Are Nuts and Peanuts Gluten-Free? These 11 Brands Are Safe

Many popular brands of nuts and peanuts are at high risk for cross-contamination

Mixed nuts and dried fruits in a bowl
 istockphoto

Plain, unprocessed nuts and peanuts are gluten-free. But many brands of nuts are not safe on the gluten-free diet, because nuts often are processed and packaged on lines shared with gluten-containing products. In addition, many nuts are sold in mixes that include gluten-containing ingredients, such as pretzels and crackers.

Sadly, most popular brands of nuts and peanuts that are sold in grocery stores are not considered gluten-free. That makes sourcing truly gluten-free nuts and peanuts a challenge for people who are following the gluten-free diet and want to be able to eat nuts and peanuts.

Fortunately, there are brands and outlets that take the steps necessary to keep nuts and peanuts safe for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Read on for gluten-free nut and peanut brands (as well as to learn which brands aren't recommended).

Gluten-Free Nuts and Peanuts

These brands and products are available widely in grocery stores and are considered gluten-free by their manufacturers:

  • Blue Diamond almonds. Blue Diamond makes several gluten-free-labeled products, including its almond nut milk and its nut-based crackers. According to the company, most of its nuts don't include any gluten ingredients and are considered gluten-free. This includes Blue Diamond plain, salted, and flavored varieties. However, you should avoid Jordan almonds (candy-coated almonds in white and pastel shades) and Wasabi & Soy Sauce Flavored almonds, since these varieties contain gluten, according to the company. Be aware that the gluten-free nut products may be processed in the same facility as the gluten-containing nut products. Blue Diamond is available nationwide, and you should be able to find the brand in most supermarkets.
  • Fisher Nuts. According to the company, any products that qualify as gluten-free (to less than 20 parts per million of gluten) will be labeled as such. In addition, Fisher says it will call out any gluten-containing ingredients on its labels. Note that Fisher features at least two smoke-flavored nut products (Smoke & Bacon Flavored Almonds and Dry Roast Peanuts). Barley malt flour sometimes is used in smoke flavoring, so make certain to scrutinize any smoke-flavored products' labels carefully. Fisher Nuts are sold in many supermarkets.
  • Nuts.com. This is a website, not a brand, but Nuts.com offers the widest selection of certified gluten-free nuts and peanuts available anywhere. There are two categories of "gluten-free" on Nuts.com: gluten-free and gluten-free certified (from the GFCO). Those products that are GFCO-certified gluten-free have undergone stringent testing that ensures they contain fewer than 10 parts per million of gluten. Meanwhile, products that are labeled "gluten-free" but are not GFCO-certified are considered gluten-free to the legal standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten. "Note that these uncertified gluten-free products are also handled on a dedicated gluten-free production line in a separate area of our warehouse," the company states. You can find virtually every possible type of nut at Nuts.com, and the nuts are offered seasoned, unseasoned, in-shell and already shelled. You also can find a variety of gluten-free nut flours (see below).
  • Wonderful almonds and pistachios. These nuts, produced by The Wonderful Company and sold in plastic pouches, are labeled "gluten-free." Almond flavors include: roasted and salted, roasted no-salt, and natural raw. Pistachio flavors include: roasted and salted, salt and pepper, lightly salted, no salt, sweet chili, and roasted and salted shelled (if you don't enjoy the challenge of extracting pistachios from their shells).

    Smaller Specialty Gluten-Free Nut and Peanut Brands

    These lesser-known brands aren't available widely, but you can find them online and in a few stores:

    • Bhuja Snacks. If you miss trail mix that contains crackers and other grain-based ingredients, you might find something you like from Bhuja Snacks. The company makes nut mixes with crackers that are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which requires testing to less than 10 parts per million of gluten (less is always better). The noodles and crackers are made with yellow peas, chickpeas, rice, tapioca, and potato. Note that the brand also makes "Beer Mix," which is certified gluten-free and does not appear to contain beer. You can find Bhuja Snacks on Amazon and at several supermarket chains, including Sweetbay and Albertson's. You may run across them at Costco, as well.
    • Foods Alive. Foods Alive, which produces products that range from crackers to glass straws, features a variety of "Superfoods" nut products that are labeled "gluten-free." These include Wild Jungle Peanuts (a variety of peanuts that is very low in alfatoxin), plus organic almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, and walnuts. You can find some Foods Alive products on Amazon or order directly from the company.
    • Old Dominion. This small specialty brand makes peanut brittle, butter toffee peanuts, and peanut crunch. All are considered gluten-free, according to the company. Note that Old Dominion recently changed hands and that some manufacturing may be outsourced to a third party in the future, so scrutinize labels closely.
    • Organic Gemini TigerNut Original. These nuts, popular with some people who follow a Paleo diet, gluten-free, according to the company. They also are raw, non-GMO, USDA-certified organic, and Kosher. Organic Gemini also offers tigernut flour, which is gluten-free as well.
    • Sahale Snacks. This brand, named after Sahale Peak in the North Cascades National Park in Washington state, produces a range of nuts and nut snacks with interesting flavors, such as Naturally Pomegranate Vanilla-Flavored Cashews and Thai Cashews Glazed Mix. According to the company, the nut mixes and trail mix sold in pouches and in "grab and go" packages are certified gluten-free by the GFCO. Look for the "GF" symbol on the package. The products also are certified non-GMO. Note that the company's bar products are not certified gluten-free, so steer clear of those. Sahale Snacks are sold in Target stores and in other outlets.
    • Sante Nuts. If you want gluten-free tree nuts without any risk of peanut cross-contamination, this brand might be a good bet. Sante Nuts products are gluten-free, soy-free, certified Kosher, and vegan, and are produced in a completely peanut-free environment. Sante offers almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts in a variety of flavors and mixes. The brand is sold in outlets mainly in northern California and Nevada, and is available online.
    • The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg. The Peanut Shop (a fixture in Colonial Williamsburg, Va.) offers a wide variety of gluten-free nut products in its online store, including multiple flavors of peanuts (Virginia is known for peanuts), chocolate-covered nut brittle, dark and milk chocolate-covered almonds, honey-toasted cashews, sweet Georgia pecans, and peanut brittle. You'll also find gift boxes with many of the same products.

