I’ve barely begun my vegan journey, and I’m already having a problem. This wasn’t a problem yesterday when I gorged myself on fresh strawberries and banana slices for breakfast, but today was a different story. My go to breakfast on most weekdays is a bagel slathered with cream cheese, and/or topped with smoked salmon. Neither of these options is available to me as a vegan, so I asked myself “What do vegans eat for breakfast?” Obviously, fruits and vegetables are a possibility, but other options can be more complicated than they seem. What follows is a list of our favorite, simple vegan breakfast ideas that are great for a busy weekday morning.
This seems like a simple vegan breakfast idea, but not all bread is free from animal products. I read the label on several loaves of bread before I found a loaf that contained no milk or honey. Once I found, purchased, and brought the vegan bread home, there was another problem. I didn’t have any vegan butter. What’s a girl to do with her toast? I have a few solutions.
You don’t need to have butter to have jelly or jam. Spreading your toast with only jam is a great way to add a little sweetness to your morning toast, and you won’t even miss your butter.
Whether you prefer peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter, this is a great way to enjoy your morning toast. The added protein will help you to stay full longer, to get your through the morning. I like to add sliced bananas, strawberries, or apples to my toast with nut butter, but adding jelly or jam is delicious, too.
This is a very popular breakfast idea among vegans as well as carnivores. I prefer my avocado served on a whole grain bread with lots of texture. Other items can be added to avocado toast to take your breakfast to a new level Slices of cucumber, radishes, or tomato are a great addition. The surprise is that this also tastes great topped with some sliced strawberries or thinly sliced mango.
Cereal for breakfast is another thing that seems like a no-brainer. I thought that all I needed was a box of cereal and some unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I love unsweetened vanilla almond milk on my cereal. I find no significant difference in flavor between this and dairy milk on my cereal. The problem is that many breakfast cereals contain ingredients that make them not vegan friendly. Obviously anything with the word honey in its name will contain honey which is not allowed on the vegan diet. Cereals with marshmallows are unacceptable because marshmallows contain gelatin which is a meat product. I thought that I could purchase rice krispies, but I was wrong. In fact many of the cereals I thought would be vegan friendly were not because they contain vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol. You see, vitamin D3, comes from the wool of sheep. While no sheep are killed in the collection of vitamin D3, it should be excluded from a vegan diet because it is, technically, an animal product.
Once again, I was forced to read labels and study ingredients. I spent a long time in the cereal aisle. I’ve since discovered on-line lists of vegan cereals, but I will still be checking labels at the store. Here are the cereals that I found at the store that were vegan:
- Frosted Flakes
- Frosted Mini Wheats and Mini-Spooners (the Malt o’ Meal version of the same cereal)
- Malt o’ Meal Brand Raisin Bran (Other brands contained vitamin D3)
- Corn Flakes
- Malt o’ Meal Brand Cinnamon Toasters (Cinnamon Toast Crunch contained vitamin D3)
I picked up a package of each of these to go with my unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or my cashew milk. Don’t forget that a bowl of cereal can also be topped with sliced fruit to make it more interesting.
I realize that technically, oatmeal is a cereal, but it’s a hot cereal. That’s why it’s not included in the list above. One might think that instant oatmeal would be your best friend on a busy weekday, but it’s not my first choice. Instant oatmeal lacks the texture that I love about oatmeal, but who has time to wait for rolled, or steel cut, oats to cook? I have a simple solution. Did you know that you can put quick oats into a bowl and cover them with hot water? I place a saucer on top of the bowl, and in just a few minutes, the cereal is ready to eat. This is just as fast as instant, but its texture is more like real oatmeal which makes it taste more like real oatmeal, at least to me. Plus, there’s another reason to have quick oats instead of instant. It’s always less expensive to buy quick oats instead of instant.
Here are my favorite things to mix into a bowl of oatmeal:
- Brown sugar and unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Seasonal berries, sugar, and non-dairy milk
- Agave nectar, cinnamon, and raisins
- Maple syrup, apple pieces, raisins, and some chopped nuts
- Berries, sugar, and coarsely chopped nuts
- Diced peaches, sugar, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Sugar, apple slices, and dried cranberries
- Peanut butter and sliced bananas
Cream of Wheat
Cream of Wheat was my mother’s favorite cereal. When I was a little girl, it was my favorite, too. Cream of Wheat, like oatmeal, can be turned into something special by simply stirring different fruits into it as it cooks. My mother had a unique way of preparing Cream of Wheat that made it taste delicious. She would add a handful of raisins for each serving to the water when she cooked the cereal. This sweetened the cereal, and the boiling helps to soften and plump up the raisins. When it was cooked, she would add a splash of milk. To make this vegan, all I have to do is use my unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of the dairy milk.
Obviously, a piece of fruit, or a bowl of berries can be the perfect vegan breakfast. In addition, canned fruit, packed in its own juice is also an option for a quick and simple vegan breakfast. Frozen fruit can also be part of your vegan breakfast. I like to mix different fruits together to create a fruit salad for breakfast. Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
- Oranges, kiwis, and red grapes
- Apples, bananas, celery, and walnuts dressed with some vegan mayonnaise mixed with brown sugar
- Sliced bananas, canned peach slices, and red grapes
- Mixed Melon Salad
- Frozen Berries layered with non-dairy yogurt and vegan granola
- Apple wedges with peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter for dipping
There are other vegan options such as pancakes, waffles, and tofu scrambles, but these are more time consuming to prepare, so, at least for our family, these breakfasts are better reserved for the weekend. I believe that this list provides more than enough breakfast options for our family to get us through the 30 days of vegan challenge.
Do any of these breakfast ideas appeal to you?
What are your favorite vegan breakfast ideas?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Visit Kitchen Southern Hospitality, and learn about Angie’s easy vegetarian (not vegan) breakfast.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.