Spring is the time for weekend daytime parties with Mother’s and Father’s day, graduations, bridal showers, and more. Brunch is often laden with gluten-filled items like quiche, muffins, breads, and waffles. Luckily, it’s easy to find tasty gluten-free equivalents and options. But you might just need some gluten-free brunch ideas.
When planning brunch, try to think of balance on the plate. Offer a combination of fruit, veggies and meat. These are usually a healthier choice as well as gluten-free (if they are plain). Sweets can be homemade or store-bought (look for a GF certification if you do). But, if you plan a bit and maybe ask for some help, you can pull off a delicious brunch with minimal effort.
Here are some strategies for hosting:
The menu-Again, balance is everything; try to offer a little of this and that. Write out your menu a few weeks in advance. With it, include a shopping list.When you are figuring out amounts, think about what someone might have on a plate; ½ cup fruit, ½ cup veggies, ½ bagel, 1/8 of a quiche, handful of salad etc. This will really help for planning purposes.
Prep list-Sure, you aren’t running a restaurant but a prep list can help you to stay organized especially if you are hosting more than 8 people. Determine a few things; what can be done ahead and what can be delegated. Maybe a friend can bring the fruit or veggies (assuming they are either gf themselves or understand cross contamination). If you are using mixes for muffins or cakes, I wouldn’t suggest making them too far ahead as their shelf life is usually just a day or two. The day before or morning is usually best. But, if you are a scratch baker, you can mix the dry ingredients ahead of time (even a week ahead) and keep in a covered container. That way, all you have to do is mix the wet ingredients when it’s time to bake.
Here are some ideas for a menu with links to my favorite recipes. Enjoy!
- Fresh fruit-Items like berries, grapes, and apple slices (use pineapple juice instead of lemon juice to keep from browning) are easy to prep and crowd pleasers.
- Yogurt and granola-Check the yogurt for ingredients; most are gf. One of my favorite gf granola brands is Kind. Udi’s makes a good one as well or go local with Flour Craft Bakery from San Anselmo.
- Veggies and hummus-As long as your veggies aren’t cut on the same board as something with gluten, they should be safe. Why not try a hummus for dipping? You can either buy one that is pre-made or make your own (remember to always make sure each ingredient is gf). Instead of pita, it can also be served with Glutino’s gf bagel chips or gf pretzels.
- Smoked salmon with capers, sliced red onion, cucumber, and cream cheese-Such an easy and delicious way to serve a tasty food. If anyone is dairy-free, try Kite Hill’s cream cheese style spread made from almonds (only available at Whole Foods).
- Bagels-Yes, I said bagels! There are many options these days from Udi’s, Canyon Bakehouse and Against the Grain. You can buy really good ones at Mariposa Bakery or always make your own. However, this does require some planning and preparation.
- Deviled eggs-I like this recipe from the Incredible Egg org. It even includes a great tip on how to make the perfect hard boiled egg!
- Crustless quiche-this is one of my favorite things to make for brunch. I’ve been doing it lately without any gf flour and just eggs and milk substitute to keep the carbs lower. I will add almost any leftover vegetable or meat. I particularly like spinach and halved cherry tomatoes. Recently I made bacon and broccoli. Base it on what you and your guests like. Here’s a recipe.
- Pancakes and waffles-There are plenty of good mixes out there but I like my own for pancakes (with a vegan option) and waffles.
- Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Caper Sauce-Pre-heat oven to 400F. Snap asparagus stalks at bottom to remove tough part. Rinse and pat dry. Place on baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake 10-14 minutes or until tender and slightly crisp. Top with lemon caper sauce.
- Gluten-Free Ham-You may not think you have to worry about the main course and gluten but you do. Gluten can hide in the marinade and/or sauce as well as from cross contamination. Make sure to find one that’s really gluten-free.
- Blueberry muffins-An easy recipe everyone will love.
- Lemon loaf-Do you miss that lemon loaf at your favorite coffee shop? This is not only good but probably better!
Do you have other ideas or recipes? Scroll down and leave a comment.