Serving a gluten free breakfast can prove tricky for someone not on the diet or new to it. On the odd occasion I have spent a night away from home it seems my hosts have struggled with what to give me the next morning.
“Can you eat Weetabix? No, oh how about Shredded Wheat? Ah, I’m guessing toast is off the menu? I do have a banana if that is any good?”
For many a bowl of cereal and/or toast seems to exhaust their list of ideas as it tends to be what they normally eat for breakfast.
These options are not totally out of bounds as there are gluten free cereals available and you can toast gluten free bread. But why not consider alternative breakfast ideas that are healthy and safe to eat?
With our busy schedules it is often important to get breakfast on the table quickly, or even take it with as we leave home for school or work. But with a little advance planning this is still possible. For example at the weekend you could...
If you are away from home, but have access to a kitchen at breakfast time, you could plan ahead and take something with you that is easy to pack, such as a small bag of almond flour. It is likely that there will be milk and eggs available allowing you to mix up a quick pancake.
Talking of eggs, they are an ideal breakfast food and there are many quick and easy ways to serve them.
If you are serving soft boiled eggs, be sure to store them at room temperature overnight so they don't go into the pan cold. Set the timer for 3-4 minutes depending on the size of the eggs and prepare your gluten free bread while they are cooking.
Scrambled eggs are another quick option. However, don't try to speed things up by using a high heat, unless you want rubbery eggs.
Omelets can be served plain or with a sweet or savoury filling. To save time you could grate the cheese the night before and store in a lidded container in the fridge. Or how about slicing mushrooms in advance and gently sautéing them in a pan while you get your bag packed for the day?
Poached eggs make a nice treat, especially on gluten free toast.
At the weekend you could take more time to cook up a traditional Full English Breakfast with fried eggs, (sunny side up), bacon, mushrooms and tomato. Be aware that many sausages can contain gluten as they use rusk or breadcrumbs to bind the meat together. Also check the ingredients on tinned baked beans if you want to include them.
Baked eggs make a tasty brunch dish. Ingredients such as mushrooms, bacon, spinach and tomatoes are hidden in the bottom of ramekin dishes then eggs are broken over the top. Dot with a little butter and pop in the oven to bake while you get the kids up and dressed.
Pancakes can be made with a variety of gluten free flours so there is no need to miss out. You could make your batter the night before and store in a lidded container in the fridge to save time in the morning.
I have written a whole page full of gluten free pancake recipes.
Fresh fruit makes a healthy option for the first meal of the day, and there are many ways you can enjoy a fruity gluten free breakfast.
This can be as simple as picking an apple out of the fruit bowl (wash it first to reduce any risk of gluten cross-contamination) or you can use sliced fruit or berries as a wonderful topping for natural yoghurt or muesli.
How about whizzing up a smoothie? To save time here you can prepare the fruit ahead of time and freeze it, ready to chuck in the blender in the morning. If you are lactose intolerant, as well as gluten free, you can substitute almond or coconut milk for the cow's milk. Bananas, strawberries, avocado, blueberries, kiwi, melon and many other fruits can be used in this way, helping you meet your 5 a day requirement.
Have you ever tried a chia breakfast bowl? These tiny seeds are added to milk and fruit puree and left to soak in the fridge overnight, during which time they gel into a pudding like texture. Believe me it tastes better than it sounds! It is important to use plenty of seeds to create a thick creamy consistency.
Another recipe you can make up the night before is a chocolate avocado mousse (recipe at bottom of page).
The risk of contamination is high with oats, so there are two options here. Shop for certified gluten free oats or use an alternative like flaked millet or quinoa.
These can be made into porridge and served with fruit or syrup on top. Making your own porridge can take a little longer than the instant oatmeal sachets which you may have used before, but it is not complicated.
You can even add grains, milk or yoghurt, eggs, fruit and flavourings together and bake them for about 30 minutes. I like flaked millet, yoghurt, apple and cinnamon for a real treat.
Chocolate avocado and banana mousse
Remove the flesh from the avocado, blend it with the other ingredients then put the mixture into a individual ramekin dish or bowl.
Refrigerate overnight and enjoy for breakfast or even a dessert.
Gluten free breakfast bars
Place the following ingredients into a bowl: oats, sultanas, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and spices. Mix together.
Take a clean saucepan and empty in the condensed milk and add the sugar and butter. Heat gently, mixing these together with a wooden spoon. Once combined removed from the heat.
Make a well in the middle of your dry mix, and pour the contents of the saucepan into the mixing bowl.
With a metal spoon, mix the ingredients together ensuring all the dry mix is covered. Then spoon into a greased cake tin (I usually use a 9 inch sized one), firming this down around the edges.
Bake in the oven at 180C/375F for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Score with a knife and remove from cake tin. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to 1 week (the chances are they will not last that long, as they are very tempting.)