The old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is true. Without food, the body has no fuel, and when you eat bad food, the fuel you give your body is not enough to start off your day on the right foot. Let’s learn about how to make the perfect breakfast according to experts, what benefits you’ll see when you eat right, and what sort of breakfast you should be eating for maximum health.
The three breakfast must have’s
A good breakfast should be rich in nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and so on. Research has shown that a healthy breakfast should contain protein, slow-burning carbs, and the minerals and vitamins found in fresh produce.
Protein – keeps you full
The reason you should have protein, specifically a lean protein, is because it keeps you full longer than fat or carbs. If you skimp out on breakfast, you’ll get hungry quickly, and are a lot more likely to eat the junk that’s often found at offices, like donuts or bagels. For a vegan, lean protein includes quinoa, oatmeal, nut butters, and sunflower seeds.
Carbs – keeps you focused
A good breakfast also needs carbs, but not just any carbs. Slow-burning carbs found in bran cereals and oatmeal fuel the brain and instead of providing a zap of attention followed by a crash, these carbs continue to benefit you throughout the whole morning.
Vitamins and minerals – keep you healthy
The first meal of the day should always include vegetables or fruit, so you can start getting your daily recommended servings right away. Fresh produce includes tons of vitamins and minerals like calcium, fiber, iron, and so on that all work together to keep your whole body healthy.
The benefits of breakfast
When you remember to include the three essentials in every breakfast, you’ll see positive results throughout the rest of the day. Here are just a handful of them:
Life can be hectic and exhausting, so your body needs good food to keep up.
Mornings are often the least productive time because of fatigue and poor fuel, so by eating healthier breakfasts, you are kick-starting your body into action. You’ll be able to do more without feeling hungry and sluggish.
Better brain health
When you eat a healthy breakfast, you’re feeding your brain. Literally. Glucose is a carb that’s crucial for brain function, and studies have shown that eating breakfast improves that function and your ability to focus. It also lowers stress levels and improves your mood!
Better long-term health
Experts say that eating healthy breakfast is linked to decreased chances of serious
diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. By paying attention to the three essentials and eating right, you’re also developing healthy habits that carry over into the rest of your meals, and your life as a whole.
The recipes featured at the end of this blog post are all vegan, so let’s take a moment to explore why veganism is good for you. A lot of the health benefits of breakfast fit right into a vegan diet, and a vegan diet actually makes eating good breakfasts easier! Here are just a few of the reasons to consider vegan living:
Gives you more energy
The vegan diet is packed with food that is known to boost your energy levels. Think slow-burning carbs found in veggies, fruit, and whole-grains.
Low in saturated fats
Meat and dairy products may have protein, but they also have high amounts of
saturated fat. By choosing vegan protein sources, you get all the benefits of protein, but without the fat. Your heart will thank you.
High in nutrients
Getting the three breakfast essentials is a breeze when the ingredients are all vegan. Vegan diets are high in fiber and other nutrients found in vegetables and fruit, like iron, calcium, and so on.
Can prevent disease
Research has indicated that a vegan diet lowers a person’s chances of getting
serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and more. This results in a longer,
healthier, and happier life.
Even just eating a vegan breakfast can improve your health, since you’ll be reducing the amount of animal products you would usually eat, while boosting the amount of nutrient-rich veggies, whole-grains, and vegan proteins. If you’re interested in transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, starting with breakfast is a smart idea.
To get you going on your healthy-morning routine, here are three vegan breakfast recipes. I’ve included one hot breakfast, one cold breakfast, and one on-the-go breakfast. They’re super tasty and all meet the protein, slow carbs, and vitamins/minerals criteria!
Tofu + Roasted Tomato Scramble
Time: 40 minutes (10 minutes prep time, 30 minutes cook time)
Tofu is a great vegan ingredient for breakfast, because it very closely imitates the texture of eggs. It also has almost no flavor of its own, so it’s a perfect blank slate for spices like turmeric, garlic, and dried herbs. As for the tomatoes, you bake them in the oven with brown sugar, vinegar, and olive oil, roasting them into intense, caramelized deliciousness. Don’t skip the nutritional yeast! It adds a “cheesiness” to the scramble.
