Hey there, fellow sweet tooth! Have you ever found yourself craving a sweet treat, only to be reminded of the dreaded “G” word – gluten? This guide to gluten free candy has everything you need to know to enjoy those tasty treats without feeling yucky afterward 🙂
Recently, we took my daughter to Great Wolf Lodge for her birthday and they had a fun, brightly colored candy store.
Everything looked so good, but candy can be sneaky when it comes to gluten. You have to be a downright detective to figure out what’s safe to eat. And often the people working at the stores really don’t know much either.
With these simple tips, though, you can stroll into that candy store with confidence and knowledge!
So, get ready to embark on a delicious adventure as we explore the wonderful realm of gluten-free candy, where indulgence knows no boundaries!
Understanding Gluten and Its Implications
Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, can wreak havoc on the digestive system of those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. It can cause bloating, digestion issues, headaches, brain fog, and other symptoms depending on the person. Doesn’t that sound fun?
Even worse, if you have celiac disease, consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune response, damaging the small intestine and leading to various health complications. As a result, individuals with gluten-related conditions must adhere to a strict gluten-free diet.
At first, all of this can seem like one big bummer – it’s so overwhelming and depressing not to be able to eat what you once enjoyed. Give it some time, though. Learn what you can have that you really love, and it won’t seem so bad after all 🙂
Identifying Gluten-Free Candy
Okay, are you ready for a treat?! Let’s take a look at the mouthwatering array of delicious and safe treats waiting to be discovered.
From rich and velvety chocolates to chewy gummies and tantalizing hard candies, there are gluten-free confections to satisfy every craving.
Gluten Free Chocolate Candy
Picture yourself biting into one of these yummy chocolate treats! Here are some of my chocolatey favorites:
- Glutino Gluten Free Chocolate Wafers
- Schar Twin Bar
- Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Squares
- Endangered Species Chocolate Bars
- Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Related Post: Are Twix Gluten Free?
What about Gummy Candies? Good news there! Most gummy candies are naturally gluten free. Cross-contamination is always a concern, however, so I always look for bags with a GF label just to be sure. Here are some safe choices:
- Surf Sweets Organic Gummy Bears
- YumEarth Organic Gummy Worms
- SmartSweets Fruity Gummy Bears
Craving something to keep you busy for a while? Hard candies are a classic choice. Look at for these tasty choices:
- Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
- Lemonhead Lemon Candy
- Brach’s Star Brites Peppermints
Regrettably, most popular licorice brands, like Red Vines, do contain gluten in both the black and red licorice varieties.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have licorice ever again.
Check out these alluring alternatives.
- Smart Sweets Red Twists (GF and only 2 grams of sugar)
- YumEarth Organic Licorice (comes in strawberry, pomegranate, and black licorice)
Related Post: Are Twizzlers Gluten Free?
The best part? These options are just the tip of the iceberg. The world of gluten-free candy is vast and ever-expanding, with new brands and flavors constantly hitting the market.
Okay, now that we know which candies are safe to eat, let’s take a look at ingredients to watch out for.
What to Look Out For
When it comes to choosing gluten-free candy, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure you’re making a safe and satisfying choice. Let’s dive into what you should look for when selecting gluten-free candy options.
First and foremost, always check the ingredient list.
Scan through the list carefully, keeping an eye out for any gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat flour, barley malt, or malt extract.
While it’s important to be vigilant, don’t worry! Many candy manufacturers now clearly label their products as “gluten-free” or provide a gluten-free certification logo, making it easier for you to identify safe options.
See the photo for an example. It would be very hard to miss the wheat in the licorice ingredients below.
Another helpful tip is to do some research on reputable brands that specialize in gluten-free candies like Schar and YumEarth. These brands have a dedicated line of gluten-free products, ensuring that their candies are crafted with care and meet strict gluten-free standards.
Homemade Gluten Free Candy Recipes
For those with a creative flair in the kitchen, homemade gluten-free candy can be really fun to make! By using gluten-free ingredients and following simple recipes, you can craft delectable treats that are safe and satisfying. Here are a few easy-to-make recipes to try:
- Easiest Gluten Free Kit Kat Dupe:
- Ingredients: 1 bag of chocolate chips (use the good stuff lol) and 3 packets of Schar Hazelnut Wafers (found at Walmart and many grocery stores).
- Step-by-step instructions can be found at Gluten Free Kit Kat Recipe
- Healthy Homemade Gummies:
- 1 cup orange juice (not from concentrate), 1 1/2 tbsp beef gelatin, and 1-2 tbsp honey
- Step-by-step instructions included at Food Faith Fitness
- Crunchy Caramel Popcorn:
- Ingredients: butter, brown sugar, light or dark corn syrup, salt, baking soda, vanilla, popped popcorn
- Step-by-step instructions can be found at Mary’s Busy Kitchen
Navigating Online Gluten Free Candy Stores
Finding gluten-free candy is sometimes easiest online where you can easily search for what you want specifically. Reputable online retailers and specialized gluten-free stores offer a vast selection of candies, allowing you to explore and order from the comfort of your home.
Celebrating Special Occasions with Gluten Free Treats
Special occasions often revolve around candy, and gluten-sensitive individuals shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun. During holidays like Halloween or Easter, finding gluten-free alternatives is essential. Consider these ideas:
- Gluten Free Halloween Ideas: Look for gluten free candies and chocolates, or hand out non-food treats like stickers or small toys.
- Gluten Free Easter Ideas: Opt for gluten free chocolate eggs, marshmallow treats, or homemade gluten free cookies.
- Gluten Free Christmas Ideas: Lucky traditional Christmas candy like candy canes and peppermint are often naturally gluten free. You could also make some fun homemade sugar cookies with the kids for a special treat!
Social gatherings or parties can be a little tricky since most people don’t really know what a gluten free diet entails. It’s a VERY common way to get glutened (meaning you get sick from accidentally eating gluten).
My solution? If it’s a potluck-type situation, I will bring along my favorite gluten-free treats to share and then just eat that. It’s an excellent opportunity to educate others about gluten-free options and showcase the delicious treats available. Win-Win!
The Wrap Up
So while you can’t have any candy you want on a gluten free diet, there are many yummy options available and you can usually find a GF alternative to your favorite treat. A little knowledge goes along way, and I hope this article made things a little easier to indulge your sweet tooth 🙂