For most people, March is all about Madness. For me, though, happiness is the focus. Instead of winning the game of life, I'm trying to enjoy every little blessing. The random smile of a stranger. Waking up a minute before my alarm clock rings. Scoring the last gluten free brownie in the fridge. It can be anything really.
What I've found so far, though, is that I'm a lot happier when my stomach is happier. And that calls for a post on my top 3 baked breakfast goodies! (Which, forewarning, are all altered box mixes - this college student doesn't have time for scratch!)
When I was first diagnosed, I struggled to find gluten free products that didn't taste like cardboard. Whether you're a fan of the gluten free fad diet or not, it's a fact that the market has become flooded with "new and improved" GF products. That means there are more choices, but personal experience taught me that 99% of these choices tasted about as appealing as burnt wrapping paper. The same texture too.
After months of trial and error, first I found the perfect muffin mix: King Arthur. This is the closest I'll ever get to royalty, and when my mouth is stuffed with one of these, I don't care! I love adding lots of extra blueberries, but have experimented with bananas and raspberries and devoured them all the same!
They always pop out of the oven fluffy, light and deliciously browned. In fact, my mom and I dragged a bag of these all the way to Disney World and ate them for breakfast seven days straight. Recently, I discovered how to reach the pinnacle of muffin madness: slice one in half, slather on some almond butter, chia seeds, extra blueberries or chocolate chips and pop it in the microwave. As everything melts, so will you!
Even gluten free muffins as great as these can get old, though. After our taste buds were muffined-out at Disney World, Mom and I bit into Bisquick's gluten free pancakes with the moan of dying whales. Now, the Bisquick mix is delicious as is, but we've found a secret ingredient: bananas. We threw a mushed over-ripe banana in the mix one morning and haven't looked back!
The banana gives the pancakes a slight fruity taste and causes them to fluff up like mini clouds. It also gives them more substance and keeps my stomach quiet for hours. My favorite pancake batch so far? The one where we threw all of our leftover blueberries in the mix. I froze this blueberry treasure trove last week and am slowly devouring a few pancakes every morning in a pancake, almond butter and fresh fruit sandwich.
My mom discovered my third favorite breakfast goodie a few days ago at our local Sprouts: Quinoa flakes. I wrote "quinoa" on the shopping list, but when I saw that quinoa flakes could be transformed into oat-less oatmeal with two minutes in the microwave, I was sold! Before my diagnosis, I loved oatmeal. I devoured a huge bowl of honey-cinnamon-and-banana goodness every morning. Now, though, oatmeal - even the GF certified brands - and I have broken up. Acid reflux symptoms kinda kill the romance.
I adore quinoa flakes because they give me a stick-to-your-ribs, warm breakfast without the tummy trouble. Personally, I microwave mine with water, but milk supposedly boosts the flavor. Now, plain, they aren't exactly the tastiest. Like quinoa, they have a slight bitter aftertaste, but that's what toppings are for! So far, I've tried various combinations of almond butter, Peanut Butter Co's Dark Chocolate Dream, cinnamon, honey, and lots of fresh berries. Next on my list to try is a scoop of dark chocolate chips and almonds.
Now, don't be deceived. Although these are a delicious oatmeal substitute, they aren't oatmeal. If you follow the recommended water-quinoa flakes ratio, you'll get a grit-like consistency. Since I like a thicker mix (think of Dairy Queen's ice cream that sticks to the cup upside down), I add chia seeds to mine and out pops a thick, steaming bowl of yum!
For me, muffins, pancakes and quinoa flakes are all slam-dunks. They're my latest - and greatest - breakfast discoveries, but I certainly hope they won't be my last!
Try any of these before? What are your favorite breakfast foods? Comment below!