… Blending Gluten-Free into the Crowd at School!
“What’s for breakfast?” Recently my niece sent a request to me for some gluten-free, and possibly allergen-free, breakfast suggestions. She’s teaching a first grade class and will be having a special breakfast next month. Some of her students have food requirements including gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free – all with their unique combinations. To ensure that all of her kiddos could freely enjoy the event, while not being singled out in their food choices or bringing attention to their dietary needs, she wanted the choices to be delicious and not noticeably allergen-adjusted. So I got to work and put together this list of breakfast ideas. These are all easy to make, especially for a crowd, and are delicious and mostly nutritious – keeping all the kids from a sugar high then low.
Since back-to-school days are busy and we all want to feed our kids a healthful breakfast to get them going, and keep them going strong until lunchtime, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of my menu suggestions as well. While these are primarily suggestions I was sharing with someone who doesn’t normally eat or prepare gluten-free foods, maybe these can offer you seasoned g-f folks some easy crowd-pleaser menu ideas too.
5 Healthy Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Breakfast Ideas
Pancakes – Silver Dollar Pancakes are perfect for little kids. Add a drizzle of pure maple syrup, fresh fruit, gluten-free granola (free of the top eight allergens as well) or dried fruit (make sure it doesn’t have a coating to prevent sticking).
- King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Pancake Mix (can be found in most grocery stores, Sprouts or Whole Foods, etc. (Free of top eight allergens: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish).
- Egg Substitutions – Per egg needed, sub 4 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (or other fruit puree) plus 1 teaspoon baking powder OR sub 1 Tablespoon flax meal and 3 Tablespoons warm water (mix and let sit for 10 minutes until gelatinous) OR about 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. NOTE: Only replace 2 eggs per box of pancake mix. More than that and you’ll compromise the composition of the mixture.
- Dairy-free Milk – Substitute cup for cup cow’s milk with almond milk, coconut milk (some people who have tree nut allergies cannot do coconut products), or rice milk. If you want to make them really fluffy, use 1 cup of above subsitute minus 1 Tablespoon, then add 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes. This creates a non-dairy buttermilk. Use this mixture cup-for-cup for regular milk. I like them both ways.
- Dairy-free Margarine – Substitute equal measures of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread (I like the soy free variety) for your standard margarine or butter. It is perfect for cooking and baking.
Gluten-Free Oatmeal in a Cup – You can easily make this in a crock pot the night before and it will be ready whenever breakfast is served. Be sure your gluten-free kids can do oats … some cannot tolerate even the gluten free ones. If they’re fine, try these … Bob’s Red Mill GF Rolled Oats (not quick cooking for the crock pot, but on the stove top quick one’s are tasty and fast) or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats (These cook really nicely in a crock pot overnight. I mix about 3 cups water, 1 cup non-dairy milk, and 3/4 cup steel cut oats for 4 very large servings. They are tender and creamy in the morning). Add gluten-free granola, brown sugar, turbinado sugar, bananas, chopped dates, and/or dried fruit, and some non-dairy milk and serve in little dixie cups or small paper bowls.
Sausage, Apples, and Rice Medley – This is a delicious medley of flavors and the dish is SO easy to make ahead of time. This mixture can then be served warm scooped into bowls or onto plates, or it can be pressed into large baking sheets, and cut into squares. The sushi rice holds it all together perfectly. We LOVE this combo (we like to add eggs too). Here’s what you need to know:
- Use Sushi Rice (regular white rice won’t hold this mixture together). You don’t have to buy 25 lb bags. You’ll find it at Fresh and Natural, Sprouts or Whole Foods in smaller bags. For your class size of about 22 kids, you’ll want to double this recipe if you’re offering other items to eat. If this is the only dish, then I would triple the recipe.
- Add (per recipe) 3 cups water, and half teaspoon salt, to pot. In a strainer, add 2 cups rice and rinse under running water about 3 minutes, or until water runs fairly clear. Add drained rice to pot and let sit for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to as low as possible, cover pot with sheet of foil and a tight fitting lid. Cook over very low heat for 20 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes, covered, then fluff with a fork.
- Heat gluten-free, casein-free sausages (there are no egg ingredients listed on the packaging) in microwave according to package directions. Cut into small pieces.
- Chop peeled, fresh apples into small pieces. Gently toss with just a hint of lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Add sausage and apples to cooked rice. Add 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and toss well. Taste and adjust salt and sugar. Dollop warm servings, or lightly oil a 13×9 inch baking dish (per recipe) and press rice mixture down evenly with back of spatula. Let come to room temperature, then slice into squares. Can be reheated and served as squares. (The cooling process is important for cutting squares. Once cut, reheating it all in a dish is not a problem.
Waffles are always fun. For quick ready-made waffles, try Van’s Totally Natural Waffles. Can be served with nut butter, sun butter, or peanut butter if your school is not a peanut-free zone. Make adjustments for egg free according to substitutions offered for pancakes above.
Yogurt Cups – If dairy isn’t a problem, use your favorite brand of yogurt. (I’m really not a fan of most dairy-free yogurt). Check to make sure your brand of choice doesn’t contain gluten as a thickener. Add fruit and gluten-free granola.
Do you have a some tasty and easy crowd-pleasin’, gluten-free or allergen-free breakfast ideas. Please share … we all love starting our day with deliciousness!
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™