Breakfast


It’s hard for me to believe that my son is almost 10 months old, I will have to return to work in less than two months, and as my husband says, everything will change AGAIN. My little man is now grasping at independence, including when it comes to eating. He wants to feed himself, though he does allow me to shovel in spoonfuls of food between bites, provided its something that he likes/wants. Unfortunately, as most parents know it is difficult to find finger foods that my guy can pick up and eat, that are safe for him to eat, that he likes and that are nutritious.

He likes to eat pasta with sauce, meatloaf, chunks of chicken, sweet potato fries, cheese, pears, bananas (sometimes), gluten-free cheerios, mum-mum crackers, avocado, gluten-free toast, rice cakes, natural baked white cheddar cheesies and I’m sure at least a few other things that I can’t think of right now.

Of course I continue to make him baby foods (much thicker and chunkier nowadays) and I have been searching the internet for recipes and ideas that might suit our needs. He really likes the fruited jello (last recipe, scroll all the way down) – I think I’m going to make it with blueberry puree next time instead of plain applesauce. I’ve also tried making meatballs with rice cereal to thicken it (he didn’t care for those too much, but I’m going to try cooking them in pasta sauce (which he loves) and have a feeling that might have better success.

Then for some reason last night I had a thought, MORNING GLORY MUFFINS they have some protein (from the Quinoa), vegetables (zucchini and carrots) and not too much sugar. This morning I got to work and was super happy with the results.

I made a few changes, namely:

  • I used the 1/2 cups of white sugar the recipe called for, but no brown sugar
  • I replaced the 3 eggs with, 2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup warm water mixed with 2 Tbsp ground flax (allow this to sit for at least 5 minutes before using, it should get goopy)
  • I used the flour mixture in my post (less quinoa than the whole foods recipe)
  • I used cornstarch instead of potato starch (because I was out of potato starch, though I prefer it to cornstarch – either would do)
  • I omitted the walnuts and orange juice
  • I used chopped craisins instead of raisins (I like craisins better and they are related to blueberries which my little guy loves)
  • I used a pear instead of an apple (combined with the applesauce egg replacement these are plenty sweet enough without the extra sugar)

I baked these mini muffins at 355 F for 17 minutes (yield 3.5 dozen mini muffins), until the muffins were golden and a toothpick inserted came out clean. They are delicious and my little guy seemed to like them – now Mom must refrain herself from eating them all herself!

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Being a new Mom means that pretty much everything in my life has changed; my world is no longer solely focued on me, and I absolutley love it.  My little man is the centre of my world and I just can’t get enough of him.  Of course there are days where I want to tear my hair out, but those days are few and far between.

As a gluten-free Momma, I have of course been researching, reading and contemplating the introduction of wheat and gluten to my son.  I have spoken to the doctor, I’ve read books and I’ve searched the internet, although my doctor recommended I go gluten-free I have not formally been diagnosed with an allergy to gluten or with Celiac’s, so of course that does complicate things slightly.  All that being said, we have decided to wait until my bubba is a year before introducing any wheat products.

To a non-gluten-free Momma that probably sounds extremley difficult, but for me its totally reasonable.  When its time to have toast, he can have Mom’s potato bread, when its time for pasta he can have rice pasta, when it came to baby cereal we stuck with just rice instead of jumping on the barely and wheat train.  Now that he’s over 6 months however, I was a little worried that perhaps rice cereal for breakfast everyday was getting a little mundane.

So after a little research, (Wholesomebabyfood was very helpful) I decided to introduce some Millet to my little man.  It is a natural source of iron, protien and potassium to name a few.  I discovered (like the other grains) you can make your own cereal by simply grinding millet down and cooking it on the stove.  Since I didn’t have any millet grain on hand, I decided to use millet flour.  The first batch was lumpy to say the least, but after  few attempts I had a pretty good system.

