In North America, we’re accustomed to eating sweet, carb-y things for breakfast: toast and jam, cereal, porridge with sugar, pastries, pancakes doused in maple syrup, granola and granola bars. Vegetarians and vegans can be slightly more susceptible to becoming ‘carbotarians’ when there are more dietary restrictions, but when it comes to the first meal of the day there are a multitude of delicious vegan breakfast ideas that don’t involve cereal, oatmeal or toast.
And while we love avocado toast as much as all of you, we’re dying to showcase some of the other vegan breakfast options that we love and incorporate into our menu plans on a regular basis. Many of these ideas are savory – which is the norm in many other cultures around the world. That can take some time getting used to, but these delicious vegan breakfast ideas will make the transition much, much easier!
1. Tofu Scrambles
There are so many different ways to flavour a vegan tofu scramble, and it’s a great way to use up any stray veggies you have faltering in the fridge. Add Mexican flair with chili powder, salsa and avocado, go Indian with curry powder, turmeric, cumin or coriander, make it Greek-style with olives, bell pepper and spinach, create a ‘cheesy’ flavour using nutritional yeast, or fold in your favourite pesto for herb appeal.
We like to use a medium-firm or firm tofu in scrambles, as those hold up better in the cooking process and retain that scrambled egg texture. However, if you once loved the super creamy, not-quite-fully cooked scrambled eggs you could opt for a soft tofu as well. Whatever the density, we recommend using non-GMO tofu as the most health-supportive option.
2. Chickpea Omelettes
No need to miss eggy omelettes when chickpea omelettes are on the scene. Made from high-protein chickpea flour, you can create them two different ways:
- Mix all of the toppings into the chickpea mixture and then pour it into the pan, or
- Cook the omelette like a crepe or pancake, pile the veggies on one half and then fold the top over them.
Either way, you really can’t lose. Also, if you’re too lazy to fuss over flipping and omelette, you can also transform chickpea omelettes into chickpea scrambles!
3. Smoothies + Smoothie Bowls
Smoothies are a quick, portable breakfast that you can stuff with your favourite greens, fruits, vegan yogurt, nut or seed butters, and even beans for an extra protein boost! For those of you who like eating your breakfast in a bowl with a spoon, smoothie bowls are a great option -especially when you blend an ultra-thick smoothie.
4. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato toast has suddenly become a big thing – but are we the only ones who find sliding sliced sweet potatoes into the toaster kind of weird? We’d much rather have an oven-baked sweet potato that is velvety and carmelized and stuffed with veggies ‘n beans. And don’t forget to slather it with an amazing sauce.
A convenient aspect to stuffed sweet potatoes is you can bake a couple in advance and store them in the fridge, plus pre-make the fixings. Then you can heat it all up in the morning.
5. Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are mighty powerful, packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3s, digestive-supportive fibre, tissue-healing protein and bone-building calcium. Chia puddings are incredibly easy because you can stir them into your favourite dairy-free milk with spices, leave it in the fridge overnight and wake up to a delicious and filling vegan breakfast. Generally, our go-to chia pudding formula is:
- 1-2 parts chia pudding (it swells up a lot)
- 4-6 parts dairy-free milk (depending on how thick you like it)
- 1 part hemp seeds
- 1 part dried fruit or cacao nibs
- 1 tsp cinnamon and/or vanilla
Mix, leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours to overnight. You can also top it with fresh fruit or coconut yogurt in the morning.
6. Vegetable Vegan Quiche
Another veggie-ful way to pack more nutrition into your morning. We like using sprouted, non-GMO tofu in our vegan quiche, but you can also use chickpea flour, soft tofu, or a mix of chickpea flour and tofu if you’d like.
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7. Vegan Breakfast Congee
Congee is a popular Chinese dish that is traditionally made with rice and it’s a soothing and comforting vegan breakfast option, especially during the wintertime. Congee is easily veganized if you cook it with vegetable broth or water, and you can make it even healthier by using brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, teff or sorghum instead of white rice.
We like making congee with ginger, garlic, green onion, sweet potatoes and seasonal greens on top, but you can literally use any veggies you love. It’s also easy to make overnight in the slow cooker.
8. Vegan Fruit Crumbles
Fruit crumbles, fruit crisps, fruit cobblers or fruit buckles – however you label ’em, they’re a fantastic way to incorporate seasonal fruit into your life. It’s easy to make fruit crumbles vegan by using maple syrup as a sweetener, and you can even create grain-free versions with nuts, seeds and shredded coconut in the topping. No matter what time of year it is, there will be a fruit at the market to fill up your crumble. To make your crumble extra decadent, dollop with coconut whipped cream or coconut yogurt.
9. Savory Veggie Muffins
Pastries don’t have to be sweet and send your blood sugar soaring. Instead, try a gluten-free muffin packed with veggies, herbs, beans and seeds. It might seem kind of weird, but savory pastries are truly awesome and they’re a perfect grab-and-go option when you’re in a rush or don’t like to eat a lot in the morning.
Recipe to Try: Butternut Squash + Lentil Muffins by Sondi Bruner (ACN Head Program Coach)
10. Breakfast Popsicles
These are kind of like a frozen vegan smoothie and they’re totally fun to eat, especially for the kiddos. The key to a good vegan breakfast popsicle is a balance of healthy fats, protein and fibre, so elements like coconut milk, avocado, nuts and seeds (flax, chia, psyllium, hemp) are all great options. You can even swirl in some vegan yogurt or gluten-free granola to make them more breakfast-esque.
11. Vegan Huevos Rancheros
Regular Huevos Rancheros recipes include corn tortillas and fried eggs smothered with salsa. It couldn’t be easier to create a vegan breakfast version of this by swapping the eggs for scrambled tofu or beans. We especially love to load up our vegan huevos rancheros with lots of toppings, including salsa, guacamole, cashew cream, crispy red cabbage and greens. We’re drooling just thinking about it!
Recipe to Try: Vegan Huevos Rancheros by Morgan Shupe
12. Gluten-Free + Vegan Falafel Waffles
This is a genius – seriously, genius – alternative to sweet, floury waffles. Who knew that chickpeas, herbs and spices could be blended up into such deliciousness? They’re high in protein, can be topped with a variety of adornments – tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, roasted bell peppers, greens – and you can make them ahead and freeze them for easy and quick vegan breakfasts. Amazing, right?
What are your favourite vegan breakfast recipes? Please share in the comments!