This post has been about a month in the making, and when I have news to share I don’t beat around the bush. Like the time I had this whole story ready for my former boss (whom I love and adore) when I was leaving my desk job to blog full time. I marched into her office ready to wax poetic about following my dreams and such, then immediately broke down crying and blabbed, I’m quitting! Nice.
Ok, ok – bush lightly beaten around. Here I go. As the title of this post implies, I am going gluten-free. (See 50+ Gluten-Free Recipes here! >>)
Specifically, I was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease which means I cannot eat gluten found in wheat, barley, nor rye as it damages the lining of the small intestine, preventing it from absorbing vital nutrients. Simply put, celiac disease can cause malnutrition if left untreated. The disease was likely triggered by the birth of my son who was delivered via emergency c-section after a very long and very painful labor.
Many people have asked if I’m “going gluten free” over the past month after noticing me sharing gluten free recipes and products on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve prolonged posting about it here on IGE because it’s out of the norm for me to share health news on this site and also, I don’t want to turn people off from this food blog. So, hear me out (and sorry if this is kind of all over the place!)
I’m still learning about celiac disease but from what I’ve researched and my doctor has agreed to is that the disease can lay dormant in some people only to be triggered or “awakened” by traumatic events to your body – think a car crash or unplanned emergency c-section. After Lincoln’s birth I felt very sick for 6 months. I weighed less than I did pre-pregnancy (which was cool for like, a second,) felt like a zombie even after Lincoln started sleeping through the night, and basically just felt like hell. I had an inkling that gluten might be the culprit and after undergoing a few procedures to get the final diagnosis, and cutting gluten from my diet, I feel like a new woman.
Clear head, a healthy weight, and energy through the roof.
At first all I could do was laugh at the irony of a food blogger being diagnosed with celiac disease. I seriously wondered how I’d go on posting knowing I’d be limited to cooking foods that do not contain wheat (I don’t cook much with either barley or rye.) Then I started analyzing my diet and realized that 90% of the foods I already ate were naturally gluten free. As I scrolled through past posts here on IGE, I was tickled to find that many of them were centered around meat, beans, cheeses, rice, potatoes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables – all of which do not contain gluten. In short, eating gluten free at home has not been difficult.
I could go on and on – talking about what I’ve missed so far (pizza! BEER! Not loving GF beer so far…) my feelings about eating out at restaurants (apprehensive – contamination is a huge issue,) and how gluten is hiding in a bajillion products at the grocery store (bitter, though I’ve been finding some great GF products,) but I’ll wrap it up and talk to you real quick about what this means for IGE.
I will not be posting recipes with gluten. Ben and I eat the food I cook for the blog and it would be wasteful to cook foods that I cannot consume. Furthermore, how can I write about something I can’t taste? I will also not be posting notes alongside ingredients like worcestershire sauce or soy sauce, which sometimes contain gluten, that say make sure you check for gluten! because that would get redundant, and if you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance then you know to check for things like that.
What I can promise you is that the recipes posted here will remain easy, seasonal, family-friendly, and most importantly, delicious. If you’ve enjoyed the past month’s recipes (all of which are gluten free, with the exception of one – Creamy Chicken Pasta,) then you will continue to enjoy my recipes moving forward.
I’ve quickly learned that gluten free does NOT mean taste free, nor full of weird, hard to find ingredients. On the contrary, it means fresh and flavorful food! Like I said, my diet was already largely based around gluten free foods anyway, and I bet yours might be too.
So if you’ve made it this far, thank you! And I’ve also got a humdinger of a recipe for you today. I’m going absolutely bananas for Lemon Blackberry Breakfast Cookies which are egg free, dairy free and, yes, gluten free. With all those restrictions you might think these babies taste like cardboard, but I literally can. not. stop. eating them.
I mean, healthy, great-tasting cookies for breakfast! Who can’t get down with that?
Old fashioned oats are mixed with honey instead of refined sugar, applesauce instead of oil, banana instead of egg (though they do not taste banana-y) fresh blackberries, lemon zest, and lemon juice then baked. These breakfast cookies are chewy, perfectly sweet, dense and absolutely delicious. Good for the heart, taste buds and soul!
Bake these cookies then pair with a piece of fruit or yogurt for breakfast, or serve to the kids as an after-school snack. They’ll love ’em (and you’ll love serving them!) I can’t even confess to you how many I’ve eaten over the past week. I had to freeze the leftovers to stop myself! Which, by the way, is another awesome perk of this recipe. Freeze the extra cookies then microwave for just 20 seconds for an insta-delish breakfast.
Ooo, oo, it’s also made in just one bowl so clean up is nearly nil!
Start with 3-3/4 cups old fashioned oats. I know I said I wouldn’t do this, but it’s important to note that if you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance you’ll want to buy certified gluten free oats. Oats are naturally gluten free but are usually processed in facilities that also process wheat which means they can be contaminated with gluten. Even GF oats might trigger a reaction in severe cases of celiac disease, but so far I’ve been fine with them.
Anyway, I’ve found these GF Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Oats at every single grocery store in town!
Add 1-3/4 cups of the oats to a food processor then process until the oats have turned into flour, about 3-4 minutes.
Dump the flour into a large bowl then add the remaining 2 cups oats, 1 Tablespoons lemon zest (about 1 lemon worth,) 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 cup ground flaxseed and mix everything all up. That’s a wrap for the dry ingredients.
Time for the wet ingredients. That includes 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey, 1/2 cup mashed VERY RIPE banana (about 1 medium-sized banana,) 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon,) and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (2 of those single serving cups.)
Finally, add 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon coconut oil that’s been zapped in the microwave for about 20 seconds to melt.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together then fold in 1lb blackberries. Blackberries are selling for next to nothing right now at the grocery store so stock up for the freezer, and for these cookies of course! I’ve also used blueberries in here and they are awesome.
Let the batter sit and thicken for 10 minutes then scoop 1/4 cup of the batter (I used an ice cream scoop) onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Wet your fingers with water then press down slightly on the tops of the cookies, as they won’t spread much if at all in the oven.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees or until the edges are golden brown and the top is set, then cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container on the counter for 2 days, in the fridge for up to 4 days, or pop into a freezer bag and freeze. Like I said, just 20 seconds or so to reheat in the microwave – whee!
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Lemon Blackberry Breakfast Cookies (Gluten, Egg, and Dairy-Free)
Gluten, egg, and dairy-free Lemon Blackberry Breakfast Cookies are perfect for busy mornings!
- 3-3/4 cups gluten-free certified old fashioned oats, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 1 medium banana)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1lb blackberries or blueberries, rinsed then patted dry
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees then line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside. Add 1-3/4 cups oats to a food processor then process for 3-4 minutes or until very fine to make oat flour.
- Add oat flour, remaining 2 cups oats, baking soda, salt, and ground flaxseed to a large bowl then mix to combine. Add applesauce, banana, honey, coconut oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice then mix until just combined. Carefully fold in blackberries then let batter sit for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Scoop 1/4 cup batter (I used an ice cream scoop) onto prepared baking sheet then wet hand with water and press down to flatten slightly (cookies will not spread.) Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown around the edges and set on top. Cool completely then store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or wrap individually in plastic wrap then freeze in a freezer bag. Wrap in a paper towel then microwave for 20 seconds to thaw.
Adapted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
I tell you what – the taste of fresh lemon with sweet blackberries is simply scrumptious. The flavors taste like a fancy dessert – you’ll just love them. Enjoy!
Oh, gluten-y recipes are still fair game for Friday Favorites. A girl can still dream!