Three Essentials Checklist:
Protein (tofu) ✓
Slow-burning carbs (mushrooms, tomatoes) ✓
Vitamins/minerals (vegetables) ✓
4 ripe tomatoes
Two 14-ounce packages of drained extra-firm tofu
½ cup nutritional yeast 2 diced zucchinis
1 diced yellow onion
1 diced red bell pepper
8-ounces sliced button mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Turn your oven to 400-degrees.
- After washing them, quarter the tomatoes and then cut each quarter in half.
- In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Move to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- While the tomatoes roast, mix the turmeric, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in a bowl.
- Add tofu, crumbling it with your hands, and mix.
- Prepare a skillet with olive oil and cook the onion until softened and clear.
- Add the bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add tofu and yeast, stirring, until the whole dish is hot and blended.
- Serve the scramble with roasted tomatoes mixed in.
Nutritional Info (2-cup serving):
Total calories: 386
Time: Overnight + 3 minutes (3 minutes prep time, overnight soak time)
Overnight oats are a popular breakfast right now. This recipe takes buckwheat groats, a seed that is comparable to veggies in terms of health benefits, and soaks them overnight in water. This softens them up nicely. In the morning, you blend the groats with blueberries, almond milk, honey, a banana, and a little vanilla for a thick, sweet, incredibly satisfying “pudding.”
Three Essentials Checklist:
Protein (buckwheat) ✓
Slow-burning carbs (blueberries) ✓
Vitamins/minerals (fruit) ✓
1 cup buckwheat groats
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
½ cup almond milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Juice from ½ a lemon
- The night before, put your buckwheat groats in a bowl and cover with water.
- Soak overnight, covered, in the fridge.
- The next morning, begin the pudding by blending your blueberries with honey until smooth.
- Add the groats, almond milk, lemon juice, banana, and vanilla.
- Keep blending until smooth.
- Serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Info (1-cup serving):
Total calories: 236
Blackberry-Raspberry Energy Bars
Time: 55 minutes (30 minutes prep time, 25 minutes cook time)
Mornings can be busy, so you don’t always have time to cook a breakfast. These whole-grain energy bars are a great option. One recipe makes 24 bars, so you can have a ready-to-go breakfast for the whole family. Be sure to get a good quality jam without added sugar for best results.
Three Essentials Checklist:
Protein (flax seeds, wheat germ) ✓
Slow-burning carbs (raspberries, oats) ✓
Vitamins/minerals (walnuts, raspberries) ✓
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 sticks softened butter (cut into 16 cubes)
¾ cup blackberry jam
¾ cup fresh raspberries
½ cup raw sugar
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup wheat germ
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
- Turn your oven to 375-degrees and line a 13×9-inch pan with foil. You want the foil to hang off, because you’re going to be using the edges later.
- Grease with a coconut oil cooking spray.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, wheat germ, raw sugar, and salt.
- With a mixer on low, beat in 14 tablespoons of butter until it has the texture of wet sand.
- Scoop out 1 ¼ cups and set aside for now.
- Press the rest of the mixture down on the baking sheet to make the bar’s crust.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
- Mix the 1 ¼ cups of the flour mixture with nuts, brown sugar, oats, and flax.
- Add the rest of your butter and mix with your fingers until clumpy.
- In another bowl, mash the jam, raspberries, and lemon juice together.
- Spread berry filling on top of the baked crust.
- Sprinkle on the clumpy topping evenly.
- Bake for another 22-25 minutes until toasty and golden.
- Cool the bars completely before carefully lifting the whole thing up by the foil edges.
- Cut into 24 bars.
Nutritional Info (1-bar serving):
Total calories: 170