha at 7:04 PM on August 18, 2009

I've had the Soynut butter before once and it'd work well with celery, carrots, most other veggies.
posted by ejaned8 at 7:09 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I keep cans of sardines or kippered herring around for protein snacks/small meals. That plus a rye cracker and I'm all set.
posted by ottereroticist at 7:10 PM on August 18, 2009

Hardboiled egg?
posted by corey flood at 7:12 PM on August 18, 2009 [3 favorites]

Seconding sardines and hardboiled eggs. Almonds are also great. All are very nutritious, filling, and full of protein so they don't cause the munchies like carbs can.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:24 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I always keep a high-protein bar in my bag in case hunger strikes; there are so many different kinds out there that you could easily find one which meets your restrictions and that tastes yummy with fruit.

Granola is delicious as well. You can buy it or make your own.

Adding a little soy protein powder to the next batch of (crackers? mini-muffins?) that you bake makes a nice carb/protein mix.

You could also try experimenting with different seeds and dried fruit in your trail mix, such as pepitas or mango slices or whatever you might like. It could be just enough variation to perk your interest again.
posted by moutonoir at 7:25 PM on August 18, 2009

Oh... it looks like almonds are tree nuts. Sorry, ignore that part.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:25 PM on August 18, 2009

Japanese rice crackers. (read the ingredients tho, some mixes may contain nuts or corn starch)
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:32 PM on August 18, 2009

How about a single-serving can of tuna (it will keep in your bag unrefrigerated as long as you don't open it until you're ready to eat it) . If you don't want to eat it plain, you can spread it on a rice cake or scoop it out with celery sticks or carrot sticks.
posted by amyms at 7:52 PM on August 18, 2009

Wasabi peas are not going to work because most tend to have small amounts of either corn starch or wheat flour.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:04 PM on August 18, 2009

Avocado with salt on a slice of bread. Mmmm. (although you probably wouldn't eat an entire avocado in one sitting)
Pita with hummus and olives.
Hardboiled egg.
Soynut butter with sliced apple.
Soynut butter and banana sandwich.
Flour tortilla with beans.
Soy yogurt.
V8 juice (admittedly better when cold) with saltines.
Sunflower seeds.
Sliced tomato with balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.
posted by emd3737 at 8:13 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My list of allergens is similar to yours, and snacks are really hard.

I doubt you can have some of the things suggested - I know I can't. Too many preservatives/flavorings that are wheat or corn (or additionally in my case, soy) based.

If you have access to a health food store, you might be able to get some of the following (or order them online), although you probably already know that they are hideously expensive.

Applegate Farms makes 2 deli meats I can eat - the organic roast beef and the honey ham. That on rice crackers (with maybe a little of Annie's Naturals Honey Mustard which is a safe treat for me, but might add too many calories for you), would make a nice protein add to the fruit.

I make a very similar 'trail mix' although I add dried fruit (Just Tomatoes, Etc. dried pineapple is excellent, no preservatives or sulfites, but again, prohibitively expensive - sometimes there are non-brand-name safe dried fruits available as well). In addition to the puffed rice, I also add Perky's Nutty Rice (think Grapenuts, only rice), although as they also do a Nutty Flax, you may have to check for cross-contamination issues. If I can find a safe crisped rice, I use that too, it adds a satisfying crunch.

Roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, which are easily purchased raw in bulk, and roasted at home, either in the trail mix, or straight up.

I also make oven-baked sweet potato or regular potato chips - if you (can) use canola oil, the fat load isn't too bad.

Hope that helps a bit.
posted by faineant at 8:13 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, I forgot to say, if you thinly spread the deli meat with a bit of hummus and roll it up, you'll get a nice protein load to add to your fruit.
posted by faineant at 8:21 PM on August 18, 2009

Oh, and I was going to suggest something along the lines of a portable form of oatmeal. You might try making some old-fashioned oats that are slightly on the dry side (i.e. less water/soymilk) and then freezing them in individual sized servings. By the time you take it out of the freezer in the morning to whenever you get around to eating in the afternoon, it should be partially to mostly thawed, but the soluble fiber in the oats will keep it kind of stuck together so it won't be completely liquid either. Personally I like to eat it when it's still hard and frozen, but maybe I'm weird that way.

Or you could just make oatmeal muffins. That recipe uses oat flour instead of wheat to avoid gluten, and you'd probably have to substitute soy milk for dairy milk, and it still has yogurt as an ingredient, so it may not be perfect for you, but I'm sure there is some form of a baked oatmeal savory treat out there that will work for you.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:23 PM on August 18, 2009

Soy or coconut yogurt, you could mix in some oats/granola/rice puffs. You could add your fruit to the yogurt. Soy yogurt has more protein, but I've heard that coconut yogurt is really good, and the fat makes it satisfying.

