Jun 11, 2012

10 Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas

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In our house, breakfast is a big deal. The kids wake up with food on their minds and, for that matter, I am usually hungry first thing too. I'm sure you've heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It certainly does have the ability to add in some nutrition while getting your day off to a good start.

A typical week of breakfasts for us include mainly naturally gluten free options like eggs and oatmeal with a few special treats on a less busy morning or a weekend morning. When making my breakfast menu, I have to consider my budget, our desire to consume more healthy foods, and our family's food restrictions. Variety is key when you offer similar options five days a week. Just because I serve eggs and oatmeal so much doesn't mean that it has to look and taste the same. Below I will share 10 gluten free breakfast options with some ideas to add variety.

1) Oatmeal
Oatmeal can be contaminated by wheat so our family purchases specifically gluten free oats. There are many enjoyable ways to prepare oatmeal for breakfast for your family. You can make your oatmeal overnight in a slow cooker for a hot breakfast waiting for you when you wake up. You can make a baked oatmeal dish and serve it with cooked apples on top or my kids personal favorite of simply adding apple sauce. Another option is cooking your oats on the stove top. Mix up the flavoring ingredients and you can easily serve oatmeal throughout the week without it becoming too mundane. I especially enjoy chopped nuts cooked into my oatmeal. Also, try grits or cream of brown rice but check to ensure these items are labeled gluten free.

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal

2) Fruit smoothies
In our house, we make smoothies with a simple combination of ice, milk, yogurt, and frozen or fresh fruit. I can't offer you a recipe as we sort of just add and dump ingredients in until we get the right consistency. ☺ To add variety, you can experiment with different fruit combinations and mix up the flavor of yogurt you use. You can add in a drizzle of honey if additional sweetener is desired.
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3) Cold cereal/granola
I mentioned in my previous gluten free post (you can read it here) about Envirokids brand cereal and cereal bars which you can keep on hand for a quick breakfast that might be helpful on a busy Sunday morning or a day you have an early morning appointment. There are other brands as well that are delicious. You can also make homemade granola and serve it with fruit for a fresh tasting summer breakfast.

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4) Muffins
Our family really, really enjoys a good muffin. I personally like to prepare muffin batter in a mini muffin tin so we can have easy little treats for both breakfast and snacks later in the day. What makes the muffins special are the add-ins, such as canned pumpkin, apples, chocolate chips, peanut butter, raisins, cinnamon, and streusel. While I am perfectly content with a muffin as-is, many like to spread butter, cream cheese, or jam on their muffins and that provides even further options to diversify your breakfast.
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

5) Pancakes
Much like muffins, pancakes are made special by their add-in options and topping options. There are some great tasting mixes available for those in a hurry as well as some yummy homemade recipes that a simple internet search will provide. You can even use pancakes (and waffles) instead of bread for making a breakfast sandwich. My husband particularly enjoys his pancakes with maple syrup and peanut butter for the added protein. If you are really adventurous, there are even recipes for grain-free pancakes (grain-free muffin recipes are out there too).
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6) Ham/bacon
You can serve ham and bacon along side many of the other breakfast options as a way to include protein in your breakfast or you can try mixing it into muffin batter or the eggs for adding a burst of flavor. They are also a great option on their own.
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7) Eggs
Since eggs are a frugal breakfast option, our family eats them several days a week. They can be enjoyed in multiple different ways of cooking such as easy-over, scrambled, and hard boiled. You can dress them up for company or a weekend treat in a frittata or by making omelets. They are also a great way to add some less-obvious servings of veggies at the first meal of the day. My favorite is a red bell pepper and onion combo with scrambled eggs and cheese.
Weekly Meal Plans
8) Peanut butter
I like to serve a slice of peanut butter toast with a side of fruit to my children on a busy morning. Peanut butter can also be mixed into smoothies and smeared on muffins, pancakes, and waffles to add protein. For a change of pace, try another nut butter such as almond or cashew butters.

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9) Waffles
While pancakes and waffles seem similar, their texture is supposed to be different. In our family, if we need a change of pace, we add in fruit to the batter. Otherwise, we serve them about the same as pancakes. However, while not everyone may agree, I have always felt that waffles were somehow superior or fancier than pancakes and I get more excited about making them. Also, I don't have to flip them. ☺
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10) Yogurt
Besides serving yogurt in a smoothie, it can stand alone as a quick and satisfying breakfast. You can serve it as a parfait with fruit and granola. Another idea is to make the yogurt into a flavored dip to dip your fruit into which can be especially kid-friendly. Or, you could try freezing it with fruit for a satisfying summer breakfast treat.

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What is your favorite breakfast that you serve your family?

Disclaimer: These foods are what we keep on hand based on my observation of them being gluten free. Since brands can change their ingredients, be an avid ingredient reader to avoid compromising your or your family's health. Thanks!

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