Is it Gluten-free? Summer Snack Edition
Summer is a time for sweet treats, and the sheer volume of items our community wants to test with Nima is mind-blowing this time of year! There are some great items on their minds. A lot of people are searching for answers to the same question: “Is it gluten-free?” Testing everything from candy to ice cream/apple pie toppings to one of the most traditional summer treats around, we decided to share Nima results for some of your most sought-after summer treats: Cool Whip, Swedish Fish, Rice Krispie Treats, M&M’s and one adult treat, Tequila.
Nothing tops off a great slice of pie at a picnic or a cool ice cream sundae like Cool Whip. But is the fluffy, sugary topping gluten-free? Only Nima knows the answer! To test, make sure to use a minimal amount of Cool Whip. It’s not quite a jelly bean, and not really a liquid either, so getting the sample size is important. Check out this video for sample size tips. Low and behold, Cool Whip came up gluten-free!
These bright red gummy candies were honestly new to me, but there are a large number of folks trying to find out if they are gluten-free. Swedish Fish been around since the mid 1900s in America and are very popular in Canada as well as their native Sweden, where they come in a black “salted herring” variety! But we were able to find and test the tried-and-true red variety, and luckily, Nima found them to be gluten-free. Again, remember to refer to our video on testing gummy or chewy foods with these little fishies! We also tested other movie theater candies for your summer blockbuster snacks.
Rice Krispies Treats
Are Rice Krispies gluten-free? These gooey yet crunchy snacks are a favorite for camping and picnics, and they are even available in a pre-packaged from. We tested on of the packaged variety after checking the ingredients list. The most suspect ingredient listed is “malt flavoring” which an internet search suggested was likely made from barley. When we tested with our Nima, we did find gluten in this packaged dessert.
Thankfully, these tasty treats can be made gluten-free incredibly easily! There are several varieties of gluten-free rice puff cereal out there, like Nature’s Path and One Degree, who even make a cocoa flavored variety! Just add those and gluten-free marshmallows (which is just about all of them, but test one first with your Nima to be sure!) to history’s simplest recipe:
- ¼ cup butter
- 4 cups marshmallows
- 5 cups Rice Puff cereal
- Melt butter in large pan on low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended. Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
- Add cereal, and stir until well coated.
- Using a spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13 x 9 inch pan. Cut into 2 x 2 inch squares when cool.
In the realm of adult treats, a big part of our community wanted to know if tequila was gluten-free. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the chemistry in the Nima capsule, it can’t test alcohol or alcoholic beverages for gluten. The good news is that unless some form of gluten were introduced after distillation (and we can’t imagine why that would happen) all distilled spirits are gluten-free. Tequila is distilled from agave plants and not any kind of wheat or barley so every major variety like Jose Cuervo, Herradura, El Jimador, Sauza, Patron, Don Julio and Hornitos are all naturally gluten-free! If you decide to make margaritas with some form of non-alcoholic margarita mix, it might be a good idea to test that liquid, but remember that alcohol can’t be tested with the Nima sensor.
One of the world’s most widely loved candy treat, M&M’s famously “melt in your mouth, not in your hands.” Sounds perfect for snacking in the summer sun. Did you know they were originally developed that way to allow soldiers to carry chocolate without melting? Loads of folks want to know if these brightly colored candies are gluten-free and … well frankly, there are just too many to test in one post! So, check out our gluten-free guide to every M&M variety currently available, coming soon!