Gluten-free/Casein-free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal Recipes – Breakfast and Dessert

December 20, 2007 at 9:47 pm 17 comments

When we first began the Gluten-free/Casein-free (GF/CF) diet and then later the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), I easily adapted our lunch and dinner menus to comply.  However, I found the two most challenging areas to make GF/CF or SCD legal were breakfast and desserts.


I believe it is important to eat protein in every meal, and for breakfast, I wanted my son to eat some eggs.  Scrabled eggs, gluten-free toast, and fruit seems like a good breakfast to me, but my son gags at even the sight of eggs, so I have to hide them in pancakes.  The only problem is that most pancake recipes are very high in carbohydrates and low in egg and protein content, so I began experimenting and created the following recipe for a high-protein, lower carbohydrate pancake.  When we began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I modified the recipe and came up with the Banana Pancakes/Cake recipe and the Zucchini Pancakes/Cake recipe.

HIGH PROTEIN PANCAKES (Gluten-free/Casein-free)

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons buckwheat flour OR tapioca flour and rice flour combination (1/2 of each)

1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil (or other mild oil)    

1/8 tsp. baking soda 

Pinch of salt      

Stevia or honey to taste

Beat  eggs, then add remaining ingredients and mix well.   

BANANA PANCAKES/CAKE (Specific Carbohydrate Diet legal and Gluten-free/Casein-free)

I make a large batch and use the batter to make pancakes for that day and then the remaining batter for banana “cake” to have for breakfast for the next day or two.

6-8 ripe bananas     

12-16 Tablespoons almond flour or pecan flour     (note – I use 2 Tablespoons for each banana in the recipe, but experiment with this depending upon the number of eggs you use)   

9-12 eggs (experiment to see how many eggs you can “hide”)

½ tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil (or other mild oil)

Stevia or honey to taste (I use KAL brand because it has no added fiber or other ingredients.) 

You can make your own almond flour or pecan flour by blending in a food processor for several minutes.  Thoroughly mash bananas.  Beat eggs and add to bananas, then add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Cook enough pancakes for that day, then put remaining batter in greased glass baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes for Banana “Cake”.


ZUCCHINI PANCAKES/CAKE  (Specific Carbohydrate Diet legal and Gluten-free/Casein-free)

This is a great way to hide both eggs and zucchini.  Vegetables for breakfast – I love it!!!!

4-5 large zucchini (put in food processor until turns into a soft puree’) 

8-10 eggs   

14-20 tablespoons pecan flour (note – almond flour is okay, but does not work as well in this recipe)                         

½ tsp. baking soda      

1/8 tsp. salt   

2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil (or other mild oil)  

Stevia or honey to taste

You can make your own almond flour or pecan flour by blending in a food processor for several minutes.  Beat eggs, then add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cook enough pancakes for that day, then put remaining batter in greased glass baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes.

Easy Dessert Options

My favorite desserts are easy ones.  I spend lots of time in the kitchen preparing GF/CF or SCD legal meals, so I don’t have much time left for desserts.  But it seems the simpler, the better.  These are some of the best desserts I have ever tasted.


4 egg whites    

3 cups Unsweetened coconut   

¾ cup honey    

1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract   

½ teaspoon pure almond extract 

(Note – do not use imitation vanilla or almond extract)Combine all ingredients, drop with tablespoon and bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes.   


2 cups dates 

1/4 – 1/3 cup Unsweetened coconut  (experiment with more or less, depending on the consistency you like)       

1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil

Mix ingredients in food processor for 1-2 minutes, until smooth.  Form into 2-inch rolls and enjoy! 

Have fun experimenting with some of your favorite recipes to make them GF/CF or SCD legal.  Most children love to cook and to experiment with food, so the baking should be as fun as the eating!   

Blessings to you and your family! 

Proverbs 3:13 “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.  For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold.” NASB 


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Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Feeding the Brain Substitutes for Casein in Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Angela Hodgson  |  January 19, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    I would like to know what kind of results you saw in your child and how soon after starting this specific diet did you notice them. I am just now looking into this diet for my son and am trying to navigate my way through. Not sure where/how to start!

