No matter what diet you follow, breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day for a reason. It sets you up for a day of work, or working out, or whatever else you feel like doing and this should be no different for a vegan.
So, what can a vegan eat for breakfast? This meal needs to tick a few nutritional boxes, so we have created a list of the different options a plant-based diet can offer.
What do vegans eat for breakfast?
With so many breakfasts centering around eggs, dairy, and meat it may seem like vegans are short of options, but this isn’t the case. Vegan breakfasts contain the same nutrients as meat-based or dairy fuelled breakfasts, just without the same meat, cereal, and yogurt options.
A danish can also be on the menu, you’ll just have to search a little harder for the vegan version.
Technically, everything is on the menu when you can find a vegan version. From sausages, bacon, pancakes, to scrambled eggs – you just need to get a little creative.
What’s in a balanced vegan breakfast?
Healthy fats are great so look for any opportunity to get avocado and nuts into your breakfast routine. Sprinkle some nuts over your dairy-free yogurt or spread smashed avo over your toast. Try to get some whole grains in here too for some slow-release energy and of course, fiber.
Need some protein? Nuts can help (plus walnuts contain a decent portion of omega 3), but tofu and beans are better.
Vegan classic breakfasts include overnight oats, vegan pancakes, yogurt with fruit and berries, scrambled tofu, and a fried vegan breakfast – yes, this does exist where you can find the vegan sausages!
Types of food to get into a vegan breakfast:
- Protein – Try vegan peanut butter, soy milk, tofu, beans, and even fortified cereal
- Fruit – try anything, it’s all good! Go for fresh over frozen as they contain more fiber and make you feel full for longer.
- Vegetables – More fiber although it isn’t always easy at breakfast, avocado is good, as are sweet potato pancakes or a juicy tomato with your fried breakfast.
- Calcium – Important for kiddy vegans, but for us adults too – fortified non-dairy milk such as soy or almond and yogurt where available.
- Whole Grains – Get slow carbs aplenty here. Start your day with whole-grain cereals and whole-grain bread to keep energy levels steady throughout the morning.
Vegan breakfast ingredients to stock up on
With a pantry or cupboard full of breakfast essentials you can get creative as you wish. Be sure to have a stock of unrefined carbs such as oats and big jars of mixed nuts as these always seem to run out. Plus, nuts can be used in numerous ways when sprinkled over breakfast and are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Otherwise, always have a jar of vegan peanut butter to hand.
Avocados are always going to be useful so be sure to have a handful of these available and remember you can never have too much fruit. Complex carbs can help provide slow-release energy throughout the day and of course, non-dairy milk alternatives are a must-have, even if it is for your morning coffee!
If you are looking for a vegan and healthy way to curb your cravings before breakfast then you can try making this simple protein coffee recipe that’s both protein-packed and caffeine-fueled.
Popular vegan breakfast recipes
Here are a handful of ideas that don’t require a recipe – you can get the general idea of what you need but each one shows that vegans can still enjoy a diverse range of breakfasts to start the day right.
One of the easiest breakfasts enjoyed by kids and adults alike, plus it is a good use of those oats you have in the cupboard. Combine ½ cup of oats with water or non-dairy milk of choice (this is also a chance to get fortified nutrients in your diet through certain kinds of milk) and microwave or heat in the pan a minute.
Top with berries and pumpkin seeds, sweeten with maple syrups, and top with nuts or nut butter for added protein.
Make yourself a hearty stack of pancakes out of oat flour, almond milk, a couple of ripe bananas, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Top with the usual suspects – maple syrup, berries, and any other fruit combo you desire.
Toast and nut butter
As simple as it gets. Try wholemeal bread for the fiber and add nut butter and a protein-filled spread if you are that way inclined such as peanut butter or almond butter. Otherwise, smashed avocado or even banana slices will do the job.
Dairy-free yogurt with fruit and granola
Opt for calcium-fortified yogurt where possible as this will fill a nutrition gap that a vegan diet cannot otherwise fill so easily. Half a bowl filled with yogurt topped with fruits such as berries, strawberries, and bananas, and why not add a little maple syrup if you want a little sweetness.
Vegan French toast
A classic on any table, the addition of tofu here makes these high in protein and crunchy on the outside. The process takes a little longer, but start by blending a cup of tofu, a cup of soy,
2 tbsp of flour, a squeeze of maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Tip this into a shallow dish before soaking bread slices for a minute on each side. The slices should then be fried in an oil sprayed skillet and cooked on both sides for around 3 minutes.
Once browned, top with fruit, and maple syrup and enjoy.
Chickpea flour is surprisingly versatile and can be used to make a protein-filled vegan omelet.
Use ¼ cup of chickpea flour, a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of nutritional yeast, sea salt, and 1.4 cups of water and combine all to make the batter.
Then when the omelet is ready to flip, fill with sliced mushrooms, garlic, spinach leaves, and bell pepper. Serve with avocado and tomatoes.
Maple walnut granola
Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat and are even linked to reducing the risk of cancer. Get them into homemade granola and start your day with a healthy, vegan breakfast.
Another good use of raw oatmeal and a great way to fuel your morning. They preserve all the raw goodness of cereals, nuts, and nut butter and are excellent for when you’re on the go.
A great on-the-go option that can be full of goodness. It can even be a good way to get your vegan kids to get their nutrient fix.
Combine rolled oats, fruits, non-dairy milk, and proteins where you can and you can even add a handful of spinach if it doesn’t take over the taste.
A vegan diet can be just as tasty and nutritious as any other, but will often be healthier compared to meat or dairy-based breakfasts. The above goes to show that just because you are following a plant-based diet, you don’t have to miss out when it comes to breakfast.
Numerous switches can be made so you can often enjoy the same breakfasts you always have. It might just mean switching to dairy-free milk or getting more creative than usual. Keep your cupboards full of the essentials, and you’ll never be short of ideas.