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

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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!)