If you've been following our Instagram stories you'll know that I have a new book coming out in 2019 called Everyone's Welcome. It will of course be a cookbook for people with food allergies or other dietary restrictions, and is framed as a handy guide for those who don't have restrictions themselves but are friends/family of those that do. In developing the content for the book I started asking and allergy people lots of questions and reading about what they like to eat, what's hard to find, and what meals they care about most.
It seems that allergic folk seem to miss out on the brunch and breakfast experience often. And this makes sense if you can't have dairy or egg, because those are the crucial ingredients in most brunch menus. Pancakes, eggs, coffees, pastries, waffles; all things that contain those ingredients. Given the quick turnaround of breakfast/brunch diners and the shared griddle that most foods are prepared on, it can be difficult to find a place that can avoid cross contaminating non-allergenic foods. I'm fortunate that I can have eggs because my standard order is usually fruit salad with 2 boiled eggs. But I stay away from fancy coffees, even if they are made with coconut milk. You just never know if the steamer is shared with dairy milk and it's not worth the risk. My book will have a hefty breakfast chapter, naturally, but in the meantime here are some ideas to inspire your own at-home brunch.
Something starchy or carby
Nothing satiates hunger in the morning quite like fried potatoes (or sweet potatoes) or pancakes. Fried potatoes are an easy option because you can boil them the night before and then just toss in the pan with olive oil when your guests arrive. Fry until crispy and golden, and sprinkle with paprika, salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro.
Or add blueberries and lemon juice to your pancake batter for a real tasty stack.
A protein or a vegetarian fatty food
Bacon and ham are the traditional breakfast foods of choice, but why not try a corned beef hash for something different? Try Allergy Girl Eats' recipe for deconstructed apple sausage. If you have vegan or vegetarian guests try avocado cut into thick slices and sprinkled with cayenne pepper and turmeric; it pairs well with fried potatoes and is ready in a pinch.
Many things fresh
My favorite thing to see at brunch is a bounty of fresh fruit. People often think fruit is boring but that rule only applies to the typical melon and grape fruit salad that's often served in chains restaurants. I like to load the table up with berries, pineapple, figs (fresh and dried), bowls of oranges and pears, and something tropical like papaya or mango. Fruit is easy to graze on and takes nearly no effort to prepare.
One thing baked
If you have time try to make one baked good to wow the crowd. I prefer to make something the night before that can just be heated up the next day. Home baked goods give people that warm cozy feeling and they'll be amazed that you were able to make something so delicious that's allergen-free! Try our recipe for chocolate scones.
A drink to sip
Make your morning drink extra special with little tweaks and thoughtful additions. Add frozen blueberries or cranberries to orange juice, and for adults add prosecco for a pretty mimosa.
For hot drinks, try adding cinnamon or turmeric to your coffee grounds for a rich flavor. Or heat up a pan of coconut milk with a bit of powdered sugar so your guests can make latte's on demand.
A few great friends
This is the most important part!