Easter Brunch Recipes Offer Delicious Possibilities for “Free-From” Diets


Hannah's Cinnamon BunsLike millions of people around the world, I had to remove a food from my diet for health reasons.  My nemesis is milk, or all dairy products if you will.  While many situations have been quite easy to handle, with a seamless transition, brunch has proven time and time again to be the most challenging meal. Simple at-home breakfast is easy, but when sharing meals with others, brunch hides a myriad of threatening ingredients for many free-from dieters …

Waffles and pancakes made with gluten, eggs, and milk; Eggs scrambled with milk; Quiches and frittatas blended with cheese, eggs, milk, and often set in a wheat crust; even toast from unknown sources may harbor dairy, eggs, and obviously wheat.  When visiting a friend or dining out, I often find my brunch includes only the fresh fruit cup.  Luckily, a little forethought will allow free-from dieters to enjoy brunch during the festivities of Easter or on any lazy Sunday.  Whether you are the one on a special diet, or it is a loved one, you can share some of these special recipes with everyone …


Cinnamon Buns (vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free)

This recipe is from Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan.
While homemade cinnamon buns take a little time, they are well worth every luscious bite, and perfect for a leisurely weekend brunch.

Hannah's Cinnamon Buns1 Quart Soymilk
1 Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Packets Active Dry Yeast
9 Cups All Purpose Flour, Divided
1 Heaping Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Scant Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Cup Margarine, Divided
2 Cups Granulated Sugar, Divided
Loads of Cinnamon

Maple Icing
1 2-Pound Bag Confectioner’s Sugar
2 Teaspoons Maple Extract
3/4 Cup Soymilk
1/4 Cup Margarine, Melted

First off, combine the soymilk, oil, and 1 cup of sugar together in a large pot and place it over medium heat on the stove. Bring it just to a boil while stirring, and then immediately take it off the heat. Let it sit for about 45-60 minutes to cool to below 115 degrees, as anything hotter will kill the yeast.

Once luke warm, add in the yeast and let it get acquainted with the mixture for about 5 minutes. Then, dump in 8 cups of the flour, stir well so that it’s fully incorporated, and cover the whole pot. Let it sit for another hour to rise.

After that hour has passed, (really, there’s a lot of waiting but not much work, you’ll see!) stir in the last cup of flour, along with baking soda and powder, and salt. Now you’re finally ready to get rolling!

On a well floured surface, take out half of the dough and use a rolling pin to coerce it into a very long, rectangular shape. Don’t worry about the exact measurements, but make sure it’s about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick and longer than it is wide. Now, melt down 1/2 cup of the margrine and pore it liberally all over the dough. Spread it on evenly using a spatula, and then top it with 1 cup of the sugar. Next, just go crazy with the cinnamon shaker; I didn’t measure, but just coat the whole slab evenly and generously, and there should be no problems (I went through about 1/2 of my cinnamon shaker, by the way.) Finally, roll the whole thing up into one sugary, spicy snake and cut it into buns about 1 inch wide. Place the buns into lightly greased (I used 8-inch round, but anything goes) pans- It should make about 7 pans in all.

Repeat with the remaining half of dough.

The buns will need to sit for another 30 minutes, but in the meantime, you can start preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Once plump and risen, you can slide those rolls into the oven for a brief 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and smelling incredible.

While they’re baking away, you can go ahead and make the glaze. Simply combine all the ingredients for it and stir well. Once those buns come out of the oven either drench or drizzle them while still hot, depending on how much holiday cheer you’d like to bestow. Enjoy, but make sure that you share the holiday spirit around!


Golden Spice Pancakes (vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free)

A go-to pancake recipe is a must, and we can always count on Susan at Fat Free Vegan to come up with delicious versions of these basic necessities.

1 cup unbleached flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat; ww pastry flour is another good option)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon orange rind (freshly grated orange peel)
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)

Spray a non-stick frying pan or griddle lightly with canola oil, and begin heating it on medium-high. Meanwhile, mix all the dry ingredients (flours through cloves) and add the rind, juice, and raisins to a well in the center. Mix briefly, just until combined (a few lumps are okay).

When the skillet is hot, drop the batter by quarter-cupfuls and cook until the tops are beginning to bubble. Turn and cook a couple more minutes until the underside is golden and the inside is cooked. Serve immediately.


Tofu Spinach Frittata (vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free)

Showing her savory side, this is another brunch recipe from Hannah Kaminsky, author of My Sweet Vegan.

Hannah's Frittata1 Package Silken Tofu (firm or extra-firm)
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Spicy Mustard
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
1/4 Teaspoon Tumeric
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Cups Cooked or Frozen Spinach
1/2 Medium Onion
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, grease an 8 inch cake pan and set aside.

Get out your food processor and toss in your tofu, along with all the spices. Puree so well that it makes you nervous. (I honestly thought I had overdone it and made frittata mousse, but that’s actually kind of what you’re aiming for.)

In a small skillet, saute your onions until translucent and deliciously fragrant. Throw in the garlic, and cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and combine with your [thawed, if originally frozen] spinach. Add to tofu mixture, and make sure all the veggie bits are evenly distributed in the tofu. Pour into the cake pan and slide into the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. Perhaps to would help to set it under the broiler for a bit to brown the top further.

Cut into fourths, it makes 4 relatively small portions. I might suggest making a sizable side to go with it,.


Baked Oatmeal (vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free*, nut-free*)

Traditional baked oatmeal contains eggs and dairy, but this simple version from Go Dairy Free offers a nutritious alternative.

3 cups rice milk
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons margarine [such as earth balance] 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free)
2 apples — peeled, cored, and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or other berries
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (omit for nut-free)

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, brown sugar, margarine, and cinnamon and heat.
Meanwhile, combine the oats, chopped apple, cranberries, and nuts; spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Just before the “milk” mixture begins to boil, pour it evenly over the oatmeal mixture.
Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal is tender. Serve immediately or cool and place in the fridge for later use.

Makes 6 servings


For More Great “Free-From” Brunch Recipes, Enjoy:


Photo Credits: Hannah Kaminsky

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

Leave A Reply