    Thanks —

  • 2. acttoday  |  January 19, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Angela,

    Thanks for your question. I noticed improvements within a week of starting the Gluten-free/Casein-free diet. The first improvement I saw was that the red rashes and hives that had previously been all over his body were gone! A week or so after that, I noticed improvements in his behavior and fewer food cravings and aversions. I also noticed less “stimming” and obsessive behavior.

    We maintained the Gluten-free/Casein-free diet for some time before beginning the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) as well. I noticed improvement from the SCD within three weeks. First, I noticed positive change in my son’s digestion and also elimination. Next, I noticed improvement in my son’s ability to handle frustration. The SCD also normalized my son’s blood sugar – he now no longer has blood sugar crashes if he doesn’t eat every two hours. He can safely go for longer periods without eating and still be focused and happy. Also, my son’s cravings for something sweet have diminished. Overall, I feel the progress from both the GF/CF diet and the SCD was quickly noticeable and have been extremely pleased with the healing which has come from both of these diets!

    As far as how to start – check out the book “Special Diets for Special Kids, Two” by Lisa Lewis. In the meantime, you can get started by eliminating all forms of milk from your child’s diet. A few weeks later, you can gradually begin removing the gluten-containing grains, maybe one at a time. Try some of my recipes posted on my blog, along with other recipes in place of your child’s favorite.

    I took a hard and fast approach with it and eliminated all gluten and casein at once, but many parents prefer to use the gradual approach by elimating one item at a time.

    On the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, the best book to start with is “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by Elaine Gotschall. You may possibly want to consider doing the GF/CF diet for some time first before considering the SCD. And, the SCD does incorporate certain cultured milk items, which we do not do, since I see the necessity for remaining casein-free.

    The best way to approach any dietary changes for your child is for you to read, read, and read some more. I applaud you for researching this topic and being willing to do what it takes to help your child! Be encouraged!

  • 3. medication  |  January 3, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I am now not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend a while studying much more or figuring out more. Thank you for excellent info I used to be looking for this info for my mission.

    • 4. acttoday  |  January 9, 2012 at 1:15 am

      Thanks for your comments! The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is certainly worth considering for many children (and adults too)! I know that making dramatic dietary changes for children can be difficult! If a parent must choose between providing their child with a gluten-free/casein-free diet OR the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I personally, (after extensive reading on the subject for over six years) that the gluten-free/casein-free diet is the number one priority! The Specific Carbohydrate Diet can be worked in later, and even done intermittently when needed to address digestive difficulties. There are several reasons for choosing the gluten-free/casein-free diet as the number one dietary priority. First, many autistic children (and children with ADD/ADHD, etc.) have severe food allergies, and are allergic to gluten, casein, wheat (contains gluten) and milk (contains casein). Eating foods to which one is allergic triggers various aspects of the immune system, which may be different for each child – the reactions may be IgE, IgG, or other. Second, even in the absence of a food “allergy,” many autistic children inadequately break down the gluten and casein, and peptide chains result. These peptide chains circulate in the blood and fit into morphine receptors in the brain. (See previous posts for more information and also see information published by the Autism Research Institute.) Third, there is evidence the milk (contains casein) down-regulates certain immune system components in people who make antibodies to folate receptors in the brain. (See publications by Dr. Richard E. Frye and others for more information about cerebral folate receptor antibodies and folate transport antibodies. Dr. Frye is amazingly brilliant and an out-of-the box thinker.) Basically, this means particular parts of the immune system are made weaker. There are many other reasons for avoiding gluten (not just found in wheat) and casein, but these three reasons are sufficient to compel me to avoid gluten and casein myself!

  • 5. hx  |  January 17, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Hi! Rice-Flour, as in your first recipe is illegal in SCD. But thanks for a great blog!!

    Look at the website below. It list all SCD legal- and illegal foods.

    • 6. acttoday  |  January 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

      Yes, Rice flour is not on the SCD diet. I’m sorry this wasn’t clear by the headings. The recipe with the rice flour is only gluten-free/casein-free and not on the SCD. Thanks for the link for SCD foods. This is very helpful.

