I don’t know about most of you, but when I had to make the switch to gluten-free, I found breakfast the most difficult meal to accommodate. Maybe I should say instead that breakfast seemed to need far more gluten free changes or substitutions to what I used to eat. Lunch and dinner either already had gluten free items or minor changes could be made to a recipe to make it gluten free. But unless you’re on the Atkins diet or just love bacon and eggs every morning, breakfast seems to be made up of carbs. You know, cold cereal, oatmeal, toast, pancakes, waffles, muffins, french toast, etc. And I LOVE my carbs in the morning. You know how some people need their morning coffee? Well, make mine carbs! As a matter of fact, I have always been a breakfast eater and for years, I started every day with a bowl of cereal.
So, my first and biggest challenge when I changed my diet was to find substitutions for regular breakfast items. Of course, there are eggs and GF bacon or sausage, yogurt and such, but I needed substitutions for the carbs, and the items I could find at the store were either very expensive, not very good, or both. Remember, I said we were food snobs. That was probably the beginning of my baking craze. I used to bake occasionally but now it’s a regular part of my housework. And when I mix up a recipe of something for breakfast, I usually double it and freeze it. My GF son doesn’t like to work too hard for his food, especially first thing in the morning, so having frozen items ready to be warmed up has been a lifesaver. I should add though, in his defense, he is a really good cook and likes to find and make new recipes, but only when he has the time and is in the mood.
Anyway, in the course of expanding our breakfast options, I have started making my own granola (with GF oats and from my own recipe), several different kinds of muffins, Belgian waffles, and bread for toast or sometimes even breakfast casserole. We have found Pamela’s to be our favorite store-bought mix for pancakes and Belgian waffles and as I said, when I make the waffles, I double the recipe and freeze the extras, which we pop into a toaster when we’re ready to eat them. They’re actually even better after toasting them. When I make pancakes, I usually add blueberries to them but my son likes cinnamon in his. There are also several pretty good brands of GF bagels on the market but most of them are fairly expensive. One brand I found that was good and not too expensive was “Forever Bagels”.
But of all the breakfast items I make, the one we eat the most of is muffins. All kinds of muffins. Funny story, when Matthew (my GF son) was five and went to school for the first time, I picked him up afterwards at the bus and he came right up to me in his typical enthusiastic fashion and told me that for a snack, they’d had muffins! It was the highlight of the morning for him and we loved the story so much, that for years we called him “the Muffin Man”. Little did we know that several years later, he really would be the muffin man!
Anyway, after a couple of years of making standard sized muffins and wrapping them individually, then freezing them in a freezer baggie and having Matthew go through a couple at a time (you know how teenage boys eat!) I decided to buy large muffin tins and so now I make giant muffins. Usually, doubling the recipe makes the muffins too big for the cups, so I went to 1 ½ recipes per baking. Now, I have less wrapping after baking and we eat only one larger muffin for breakfast. I’ve already shared my blueberry muffin recipe and Katie has already shared the pumpkin muffin recipe, in which I always substitute honey for molasses. In following posts, I’ll share some other recipes.