Gluten-Free Baby Millet Cereal

Ingredients:

  • generous cup of water
  • scant 1/4 cup of millet flour
  • fruit puree

Directions:

  • Mix together water and millet flour (this worked best in a shaker for protein shakes or a cup with a lid).
  • Put mixture into a pot and heat over medium-high heat, stirring often with a whisk.
  • Once the mixture becomes hot, reduce heat to low-medium and continue to cook, stirring often for approx 7 minutes until the cereal has thickened and doesn’t taste too grainy.
  • Scoop one portion into a dish for your baby to eat right away and mix in some fruit puree if desired.  My little man loves to eat his cereal with pears!
  • The cereal will thicken as it sits, so if you don’t add fruit, you may need to thin with a little additional water, breast milk or formula once it cools enough for baby to eat.
  • Put extra cereal in a container in the fridge or in ice cube trays to be frozen.  The cereal defrosts and reheats well, however it takes longer to heat back up than fruit puree, so I recommend microwaving the cereal briefly (10-15 seconds) before adding the fruit and reheating to the desired temperature.

My baby loves his millet and pears for breakfast, but I was eager to introduce oats as well, so I’ve been keeping my eye out for wheat-free oats at my local health stores.  I can always get some at Choices, I just haven’t made a trip there in a while.  Just this week I excitedly found some Bob’s Red Mill Wheat-Free Steel Cut Oats and although I’ve never had steel cut oats, I read that since they are less processed, they are actually better for making baby food.

September 09 - 281I also picked up some millet grain, my Mom donated an extra coffee grinder that she had and suddenly I was ready to make a healthy whole grain cereal that both the baby and I could enjoy.  I have a food processor, but the coffee grinder is just so much easier for the small quantities that this cereal calls for.  I found this recipe for a millet and oatmeal cereal (akin to cream of wheat) and happily began to create.  We’ve had millet/oatmeal cereal for breakfast the last three days; the bubba had his with pears and Momma had hers with raspberries, flax and honey.  Mmm, Mmm Good!

GF millet/oatmeal cerealnote: the pear puree is just softening up, I do of course mix it all up for him to enjoy!

As and aside, I’ve found that I like to use 2 cups of water (rather than the 1-3/4 cups the recipes calls for) and that more stirring/whisking is required than the recipe alludes to.  All in all an easy and nutritious breakfast!

Millet Porridge on Foodista
Oatmeal Porridge on Foodista

Now that my son is getting a little bit more independent and doesn’t need Mom every single second, I think that I am slowly finding my inspiration to cook again.  Cooking GOOD gluten-free meals takes a little bit of thought and effort, and in truth for the last 6 months, I really haven’t had time for much of either.  Last weekend waffles struck my fancy; I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill GF Biscuit mix and it makes great waffles, and I’ve also tried Ginger Lemon Girl’s Belgian Waffle Recipe.  They were also delicious, but they were a little crispy throughout and not quite as soft in the middle as I would like.  So not only did I decide I wanted to have waffles I decided I wanted to adapt my family pancake recipe to be gluten-free and waffle worthy.

This recipe turned out amazing; my husband gobbled them up uttering compliments all the while telling me I should make a recipe book.  These were absolutely the best waffles I’ve had in ages.  Of course we ate them with bacon and fresh blueberry sauce, the only thing that could have made them better was fresh whipped cream!

As my eczema has been bad lately, and my milk consumption seems to affect my son’s eczema, I have been limiting my dairy products and drinking rice milk.  I made this recipe using half rice milk and half 1% milk with great results – I therefore assume that you could use any non-dairy substitute.  Similarly, you could likely replace my flour mixture with 2 cups of gluten-free flour mix with similar results, but personally I like to custom blend quantities for each individual recipe.  If you try it out with a different non-dairy product or gluten-free flour, let me know how it works out for you.

GF Waffles

Gluten-Free Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup Millet flour
  • 1/4 cup Brown Rice flour
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Rice flour
  • 1/4 cup Potato starch
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp Xantham gum
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 eggs, seperated
  • 1-3/4 cups milk or non-dairy substitute
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Preheat your waffle iron.
  • Mix (I like to use a hand whisk) flours, xantham gum, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (this only takes a few minutes in a stand mixer), set aside.
  • Mix egg yolk, milk and oil together.
  • Add dry ingredients to the milk mixture and mix.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into your batter, adding about a third of the egg whites at a time.  Egg whites do not need to be totally uniform in the batter, we are trying to add extra “fluff” to the batter.
  • Spray your waffle iron as necessary, pour the batter by heaping 1/4 cups and cook according to your waffle iron directions.  These waffles do not puff as much as regular waffles, so you need to add MORE batter than you are used to if you want to get the nice full crispy waffle wells that hold the butter and syrup so well.  Trust me having a tiny bit of spillover while you figure out the exact quantity for your iron is totally worth it.
  • Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Waffles on Foodista

Camping, like all things requires a little bit of pre-planning to do successfully Gluten-Free.  With a little bit of label reading, and armed with some potato onion bread, I enjoyed hamburgers, hotdogs and roasted marshmallows; all staples of camping.