  • 7. sareserve  |  March 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Gluten-free/Casein-free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal Recipes – Breakfast and Dessert Autism-Changing Tomorrow I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks! your article about Gluten-free/Casein-free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal Recipes – Breakfast and Dessert Autism-Changing TomorrowBest Regards Veronica

    • 8. acttoday  |  March 28, 2012 at 11:47 am


      Thanks so much for your kind words!!! I am glad to hear my posts have been helpful. One day, hopefully, I’ll have time to write more often.

      While it is difficult to follow the GF/CF diet, it is SO worth it! Let’s face it, the “normal” diet of most children today is not optimal for health, which causes me to believe all children should have some sort of “special” diet – assuming “special” in this context would mean a departure from what has become typical. Today’s almost-constant supply of cakes, candies, sodas, and junk food is a vast departure from the diet my Grandmothers grew up eating. Much of the problem is exacerbated by the “educational” settings in which our children are involved. Gluten-free, casein-free eating (and simply healthy eating) would be so much easier if schools would stop celebrating each child’s birthday with cupcakes, and our children’s church classrooms would refrain from offering goldfish crackers and imitation lemonade. I’m not talking about jumping on board with government anti-obesity indoctrination (that’s not the role of the school system), but simply removing the bombardment of our children with the lifestyle and habits of others. When I was in school, I remember eating food in our classroom ONE time, and that was in third grade when our teacher brought raw vegetables and salad dressing.

      I do hope my posts can help to make the gluten-free, casein-free diet easier to follow and, therefore, implemented more often. I believe it is the basic foundation for all other interventions or treatments for autism and autism spectrum related symptoms (and for many other health problems).

      May you be blessed with the perseverance and strength to do all that you are called to do today and each day!

  • 9. Kelly  |  April 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Where can i find more recipes… my son has been gluten and casien free for 6 months with great results but his DAN doctor wants us to cut out grains and sugar and basically do the specific carb diet… its harder…

    • 10. acttoday  |  April 27, 2012 at 1:39 am


      Here’s a link to their recipes list:

      I’ve also posted a couple of breakfast options on this blog – check them out and let me know if you like them!

      Cutting out sugar is actually much easier than cutting out grains. Stevia is wonderful, but not the chemically-altered version that you’ll see advertised on TV or in magazines. The ONLY brand we use is KAL stevia powder. It is the BEST by far. I’ve made birthday cakes with it, just by taking my Betty Crocker cookbook, using GF/CF recipes (rice flour, tapioca flour, GF-oat flour, rice milk, a bit of apple sauce to compensate for the lack of bulk from the sugar, and KAL stevia). You just have to taste the batter to make sure it is sweet enough before you put it in the oven. When we did the SCD, we relied on almond or pecan flour (you can grind blanched almonds or pecans in a Cuisinart), and we also used coconut flour. Bob’s Red Mill is a great resource for these.

      One note of caution: It is my understanding that blood-sugar levels must be watched closely when cutting out all grains and complex carbohydrates. I saw my friend’s young child who, when put on the specific carbohydrate diet, began waking at night, shaking from low blood sugar, and lost weight (which was not needed). I’m not a doctor or nutritionist and cannot and do not provide medical and/or nutritional advice. I do suggest monitoring by a trained doctor while on the SCD.

      I pray all of your efforts will bring the healing and restoration that you desire for your son. May you and your family be blessed!

  • 11. Hope  |  June 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    As of a week ago we (family of 7) have started the GFCF diet. The main reason is because we read that three out of our five children could possibly benefit from the diet. My youngest son has never been diagnosed with Autism but he does have some of the symptoms. My middle son has a mild form of Asperger’s and my daughter suffers from Allergies and Asthma terribly. All the literature I have read says that the GFCF diet could help, so we have made the change. Then I ran across the SCD and realized that everything I am feeding them on the GFCF diet is wrong for the SCD diet. The other problem is that 2 of my children are highly allergic to all nuts so I cannot use any nut flour.

    More than anything I want to see progress in my children and am willing to try anything at this point. I want to hear my 6 year old talk, to stop the repetitive behavior and to be more controlled emotionally, but I have no idea what to cook for him for breakfast and lunch, especially since he can not have nuts of any kind. Also, I think he maybe allergic to eggs, so enforces more limitations.

