Accepting the challenges in creating a gluten free household

Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Apple Parfaits for breakfast?

I am so going to try this…  Check it out.

April 7, 2012: Must update.  I did make this, and it is supposed to make 4 breakfasts.  Really.

I knew my portion would be enough for two breakfasts, but was interested to hear my husband say the same thing.  I thought it wouldn’t be sweet enough for him.  Seems after 34 or so years together, I still have things to learn about him… By the way… my sugar-loving husband liked this breakfast as much as I did.  I’ll do it again.


Steel Cut Oats

I received a challenge this week. A friend of mine talked about how much she loved steel-cut oats. I’ve heard that rave before, and even tried the overnight slow cooker steel cut oats myself once. It was mush, and I didn’t much like it. But I agreed to try again. So I pulled out the package from my pantry, and, on impulse, decided to also try millet, which is another ancient grain that is making a comeback. (Or maybe it seems like a comeback since I found out about it recently, after hunting for gluten-free alternatives.)

Steel Cut Oats (gluten free) and Millet

I cooked the millet according to the directions in the cookbook, “Naturally Homemade” by Judy Zemliak. She suggests a ratio of 1 cup millet to 2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil; add millet; cook for 15-20 minutes. Perhaps cooking it a bit longer would have been good, but it was the taste that I wasn’t particularly fond of. It reminded me of the feed we mixed for our calves when I was little, and perhaps we did feed them millet. It is a common grain for bird seed. Not wanting to throw it out, I threw it into the soup in the crockpot instead. Apparently if you cook it longer, it takes on the consistency of mashed potatoes, so hopefully they’ll enhance the soup, and not wreck it!!

Steel-cut oats. Since we’re a gluten-free household, my options are fewer than most.  What I thought was steel cut oats, was steel cut oat pearls.  The difference?  Apparently steel cut oats need to be cooked for 35 minutes, or soaked first.  No wonder mine got mushy in the slow cooker.  These take 10 minutes to cook.

I liked the consistency. The directions on the bag asked for a 1 to 4 ratio. Bring 4 cups of water and 1 cup of oats to a boil; lower heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Drain; rinse with hot water, and enjoy. I was surprised (especially after cooking them all night last time) that they were ready so quickly. And surprised that the ratio was set high enough that they needed draining and rinsing. I will have to do some research on why they would suggest preparing it that way. But they were good. I tried a bit with a blueberry honey I had on hand. Then I added maple flakes to the rest of it, along with hemp hearts and cranberries. That was very good. I don’t like my cereal too sweet, so the maple flakes added just the right amount of sweetness.

Yes, my friend, Shanon, I do like steel-cut oats. At least cooked this way.  Maybe if I find the authentic steel cut oats (not pearls) that are gluten free, I will attempt the slow cooker again as well.

Breakfast on the Run

Banana Smoothie

I froze a bunch of fresh bananas recently to try out an ‘ice cream’ recipe from a cookbook I received at a Christmas gift exchange. The cookbook is one produced here in Manitoba and is called Naturally Homemade, written by Judy Zemliak. Although not a ‘gluten free’ cookbook, she has many gf recipes in the book, and I’ve bookmarked many pages to try in the future.

So now I have a lot of frozen bananas, and haven’t had a chance to try the non-ice-cream ice cream on my ice-cream-loving hubby. So instead, I tried it for my morning smoothie. Yum! I have seen many variations of this, and chose ingredients that I had on hand. Make your own variation. I didn’t find I needed any sugar at all – the level of sweetness was perfect for a breakfast smoothie.

I added a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce, a few shakes of cinnamon, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk (I’ve used almond milk, soya milk and regular milk – choose your favorite) and a frozen banana cut into chunks. My blender is old, so it prefers the bananas cut in smaller chunks, but I didn’t find it hard to do this even though they were frozen. Blend. Enjoy.

Gingerbread Granola

Gingerbread Granola





This recipe is based on one I found here:

I mixed one batch just before Christmas and thought the original recipe had way too much oil, so I doubled everything else and mixed.  Of course, making granola is a bit like making soup – you follow directions as much as possible, but personalize it according to what is in the cupboard.  I do admit to buying a few items just for this recipe, but I also made my own changes.  This is absolutely delicious.  It is not as crunchy as most granola I’ve tried, so if you’re looking for a ‘softer’ granola, try this one.

2½ cups quinoa flakes
2½ cups certified gluten-free oats
½ cup raw pecans
1 cup sesame seeds
1½ cup roughly chopped raw almonds
3/8 cup coconut oil, liquefied
¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup molasses
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla

¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup flax seeds
1 cup chopped and pitted dates
½ cup currants
2/3 cup hemp seeds

Line a large baking tray with parchment. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the oats, seeds, and nuts in a large bowl. Combine the oil, apple sauce, syrup, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Stir it every 10 minutes to keep it from burning.  Store in airtight container.  If you’ve made more than you can eat in a week, store the extra in the freezer until you need it.

Breakfast Oat Mix

This is another of our favorite breakfasts…   I add boiling water in the morning, stir, and then add either milk or yogurt.  My hubby makes it just like he makes porridge in the microwave.  I found my last batch a little too sweet; hubby adds sugar.  So you will have to experiment with the amount of sugar, as well as with all the dried fruits and nuts.  This is a very flexible recipe.

5 cups quick oats (certified gluten-free)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries
1/2 cup peanuts or almonds
3/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Mix all together. Store in a covered container.

My method:
1/2 cup mix
1/4 cup boiling water

Stir until moist.  Add milk or yogurt and fresh fruit if desired.

Crunchy Granola

I got this recipe from my friend, Elda, though she might not recognize it anymore.  I had to give up the wheat germ in the recipe and have adapted it to our own tastes. 

Mix 4 cups gluten free oats with 4-5 cups of whatever you like in granola.  I used the following:
1/4 – 1/2 cup ground flax
3/4 cup coconut
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries

Boil 1 cup honey
        1/2 cup oil
        1 Tbsp cinnamon

Pour honey mixture over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Spread on 2 greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 325F for about 30 minutes, stirring often.  Watch closely; don’t allow it to become too dark.  Allow to cool undisturbed and then break into chunks.  Store in an airtight container.

Amish Baked Oatmeal

Another family favourite for years, we often make this for our Saturday morning breakfast. Since there are just two of us at home now, we have a lot left-over. I love having a bowl of this in the fridge all week, to reheat in the microwave for a quick healthy breakfast. I’m quite sure I originally found this recipe in the Country Women magazine. Add a cup of blueberries for that extra fibre…


3 cups quick-cooking oats (certified gluten-free)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
½ cup margarine, melted *
2 eggs
2 tsp g.f. baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Warm milk
Fresh fruit and/or brown sugar

Combine the first 8 ingredients; mix well. Spread evenly in a greased 13”x9”x2” baking pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately spoon into bowls; add milk. Top with fruit and/or brown sugar if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings

• Substitute some or all of the margarine with apple sauce (or sour cream or yogurt) for a healthier alternative.
• Other options: add apples & cinnamon, or blueberries, or other fruit. Add flax or ground nuts for additional fibre.