Since I can’t have the graham crackers, and I didn’t want to attempt to make my own, traditional s’mores are out.  Instead we often just shove the chunks of chocolate into the middle of the soft gooey marshmallow and try to have enough patience to let it melt, at least a little bit.

For breaky we had bacon and eggs and even Corned Beef Hash (I know, I know, meat in a can…but seriously its a greasy yummy treat), and of course I had some earlier bowls of Panda Puffs and Rice Cereal to tide me through the early hours of morning.

We enjoyed salmon freshly caught from the river by my husband and a friend.  We had it on the BBQ with peanut butter, onions and garlic (surprisingly tasty), mayo, ketchup and mustard (my Brother-inLaw’s specialty) and also with butter, dill, garlic, celery salt and onion salt which was definitley my favourite, but I like simple things sometimes.

We also got a chance to try out Mrs. Leeper’s – Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Organic Tuna Casserole.  My parents purchsed this for me on sale in the states, and it is made with a corn pasta.  You prepare this just as you would regular tuna helper.  It was quick and easy and tasted delicious.  The noodles had good texture and the sauce was creamy and not overpowering.  All in all, I will definitley eat this again – I have not seen this product in Canada, but will keep my eyes open and let you know if I see it.  FYI, they also have a hamburger lasagna which is basically a hamburger helper, which I was also surprised to discover I quite enjoyed.

I’ve been saying for ages that I would get back on my horse and starting posting again…it really should be easy.  This blog is about gluten-free food and I eat food every day – so there should always be something to write about, shouldn’t there?

I don’t want this to become a boring list of the foods I ate, but at the same time, when you are starting off a gluten-free diet, it can be infinitley useful to get meal ideas from someone who is living the life.

I am firm believer that a good breakfast is essential to a successful day; that being said now that my little bubba has arrived there’s a lot less time for leisurely meals.  But I always eat breakfast.

Although I’ve given up milk again (except for cream in my coffee) to help ease my sons eczema, I often find a hearty hemp shake made with rice milk a good start to the day.  I am definite fan of the nutiva chocolate hemp shake – made with organic fair trade cocoa, this shake has a rich flavour and a thick consistency.

I have also been enjoying the smorgasboard of jam my Mom and I made this summer, atop gluten-free potato flax bread and peanut butter.  We made strawberry, tayberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry freezer jam this summer and if I may say so, it is all delicious!  My top 3 are definitely tayberry, blackberry and raspberry!!

When I was younger cereal NEVER held me – I needed more protein and substance for breakfast.  Now I just have two small breakfasts; one at 6am when I get up with the baby, and a second one when he goes down for his nap around 8/8:30 am.  And when it comes to cereal, my absolute favourite are Nature’s Path Peanut Butter Puffs, but  I also like the Chocolate Koala crisp and Mesa Sunrise Flakes.

Of course I still enjoy a nice hot egg breakfast (when I can sneak one in or on the weekend).  My meal of choice is a fried egg sandwich with cheese and a smear of ketchup on potato-flax bread.  If we are having an “eggs & bakey” kind of morning, I also love some nice crispy bacon or some Lilydale Daystarters chicken or turkey breakfast sausage.  Totally gluten-free, low in fat and absolutley delicious, I always buy a few packages of daystarters for the freezer when they are on sale!

I have always been a fan of oatmeal, and was disappointed to say the least when I discovered gluten-free practically meant oat-free.  Enter Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats and Lara’s Gluten-Free Oats (both are available at Choices Markets), however I hated having to make my oatmeal the old fashioned way with a pot of water, constantly concerned that my expensive GF oats were going to burn to the bottom of the pan. I also found the that oats were not ask silky and soft as the instant oatmeal I had become accustomed to.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that you can cook oatmeal in your rice cooker;  its quick and delicious and fills your kitchen with the warm aroma of fresh oatmeal without the effort.  I followed the quantity instructions on my rice cooker and was amazed at the perfect texture of the resulting oatmeal.  I did worry that the flavours might somehow ruin subsequent batches of rice, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.  The cinnamon flavour does linger a little bit, but when rice is eaten with an Asian dish (as it most often is), the flavour is completely negligible.

