When it comes to breakfast, the options are truly endless. However these days, dietary sensitivities to dairy, eggs, nuts and meat-free lifestyle choices can make it challenging to serve a breakfast that’s nourishing and satisfying for everyone.
Fortunately, making smart substitutions and choosing alternative ingredients can allow you to savor breakfast without sacrificing any of your favorite dishes. Here are some common dietary differences, and easy ways to accommodate them at the breakfast table:
* Dairy sensitivity – About 65 percent of people have dairy sensitivities of varying degrees, according to the National Institutes of Health. Milk and dairy are key ingredients in many favorite breakfast foods, from lattes to smoothies to egg dishes. One dairy substitute that works for many people who are sensitive to dairy due to lactose is Lactaid. It’s 100 percent real, farm-fresh milk with all the vitamins and calcium found in regular milk, just without the lactose, which can cause discomfort. If you’re sensitive to dairy due to lactose, you can have Lactaid milk not only with your morning cereal, but also in any breakfast recipe that calls for milk. You can make muffins, banana pancakes, fruit smoothies and French toast using Lactaid.
* Egg-free – Whether you follow a vegan diet that eliminates all animal products, or have a sensitivity to eggs, you can still enjoy your favorite egg-based breakfast dishes. The countless food substitutes make it easy to enjoy the foods you love regardless of the diet. Many vegan quiche recipes, for example, replace the eggs with tofu. Egg-free pancakes rely on vegetable oil and baking powder to produce fluffy, smooth griddlecakes.
* Nut-free – If you’re a fan of granola, but want to follow a nut-free diet, you don’t have to give up this nutritious breakfast favorite. You can make your own granola and replace nuts with a variety of healthful, delicious seeds such as sunflower seeds. Have a breakfast recipe that calls for peanut butter? Try sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter as a substitute. Recipes that rely on nuts for crunch and texture (such as banana nut muffins) can also benefit from replacing the nuts with seeds.
* Vegetarian – Many people choose meat-free lifestyles for a number of reasons, including the health benefits of a diet rich in veggies. It’s possible to follow a vegetarian diet while still enjoying some of the flavors of popular breakfast meats. Vegetables make wonderful additions to omelets and breakfast burritos, and a number of companies offer meat-free products that mimic the taste and look of bacon or sausage.
* Gluten sensitivity – Millions of Americans have found that eliminating gluten from their diet helps them feel healthier. Until recently it could be challenging to find gluten-free breakfast foods, but now many grocery stores offer gluten free breads, muffins and other foods. It’s also easy to make your own gluten-free breakfast foods at home, thanks to online recipe banks like allrecipes.com, food.com and even foodnetwork.com.