Bringing some tropical sunshine to a South Yorkshire morning – the best breakfast to start my day!

It is really very easy to get up every morning and reach for a slice of gluten-free bread, the packet of lactose free spread and give out a big sigh as the toaster pops up with the same not-quite-as-tasty- as –the-food-you-used-to-eat before-and-you-know-it breakfast. Fear no more, I have found a way to kick start my days with more excitement than ever before. Bring on the tropical, coconut muesli!

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A perfect, healthy start to any morning

When I was first diagnosed it took me a little while to figure out I didn’t have to just choose a breakfast item from the small selection of suitable free from products and stick with it every day. Then I discovered gluten free oats. I’ve been using the Neal’s Yard Wholefoods Gluten free oats as I love the principles Neal’s Yard was founded on in the 70s. E.F Schumacher’s theory that ‘small is beautiful’ has inspired much of the ethical farming, food distribution and environmental movement including the great social justice work of organisations like Practical Action www.practicalaction.org. I like to know that with every small, beautiful , Gluten free oat my footprint on the world is positive rather than negative.

Unlike a lot of pre-prepared Gluten free cereals or breads there are no added sugars and fats, the ingredients are 100% gluten free oats meaning you aren’t going to be sending your blood sugars soaring and you can rely on a steady release of energy to stop you grabbing at mid-morning snacks. With these Gluten free oats you can make your own porridge (I would use a soya or lactose free milk) or like I do you can use them as a starter ingredient for a super tasty muesli.

The next ingredient I add are sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are seriously tiny bullets of goodness which will enrich any vegetarian diet. They contain 18% protein so they are a great protein fix without eating any meat or fish at all. They also have a mighty blast of oleic and folic acid inside their tiny shells. Oleic acid or fatty acids contribute to good cholesterol and a healthy heart. In addition to all this they are packed full of vitamins and minerals including Niacin, riboflavin, zinc, iron, calcium, copper, selenium and magnesium. These little beauties help to reduce the potential for brittle bones or anaemia that can accompany and unbalanced veggie or Coeliac diet and they add a lovely crunch to my morning.

Often loving called ‘a little fruit bat’ my parents as a child I have always loved fruit and it is my go to food to solve sweet tooth cravings. I have found that dried pineapple and papaya goes brilliantly in this muesli, it adds a perfect sweetness and flavour to breakfast. Again the Neal’s Yard Wholefoods is what I’ve used in my recipe (see above for hippie reasons why!) However if pineapple isn’t your thing you can add any fruit you like from traditional raisins and dried berries to more exotic or unusual fruits, I’m personally looking forward to a big bowl of date and fig muesli once Autumn comes around and to give me a big potassium boost!

Finally to really brighten my day with exotic flavours I add desiccated coconut to the Gluten free oats, sesame seeds, pineapple and papaya mix. Coconut adds a real sense of luxury to this muesli, even on those mornings when your pillow has never looked so inviting and the thought of doing anything remotely useful is evading you, coconut can lift your mood right up. Unfortunately coconut isn’t quite the wonder health booster that sesame seeds are, though it is still rich in minerals and dietary fibre it is higher in saturated fats but fortunately a little amount goes a really long way and adds loads to this breakfast. I use 450g Gluten free oats, 100g sesame seeds, 100g pineapple and papaya and then 50g desiccated coconut but you can mix up the weight according to your own preference.

Hopefully this has helped to inspire your breakfasts and, like me, you can banish the ready-made, sugary gluten free cereals and replace it with a healthy, balanced and tasty morning muesli. It goes great with soya milk or yoghurt and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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