Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vegan transition week day 3: Breakfast

Of all the day's meals, breakfast has to be the hardest. You're tired, it's cold, you're in a rush, and the cat insists on trying to get in the shower with you even though she hates it, so you end up having quick, crappy, sugar-filled cereal with almond milk or burnt toast with peanut butter. Tomorrow, you say; tomorrow will be more varied, more healthy, more fun! Then your press snooze 3 times on your alarm and end up cramming the same burnt crumbs into your mouth while you run for the bus. We've all been there.

This is something of a travesty - it sounds a bit trite, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It gets your metabolism going, gives you energy and basically decides how your body is going to run throughout the rest of the day. And it sets your mood too!

The key to getting a varied range of breakfasts throughout your week is a little planning; spend an hour on a Sunday night making a batch of quinoa granola, or pre-soak some beans just before you go to bed at night. There's nothing to stop you having a different "petit dejeuner" every single day of the week if you like - each one healthy and full of goodness!

Here are ten recipes for great, easy and tasty vegan breakfasts to get you started!

1. Carrot cake super smoothie
The only way I've found to make carrot juice appealing, this smoothie also contains goji berries to make it supercharged!
2. Apple and date quinoa muffins
Applesauce and dates means that these muffins are sugar-free, and the inclusion of quinoa makes this a breakfast with a complete protein.
3. Tomato and lime scrambled tofu on rice
This Mexican-inspired take on the vegan classic is an absolute favourite of mine. So warm and comforting on a winter morning, and full of energy as well as beany goodness!
4. Quinoa fruit pilaf
This is easy to make, and the blueberries and bananas give a nice dose of antioxidants and potassium respectively. A nice alternative to oatmeal!
5. Spicy beans and rice with spinach
This hearty take on the Latin breakfast classic is cheap, easy and so good for you its almost ridiculous. Beans and rice together give all the essential amino acids, heaps of iron, protein and slow-release energy and might even help fight against heart disease. And it's addictive!

6. Quinoa granola
Almonds, pecans, flax and quinoa: this granola could not be better for you unless it was a beetroot.
7. Savoury crepes
A great weekend brunch option, the filling of these crepes brings together the nutritional powerhouses of miso, onions, garlic and ginger. And they're super tasty!
8. The Full Ukrainian breakfast
A healthy alternative to the full English, this breakfast is gluten-free and the kasha in it brings a nice amount of magnesium. It can also help to control blood sugar levels.
9. Avocado and mint smoothie
I know it sounds weird, but stay with me; the apple juice in this smoothie sweetens it, while the avocado helps to lower cholesterol and gives a whole shed load of vitamins. It's a great summer breakfast!
10. Bagels with refried beans
Ok, bagels might not be the healthiest thing in the world, but the refried beans here give enough energy, fiber and iron to make this a dish worth having!

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