    If you can help I would appreciate it so very much. At this point, I am just feeling overwhelmed.


    • 12. acttoday  |  June 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Hope, Thanks for your question! Hopefully I can give you some information to consider in making this decision for your family. I have stated in other posts that, although I do think the SCD diet serves its purpose, I do not think it is nutritionally sound, especially as a long-term solution. We did strictly follow the SCD diet for six months and did see some improvements, but, there were also drawbacks. First, I agree with you regarding the nut allergy – this can be a huge problem, and, in a person with an out-of-balance immune system, repeated exposure to a particular food can create an allergy where no allergy previously existed. After consulting with one of the top allergists in our state, we avoid all foods to which we know we are allergic (either through testing or reaction), and we have placed many foods on a four-day rotation. This means we do not consume certain foods any more than once every four days. My understanding for this rationale is because the liver is involved in allergic reactions, and it takes four days for the liver to detoxify a substance; therefore, exposure more-frequent than every four days can trigger an immune reaction. The foods which we place on four-day rotation are those that are the most-common allergy triggers, such as eggs and nuts. (A side note on nuts – we NEVER eat peanuts or peanut oil. They are notoriously contaminated with fungal toxins and are a health hazard for all people.)

      As far as choosing between the SCD and GFCF diet, my PERSONAL OPINION is that the GFCF diet is far more important than the SCD. Check with your doctor first, since I am not a medical doctor and cannot give medical advice. An internet search will reveal many doctors speaking of the importance of the GFCF diet, with the SCD diet having far fewer supporters. (I do not believe that popular approval validates any information, and many times, the popular way is the wrong way. In this case, I am simply suggesting that, among the doctors and health practitioners who are “in the know” regarding GFCF diet and SCD, it seems the GFCF diet has more support behind it. Please do your own research.)

      The basic premise of the SCD diet is that the gut of many people demonstrating autistic symptoms (and other health challenges) is populated by an overabundance of “bad” bacteria and yeasts, and the SCD aims to “starve” the bad bacteria, thereby improving symptoms. I do agree with the premise of the diet; however, I think there are better ways to reach the goal of minimizing the bad bacteria in the gut. There are many dietary supplements that I think are more effective than the SCD, such as grapefruit seed extract (GSE), oregano extract, colloidal silver (don’t believe the blue-man stories in the mainstream media), Lauricidin (a derivative of Coconut Oil), and, my personal favorite, a specific garlic formulation called Allimax. My personal experience is that these products are FAR-SUPERIOR to the SCD diet at ridding the gut of an overabundance of “bad” bacteria. Many of these also have anti-fungal properties and will work to control yeast as well. I did not see results on stool tests from the SCD. I did see results from using the supplements I listed. Additionally, you avoid the problems of the SCD, specifically the reliance on nuts and the over-consumpton of protein in the SCD. As a reminder, whenever you take products to kill the “bad” bacteria, “good” bacteria will also be killed, so it is important to take probiotic supplements. (Probiotics are in my top-five of nutritional supplements I believe are necessary for maintaining optimal health.)

      So, my bottom-line on the SCD is this: I think it can be helpful for short periods of time, as I believe the premise on which it was established is sound. However, I do think the same goal can be reached through other therapies which do not pose the same problems as presented by the SCD. As I have written in a couple of other comments, I wrote my initial posts on the SCD when we were on the SCD and was impressed at the time with the materials. After additional learning, however, I do think there are more-sophisticated and better ways to accomplish the goal of establishing healthy gut flora. Do I think it is important to reduce the amount of carbohydrates (breads, pasta, crackers, sweets, etc.) consumed? Yes, however, not to dangerously low levels, and keep the whole-grain, gluten-free grains such as short-grain brown rice, GF oatmeal, buckwheat (not a wheat product), millet, etc. In my family, I make sure a whole grain is consumed with each meal because without it, I find our blood sugar gets low. Balance is the key.

