A LIFE WITHOUT GLUTEN
Step 1: The Most Important Meal of the Day
We have all heard the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”—which, for many reasons, it is.
A proper breakfast provides us with the sustenance and energy we need to complete the day’s activities (our calorie intake). It has also been linked to our mental alertness—yes, it’s not just your morning coffee ritual that is keeping you up during the day. Breakfast has been proven to restore our blood glucose level to normal after our overnight fast (or what some call, sleep). Sitting down for breakfast also helps to reduce the blood level of cortisol, also known as your stress hormone, which happens to peak during the early hours of the morning—not because of school, or work or anything . . . simply because that’s the way our bodies work.
Breakfast foods are often the most delicious and satiating foods we eat, which is why we should be consuming the bulk of our daily calories during this meal. This is beneficial to us, because it will deter the level of consumption for the rest of the day.
But breakfast is not merely determined by the hours in which you eat. What determines the most important meal of the day, are the types of “breakfast foods” consumed.
Seeing as how important breakfast is to our bodies and our health, we should be looking to eat the most well-rounded and beneficial foods in the morning. Therefore no, it does not count as a healthy breakfast if you’re eating last night’s leftover pizza.
The key to making breakfast live to its fullest potential, is by implementing quick, easy and healthy meals to your morning routine.
Step 2: What is Gluten? Why go Gluten Free?
Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barely that doesn’t get fully broken down during digestion. It is often found most in cereals, breads and grains. Some of these protein pieces will cross the intestinal barrier and the body (should) rid them without consequence.
But, for some, this process does not occur naturally, thus resulting in a gluten intolerance or allergy.
There are three types of gluten allergies:
Celiac disease – Those with celiac disease are affected by the proteins as they cause an immune response and intestinal damage; they require a strictly gluten free diet.
Wheat allergy — Those with a wheat allergy have an immune-mediated disorder that can cause a rapid onset of symptoms such as hives/skin rash, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, headaches, stuffy/runny nose, and diarrhea.
Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity — This allergy can only be diagnosed through process of elimination—no celiac disease, no inflammation—but, they do experience similar symptoms.
For those who face these allergies, cutting gluten from their diets is either detrimental, or has significantly improved their health and way of living. Though this is true, many people who have not been diagnosed with a gluten deficiency, have chosen to cut gluten from their diet for the following reasons:
- It can improve your cholesterol levels
- It can promote digestive health
- It can increase energy levels
- It can eliminate unhealthy eating and cut processed foods from your diet
- It can drive you to include more fruits and vegetables in your meals
- It can drive you to eat more foods rich with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
- It can promote healthy weight loss
By combining the effects of gluten free breakfast recipes with a timely, well-balanced meal, you are setting up your body for a productive, energized day, as well as a healthier lifestyle in the long-run.
Gluten Free Breakfast Recipes
Vegan and Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ripe banana, peeled
- ½ cup milk (any kind – e.g. almond, cashew, oat)
- 4 dates, pitted
- 4 – 6 Tbsp dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping (vegan, if required)
- coconut oil, for frying (you can use regular vegetable oil too)
- With the exception of the chocolate chips, blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until well mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little coconut oil. Dollop the batter into the frying pan (try 1 Tbsp) and spread it out a bit with a spoon or a spatula.
- Cook until lightly golden underneath, then flip and cook until the other side is golden. Serve warm with the remaining chocolate chips.
Grain Free Gluten Free Muffins
12 regulars or 24 minis
- 1 cup nut butter (this is your flour replacement!)
- 2 medium-sized (ripe) bananas
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp raw honey (can also try maple syrup or stevia)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Topping Options: dark chocolate chips, raisins, cinnamon, flaxseed, honey, preserves/jams, peanut butter, etc.—endless options for endless fun!
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor (you can also use a hand blender if you’d like) and blend until well mixed.
- Pour batter into a greased muffin tin. Using a mini muffin tin will produce double the amount (24) of mini muffins.
