OK In Health - Gluten Free Goodness

Let’s Look at a Gluten-Free Breakfast - April 2022

De-stressing the switch to a gluten free breakfast

By Cathy Lauer

gluten-free breakfast - muffins and apples on a plate

You’ve just been told you can no longer have gluten. You start thinking about what to have for breakfast in the morning and you panic. All the things you usually have contain gluten. How are you going to manage? How are you going to survive? What about nutrition and fibre? “I can’t survive just on fruit and vegetables.” Fear not! There are many ways of having a nutritious, fibre filled and tasty breakfast without the gluten.

        For many people breakfast is a gulp and go activity crammed into a hectic morning routine trying to get yourself and your family out the door to school and work. Grabbing a quick coffee and a muffin or breakfast bar is all there is time for. Others have a need to fill up at breakfast in case they don’t have time for lunch and others really enjoy the satisfaction of making a leisurely, hearty breakfast that really gives you that important start to your day. Whichever type of routine fits your lifestyle it can be a major adjustment when you have to remove gluten. Suddenly all those quick grab and go items are off the list. Muffins, cereal, toast and breakfast bars are now taboo. Can they be replaced to your taste and time constraint satisfaction? Yes, absolutely!

        If toast is your go-to breakfast there are a number of companies now that make off the shelf bread that actually looks and tastes like real bread. There is even a new brand available that is soft and not crumbly and will keep on the counter or in the fridge without having to be reheated before eating. This bread, originally produced in the UK, is now in production by a Canadian company and is available across Canada. You may need to try a few different brands and varieties until you find one that suits your tastes but there is now such a wide selection of choices you are sure to find one you like. There are also a number of gluten free bakeries that make very nice breads some with an artisan style to them that may appeal to your tastes. Either way if you are a toast lover fear not, you can still have it for breakfast.

        Cereal is probably the next biggest breakfast food group. The varieties are endless and the gluten free ones are very good. There is everything from healthy whole grain style cereals to sugar coated fun shapes and flavours. A number of major cereal manufacturers even make gluten free cereal such a Rice Krispies and Chex. These are also now available in Canada. The cost is naturally higher than the wheat cereals but the taste is very satisfying and if you are a cereal lover they will make the transition to gluten free much easier. If you are still allowed oats on your gluten free diet there are also two Canadian brands of wheat free oats available so you can still have your bowl of oatmeal for breakfast if that is more your style. (see “Oats: To Eat or Not to Eat” January 2012 Ok in Health E-magazine)

        Health or breakfast bars have become very popular and there are hundreds of them out there. Many are gluten free as well as nut, dairy and egg free. If it is a choice between no breakfast or a health bar of some sort, choose the health bar. It is better than eating nothing at all. Be sure to read the label to be sure it is in fact gluten free and not just wheat free as it may contain barley malt as a sweetener or oats as one of the main ingredients. Secondly, and probably equally important, is reading and understanding the nutrition label. There is no point eating a “health” or breakfast bar that is loaded with sugar and/or fat and very little fibre or nutrition. Also be aware of what the serving size is and what the nutrition label is quoting. If the serving size is one bar but the label has the nutrition facts for half a bar you will not be getting the correct picture.

        Muffins, bagels and, sadly, doughnuts are quick breakfast foods for some. Let’s not even talk about the wrongness of doughnuts as a breakfast food! Muffins are easy to make gluten free either at home from scratch with a good gluten free flour mix, by purchasing a packaged gluten free muffin mix or buying ready made muffins from a store or gluten free bakery. Muffins are easy to make into a nutritious breakfast by filling them with fruit, nuts and fibre. A few seconds in the microwave to freshen and your grab and go breakfast is ready and gluten free. Bagels can also be made at home or bought from a gluten free bakery and like muffins can be made with nutritious ingredients to give you a healthy start to the day.

        Traditional “full meal deal” breakfasts can easily still be made gluten free. Ham and bacon come in gluten free varieties. Be sure to read the ingredients and be sure there is no malt syrup used in the coating to give the outside a brown colour. A number of name brand sausage makers have gluten free breakfast sausages that are very tasty and you won’t even miss the wheat. If you like pancakes or waffles with your big breakfast you can have those too. There are toaster ready frozen waffles that are quite nice and pancakes are simple to make either from scratch with a good gluten free flour mix or from a packaged gluten free pancake mix. French toast is just as easy to make as before using one of the new soft gluten free breads.

        Adding a fruit of your choice to any of these gluten free breakfast options adds fibre and nutrition as well. With the wide variety of fruit available all year long there are an unlimited number of combinations of healthy, nutritious, delicious and gluten free breakfast choices no matter what breakfast style happens at your house.


Cathy LauerCathy's Bio: Cathy Lauer has been cooking/baking gluten/dairy free for 17 years. She has written 3 all baking cookbooks and has a gluten free baking blog/store. In her spare time she loves to garden in a big way with fruit, vegetable and flower gardens. She is a classically trained singer and loves to read and collect recipe books. She homeschools her youngest son (11) and has 3 grown children and is grandmother of 2. Cathy's Gluten Free Creations Ltd. Gourmet Gluten Free Baking. Cookbooks and Baking Mixes. 250-758-5232 - Cathy Lauer Website - Email


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