two orange smoothies beside lemons and flowers

Eat a healthy and satisfying plant-based breakfast…or hit the snooze button? What if you could do BOTH? I’ve got 10 easy, plant-based breakfast recipes that will show you it’s possible.

I’m all about keeping things simple in the morning, but I’m also serious about getting you well nourished so you can make the most of your day. There are a lot of conflicting opinions about what to eat – and when to eat – for breakfast.

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

I was certainly raised to believe that breakfast was the most important meal of the day and yet, the research doesn’t strongly support that notion for adults. I was also under the impression that you should eat within two hours of rising; now, I’m not so sure and I know that for some, a gentle overnight intermittent fast can be beneficial.. These are the kind of questions that keep this dietitian up at night! However, I AM a big believer in eating when you are hungry, and eating a well-balanced meal to keep your energy levels stable. So if you wake up hungry, it’s important to eat – and not just some sugary thing you pick up at the coffee shop. You need a meal that has plenty of fibre, plant-based protein and healthy fats to keep you energized all morning. What’s more, skipping breakfast means that you put all your nutrient need into lunch and dinner…making it more likely that you won’t be properly nourished that day.

How much should you eat for breakfast?

It’s important to listen to your body before you dish up your morning meal. If your gut is feeling sluggish, or you have zero hunger, forcing down a massive plate of food probably isn’t a good idea. However, if this happens to you everyday, it’s worth asking yourself whether nighttime eating is to blame. It’s a common pattern I see in my clients: under-eating before 5PM because you’re busy and don’t feel that hungry – and then overeating all night long to compensate.

I am interested in data suggesting that eating the right foods in the morning can improve metabolic function and blood sugar control. It makes sense; our bodies are governed by circadian rhythms that affect our metabolic and physiological function. We were designed to eat during the day, when we are active and need energy…not so much at night, when we are getting ready to rest. Emerging evidence in ‘chromo-nutrition’ suggests that eating a big breakfast is optimal for our metabolic function.

For my digestive health clients, sometimes our guts just aren’t ready for a big meal that early. If that’s the case, I often recommend preparing something that you can eat once you feel ready. Perhaps it not so much that you eat as soon as you rise; instead focus on eating something really healthy as soon as you are ready.

10 Easy, Plant-Based Breakfast Recipes

Making a homemade breakfast is absolutely the best way to start your day. Why? You’ll save money, save time and probably get a much healthier start than hitting the coffee shop. And I’ve got just the recipes to help you do it. Some are batch prep, some overnight and some five minutes so you can prepare in the morning. Choose a few faves, get your groceries today and hit the ground running for an energized morning.

1. The Ultimate Breakfast Cookie

You know you want to eat cookies for breakfast…scroll down the page for my famous recipe from The Urban Vegetarian. Add a dollop of nut butter for extra protein and healthy fats and enjoy with a piece of fruit.

2. Five-Minute Chickpea Scramble

I love a protein-rich start and this breakfast hits all the marks: protein + fibre + healthy fats to keep you full and vegetables. Yes, veggies for breakfast. Because you can never eat too many plants. Get the recipe

3. Matcha Mango Chia Pudding

If you’re really serious about streamlining your morning, caffeinate your breakfast the night before. Matcha + mango is such a delicious flavour combo and you can make a few of these in about 10 minutes and then have them in the fridge for the perfect grab and go breakfast. Get the recipe.

4. 15-Minute Vegan Apple Pie Oatmeal

Oatmeal is such a delicious blank canvas for whatever flavours you want to create. This 15-Minute Vegan Apple Pie Oatmeal has sautéed apples in an insanely delicious tahini caramel for a breakfast SO delicious Get the recipe.

5. Beet Blueberry Muffins by Nutrition Stripped

These muffins are #nutritiongoals – they aren’t just sprinkled with a few blueberries; they are absolutely packed with plant pigments! A muffin and an organic soy latte and you’re out the door! To swap the eggs out of the recipe, just mix 2 tbsp ground flax (1tbsp per egg) with 5 tbsp of hot water and let sit for five minutes. Get the recipe.

6. Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

For those mornings you can’t even, treat yourself to a decadently healthy sipper. This one always puts a smile on my face! Get the recipe.

7. Whole Wheat Waffles by Love and Lemons

Yes, waffles can be fast…just make them on Sunday and pop them in the freezer! To heat up, throw them in the toaster and top with nut butter and fruit. On the go? Make a nut butter + banana waffle sandwich. YUM. Get the recipe.

8. Turmeric-Cinnamon Spiced Homemade Granola by Candice Kumai

Granola + yogurt is such a classic, satisfying combo. Make up a batch on the weekend and serve with coconut or cashew yogurt and some chopped or frozen fruit. To save time, you could prep five little mason jars with fruit and yogurt and then just add the granola in the AM to keep it crisp. Get the recipe.
Want a zero effort option? I’m obsessed with the new nut + seed granolas from Nature’s Path.

9. Upgraded Avocado Toast

I love avocado toast…but it lacks a bit of protein to help keep you full. The easy fix?
Step one: use sprouted grain toast if you aren’t already
Step two: mash half a medium avocado with 1/3 cup of white cannellini beans, a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper.
So easy…it doesn’t need a recipe. But if you want an even fancier version, check this one out.

10. Vegan Breakfast Burrito with Scrambled Tofu from Minimalist Baker

I absolutely love the recipes from Minimalist Baker. The key to making these a five minute breakfast is to batch prep the filling on the weekend; all you need to do in the morning is fill, wrap and then give them a few minutes under the broiler (or 30 seconds in the microwave). Get the recipe

So there you have it…something for every taste and craving.
Eat the plants…feel the good!

urban vegetarian breakfast cookies on a plate

Plant-based breakfast recipes: Breakfast Cookies

These breakfast cookies are one of the most popular recipes from my old show, The Urban Vegetarian! Packed with nourishing ingredients, easily made nut free for school lunches.
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats, gluten free if required (learn about the benefits of oats!)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup oat flour, gluten free if required
  • ¼ cup Brazil nuts, finely chopped, sub pumpkin seeds for nut free
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts, (learn about the benefits of hemp hearts!)
  • ¼ cup raisins , or dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F (175°C). Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix oats, coconut, oat flour, hemp, raisins, flax, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  • In a small bowl, mix banana, oil and maple syrup together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  • Scoop ¼ cup of batter and place onto cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool fully on cooling rack and enjoy.

Notes

Cookies freeze well for a month, or keep them loosely covered on the counter for up to 3 days.

Photo Credit: Joey Armstrong