Gluten-Free Foods: Cookies, Crackers and Snack Product Review

Reader Contribution by Staff
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What would you do if you discovered you could no longer eat most breads, crackers, cookies or nearly all processed foods? Enter the world of the majority of people living with gluten intolerances and Celiac disease, one devoid of glutinous grains (wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats). While the severity of a gluten sensitivity can vary, it can be difficult — and often impossible — for people with gluten allergies to find good snack foods. The “cardboard” texture that can result when baked goods do not contain gluten can make buying a box of rice crackers daunting.

The editorial team at MOTHER EARTH NEWS decided to give a few gluten-free foods a taste test. We tried to stick to companies with entirely

gluten-free and organic product lines, focusing on snack foods: crackers, chips, pretzels and cookies. Click on the name of each company in the list of those we tested to find out more about their products and where to buy them:

Anonymous survey forms were distributed along with samples of the various types of products being sampled. The products were rated from a low of one (“Ick! I couldn’t finish this!”) to a high of five (“Awesome! I will definitely go out and buy this!”). The survey forms were collected, and a mean average score was determined from the responses received.

Gluten-Free Cookies 

We sampled a wide range of cookie types, from Pamela’s Products, Home Free and Mary’s Gone Crackers. Overall, the cookies from Pamela’s Products were the favorites, especially the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Dark Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk. Many reviewers commented that the texture of these cookies was most similar to “regular” cookies, although some felt they were too crumbly — especially if you are “cookie dunker.” Some were described as “better than regular box cookies,” although the ginger cookie was generally considered too strong and even a bit bitter.

The cookies from Mary’s Gone Crackers were met with mixed reviews, although only the Ginger Snaps scored a better-than-average (over 2.5) overall score. Most felt that these cookies had too grainy a texture and were too dry. Comments ranged from “surprisingly complex” to “tastes too healthy” for this brand.

The lowest scores were received by the Home Free brand, although several comments were in favor of the cute shape of the minicookies. While the softness of both flavors was enjoyed by some, others felt they were just too soft for a cookie. 

 Pamela’s Products 

 Average Scores 

 Chocolate Chunk Pecan Shortbread


 Spicy Ginger With Crystallized Ginger


 Espresso Chocolate Chunk


 Dark Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk


 Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip


 Old-Fashioned Raisin Walnut


 Mary’s Gone Crackers 

 Average Scores 

 Ginger Snaps


 N’Oatmeal Raisin


 Chocolate Chip


 Home Free 

 Average Scores 



 Mini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip


Gluten-Free Crackers: Seed and Rice Crackers 

Using the same scoring system, we sampled crackers from Mary’s Gone Crackers as well as a variety of different rice cracker products from Edward & Sons. Mary’s brand contains a variety of seeds, including flax and Chia seeds, which make their products crisp and crunchy. More popular than the actual crackers were the flavored gluten-free pretzels, where the

crispiness was more well-received by the sampling team. The crackers all scored pretty average ratings, and many commented that none of the flavors were especially amazing, but they weren’t bad either. If you like the stronger, more unique flavors of caraway and curry, these scored highest among the others. 

The rice crackers from Edward & Sons product lines (Rice Snax, Rice Toast and Brown Rice Snaps) earned a wider range of scores. Some admittedly were not fans of the “ricey” flavor of the crackers, while others felt the seedless texture was more appealing. The Rice Snax are somewhat similar to potato chips, and the Bar-be-que flavor had some devout fans (even though the average doesn’t reflect this enthusiasm). The marks on all the Rice Toast flavors were either fours, fives or ones, so although the average is below three, some people really enjoyed them and others were not pleased. The flavor of black sesame seeds also seems to make for a better product: The Black Sesame Brown Rice Snaps and the Purple Rice and Black Sesame Rice Toast were also high scorers. 

 Mary’s Gone Crackers 

 Average Scores 

 Original Crackers


 Caraway Crackers


 Herb Crackers


 Black Pepper Crackers


 Onion Crackers


 Sea Salt Pretzels


 Curry Pretzels


 Chipotle Tomato Pretzels


 Edwards & Sons 

 Average Scores 

 Bar-be-que Rice Snax


 Salt and Vinegar Rice Snax


 Jasmine Rice and Spring Onion Rice Toast


 Purple Rice and Black Sesame Rice Toast


 Thai Red Rice and Flax Seeds Rice Toast


 Tamari Sesame Brown Rice Snaps


 Vegetable Brown Rice Snaps


 Cheddar Brown Rice Snaps


 Black Sesame Brown Rice Snaps


Other Gluten-Free Recipes and Ideas

If you’re interested in doing your own gluten-free cooking at home, check out this collection of whole grain, gluten-free recipes compiled from Eating Well magazine.

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