I have to admit I am starting to run out of ideas for different breakfasts now, so have taken to staring vacantly at the fridge and cupboards hoping that inspiration will fly off the shelves. Today the cupboards were a bit bare, except for the abundance of carrots I always have in the house, as they are Sophia’s favourite snack food. She will eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that is why I started to wonder if I could get them into Zac’s breakfast – he won’t eat them any other way, so how about in a muffin?
My sister makes a fab carrot cake, and I know it is a very versatile ingredient, so I started looking around for recipes. I quickly came across a recipe for ‘carrot and courgette mini muffins’. It was on the I Can Cook page of the CBeebies website. I do remember seeing the episode where Katie makes them and back then I did wonder what they might taste like. As this recipe looked far simpler than any of the others that Google threw at me, I decided to give it a go.
I am forever reading how porridge is such a great breakfast because of the health boosting, cholesterol lowering properties of oats etc but when you are living a gluten free, dairy free lifestyle you tend to think of a bowl of milky, sticky cereal as your worst nightmare.
However since I became aware of gluten free oats, and more familiar with the various dairy free milks, I decided it was time to face my fears and see if this could be made palatable, appealing and safe for my intolerant child. Certainly porridge was a favourite when I was weaning him, but in my experience most babies love all foods at that age, it is only once they get older, discover the word ‘no’, and in our case are given the cast iron excuse ‘but it might give me a tummy ache’ that you find yourselves getting less and less adventurous with food.
So it is a while since porridge has been on the menu, but as I am on this quest to find multiple safe breakfast options, I have to explore ‘oats’. Thankfully, the porridge making method was explained on the back of the packet. I got my gluten free oats from Waitrose, but I have also bought them from Sainsbury’s in the past – always in the free from sections and clearly marked – gluten free.
‘Travelling breakfasts’ are not easy for my intolerant child. Last summer we stayed in a hotel for a few nights and sorting breakfast was such a challenge. We took our gluten free, dairy free cereals and our own carton of dairy free milk. We didn’t have a fridge in our room, so took kept the milk in a lunch box full of ice packs. It was still fresh on the first morning, but pretty rough by the second day as the ice packs had melted.
We had also taken his special bread, but could only take a tiny amount of the dairy free spread to go in the ice packs with the milk and again by the second day it was no good. If Zac wasn’t so fussy he could have had some of the cooked breakfast but as the sausages were almost certainly not gluten free and the cross contamination risk was high, he just ‘hit the fruit bar’ quite hard and had fruit salad every morning with a pot of ‘dry cereal’ and some dry bread. He didn’t seem to mind, but I felt sorry for him and that is when I decided I should try and make a cereal bar, just for occasions like these.
I know there are some readily available in the ‘free from’ sections of the supermarkets but they are quite expensive and rather sugar laden so I decided to see if I could make a cereal bar that is hopefully more healthy, economical and delicious.
Before I was brave enough to make my own gluten free, dairy free pancakes, I gave a packet mix a try. They were good, just a bit thick and very ‘grainy’ tasting. I think the children were slightly put off by the bits. After that I decided it was time to be brave and try and make my own. I found a crepe style pancake recipe on the Doves Farm website and have never looked back. Over time I have started to feel confident with this recipe – but I did once have a bit of a hiccup. I used self-raising flour instead of plain and accidentally discovered how to make Scotch pancakes or American style pancakes!
The batter was much thicker than normal and it just sat in the frying pan rather than travelling around. I could tell it was cooking because little bubbles started to appear and I could actually see through the tiny pin prick sized holes. Thanks to the self-raising flour they did rise and did actually look like little tiny cakes in a pan and I guess that is how they got their name.
I have always preferred (what I call) scotch pancakes to any other kind and I used to love the ones that had sultanas in and were flavoured with syrup. So today I decided to see if I could recreate those and develop GF DF breakfast option 2.