An elimination diet is one method of identifying food sensitivities. An elimination diet can focus on any combination of foods, from soy to eggs to night shades, and more. However, two of the most common foods eliminated are: gluten and dairy. Both of these foods are common allergens while also being high in FODMAPS, which can trigger symptoms in people who are sensitive. This article will help you understand how to easily prepare gluten free, dairy free breakfasts.
Every person is unique, but many people experience some level of improvement by temporarily or permanently reducing or eliminating these foods. This can be challenging, since gluten and dairy are present in many common dishes. You may be wondering, “What can I eat?”
If this is you, you’ll definitely want to keep reading on!
As a dietitian with lots of experience guiding patients through an elimination diet, I am here to provide my expertise.
Below, I will review the pantry staples you’ll want to have on hand to create gluten free, dairy free breakfasts, and provide you with 5 delicious healthy breakfast recipes that skip the dairy and gluten, but don’t skimp on flavor and satisfaction!
Let’s dive in!
Why follow a Gluten Free Dairy Free Diet
There’s lots of hype around going gluten and/or dairy free diets these days, and while it may just seem trendy, there actually are some legitimate reasons people may choose to eat this way.
An elimination diet is followed short-term and allows individuals to pinpoint foods they don’t tolerate well. Usually done in conjunction with a dietitian, all suspected trigger foods are eliminated from the diet for a few weeks. After that, foods are slowly reintroduced one by one until symptom-causing foods are identified.
This would be one of the reasons someone may be avoiding gluten and/or dairy.
For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance, a gluten-free diet is the way to go (1). This prevents any damage to intestinal lining, allows them to manage their illness and keeps the symptoms at bay.
If an individual is lactose intolerant or simply feels discomfort when consuming dairy, avoiding dairy is a no-brainer. However, some individuals will choose to avoid dairy for issues such as inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia, high cholesterol and asthma, to name a few.
Obviously, individuals choose to follow a gluten free dairy free diet because it allows them to feel their best and to go about their days without worrying when their next attack of symptoms will occur.
Staple replacements for gluten and dairy
Just because you are now following a gluten and dairy free diet does not mean you need to eat bland and boring foods. There are so many tasty swaps to make, and I’m here to share my go-to replacements for gluten and dairy below.
Additionally, there’s an abundance of gluten and dairy free foods on the market today, making it easy to grab food anywhere. Of course, home cooking your own fresh food is always my preference, so let’s get into it!
Gluten Free oats are a great staple and such a versatile option, as there is an oat preparation to suit just about any palate. Choose from one of these tasty options for your next breakfast:
- Overnight oats– I make this when I know I’ll be having a rushed morning. Prepare it the night before and just sprinkle toppings like berries and nut butter on in the morning!
- Granola– Make a batch of your favorite recipe and it can last you all week. I love sneaking all the seeds and nuts into my bars. This also doubles as a yummy snack option to grab mid-day, it may finish sooner than you expected!
- Hot breakfast– Hot oatmeal made fresh in the morning is always a warm and satisfying meal. I like using nut milk as my base and sprinkling it with cinnamon, berries and a drizzle of honey.
- Baked oatmeal– This is a fun option to switch things up that allows you to pack lots of wholesome ingredients in. Using eggs in your recipe will give you a cake-like texture with that yummy oatmeal taste.
Many other grains such as rice, corn and sorghum are popularly used in gluten substitutes as well. With all the availability out there today, you can easily find crackers, breads, wraps, pastas, cakes and almost anything made from one of these substitutes. If you’re used to starting your mornings with bread or a pastry, try finding a gluten- and dairy-free version made from one of these blends.
Plant based milks and dairy alternatives
It can be overwhelming choosing a dairy alternative with all the options available today, this is a good problem if you are dairy free! Listed below are some of the more common ones I use:
- Almond– Almond milk makes a great milk swap option, they are usually enriched with vitamins and minerals.
- Oat– Oat milk is a bit thicker and fiber rich, making it another great milk alternative. It has a hint of sweetness as well, so it’s great in breakfast recipes.
- Soy– Soy milk is a low-fat, high protein option. Try using it in your coffee, over cereal, or in more savory dishes.
- Coconut yogurt– Creamy and delicious, coconut yogurt will quickly become another breakfast go-to for you. Use it to make a dairy-free yogurt parfait, or just throw some toppings on and eat it straight out of the container.
With its nutty, cheesy flavor and high vitamin B content, nutritional yeast has quickly become my favorite cheese swap. Try sprinkling it on top of your savory breakfast dishes, like on avocado toast, and you’ll get to enjoy that “dairy” taste.
Healthy Gluten Free Dairy Free Breakfast Recipes
- Say good-bye to your traditional morning toast- this Sweet Potato Toast is about to become your new favorite! Instead of using an alternative grain bread, give this vegetable based “toast” a try. It’s nutritious and takes under 20 minutes to prepare. I share some sweet and savory topping options on my blog.
- A refreshing morning smoothie makes an easy gluten & dairy free breakfast. This Creamsicle Smoothie packs a punch, it’s low FODMAP and high in fiber, protein and vitamin C. In the hotter months this will become a go-to!
- If your mornings tend to be more rushed but you still crave a filling breakfast, checkout this Overnight Oats recipe. As I mentioned earlier, overnight oats are a yummy, satisfying option and you can get creative with the toppings- fruits, nut butters, seeds, cacao nibs, etc!
- Crave starting your mornings with something sweet? Then you’ll enjoy this Yogurt Parfait made with coconut yogurt and gluten free granola. GF granola is easy to make or find ready made, just look for one that has less than 10 grams sugar per serving. It makes a few servings, so it’s a great option when preparing breakfast for more than one.
- These GF, DF Pancakes are more of a treat for breakfast. As I mentioned earlier, just because you are now following a strict diet, does not mean you have to stop eating your favorite foods. Fluffy and delicious tasting, they make a great weekend brunch option.
With a little preparation, following a dairy and gluten free elimination diet can still leave you feeling satisfied. I hope my breakfast kitchen staples and recipe ideas will allow you to start your mornings on the right note. If you feel you can use a little more hand-holding on your journey, feel free to reach out to me, Marie Murphy, MS, RD, and we can get you feeling you best soon!