Peanut butter. Chocolate. Breakfast. Three things that don’t instinctively belong together but belong together, they most certainly do! This sweet and salty cereal has always been one of my favorites.
Let’s cut to the chase and answer the question I’m sure you’re all wondering. Are Reese’s puffs gluten-free?
Sadly Reese’s Puffs are not gluten-free. While none of the ingredients specifically contain gluten, there is cross-contamination in the manufacturing process. The product is made by General Mills, which clearly labels its gluten-free products.
Let’s take a closer look at Reese’s Puffs and its ingredients, and explore some gluten-free alternatives.
Gluten has left the building
A fried peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich was famously Elvis Presley’s favorite indulgence. I’m going to take a wild guess and say Elvis was not gluten-intolerant (although many of us have probably felt like we were dying on the toilet!).
In 1994, the good folk at Reese’s thought, ‘if it’s good enough for Elvis, it’s good enough for everyone!’.
Having combined peanut butter with cups, eggs, buttons, and bars, cereal was the next logical step. And why not? People have been enjoying peanut butter at breakfast time on bagels and toast for years. So why not in cereal? With chocolate.
They were launched as Peanut Butter Puffs, and originally the tasty spheres were all flavored with both chocolate and peanut butter. Later, it was modified so that the peanut butter and chocolate puffs were flavored separately. And there you have it–a breakfast fit for The King… which leaves those on a GFD feeling all shook up.
Why Are Reese’s Puffs Not Gluten-Free?
Let’s take a look at the ingredients for Reese’s Puffs.
If like me, you have gluten intolerance then you will have spent many hours studying the ingredients of thousands of products. Also, like me, you have probably scanned the above ingredients and thought, ‘But there’s no gluten here!’.
You’d be right. The issue is cross-contamination in the manufacturing process. Reese’s Puffs are therefore unsafe if you’re on a gluten-free diet (GFD). The amount of gluten present is relatively low, and if your intolerance is mild then it’s possible you wouldn’t have a problem with Reese’s Puffs.
But what it also means is that the levels of gluten will likely vary. So you might be fine with Reese’s Puffs and assume they don’t affect your intolerance, but then the next pack you buy makes you ill. So it might not be worth the risk.
5 Gluten-Free Alternatives To Reese’s Puffs
I went GF in 2018, so it’s been many years since I savored a bowl of Reese’s Puffs. The good news is that there are some tasty alternatives which you can enjoy without risking your wellbeing. Let’s take a look at my top five replacements for my beloved Reese’s Puffs.
1. Envirokidz Leapin’ Lemurs
I’m a huge fan of the Envirokidz range. Their products are gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, and made without artificial ingredients. Not only that, but every product sold helps save protected species and their habitats. So they are a guilt-free treat in more ways than one–but beware of the high sugar content.
Leapin’ Lemurs are the best like-for-like swap for Reese’s Puffs in my opinion. The flavor is rich and sweet and provides the full peanut/chocolate taste combo. And for a GF product, they’re good and crunchy.
2. Envirokidz Panda Puffs
If you’re a Reese’s fan then you probably like your peanut butter and chocolate flavors. If like me, you prefer a peanut butter flavor on your cereal, Panda Puffs provide just that. Also available in this range is Choco Chimps if it’s chocolate puffs you’re after.
PRO TIP: I love Leapin’ Lemurs as a Reese’s Puffs replacement but the chocolate is a little rich for my tastebuds. I buy both Panda Puffs and Choco Chimps so I can control my own ratio. I like two-thirds Panda Puffs to one-third Chocos. Concoct your own combo!
3. Nestle GoFree Coco Rice
Kellogg’s Coco Pops is a breakfast bar classic, but sadly they are not gluten-free either. Fortunately, this alternative from Nestle is just as good. It’s gluten-free, suitable for vegetarians, and does not contain nuts.
Also available in this range are some GF versions of other classic cereals such as Corn Flakes, Honey Flakes, and Rice Pops.
4. Nature’s Path Maple Sunrise
Made by the same umbrella company as Envirokidz, you can expect the same standards. There are no artificial flavors or colors, gluten-free, and vegan (and high in sugar!). It is made from organic corn, brown rice, and Canadian maple syrup and comprises a mouthwatering combination of flakes, puffs, and crispies.
5. Chocolate Cheerios
Cheerios are one of the world’s favorite cereals, but many people don’t realize they’re labeled gluten-free. Sadly, their Chocolate Peanut Butter cereal is not GF, as it would have been perfect for this list. However, their Chocolate Cheerios are GF, as are several of their other products.
Beware: they are made with oats. Oats contain avenin, which can cause similar problems to gluten for some intolerance sufferers.
If none of these alternatives do the trick, you can always make your own! Watch this vlogger’s recipe for healthy homemade GF Reese’s Puffs.
We love whole foods here at Gone Gluten, and I will always promote the benefits of fresh fruit and veggies, seeds, and grains. This is one of the major advantages of a GFD–cutting out processed foods.
The cereals in this list are high in calories and have at least 8g of sugar per 30g serving, which is a lot. But a GFD does not have to mean waving goodbye to all of life’s little pleasures.
As well as tasting great, cereals are a good source of fiber and are often fortified with vitamins, iron, and zinc. So it’s not the worst way to start your day or enjoy it as an occasional snack. Curious about what other Reese’s products are gluten-free? Check out this article on Gone Gluten.