You know I love food which is exactly why I am bothering to talk about something people mundanely describe as breakfast. I’m not talking about those sumptuous Bacon and Eggs at The Pump House, or the buffets at Sandals in Mexico, but the Monday to Friday breakfasts that must power your daily writing, or box filling, or teaching, or whatever it is you do.
When you have coeliac [celiac in the US] or gluten-free and can’t reach for wheat product, it’s a foodie’s challenge. You know there is no substitute for the texture in baking of wheat. I’m very lucky to have found Voila Bakery in Oakville, Ontario. It’s a bit of a drive, but their gluten-free Pumpernickel and Museli breads are incredible. Their Nananimo Bars [it’s a Canadian sweet] I can’t keep out of my husband’s mouth and he hates gluten free. All other gluten baked breads, commercial or independent, pale in comparison to Voila ~ hint hint please keep them in business.
Even I get bored of toast and peanut butter. I wanted to put oatmeal back into my diet, but I’d heard it could not be tolerated by coeliacs. Oatmeal has been a long favourite with me, perhaps because of my Scottish Irish ancestry. In Samuel Johnson’s dictionary, oats were defined as “a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.” Apparently the Scotsman’s retort to this is, “That’s why England has such good horses, and Scotland has such fine men!”
The challenge with oatmeal falls between the words gluten intolerant and coeliac disease in that some oatmeal is freer of contaminated by-products and some people can tolerate a little contamination. Regardless of your tolerance level, read between the lines of all packaging. For example, I get my favourite brand of instant natural oatmeal from Organic Planet in Port Credit, Ontario. It’s made by Glutenfreeda Foods and while the package says only “wheat free”, in fact, the oats are certified gluten free. Yahtzee!
I wanted to try another cereal and it appears that chia is everywhere. Has chia been downgraded from the hallowed halls of Chia Pets and the Clapper? I’m not sure how this happened, but I picked up a bag of Ruth’s Chia Goodness in apple almond cinnamon. I know it sounds weird, but I always cruise HomeSense in Clarkson Village, Ontario for general trends in colour and furniture style. Likewise, their food section always has the up and coming boxed food goods. It was the first place I saw gluten free anything outside a health food store.
The reverse of the oatmeal, Ruth’s package says “sans gluten”, but the fine print allergy alert says “packaged in a facility that also handles … wheat.” I didn’t had a problem at all with it, but judge accordingly.
It did not bode well for me that Ruth’s instructions were 2 tablespoons of cereal to 4 tablespoons of water or milk. I fill my bird feeder with more than that. Dutifully I followed the instructions, but found the product unpalatable from by the look and taste. How can something so good for me look like a combination of caviar and tapioca? Undaunted, I sprinkled the Ruth’s raw cereal atop my oatmeal with blueberries, Maddington’s Maple Syrup and almond milk and …
Triple Yahtzee! Perfect for me. All Ruth’s Chia Goodness and now it looks and tastes great.
Yes, sometimes “healthy commerically manufactured products” taste like dirt, but don’t give up. Exercise imagination and patience and you will be rewarded. You’ll have more energy, feel better and live longer.