- Add additional toppings of your choice to each muffin and, using a toothpick, gently stir the topping into the mixture. If you’d like, you can even add a bit more on top after you’ve done this!
- Cook regular muffins for 15 minutes and miniature muffins for 10 minutes.
- ½ cup of quinoa
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 dried medjool dates, seeds removed, chopped – use more for added sweetness!
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 2 Tbsp pepitas
- 1 Tbsp shredded coconut
- 1 Tbsp golden raisins
- Toppings/Garnish: goji berries, chia seeds, banana and coconut flakes
- Rinse quinoa until water runs clear
- In a medium sauce pan, combine quinoa, water, coconut milk, and dates.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa begins to soften.
- Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pepitas, shredded coconut and golden raisins.
- Cook for an additional 5 minutes, adding water if necessary, until quinoa is soft and fully cooked.
- Serve hot and topped with banana, goji berries, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. Use natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey to add sweetness!
On-the-Go Gluten Free Blueberry Oat Bars
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ cup gluten free all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum (First: check to see if your gluten-free flour already has it!)
- 1 cup gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp xanthan gum (First: check to see if your gluten-free flour already has it!)
- 3/4 cup gluten free oat flour (You can also grind up your gluten-free rolled oats into a powder using a food processor)
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 egg at room temperature, beaten
- 1 – 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp certified gluten free oat flour (You can also grind up your gluten-free rolled oats into a powder using a food processor)
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Grease a 9-inch square baking pan, and line with parchment paper
- Combine all of the ingredients and blend them with a fork until well-combined. Place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, place the gluten-free all-purpose flour, xanthan gum, gluten-free oat flour, salt, baking powder and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine well.
- Add the gluten-free oats and mix to combine.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the butter, egg and 1 Tbsp of water; mix to combine.
- Note: The dough will be a bit dry, so you will have to knead it with your hands to get it to come together. If you find that it’s too dry, add a second Tbsp of water, 1 tsp at a time.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and smooth out the dough by pressing it down evenly.
- Place the pan in the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, in a small bowl, place the blueberries, sugar, gluten-free oat flour and salt; toss to combine.
- After the crust is done, remove the pan from the oven and spread the blueberries on top of the crust in a single, even layer.
Gluten-Free Breakfast Quiche
1 hour 30 minutes
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold + extra for greasing
- 1 cup gluten-free plain flour + plus extra for dusting
- 2 thin slices of higher-welfare streaky bacon
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 medium leeks, trimmed
- olive oil
- ½ a bunch of fresh thyme
- 100 g spinach
- 3/8 cup Cheddar cheese
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 3 Tbsp crème fraîche
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 8 – 9 inch loose-bottomed tart tin with a little butter, then set side.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, rub in the butter with the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Add 6 Tbsp of cold water, stirring until it forms a rough dough. Use your hands to bring it together into a ball, then wrap in cling wrap and pop in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Make the filling while it sets. Finely slice the bacon, garlic and leeks. Add the bacon and garlic to a large pan with a splash of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the thyme leaves and cook for around 2 minutes, or until lightly golden, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the leeks, turn the heat down to medium–low and cover. Cook for additional 20 minutes, or until softened. Add the spinach for the final minute to wilt.
- Tip the veggie and bacon mixture into a large jug. Grate and add the Cheddar, then add the eggs, crème fraîche and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well, then set aside.
- Dust a flat surface with flour, roll out the dough to roughly ½ cm thick. Carefully place into tart tin and push it into the sides (patch up any holes with spare pastry). Trim and discard the excess.
- Place a double layer of cling wrap on top and fill the tin with baking beans or uncooked rice.
- Place the tin on a baking tray, then pop into oven for 10 – 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Remove the beans and cling wrap, then return to the oven for additional 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden.
- Pour the filling into the baked pastry case, then return to the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the filling is almost set.
- Leave to cool slightly, then carefully remove the tart tin
- Best served alongside a fresh, green salad.