Check your own instruction booklet to see if it has a different liquid ratio, or try my recipe below.  Also feel free to adjust the add-ins to suit your tastes: raisins, orange or lemon zest, berries, peaches, nuts, spices, the options are endless.  I quite like adding chunks of peeled apple and mixing them in instead of using the craisins (but it takes more time, and time is a hot commodity for me these days). I’m pretty sure however, that I could get it all setup the night before and then just have to hit “cook” in the morning…

Note: I am out of GF oatmeal right now, but will take a picture just as soon as I get to the store and buy some!

Rice Cooker Gluten-Free Oatmeal

(2 generous servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups water
  • handful of craisins

Directions:

  1. Mix oats, cinnamon and salt in the rice cooker bowl (this helps to minimize having all the cinnamon floating on the top).
  2. Add the water and mix well.
  3. Sprinkle craisins on top.
  4. Turn on your rice cooker.
  5. When the rice cooker switches over to warm, your breakfast is ready.
  6. ENJOY! (I like mine with brown sugar and rice milk…mmm!)

As promised (months ago), here is the recipe for easy and delicious Gluten-Free Pancakes. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture as we always scarf them down as soon as they are cooked, but these delicious silver-dollar sized pancakes are so wonderful. Special thanks to my Sister for providing me with this delicious recipe book.

Note this recipe uses Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour, I just use my Gluten-Free Flour mix with an additional 2 tbsp of baking powder, and it seems to work fine.

Gluten-Free Hotcakes
(From “Sharing Sweet Secrets: Gluten & Wheat Free” by Pamela Moriarty)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Self Raising Flour (see note above)
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk soured with 1/2 tsp lemon juice (or 1/3 cup buttermilk)
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Directions:

  • Sift flours, baking power and baking soda together. (I just use a whisk in the bowl).
  • Beat eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until thick and creamy.
  • Add soured milk and melted butter to egg mixture.
  • Fold flour mixture into wet mixture, using “stir” on your mixer.
  • Heat your pan, and melt a small amount of butter before adding batter to the pan to cook.
  • Add 2 tbsp of batter at a time (they expand) and allow bubbles to appear before flipping over to cook on the second side.
  • Enjoy with toppings of your choice!!!

I often shop at Choices Market, but despite hearing raves about Whole Foods, there are none near my home and as such, I have never visited the store. I also had never visited their website, until a co-worker pointed out to me that they had oodles of recipes on their site. When I typed “gluten-free” into their search engine, I was ecstatic to have over 800 hits.

There are a number of recipes that I want to try, but the one that caught my attention almost immediately was for MORNING GLORY MUFFINS. I have seen “morning glory muffins” in cafes and coffee shops and have always been intrigued by the wholesome combination of fruits and vegetables, but I never expected to find a recipe, already adapted to be Gluten-Free.

I worked from home today and took advantage of that fact; I made some muffins during lunch. I made a minor changes to the flour ratio, as I find Quinoa flour a little overwhelming in flavour (and I didn’t have a cup on hand anyways). Overall I was hugely impressed, these muffins have great texture, great flavour and a pretty high healthy quotient in my books.

I don’t usually re-post other people’s recipes, but the link has changed in the past few days due to some website re-organization and I just don’t want to lose it.

My changes to the recipe:

  • Replace 1 cup of Quinoa Flour with:
    1/2 cup Quinoa Flour, 1/4 cup Sorghum Flour, 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • Replace 1 tart red apple with:
    1 granny smith apple

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Gluten-Free Morning Glory Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

Gluten-free flours combine with apples, carrots, zucchini, raisins and walnuts in these nutritious and satisfying muffins. You can also try our Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins.

Ingredients

2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
1/4 cup natural brown sugar
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tart red apple, unpeeled, cored, and finely chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Put oil, cane sugar, brown sugar and vanilla into a large bowl and whisk by hand for about 1 minute to incorporate air into the mixture. Set aside. Put flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking soda, cinnamon, xanthan gum and salt into a second large bowl and stir well to combine. Add flour mixture, carrots, zucchini, walnuts, raisins, coconut, orange zest and apples to the reserved sugar mixture and stir well to form a batter. Scoop batter into 12 paper-lined muffin tins and bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes.

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