5 AM Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies

I’ve always admired the 5 AM-ers.  You know who I’m talking about.  Those people that get up early just to read the paper, do some morning meditation, or go for a run.  If you are one of those people, I applaud you. 

I have always been fascinated by this 5 AM group.  How do you do it?  And, more importantly, why do you do it?  I have a hard time believing that your internal clock just naturally wants you to be up at that hour of the morning.
About a month ago I finally decided to do something about my recent lazy behavior.  I’d been skipping gym appointments with myself and generally lacking in motivation in the workout department.  That is when I decided it was time to become a 5 AM-er. 
I groaned at the thought of it.  Really?  Is 5 AM really necessary?  I’d been so good about evening workouts in the past.  Couldn’t I just try harder?  But, I knew that I had to do something drastic to get myself back into a consistent workout schedule.  5 AM it is.
I have to report that I am now in week 3 of the 5 AM workouts and have not only gone almost every day, but actually look forward to this routine.  When I told a friend this recently she looked at me like I was crazy then asked for some tips.  Need some motivation of your own?  Here’s my advice.
Day 1:  Day 1 will be hard.  Day 1 will be miserable.  When your alarm goes off on Day 1, you might even tell yourself that tomorrow sounds like a better day for Day 1… but don’t give in!  I decided to try a new spin class on Day 1 which made me feel obligated to get out of bed and go.  Make a commitment to yourself that you will stick to. 
Day 2:  Day 2 is also hard.  You will probably say to yourself “I should sleep in today… especially after that hard workout yesterday.”  It’s another trap – don’t fall for it!  I promised myself on Day 2 that I could watch Law and Order SVU on my iphone while running on the treadmill.  I practically jumped out of bed that morning.  The point is to make it fun, whatever that means for you. 
For the rest of the week, do whatever it takes to get you up and moving — make an exercise date with a friend, bring a new magazine to the gym, or try a new workout.  By the end of the first week, your body should be adjusting to the schedule change (assuming that you are going to bed early and getting enough sleep). 
My other piece of advice is to reward yourself with some good food after your workout, like this breakfast cookie.  These cookies (which are more like oatmeal-on-the-go) are quick to make and a great balance of fiber, protein, and antioxidants.  The recipe came from Eating for Evolution which is a wonderful resource for gluten-free living.  
The other great thing about this recipe is that the ingredients are pretty flexible so you can make adjustments depending on what you have on hand and your taste preferences.  I’ve been crazy about goji berries lately so I added in extra to my cookies.  If you don’t have quinoa flakes on hand, you could easily leave these out. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Eating for Evolution

Makes 6 to 8 cookies
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup gluten-free steel-cut oats
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 tsp stevia (if you don’t like stevia, substitute 1/3 cup of agave or maple syrup)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup nuts or seeds (I used walnuts and pecans)
1/4 cup gogi berries (or another dried fruit of your choice)
1/4 cup dried apricot, chopped (or another dried fruit of your choice)
1/4 cup raisins

Heat water, oats, salt, vanilla, spices and stevia in a small skillet. Bring to a simmer, stirring every few minutes until nice and thick. Turn off heat and stir in ground flax. It will get really thick as the flax mixes into the oats. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl, and then add the oats mixture. Stir until well-mixed. Once it has cooled a bit, use your hands to form into cookies. If you desire more sweetness, add some extra agave or maple syrup.  Garnish with a few coconut flakes on top.

You can eat them right away or let sit for a bit to let some of the flavors meld. They will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Get your FREE Handy Guide to Produce to jumpstart your cooking AND weekly recipes & healthy living tips!
I hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.


  1. says

    I’m so proud of you for getting into an exercise routine! (Especially at 5am! Whew! I’m not even sure I could do that!)
    The cookies look so amazing. I don’t think most of these ingredients are in Japan, so I will have to find alternatives to tweek the recipe. They sound so amazing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *