Ask Shelley Case: Quick & Healthy Breakfast Ideas!

Question: I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I’m always in a hurry and need some quick and healthy gluten-free / allergen-free ideas. Help!

Eating on the run in the morning is a challenge for many of us. It’s tempting to skip breakfast and just grab a coffee but you need to fuel your body with healthier choices to stay energized and alert. Here are a few ideas…

• GF toasted bagel, bread or English muffin with nut butter (almond, cashew or peanut) with sliced banana and glass of milk or 100% fruit juice

• Smoothie made with fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt or milk*, spoonful of ground flax, crushed ice and sweetener (honey, sugar, agave or sugar substitute) and a gluten-free muffin or energy bar (see recipe below)

• Frozen GF waffles (e.g., Van’s or Nature’s Path) with cottage cheese, peaches and sprinkled with cinnamon and a dash of syrup

• GF cereal or granola with yogurt or milk* and fresh fruit

• GF hot cereal (e.g., Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty GF Hot Cereal or GF oats** and a spoonful of ground flax) made with water or milk* prepared in the microwave and served with fresh or dried fruit (e.g., raisins, apricots, mangoes)

• Leftover GF pizza warmed in the microwave or eaten cold and a glass of 100% fruit juice


* GF Milk substitutes (almond, potato, rice or soy beverages) can replace milk for those with
   lactose intolerance.

** GF oats available from Bob’s Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates, FarmPure Foods, Gifts of Nature, Gluten-Free Oats). For more information about GF oats see


There are a number of granola, muffin and portable fruit bar recipes that can be pre-made. Here is one of my favorite healthy energy bar recipe detailed below. These energy bars can be stored for a week in an air tight container and can also be individually wrapped and frozen for up to one month.  You can also find more recipes, tips and substitutions along with the nutrition content of the recipes in the Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide.


Carrot Apple Energy Bars

1 ¼ cups sorghum flour
½ cup amaranth flour
1/3 cup rice bran
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup non-fat (skim) milk powder
1½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups grated carrots
¾ cup dried fruit mix
½ cup chopped walnuts
Line 13 X 9 inch baking pan with foil and grease lightly.

In a large bowl or plastic bag. Combine sorghum flour, amaranth flour, rice bran, ground flaxseed, milk powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Mix well and set a side.

In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs, applesauce and brown sugar until combined.

Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in carrots, dried fruit and nuts.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan; spread to edges with a moist rubber spatula and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 325° F oven for 30—35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack and cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or individually wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.

Yield 18 bars

From Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide and reprinted with permission from: The Best Gluten-Free Family Cookbook by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, Robert Rose Inc., Publisher, 2005;

Note: Ask Shelley Case is a feature of It is published the first Tuesday of each month. Shelley Case is a Registered Dietitian, Consulting Dietitian, Speaker and Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide.

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9 Responses to “Ask Shelley Case: Quick & Healthy Breakfast Ideas!”

  1. mary stephen Says:

    i met a woman at a gluten free event (i sell gf tshirts) who made very nutritious gf cookies…only thing is she used oats…but i think she is working on that–making sure they are gf. The name of the company is Bizzy Lizzy. Her products looked great.

  2. Brenda Says:

    I’m allergic to oats and rye and barley malt and intolerant to wheat. I’m also allergic to milk, but not eggs. I’m not Celiac, but have to eat gluten and dairy free. Just learned that Rice Dream milk is processed with barley malt. Had wondered why I continued to have brain fog and a foot rash. That was part of the problem. Can you tell me what other non-dairy milks I can drink as a person who needs to be gluten free and dairy free? I loved Rice Dream, but their processing messed me up, even though they say their milk is “gluten free”, so now, I question ALL of the other non-dairy milks! Are some of the other ones processed with barley malt as well?


  3. donna anderson Says:

    What we need is some gluten free / fat free recipes
    I fnd a lot of the breads and muffins etc are high in fat content

  4. Terry Says:

    For a fast breakfast:
    I fix a large amount of GF pancakes in the evening, then refrigerate them to reheat in the for several days in the AM. I have them with syrup, plain on the go as a rollup with egg or just jelly or peanut butter.

  5. Mary Lee Rossmaessler Says:

    How would you recommend a gluten-free person follow a weight-loss program? We all know that many GF items have higher fat and calories, but it’s also no fun to eat everything plain or not enjoy crackers or cookies.

  6. Amy Says:

    My favorite is steamed rice, braags amino acid and a fried egg.

  7. Kathleen Reale Says:

    Hi Everyone!

    WOW! Thanks for all the questions! I have forwarded these and the ones that are being submitted to:, direct to Shelley Case.

    Keep the questions coming!

    Be Free!

  8. Fenton Antique Says:

    I recently discovered your website and have been reading along quietly. I decided I might give my first comment. I dont know exactly what to write except that I have really enjoyed reading it. Cool blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. I have also got the RSS feed to get updates.

  9. Roscoe Hunter Says:

    This is great stuff. I’ve been in the field for years, but I’m still learning and this really makes sense.

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