Standard corn and flour tortillas are out, as is bread, but a rice-based substitute would work. A rice cake has been suggested, and I'm not sure what other rice-based bread-like products are available - I'm thinking something along the lines of a chinese steamed bun or piece of mochi. You could eat it with avocado & salt, soynut or sunflower seed butter & jam or honey, or really just about anything.

Seconding the baked tofu cubes. I just cut extra firm tofu into little cubes, season with soy sauce (tamari is good, and no wheat), bake at 400 or so for 20 minutes, turn, bake another 20 min, and let cool. Keeps refrigerated for several days, and keeps for several hours out of the fridge.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:50 PM on August 18, 2009

Really good olives - you can't eat too many but they are very satisfying.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:17 PM on August 18, 2009

Half an avocado.
Dark chocolate.
Breakfast bars
posted by kjs4 at 9:43 PM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Next time you go in for an allergy test, you might want to have the allergist test you for almond allergy. I am severely allergic to peanuts, and allergic to most tree nuts also, but I can have almonds without any problem. They come from a different family of plants, so many people with tree nut allergies can have them.

There are some places in California like Nut-N-Other that do not process the almonds with any other nuts, so are safe for people like me (and maybe you too). They are also often unpasteurized, which you can't get unless you purchase direct from the grower.

/not affiliated, but I have bought a big pack from them
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 9:48 PM on August 18, 2009

Dry roasted chickpeas. They are carby and crunchy and proteiny. And they are yummy. I like to eat them after a workout along with a little plum or a bag of grapes or something. YMMV.
posted by SassHat at 10:02 PM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

Get yourself some wheat-free, corn-free crackers like these, then sandwich peanut butter between two of them. Incredibly filling, keeps well, and I love these crackers (and I can eat as much wheat and corn as I want).
posted by amtho at 3:58 AM on August 19, 2009

Oh, gads, I forgot you can't have peanuts. You could definitely put hummus between these crackers.
posted by amtho at 3:59 AM on August 19, 2009

Soup might be a nice addition. I know several companies have soup that comes in those little microwavable bowls. I'm sure that a lot of varieties won't suit due to wheat or dairy, but the tomato might or a meat and vegetable one might.

Here is a list/description of what I'm talking about.

If these don't suffice I would recommend making soup at home, in a similar heat and eat container and having it instead.
posted by aetg at 5:07 AM on August 19, 2009

I eat a lot of Enjoy Life foods. They're all allergen-free and pretty good. The granola is especially good.
posted by geekchic at 6:27 AM on August 19, 2009

Luna bars and Luna Sunrise bars are wheat and corn free - obviously you'd have to avoid the almond and peanut flavored ones (and I think there are one or two flavors that have macadamia nuts in them - check the labels) but that should still leave you with several types for snacking, unless cross-contamination with the nuts during processing is an issue. I'm supposed to limit how much wheat I eat and I've found that one of the best way to not be tempted into buying a wheaty snack when I am out is to keep one of these in my bag and eat that instead.

pre-cooked sweet potatoes - served cold - cube and roast or grill, or slice, coat lightly with olive oil or cooking spray and bake 15-20 minutes at 375

I eat a lot of raw vegetables as snacks or for lunch, as that's a very straight forward way to avoid common allergens. In addition to carrots, celery & cucumbers, try zucchini or yellow summer squash. Second the shelled edamame if you are looking for protein to go with the fruit.

Just wondering if you ever confirmed you have a reaction to both wheat and corn? I tested positive on scratch tests for both corn and wheat, and then followed the allergy clinic's recommendations for removing them from my diet for a week or two and then reintroducing them (one at a time). Obviously, DON'T try this with nut allergies or if you're avoiding wheat because of the possibility of celiac disease.

I found that I don't seem to have a reaction to minimally-processed corn products - tortilla chips from the natural foods store, corn on the cob, home-popped popcorn, etc. - but I do react to High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Now, I just make sure to avoid that (which is in practically everything) but that's easier than avoiding corn and cornstarch altogether and that felt practically impossible at times.
posted by buttercup at 7:19 AM on August 19, 2009

Smoked salmon!
posted by Pomo at 9:25 AM on August 19, 2009

« Older For women who are over 50 years old. What advice...   |   Help me connect my iPod to my stereo! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.