Some of you are new to veganism. Some of you are more experienced, but stuck for ideas, so if this seems very basic, I wanted to be inclusive to vegan newbies or vegan curious. What is a good vegan breakfast? Since breakfast for a lot of us is considered the most important meal of the day, I’ll be making some healthy vegan breakfast suggestions.
What do I define as a healthy or good vegan breakfast? What does a healthy vegan breakfast consist of? Like with any other diet, it should provide you with a lot of the nutrients and vitamins you need to get you through the day (at least to your next meal), so fruits, veggies, grains, berries, nuts and nut butters, etc. And yes, protein too. Luckily there are plant protein
Most of us have heard of the vegan diet and lifestyle. What is a vegan diet? How is it different from being a vegetarian? Basically it’s a diet that’s completely free of animal products, not just meat. So no eggs, milk, meat, honey If you’re new to the vegan lifestyle or still in the discovery or research phase, you might be wondering, well what can I eat then?
I’ll give a list of basic ingredients first, then give some suggestions about how to serve them and combine them with other foods and why they’re a healthy choice and also some recipes, which I’ll provide links to…
- Plant based meat alternatives
- Non dairy milk (almond, coconut, soy)
- Potatoes (with skin on)
- Peanut butter
- Coconut oil
Of course, this isn’t an all inclusive list. These are just suggestions that I thought would be either easily available and affordable at your local grocery store or you’d probably already have in your kitchen or pantry.
You could make oatmeal and enjoy it on it’s own or you could add berries, pumpkin puree or your favorite fruit(s) to it. You could also make energy bars with peanut butter, coconut oil, quinoa and your favorite berries.
Pumpkin has a healthy dose of vitamin C which helps thin mucus and reduce inflammation. Berries also have vitamin C and are very nutrient dense, making them “superfoods”, especially blueberries. Peanut butter has protein. Coconut oil has healthy fat (medium chain triglycerides) and quinoa has omega-3 fatty acid, which helps with healthy joint, brain and heart function.
You could eat them on their own raw or make a smoothie. If that’s not your thing, you could buy or make your own hash browns and mix veggies in, such as broccoli, carrots, spinach.
Broccoli has vitamin E, which is great for skin, hair and nails. Carrots have vitamin A which is great for vision health, especially night vision. Spinach has iron which helps maintain energy levels. Potatoes, with skin on, since this is where most of the nutrients are, are considered an almost perfect food, since they contain almost all the nutrients and vitamins we need.
Plant-based Meat Alternatives
You’ve probably seen the commercials for plant based burgers and even “meatballs” and “sausage”. Did you know they’re available at a lot of grocery stores now? Of course you could make them yourself too. You could add these to hash browns, have as a side for pancakes or on a english muffin.
These can be made with pea protein, beans and coconut oil as your base ingredients. This would be your source of protein.
I know, I know, some of you might be gagging or rolling your eyes right now, but I had to include it
You may know that tofu is a bean curd. It’s a versatile source of protein, calcium and iron that takes on the flavour of what you add it to or add to it. Read: you can mask the flavour and texture in your dishes, so you’d hardly know it’s there
This can be made into a pudding with non-dairy milk, sprinkled on cereal or mixed into a homemade granola bar or energy bites. As mentioned earlier, this is a good source of omega-3.
Peanut butter is a good source of protein. It can be mixed into energy bites, slathered on toast or even on a stalk of celery or any other fruit or vegetable that you think it would taste good with.
Potatoes are very versatile and delicious. While a lot of people consider them “just a starch”, they’re a staple in my diet and surprisingly healthy, at least if not deep fried, and you should leave the peels on to reap the full benefits of all the nutrients they offer.
Potatoes are a great source of potassium, which is important for regulating heart rhythms and can ease irritability and menstrual cramps associated with PMS. Bananas also have potassium, but potatoes (white, red, russet and sweet) have higher levels.
As mentioned earlier, you can make hash browns and mix them with vegetables and plant based meat alternatives or you could also make pancakes out of them.
Veganism isn’t for everyone and it’s important to make sure you’re getting the proper nutrients you need and not just becoming a “potato chip vegan” because it’s cheaper and easier.
At first veganism was seen as expensive or unsustainable, but veganism is becoming more common, so it’s important to be open minded, even if you don’t switch over to that diet/lifestyle. There’s hardcore animal rights activists that switch for moral reasons and some people switch because it makes them feel healthier and may even clear up some health conditions.
No matter your budget or reason to switch (or at least consider switching) to a vegan diet and lifestyle, with a little creativity and effort, you can make it healthy, sustainable and affordable. And what better way to start than with a healthy vegan breakfast?