Easy Healthy Vegan Breakfast Ideas
I know that eating healthy isn't something that comes easy to all of us. Some people will make it look like it comes naturally, but in reality for the majority of us this isn't the case. We grew up eating sugary cereals, toaster strudels, and eggs and bacon for breakfast. And most of the time our parents cooked them for us. Then when we grew up and had to learn to adult we skipped breakfast for late mornings and substituted with coffee.
But since going vegan, I've been forced to find healthier options, since many of the not-so-healthy things I once ate contained things like milk or eggs. These things were usually quick and unhealthy, but they satisfied my tummy bug so I didn't think much of it.
But don't get me wrong, there are still vegan waffles and vegan breakfast treats out there - they're in no short supply, that's for darn sure! Sometimes, though, we need something hearty and healthy to start our day with. Even if you're in a rush, these things are quick to throw together.
1. Tofu scramble
Photo: Minimalist Baker
This one is mine and my husband's absolute favourite. It's a great option to make in advance for the whole week, so that you make sure you're eating well even when you're pressed for time, so you have no excuse!
If you really miss that egg flavour, you can add a little bit of Kala Namak which is a black salt that has a sulfur-like taste (egg-ish) that really makes your scrambled tofu taste just like scrambled eggs!
Tofu is rich in calcium, protein, iron and manganese, as well as fatty acids that are great for your skin and health.
You can even add in some kale or spinach, some green and red peppers, some mushrooms, a little turmeric for colour - the possibilites are endless. Sometimes my husband even likes to use curry powder and chili powder.
Basically all you need to do is buy extra firm or firm tofu, drain it, crumble it with a fork and cook it up in a frying pan or skillet with all of your other ingredients for a couple minutes. Badabing badaboom, serve with a piece of whole grain toast and you're set for the morning.
A recipe like this one is so, so yummy.
You can never go wrong with oatmeal, and while I used to think it was gross as a kid I have come to love it, because you can dress it up just how you want. For mornings you want something a little sweet, you can add maple syrup or coconut sugar, you can also add shaved coconut, raspberries (my absolute favourite oatmeal addition - something about warm oatmeal and melty raspberries), chia seeds, ground flax, strawberries, blueberries, bulgur, walnuts you name it!
Obviously try not to choose the pre-packaged instant oatmeal packets, as they're likely high in unnecessary sugar and filler ingredients. However, they are sometimes fortified, and so they're not an option you absolutely need to avoid. Just eat them sparingly, and opt for whole grain oats when you can. Whole grain oats are the way to go. You can even mix them in with buckwheat, millet, etc. Plus, they're super fast - you can just mix it in water and throw it in the microwave for a few minutes while you get ready.
Oats are an excellent source of manganese and molybdenum. They are also a very good source of phosphorus as well as a good source of copper, biotin, vitamin B1, magnesium, dietary fiber, chromium, zinc, and protein.
My personal favourite is a serving of cooked oats with a tablespoon each of ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, some Ceylon cinnamon and a fruit of choice (usually raspberries, bananas or Granny Smith apples). Yum! Nutritious and filling.
Conversely, if you're a lazy bones and refuse to get up in the morning to make anything then you can also make overnight oats the night before, which are very quick and simple, and equally as nutritious. Here's a recipe to get you started.
3. whole grain pancakes
Photo: Minimalist Baker
Pancakes are always a yummy option, but pancakes don't always have to be unhealthy. Opt for whole wheat flour instead of white flour, and use oat flour or spelt flour, too.
This recipe by Minimalist Baker is healthy, hearty, and super yummy. I personally like to mix in some frozen blueberries!
On the plus side you can even make a bunch of pancakes in advance and freeze them for the week to just pop in the toaster oven or microwave in the morning. Top the pancakes off with pure maple syrup, or some homemade fruit sauce!
I know you're probably thinking - what? Toast, how is that healthy? Well, if you're buying the right bread, it can be very hearty and healthy! Plus, what you put on it counts, too. I know vegan butter is amazing and everything I've ever wanted, but let's put that aside for a moment and ponder our other options.
I LOVE avocado toast, and I got the idea from The Unnatural Vegan. I toast up some bread, mash an avocado all over it, sprinkle on some curry powder, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder, throw on a few slices of tomato and top with some black pepper. Talk about NOMS.
Or, keeping with the avocado theme you can also top the toast with some yummy refried beans, some avocado slices and some raw onions. So good, and so incredibly healthy, rich in fiber and fatty acids, not to mention vitamins and minerals! You won't be leaving home on an empty tummy - plus you don't need to be kitchen-savvy.
And, if you're really in a rush, a simple toast with peanut or almond butter is also a healthy choice. Peanut butter and almond butter are full of healthy fats, and if you choose one with minimal ingredients (no icing sugar, just peanuts and salt) then you're good to go!
5. Green smoothie
Green smoothies are one of your best options, and my personal preference, for a healthy breakfast option. You get in loads of greens and fruit and fiber in an easy-to-drink and easy-to-make form.
Generally you just start with some greens (I like kale and spinach), a liquid base (like water or a plant milk), and add in a fruit like a banana, an avocado, blueberries, strawberries, mango, plus some additions like chia + flax + hemp seeds + chlorella + spirulina. The possibilities are endless.
Keep in mind it's always best to make your smoothies fresh to get the most out of them, but they're quick to make in the morning and they'll fill you right up!
The possibilities are literally endless, you just need to expand your horizons. Don't always rely on toast, don't always rely on one thing because you'll likely get bored of it - try new things, and opt for whole grains instead of white flours - opt for real whole foods, and you'll be well on your way to a healthy day.