I recently discovered Betty Lou’s gluten-free products, which is another way of saying I have discovered a happy, healthy haven. Although products like their Nut Butter Balls and Krispy Bites are small, they are packed with nutrients and are satisfying enough to be the only thing you need for a 10am or 3pm (or 1am) snack.
The Almond Butter High Protein Balls were very tasty. The best part is that eating just one is a filling between-meals snack, since the balls probably equate to a small granola bar (but they trick you into thinking you’re eating candy!) The thick, chewy balls are rolled in almonds and made with almond butter, fruit juices, natural grain dextrins, brown rice syrup, and whey protein blends. They do contain oats – but specifically gluten-free oats! The balls are my favorite of all Betty Lou’s products. You can also find other Nut Butter Balls like Cashew Pecan, Peanut Butter, Spirulina Gingseng, Chocolate Walnut, and Coconut Macademia.
Of the Fruit Bars, I have tried the Cherry Fruit Bar, which was heavy – literally. When you heft it in your hand, you wonder if you’ve got a small chunk of metal inside the package. NOT that it didn’t have a great flavor, though, because the cherry was tangy and sharp with a sweet aftertaste. It was rather like an oversized fig newton, with a soft pastry exterior with a fruit filling. While this gluten-free granola bar is physically smaller than other bars out there, it’s got the same amount of nutrients (190 calories, 42g carbs, 2g protein, 5g fiber, and 6% daily value of calcium). It is made with fruit juice concentrate, cherries, apple powder, tapioca starch, inulin, natural flavors, water, pectin, locust bean gm, among others. They do contain oats – but again, specifically gluten-free oats! The vegan, high fiber, low fat, no-cholesterol, and no-trans fat Fruit Bars also come in Strawberry, Apricot, Apple Cinnamon, and Blueberry.
Just Great Stuff Bars are great gluten-free “granola bars.” I tried the Organic Cacao Acai bar, which was nothing like one of those boring bars that just seem to be glued-together trail mix. A chocolaty, chewy bar, it tasted like chocolate, but not overpoweringly. The cocoa taste did not overpower the nuts or the sweet burst of red acai berries dotting the bar. We left them too close to a window, though, and in this Northern Virginia heat, we should have made sure to put them in a cool place. They are made with dates, raw cashews, tapioca syrup, raw cacao nibs, cocoa powder, freeze-dried whole fruits, and other all-organic ingredients. (What are cacao nibs? Unsweetened, cracked cacao beans.) Just Great Stuff Bars also come in flavors like Organic Fruit & Veggie and Organic Superberry Acai.
The organic Krispy Bites, or crispy rice bars, are a great, gluten-free alternative to Rice Krispies Treats (seeing as Rice Krispies, even though they have “rice” in their name, contain gluten!) For a moment I thought I must have grabbed a peanut-butter flavored bar, but in fact there is only one variety. I had not realized it contained peanut butter, so if you don’t like peanut butter, or are allergic, you may not want to try these bites. Otherwise, grab a couple! A light dessert, the Krispy Bites are low in sodium, vegan, and contain no cholesterol or Trans fat. They are made from brown rice syrup, brown rice crisp, peanut butter, maple sugar, and other organic, gluten-free ingredients.
You may have to hunt around a little for Betty Lou’s products. You can find them online or at health shops, including The Vitamin Shoppe. If you can’t find them near you, I highly recommend mentioning them to the manager of your local health food store – maybe you can get them to supply some!
You can find Betty Lou’s products and other tasty gluten-free snacks and treats in the Gluten-Free Grocery Guide.