You know that Chex party mix that seems to appear around holiday time – which we can no longer nibble?
Well, that’s no longer true. Since Chex came out with a gluten-free line of cereals, we can easily make a ‘safe’ version to take to a friend’s gathering or to offer in our own homes.
If you’re in a hurry, you can also make a party mix without baking it by just tossing a few gluten-free things together – including your favorite nuts, chips, etc. These are the flavors Chex currently offers: Corn, Rice, Honey Nut, Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Cinnamon, and Cinnamon Apple
If you prefer the more traditional baked Chex treatment…here it is:
For this particular party mix I used a simple blend of Chex gluten-free cereal, Glutino gluten-free pretzels, organic unsalted blue corn chips (Frito-Lay also has a line of gluten-free chips you might like), almonds, and since it’s nearly Halloween – Jelly Belly candy corn (more on that in a minute). Of course, you can add to that or omit anything as you like. I chose corn Chex this time, because I wanted a more savory mix and thought the candy corn added just the right touch of sweet and creamy to the salt and crunch from the pretzels, corn chips, and cereal. Just don’t add the candy until after the other ingredients have baked.
- gluten-free Chex cereal - 6 cups
- gluten-free pretzels - 2 cups
- corn chips - 2 - 3 cups*
- nuts (may be substituted with more chips, pretzels or cereal) - 1 cup
- butter or vegan margarine (melted) - 1/4 - 1/3 cup
- gluten-free Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins - the American version) or a vegan, gluten-free brand (like Wizard's) - 1/4 cup**
- garlic powder - 1 teaspoon***
- sea salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Measure your choices from above (except for the candy) into a large bowl. Melt the butter and mix with the Worcestershire sauce, garlic and salt. Drizzle over the mixture and toss it until most of the pieces are well coated. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake it for at least 60 minutes, shifting the mix so that all sides bake. Don't let it burn! Remove once its dry and crisp. Cool before adding the candy. If you don't need to use it right away, put it in a sealed container or Ziploc baggy to keep it from going stale.
If you'd like, you can replace the candy corn with plain M & M's (after it has baked). As of October 3, 2013, plain M & M's were certified gluten-free, which means they contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten.
Or you can eliminate the candy altogether and use a mix of the Chex cereals. The sweetened ones may give you all the 'sweetness' you like.
If you want to use candy corn Jelly Belly brand says that theirs is gluten-free, milk-free, egg-free and peanut-free. They do contain modified soy protein (for those allergic or sensitive to soy). They also have candy corn flavored jelly beans.
Here is the ingredient list for their candy corn: Sugar, corn syrup, contains 2% or less of the following: modified soy protein, artificial flavor, sorbitol (a sugar alcohol), color added, yellow 6, yellow 5, red 3, beeswax, carnauba wax (which is the wax from the leaves of the palm grown in Brazil), confectioner's glaze, salt
For more information, including the facility in which it is processed, please see the following link, which includes a letter from the manufacturer: http://www.smartallergyfriendlyeducation.com/2011/10/jelly-belly-candy-corn-gluten-free-milk.html
NOTE: Brach's brand of candy corn (seen in most stores) does not contain gluten; however, it is processed in a facility that may also process wheat. For that reason, I have chosen not to include them in my Halloween Party Mix.
* Frito-Lay carries gluten-free chips in many varieties.
*** Lea & Perrins IS gluten-free in the U.S.A; however, the Worcestershire sauce made in both Canada and England contains malt vinegar (making it NOT gluten-free!)
*** Regarding garlic powder: The following is stated on the McCormick manufacturer's web site: "None of our single ingredient spices and herbs contain gluten. In addition, all of our extracts, including Pure Vanilla, are gluten-free. Some of our products do contain gluten. When WHEAT is the source, it will always be called out within the ingredient statement, and listed in bold. We do not maintain a list of gluten-free products, as our formulas change from time to time."