We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A balanced gluten-free breakfast can provide the fuel and nutrients you need to carry you through the day. Unfortunately, it’s also the meal that you’re most likely to skip.
For people with celiac disease and for those on a gluten-free diet, it becomes even trickier. Not only does nutrition play a greater role for people with celiac disease, but it can seem like there aren’t any convenient options for a healthy gluten-free breakfast either. After all, it’s not like you can pick up a muffin at a coffee shop or a breakfast sandwich at a fast food drive-thru.
A balanced gluten-free breakfast provides fat, fiber, vitamins, protein and slow-releasing carbohydrates to help keep you going. And we promise it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
To help you out, here are 15 gluten-free breakfast ideas for your home or your office…
10 Options for Gluten-Free Breakfast at Home
Keep your refrigerator and cabinets stocked with the building blocks for great breakfasts, including whole grain bread or tortillas, beans, cheese, eggs, low-fat dairy products, and vegetables. Also, keep your favorite non-sugary gluten-free breakfast cereal in stock.
Think outside the box and vary between savory and sweet breakfasts. Keep gluten-free baking basics on hand so that pancakes, muffins and quick breads are easy to whip up. And when you make them, mix in nutritious ingredients like pumpkin puree, nuts, fruit, and more. Take time to cook a hearty breakfast and sit down and savor each bite.
Here are 10 convenient ideas to whip up at home:
- Scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and black beans, rolled up in a whole grain gluten-free tortilla. Black beans are an amazing source of protein, fiber and iron – all things that us celiacs need to stay on the hunt for!
- Toasted gluten-free bagel with hummus and tomato. Udi’s makes a whole grain gluten-free bagel that contains 12% of your recommended daily fiber. Hummus contains protein and is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids.
- Eggs, turkey bacon and sweet potato hash. Turkey bacon is lower in fat and calories than pork bacon, but it should still only be eaten on occasion. Sweet potatoes are a celiac superfood and contain vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and vitamin D.
- Gluten-free granola with plain low-fat yogurt and fruit. My favorite granola is Bakery On Main’s Extreme Fruit and Nut Granola. It’s both high in fiber and delicious! The benefits of yogurt for people with celiac disease are endless. Beyond being a great source of protein, calcium and vitamin D, yogurt is packed with probiotics, which play a critical role in intestinal healing and digestion for people with celiac disease.
- Corn or Rice Chex with blueberries and low-fat milk. While there are 6 kinds of gluten-free Chex available, Wheat Chex and Multi-Bran Chex should be avoided. Of the 6 that are available, the Rice Chex and Corn Chex are the most nutritious.
- Buckwheat pancakes with strawberries. Buckwheat, believe it or not, does not contain any wheat. It is actually a terrific gluten-free grain that is packed with essential amino acids, magnesium and fiber. Adding fresh strawberries will ensure that this breakfast is also loaded with manganese, a nutrient with critical anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Gluten-free toaster waffles with almond butter. While toaster waffles by themselves wouldn’t make for a very nutritious breakfast, spreading a thin layer of peanut butter or almond butter adds fiber and protein that will offset the quick spike in blood sugar. Almond butter is more nutritious than peanut butter, and I find it tastes better too!
- Chicken sausage and grits. While the chicken sausage will provide you with protein and iron, grits are a surprising source of B vitamins, iron and fiber.
- Pumpkin pancakes. Pumpkin is another gluten-free superfood, loaded with beta carotene, fiber, and even some protein. Its seeds contain manganese, zinc, magnesium and copper as well.
- Quinoa or brown rice porridge with cinnamon and honey. There can’t be talk of celiac superfoods without mentioning quinoa. This ancient grain makes for one of the most nutritious and tastiest hot cereals you’ve ever laid your gluten-free eyes on.
5 Options for Gluten-Free Breakfast at Work
Some people find once they’re at work and free from the pressured morning rush and the commute craziness, it’s easier to find time and quiet to enjoy breakfast. There are many breakfast staples that are easy to keep in your desk or in the lunchroom refrigerator, or to bring from home to enjoy later in the morning.
Here are some gluten-free breakfast ideas that will help keep you going during the workday:
- Fruit or nut bars. Luckily, it seems like there is a new gluten-free bar that comes out every day. My favorites are Cherry LaraBars, Hazlenut Chocolate Cherry Truebars or Purefit’s Berry Almond Crunch Bar.
- Homemade gluten-free trail mix. While almost every trail mix you’ll find for sale is loaded with gluten (including those made by Chex), it’s actually very easy to make your own. Chex, nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruits (such as cherries or raisins), and pretzels can make for handfuls of gluten-free energy you can enjoy at home or at work.
- Hardboiled egg and fruit. Eggs are one of the best breakfast foods, whether you’re gluten-free or not. Hardboiled eggs can be made in advance and are very easy to bring to work.
- Piece of gluten-free banana nut bread. If you have some time before the work-week to make a loaf of gluten-free banana nut bread, you can take a slice to work every day to have with your morning coffee.
- Gluten-free instant oatmeal packets. I begin almost every winter morning with a packet of Bakery On Main’s instant oatmeal. My favorite flavor is their Maple Multigrain Muffin.
These ideas should help you get started in crafting your own gluten-free breakfast plan to ensure that your tummy never grumbles at a mid-morning meeting. A healthy breakfast will get your day off on the right foot, and until we can all line up at our local Dunkin Donuts for a gluten-free muffin, it’s up to you to be creative in making your gluten-free breakfast work for you.
By Max Librach at CeliACT.com