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5 Halloween Candies That Are Surprisingly Not Gluten-Free

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You may know to avoid chocolate-dipped pretzels and beer, but this list of Halloween candies that aren't gluten free may surprise you. Keep an eye out for them in your trick-or-treat basket or at your Halloween party's treat tray.

If you eat gluten-free, chances are you’re not going to go to a holiday party and chug a beer, or bite into a white chocolate-dipped pretzel. Though you know how to avoid the obvious gluten traps, you might want to be aware of these sneaky culprits that show up with every holiday candy rush. You should also be aware that gluten-free and wheat-free aren’t the same thing. Sugary, fruity candy is not always a go. Neither is root beer. To ensure that you’re going home feeling A-OK, steer clear of these treats:

  1. Twizzlers: They may not look harmful, but this toothsome option has wheat flour in it. That surprised us, too.
  2. Milky Way Bar (original): The fluffy marshmallow texture that you love so much inside? That contains gluten. Back away.
  3. Mars Bar: This original candy may seem too classic to have gluten in it, but it contains barley malt and wheat.
  4. Almond Joy Pieces: This one’s really surprising. According to Hershey’s, all Almond Joy candies are gluten-free except these little pieces. So, if you’re going to enjoy these coconut-chocolaty goodies, reach for a bar instead of the pieces.
  5. Hershey's Mr. Goodbar: This is an unfortunate item on this list because these peanut and milk chocolate bars are so delightful. If you really need that peanut butter chocolate fix, go for a Reese’s bar. They are certified gluten-free. Win!

Though those candies unfortunately have gluten in them, a lot of Hershey’s gluten-free products are available, and many other brands make gluten-free candy options as well. Check out the Celiac Disease Foundation’s 2015 Gluten-Free Halloween Treats List.

Photo: Jason Varney

If you want to skip the gluten and stay on the lighter side this Halloween, bring one of these gluten-free treats to your Halloween party.

  1. Sweet and Spicy Pumpkinseeds: Sweet, spicy, crunchy, and light—these might be one of the healthiest Halloween treats you can make all season. Make a double batch so you can bring one to your party, and keep some at home to throw on salads and soups.
  2. Marshmallow Popcorn Treats with Dark Chocolate Drizzle: Luckily marshmallows are entirely gluten-free, so you can whip them into sweet treats like these popcorn bars. These are similar to the popcorn balls and bring you a crunchy-sweet treat for less than 150 calories per serving.
  3. Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites: Everyone loves a little pumpkin spice around Halloween, right? Add it in these protein-packed energy bites that taste more like cookies than protein snack. Make sure to grab gluten-free oats before you make these for a crowd.
  4. Caramel Apples: Not only are caramel apples a Halloween staple, they’re also entirely gluten-free, making them a perfect make-ahead or make-and-take option for your party. Because they take a little time to make, you can even create a fun party out of the apple-dipping process, and mix and match the toppings.
  5. Autumn Spiced Apple Chips: These crispy-crunchy apple chips are so incredibly addictive. It’s a good thing that they’re light and nutritious. Because they bake low and slow, you can spend a little extra time perfecting your costume. Bonus, your house will smell amazing.