    Gluten-Free Nut Flours

    Many people who are gluten-free, especially those who follow the Paleo diet or a diet low in carbohydrates, substitute nut flours for grain-based flour in baked goods. Here's where you can find gluten-free nut flour:

    • Bob's Red Mill may be the most widely available gluten-free nut flour on the market. You likely will find it in most health food stores and in many supermarkets that have a large health food section. This almond flour is super-fine and is ground from whole almonds.
    • King Arthur features super-fine almond flour that's certified gluten-free by the GFCO. You can find it in many supermarkets and health food stores.
    • Nuts.com offers a variety of gluten-free nut flours, including almond, cashew, chestnut, hazelnut, macadamia, pistachio, and organic tiger nut flours. All are certified gluten-free by the GFCO except for the tiger nut flour, which meets the less-stringent non-certified gluten-free standard.
    • Wellbee's is a website that specializes in grain-free cooking and ingredients for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The company features almond, cashew, walnut, hazelnut, and pecan nut flours, all of which are considered gluten-free.

    Nuts and Peanuts That Are Not Recommended

    The following companies make products that are found in many grocery stores. However, they're not recommended for people following the gluten-free diet, generally due to gluten cross-contamination that results from shared facilities or equipment:

    • Diamond of California. This company, not related to Blue Diamond, produces mainly walnuts, pecans, and almonds, although it also offers pistachios, cashews, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, and hazelnuts. All are processed on shared equipment and carry a "may contain wheat" warning.
    • Emerald Nuts. Snyders-Lance Inc. owns Emerald Nuts, which are not labeled gluten-free. According to the company: "These products are produced and packaged in the same processing facilities along with products containing gluten. Snyder’s Lance adheres to superior Good Food Manufacturing Practices, and all processing lines are thoroughly cleaned between packaging runs which greatly lessens the chance of cross contact between gluten and non-gluten products. While Emerald Breakfast on the Go and Emerald Trail Mix varieties do contain gluten, all other Emerald products do not contain gluten ingredients."
    • Kirkland Signature. Costco sells Kirkland Signature, and products from this brand also are available on Amazon. Unfortunately, nuts from Kirkland Signature carry a warning that they're processed on lines shared with wheat-containing products.
    • Planters Nuts. This is a Kraft Foods company. Kraft has a policy of calling out any gluten-containing ingredients on product labels. However, unless a product is explicitly labeled "gluten-free," it could be subject to gluten cross-contamination, even if it doesn't include any gluten-containing ingredients. Planters does not label any of its products "gluten-free," and the brand includes trail mixes and "dessert-inspired mixes" that have gluten ingredients and are processed on the same equipment as its plain nuts and peanuts. Therefore, it's recommended to steer clear of Planters nut products, although some people have reported being able to consume them without issue.
    • Virginia Diner. Virginia Diner offers peanuts (both in-shell and out of the shell) along with various peanut products. Although the only two gluten-containing products made by this company are the Tailgate Snack Mix and the Old Bay Snack Mix, all products are at risk for gluten cross-contamination due to the use of shared equipment, according to a customer service representative. Product labels state this risk where applicable.
    • We Are Nuts. This is a small, family-owned company based on St. Paul, Minn., that specializes in gourmet nuts and trail mix. Unfortunately, the company states: "We do not classify or label any of our nuts as being gluten-free because they are packaged in a facility where they may come into contact with wheat or other gluten containing items."

    A Word From Verywell

    As you can see, sourcing safely gluten-free nuts and peanuts (along with nut flours and nut/peanut mixes) is possible, although it can be challenging to do on short notice if your local supermarket has a small selection.

    Typically, you'll almost always be able to find Blue Diamond products, and most stores also carry Wonderful pistachios and almonds (you might find these in the produce section as opposed to in the snacks aisle).

    One last note: generally, you should beware of the generic (or store-brand) packaged whole nuts found in the produce section, since many of these are produced on equipment that's shared with gluten ingredients. However, some people report good luck with these packaged nuts, as long as the allergy warning on that specific package doesn't include any mention of wheat. If the package says "May contain: Wheat" then don't buy it.

    Still, your best bet (especially if you're particularly sensitive to trace gluten) is to stick with nuts that are considered gluten-free or (better yet) certified gluten-free from the lists above.

    Source:

    Celiac Disease Foundation. What Should I Eat? Fact Sheet.