Of all the day’s meals, breakfast has to be the hardest. You’re tired, it’s cold, you’re in a rush, and the cat insists on trying to get in the shower with you even though she hates it, so you end up having burnt toast with peanut butter or, even worse, just a cup of coffee. Tomorrow, you say; tomorrow will be more varied, more healthy, more fun! Then your press snooze 3 times on your alarm and end up cramming the same burnt crumbs into your mouth while you run for the bus. We’ve all been there. This is something of a travesty – it sounds a bit trite, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It gets your metabolism going, gives you energy and basically decides how your body is going to run throughout the rest of the day. And it sets your mood too! The key to getting a varied range of breakfasts throughout your week is a little planning; spend an hour on a Sunday night making a batch of quinoa granola, or pre-soak some beans just before you go to bed at night. There’s nothing to stop you having a different “petit dejeuner” every single day of the week if you like – each one healthy and full of goodness! Those who are new to veganism often find themselves stumped when faced with the challenge of vegan breakfast, and end up eating overly-sugary store-bought granola most days, sometimes accompanied by a smoothie. The problem with this is that it becomes boring very quickly. If you stock up as I suggested in my previous post about vegan shopping lists, there are actually endless possibilities for quick and easy meals that will set you up properly for the rest of the day. Here are a few tips:
- Step away from the idea that breakfasts must be sweet; all they need to be is nutritious and tasty! I am a super sweet tooth and once I started having savoury breakfasts, I never looked back.
- Remember that diversity is not only the spice of life, it is also the key to healthy eating; having a range of different breakfasts that include beans, grains, fruits and vegetables will keep you healthy and feeling fantastic from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep!
- Don’t be afraid to try new things; a quinoa pilaf might sound strange but once you’ve had it, you’ll be hooked
- Try to allow a little more time for breakfast if you can, or prep the night before. Leaving oats to soak in something tasty like unsweetened apple juice overnight can change your oatmeal dish from boring to brilliant!
- Think about vegan versions of non-vegan classics; scrambled tofu is often eaten in a really bland way, whereas scrambled eggs are not. Bring your favourite scrambled eggs recipe and just use tofu instead!
- Combine beans, grains and pulses for optimum health; eating brown rice and beans for breakfast not only provides a whole protein, but will help stabilise your blood sugar for the rest of the day!
- Make some unhealthy treats more healthy and have them for breakfast; a sugar-free, fruit filled banana bread with home-made jam or tofu “cream” can be a great morning dish on-the-fly. Just make it on the weekend and keep it sealed throughout the week for when you need it! I’ve even made sugar-and-fat-free “cake” from quinoa before and enjoyed it with a quick blueberry reduction for 3 days straight.
- Put vegetables in smoothies. I know this one is scary, and I totally agree, but a carrot or avocado smoothie can actually be filling, delicious, and oh so good for you!
Once you start thinking of breakfast as a meal rather than an inconvenience, boring breakfasts will become a thing of the past and you’ll be powering through your days thanks to your amazing first meal of the day! And just in case you need them….below are a few suggestions to get you started. Click the links for the recipes! Happy eating, herbies! Heather
- Carrot cake super smoothie
- Apple and date quinoa muffins
- Savoury wholewheat crepes with miso stew
- Quinoa fruit pilaf
- Spicy beans and rice with spinach
@2014 Hillary Sapulveda