      As far as the GFCF diet, I think this is THE foundation for all autism therapies. It grieves me to hear of families spending tens of thousands of dollars a year on behavioral therapies, yet not following a strict GFCF diet. Research the opinions of doctors who are willing to speak the truth, no matter the cost to themselves, such as Dr. Art Krigsman (a GI doc) and others. A well-known autism doctor told me years ago that it takes at least six months for the peptides formed by incomplete breakdown of gluten and casein to be removed from the system, so the GFCF diet can take up to six months before improvements will be seen. Most parents who use it say improvement happens much sooner than that.

      Many claim there is “no evidence” for the GFCF diet. Do your own research. Research the opinions of doctors who are not receiving funding from the NIH (National Institute of Health) or any other quasi-governmental agency. Check out the connection between gluten, casein, and the immune system. Look up the connection between cerebral folate receptor antibodies, autism, and down-regulation of the immune system by milk proteins. Also, review the Autism Research Institute’s Parent Rating Guide – PARENTS rate the GFCF diet as one of the most-effective therapies.

      Finally, although most general health resources may not take into account food allergies and sensitivities, I do think it is important to look at other health resources for healthy diet suggestions. For example, I have learned much from reading articles written by Joseph Mercola ( and Dr. Nicholas Perricone. I also like Dr. Steven Sinatra’s supplement suggestions (he’s a cardiologist who writes about the connection between mitochondria and the heart), since problems with mitochondria are often present in autism. Anti-aging experts are also helpful. The most important thing to remember is that any dietary choices need to promote overall health and work for the individual. For example, we simply will not follow any diet that requires complete elimination of all carbohydrates or of all fats, since I know we feel terrible on these types of diets.

      And again, please research all these issues for yourself and consult a qualified medical practitioner. I cannot and do not provide any medical advice, nor should any opinions contained on this blog be considered medical advice. I am simply furthering the expression of ideas and dialogue as contemplated by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. I have found that it is my responsibility to protect the health of my family. No one else will accept this job with the same passion, education, and unwavering dedication as I will. I trust my own judgment for myself and my family and accept the words of others (even medical professionals) as OPINION ONLY. I am a voracious reader and have applied this passion to reading and research regarding health for my family. I truly believe in the rights and powers of the individual and hope that the information I have provided serves as some “food for thought,” and further research, and is a help to you on your own personal journey to health and prosperity. I pray the Lord’s abundant blessings would joyously overwhelm you on your path to abundant health.

      Deuteronomy 8:1

      • 13. Hope  |  June 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

        I believe that God guides our lives and it was meant for me to stumble upon this and to hear your answer. Thank you very much for your thorough advice. My son is 6 years old and there is not a Doctor we have seen that has yet to diagnose him. They continue to believe it is genetic but can not figure out what is wrong. I have seen so many doctors, and as a last resort am trying the GFCF diet in hopes to see some change. I pray for my son daily and for God to guide me in what to do for him. Once again, thank you.

      • 14. acttoday  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm

        Thank you so much for your comment, Hope. If you give me permission to email you at the email address associated with your comment, I may be able to help you find someone who can help. There is also more info I can share with you that may be beyond the scope of this blog. No pressure…contact me if you wish. By the way, I am not selling anything, and I am not associated with any doctor, but I’ve interviewed many in this field, many before I ever had children, as part of my work. I’m just trying to help since I wish I had someone there to help me along the way when I first started walking down this road. If I don’t hear from you, please know you and your family will be in my prayers. Please feel free to contact me anytime.

  • 15.  |  April 29, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Superb, what a website it is! This webpage gives valuable facts to us, keep it up.

  • 16. karuna reiki  |  July 18, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your web site in web explorer, could check this? IE still is the marketplace leader and a big element of folks will pass over your fantastic writing because of this problem.

    • 17. acttoday  |  July 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      I’ll look into it for you.


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Autism-Changing Tomorrow (ACT) blog is maintained to provide a place where ideas and thoughts relating to autism and treatments for autism may be exchanged. The information on Autism-Changing Tomorrow is of a general nature and is provided with the understanding that ACT or any individuals or entities associated with ACT are not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Any information in the postings, messages, articles, comments, and publications in or on the ACT blog must not be considered medical advice or recommendations and such information should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a board certified physician to address individual medical needs.

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