After the initial excitement of deciding to go vegan wears off, the lack of ideas about what to eat for breakfast is oh-so-real. Most people grow up with some animal product as a daily breakfast staple. Bacon, sausage, eggs, milk for cereal, cheese for those eggs, etc. And the thought of having toast everyday quickly scares rookie vegans to the hills. Vegan breakfast ideas don’t have to be so elusive. For a general look at all kinds of vegan and vegetarian dishes, take a look into our Online Vegan Vegetarian Cooking School course offering wonderful recipes for any and all occasions.
This article will touch on a number of possibilities to prevent ever being bored into eating meat for breakfast again! (Unless you really really want to, of course. It’s a free world… most of the time)
Ok, Back to Breakfast!
A common misconception about vegan eating is that you have to sacrifice variety and flavor in order to stick with eating vegan. But that is far from the actual truth and experience of veteran vegans. Vegan eating, even at breakfast, is oftentimes the most creative in integrating herbs and spices with various foods to create a tasty breakfast dish.
Here are some exciting ideas:
- Pancakes and Waffles
Who doesn’t love a nice stack of fluffy pancakes and/or waffles? Using applesauce and flax seed makes them moist and fluffy. A particularly lovely recipe for Apple Pie Pancake is:
For Apple Topping:
4 apples, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon organic cornstarch or arrowroot
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup plain almond milk (or preferred non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (sold as flax meal)
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour, but not regular whole wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
pinch ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2/3 cup apple juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Prepare the topping:
Toss all topping ingredients in a medium (4 quart) pot, sprinkle on the cinnamon. Mix it up so that the corn starch dissolves. Use an angled wooden spoon to do the mixing since it reaches the bottom corners of the pot.
Cover pot and bring to a boil, keeping a close eye. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Once apples are nice and tender, smash a few of them to thicken sauce. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
Prepare the pancakes:
Pour almond milk into a measuring cup. Mix in apple cider vinegar and ground flax seeds with a fork. Set aside; mixture will thicken.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, spices and salt. Create a well in the center and add the milk mixture and the apple sauce, apple juice, vanilla and maple syrup. Use a fork to mix until relatively smooth, a few lumps are okay. Let the batter rest, and preheat a large, non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat.
When pan is hot, spray with a thin layer of cooking spray and use an ice cream scooper or scant 1/4 cup measure to pour batter and form pancakes. If you can fit three at a time that’d be great. The pancake should start to form little air bubbles, but not as much as pancakes with oil do, so don’t worry if they don’t bubble too much. Cook until the edges are dry and the tops of the pancakes are only slightly wet, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Keep warm on a plate covered with tin foil until all pancakes are ready to serve.
Serve hot with apple topping.
- Breakfast Bars
Next up are breakfast bars for those on the go or for those who prefer a lighter breakfast. A recipe for these can be easily be found depending on what you’d like in them. This is especially a great activity with kids!
- Scrambled Tofu
An endlessly adaptable favorite. Crumble up some tofu (silken, firm, extra firm, whatever you prefer; just press and drain it if it’s packed in water) and sauté it with herbs, spices, or vegetables.
- French Toast
Instead of eggs and milk, try using ingredients like soy milk, silken tofu, bananas, or apple butter.
- Tofu Omelets
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 14 oz package silken tofu, lightly drained (not the vacuum packed kind), or soft tofu (see tip)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fine black salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
Chop up the garlic up in a food processor. Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, turmeric and salt. Puree until smooth. Add the chickpea flour and cornstarch and puree again for about 10 seconds, until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides so that everything is well incorporated.
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Well-seasoned cast iron works great, but if you’re not sure of the non-stickness of your cast iron, do a test (see tip above) or use a regular non-stick skillet. Lightly grease with either cooking spray or a very thin layer of oil. (The less oil the better for the nice brown speckles we’re going for). Also, make sure that you use a large skillet, as you need room to spread out the omelet and to get your spatula under there to flip. Don’t use an 8- inch omelet pan or anything like that. Here you’ll need at least 12 inches.
In 1/2 cup measurements, pour omelet batter into skillet. Use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to spread the batter out into about 6- inch circles. (It’s okay if it isn’t a perfect circle.) Be gentle when spreading it out, if there are any rips or holes, that is fine, just gently fill them in as you spread the batter. Let cook for about 3 to 5 minutes before flipping. The top of the omelet should dry and become a dull matte yellow when ready to flip. If you begin to flip it and it seems like it might fall apart, give it a little more time. When the omelet is ready to be flipped, the underside should be flecked with light to dark brown when it is ready to flip. Flip omelet and cook for about a minute on the other side. Keep warm on a plate covered with tin foil as you make the remaining omelets.
Stuff omelet with the fillings of your choice then fold over. Once the omelet has been filled, sprinkle with a little extra black salt, since some of its flavor disappears when cooked.
- Sweet Potatoes
A simple baked sweet potato is so satisfying and nutritious as a breakfast staple. It can be made to suit your morning sugar tooth by adding maple syrup and nuts to it or the way I enjoy it most is to cut into small squares, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Rice is a common breakfast ingredient in many Asian cultures. Simmering it with apple juice or rice milk for a sweet porridge or pudding is a great way to start any day.
- Tempeh Sausage
This is delicious over pasta with marinara sauce or as a pizza topping. It’s also good as a burrito filling or served for breakfast alongside scrambled tofu.
8 oz package tempeh
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried margoram or oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
In a saute pan, crumble the tempeh and add enough water to almost cover it. Over high heat, steam the tempeh until most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain the remaining water and add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
These wonderful vegan breakfast ideas only scratch the surface of the many options available! For more cooking ideas, explore our online catalog: