Unfortunately, traditional breakfast foods are absolutely riddled with gluten. Would you like your toast white, wheat, or French? How about English muffins, bagels, croissants, scones, pancakes, waffles... and that's before getting into the whole additives discussion.
But, you're reading this blog entry and I assume that you meet one of the following criteria (maybe more):
- You're meeting someone gluten free (SGF) out for breakfast.
- SGF is a houseguest of yours (Or Valentine's Day went really, really well) and you want to make sure they break their fast without
straining your bathroom plumbingdistress.
Breakfast at Home.
Luckily, there are a ton of traditional breakfast foods that are cheap, easily accessible, and naturally gluten free with no effort required. They are included but not limited to:
- Eggs (I'm talking in the carton here, not fancy egg-substitute things)
- Most yogurts (I waffle back and forth - to me, nothing beats the taste of Yoplait - which is marked gluten free - but concerns for animal wildlife and the knowledge that it's better for you make me try to gravitate toward greek yogurt like Chobani - also gluten free).
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (But veggies aren't breakfast food, you say? I present you with a Spanish omelet. Lawyered).
- Most cheeses you'd want to use for breakfast - read the label to be on the safe side, but you're probably good.
- Potatoes. Again, I'm talking raw, in the bag, unprocessed here.
- But, if you're in the mood for quick and tasty, check out Ore Ida's gluten free list for hash browns and tater tots.
- Many brands of bacon. I usually buy Oscar Meyer, but I know that Bar-S is marked gluten free.
- Many brands of breakfast sausage. I used to buy Johnsonville, but their site doesn't explicitly state their products are gluten free anymore. This may have changed - double check first or pick a different meat.
- Many brands of ham and canadian bacon. I'm partial to Boar's Head because all of their meats, cheeses and condiments are gluten free - no reading labels for me!
- Many cereals are gluten free. Start with Chex - Corn, Rice, Honey Nut, Cinnamon, Strawberry and Chocolate Chex are all marked gluten free.
- Milk is naturally gluten free, as is butter.
- Heinz ketchup is also gluten free.
That said - some gotchas:
- Use tubs of butter? Double dipping the knife can cause cross-contamination. When in doubt open a new tub. Same goes for peanut butter, jelly, and anything else that you dip a knife into and spread onto bread products.
- Some cooking sprays like Pam for baking can contain gluten. Make sure to read the label or just use un-cross-contaminated butter this time.
- Using gluten free toast? Toasters are the enemy. You probably don't have a virgin toaster handy, so use a toaster bag or just don't use it.
- Don't use the same serving utensils for gluten and gluten-free foods.
- Choose the place wisely. A lot of diners can accommodate you, but make sure to call ahead and ask. If the manager asks "What's gluten?" it might be a hint to try a different place.
- Always make sure to ask for "no toast." Even if you say the meal has to be gluten free - trust me, I waitressed during my college years and sometimes you get on autopilot - and just one crumb is enough.
- Locally, try Sherry Lynn's Gluten Free Cafe. She has a wide variety of items, and yes, non gluten free people are allowed to eat there too. :) As a bonus, she has a storefront with gluten free items. Some of them (think Chex) are cheaper at the grocery store, but she does have some items that are hard to find elsewhere.
- Fifty South Diner in Ballston Spa is willing to accommodate a gluten free diet and has wonderful food.
- If you are lucky enough to be in close proximity to an Original Pancake House, they serve gluten free pancakes at many locations!