When an individual’s first diagnosed with celiac disease, every meal suddenly becomes a challenge. A gluten-free breakfast is no exception; if anything, it might be the hardest meal at first. After finding out Heidi has celiac disease, one of our first big questions was what to eat for breakfast. It was a little overwhelming! We’ve now had nearly ten months of living gluten free and it’s starting to be easier, but we still have our stressful moments. (Like that time Taft made a disgusting green smoothie, or when Heidi almost burnt hard-boiled eggs.)
And you know what? That’s OK. The first week of living with celiac disease is scary. It may feel like you’re living on rice Chex and yogurt! We’ve made it, though, and you can too. Just to help you along your way, we’re posting our list of gluten-free breakfast options.
Post-diagnosis, Heidi immediately cut all gluten out of her diet, but we didn’t worry about dairy intake or oats (you might find that those come up frequently in discussions about what celiacs should or should not eat). If you have additional dietary restrictions, some foods on this list may not work for you. We hope, though, that there’s something for every GF newbie!
Gluten-Free Breakfast Options
Cereal. Go by the label. If it says gluten free on the packaging you should be safe. Examples include Chex (any kind except Wheat Chex) and Chex imitations (such as Wegmans Corn Squares), Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and many off-brand Rice Krispies (the name brand uses malt syrup last we checked, and that’s a no-no). Add honey and berries to make it more exciting. If you’re avoiding dairy, almond milk is a great substitute so you can still have a bowl of your favorite cereal.
Yogurt. Lots of brands of yogurt are gluten free, and many are even certified gluten free. You can make if fancy with toppings like gluten-free granola, honey, and dried fruit or berries. For a few months, we actually made batches of homemade yogurt!
This one can be a little trickier. If you have celiac disease or you’re very sensitive to gluten contamination, you’ll need to buy certified gluten free oats. You’re most likely to find these on a gluten-free aisle at a regular grocery store or at a health food store. Bob’s Red Mill sells certified oats
. We’ve also found GF oats for a good price ($2/lb) at Trader Joe’s.
Cottage Cheese. We’ve verified that Breakstone’s cottage cheese is gluten free. Wegmans also sells gluten-free cottage cheese in their store brand.
Fruit. As always, naturally gluten free, and it tastes just as good as before. Maybe combine it with some yogurt or cottage cheese. Or make a fruit salad!
Applesauce. Cinnamon makes a nice addition. It’s also great over gluten-free pancakes!
You’ll want to look for this one on a gluten-free aisle too, since you’ll need granola with certified oats. Bakery on Main makes an oat-free granola, and Renola (Larabar) is a tasty grain-free alternative. Udi’s
also make some excellent granola.
You can use sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper, or salsa to mix things up. For some really fancy scrambled eggs, you might try these Ultimate Southwest Scrambled Eggs
(from Budget Bytes).
Hard boiled eggs. These are great because you can make several in advance for a quick protein boost at breakfast. Taft likes to make “faux deviled eggs” by adding paprika and mustard.
Omelets. Onions, bell peppers, hold the mushrooms please! (Unless mushrooms are your thing, then go for it.) We’ve also added sausage and zucchini.
Any other egg dish you care for. 🙂
Sausage. There are lots of gluten-free sausage choices. We’ve found several pre-cooked sausage options that are labeled gluten free. Uncooked sausage has been a little trickier for us.
Yes, chicken. Our Whole30 experience
convinced us to try grilled chicken for breakfast, and it was good.
Some brands make it easy by labeling their product gluten free. Others, you may need to research. You can get creative and use potatoes in other ways—sometimes we fry up (Sweet) Potato Cubes
with onions, peppers, and paprika. These Make-Ahead Breakfast Potato Bowls
(from Meaningful Eats) and these Roasted Breakfast Potatoes
(from Cookie and Kate) also look fantastic. When the weather cools down, we’ll definitely be trying both!
If you’re able to pick up a loaf of GF bread, toast is a great breakfast option. Just don’t forget to use a dedicated gluten-free toaster or toaster oven. Taft tried avocado toast
last week (thanks, Minimalist Baker, for the idea) and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Pancakes, waffles, muffins, bagels, biscuits, other baked goods. This category is a little trickier. You’ll either need to fork over the cash for something pre-made or start figuring out the mysteries of gluten-free baking. Take your time. 🙂
Dinner. You’ve heard of eating breakfast for dinner. Welcome to dinner for breakfast. If you made something last night, there’s no shame in eating it for breakfast.
The main thing is to make sure you keep feeding yourself. While fasting may be tempting your first week of gluten-free living, it’s not a long-term option. Starting the day with a decent GF meal is empowering, for both your body and your mind.
Please share your favorite gluten-free breakfast ideas with us in the comments. We’re always hungry for new ideas!
Note: this post contains affiliate links. While you can buy most GF foods online, checking for a cheaper price in-store (at a discount grocery outlet, for example) is always a good idea. The yogurt and granola picture above? Both purchased at discount. GF eating AND meeting our budget, that’s what we’re talking about!