A Dozen Healthy Breakfasts That Arenít Oatmeal
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From Victoria Moran, MainStreetVegan.net
August 2021

Most vegans eat oatmeal because itís vegan, whole, fiber-rich, cholesterol-lowering, and wwhen weíre out of more appealing options. But options there are and we can use them ó especially in summer.

Main Street Vegan

Once when my daughter was small, she looked lovingly at my mom and said, ďGrandma: your oatmeal is so good, you should open a restaurant.Ē That is a rare degree of porridge appreciation. Most of us eat this particular food because itís vegan, whole, fiber-rich, cholesterol-lowering, and weíre out of more appealing options.

But options there are and we can use them ó especially in summer. Here are a dazzling dozen to get you started:

Avocado toast
The hipsterís fave is easy to make and benefits your body with avocadoís potassium, vitamins K1, C, B5, B6, E, and folate. Lightly toast your preferred bread and slice on avocado, adding a spritz of lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO, and a sprinkle of cumin and ground rock salt. Alternatively: mash all that up and spread on the toast.

Ayurvedic chocolate shake
This balancing breakfast consists of 10 ounces soy, almond, or flaxseed milk, 1 peeled banana, 2 pitted dates, 1 tablespoon each cocoa powder and ground flaxseed, 1 teaspoon each vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, 1/2 teaspoon each allspice and cardamom, and 1/8 tsp. each nutmeg and ground cloves. Double if youíre blending for two.

Beans on toast
This UK classic is traditionally made with white bread and Heinz baked beans from the can, but you can use crusty brown bread and black beans with Mexican seasonings (i.e., cumin and chili powder), or lentil dal with Indian spices (dry mustard, turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, and cayenne).

Chia pudding
The way fiber- and antioxidant-rich chia seeds magically swell and soften brings out the kid in anybody, so make this super summer breakfast with the little ones in your life. For each serving, use 1 tablespoon chia seeds to 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk. Sweeten if you like with maple syrup, and flavor with vanilla and cinnamon.

French toast
The ďeggĒ can be blended chickpeas, mashed banana, flaxseed and cornstarch, or commercial vegan eggs, i.e., Just Egg. My go-to batter is 1 1/2 cups vegan milk, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes, and 1 teaspoon each sugar and cinnamon, energetically whisked. Dip in the bread (sourdough is heavenly) and fry on a lightly oiled skillet.

Okay, technically itís oats but not oatmeal. The health-savvy may pooh-pooh this hippie staple because of its traditionally high oil and sugar content, but you can make your own and keep rich ingredients to a minimum; or buy a super-healthy commercial option such as Engine 2 (at Whole Foods), fruit-sweetened and no oil at all.

Green smoothie
Green smoothies remind me of people on Instagram who do impossible yoga poses whilst being impossibly gorgeous, but enjoying a good green smoothie is quite is the purview of the rest of us too: frozen ripe banana, fresh or frozen berries, water or coconut water, and a handful of mild ó thatís the secret ó greens, i.e., spinach or baby kale. The miracle of these is that donít taste green, just yummy.

Classic Pancakes
Mix 1 cup buckwheat flour (or use half wheat flour), 1 teaspoon each baking powder and vanilla powder, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash of salt; in a separate bowl whisk 1 cup vegan milk with 1 tablespoon ground flax and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and let stand 5 minutes. Re-whisk and then mix liquid into dry ingredients and fry 1/4-cup cakes on lightly oiled griddle ó bubbles on the top tell you itís time to flip your flapjack.

Savory breakfast bowl
If the plate becomes extinct, itís because bowls are so inviting. For this one, layer steamed rice, millet or quinoa (leftovers work); red, white, or black beans; and a quick veggie stir-fry ó onions, garlic, tomatoes, greens). If you want to get fancy, add a simple sauce, i.e., plain vegan yogurt mixed with ground cumin, fresh cilantro, and salt to taste.

Scrambled tofu
A classic for a reason! Drain tofu and wrap in towels to remove some of the water. Saute onion and garlic in avocado oil; when soft, stir in turmeric, black pepper, egg-y tasting Indian black salt (itís really pink), and nutritional yeast; add crumbled tofu (and more oil or some veggie broth if needed) and stir-fry. Finish with chopped tomotoes and baby spinach, and serve with vegan sausage, toast and jam.

Sweet rice
On my trips to India and Nepal, sweet rice was synonymous with breakfast. Basmati rice forms the base, sometimes with the addition of split mung beans. When cooked, these are mixed with jaggery, Sucanat, date or coconut sugar, chopped raw cashews (or pistachios if you have them), soaked raisins and/or chopped dates, with a sprinkle of cardamon or nutmeg.

Yogurt parfait
Layer plain, unsweetened, vegan yogurt in a parfait dish with blueberries, sliced banana, chopped walnuts, blanched and slivered almonds, ground flax, skinny drizzles of maple syrup, deliberate dashes of cinnamon, and less heavy-handed sprinkles of cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, and ó use even less ó clove. If you love these toppings and youíre without yogurt, youíll find that they also work great on . . . oatmeal.

Victoria Moran, CHHC, AADP, RYT-200, is the founder of Main Street Vegan Academy and the host of the Main Street Vegan Podcast. She is hard at work on her 14th book, this one about aging like a yogi. Victoria loves breakfast and if oatmeal is on the menu, she likes it with lots of hot soy or almond milk. Follow her vegan/ayurvedic adventures on Instagram: @VictoriaMoranAuthor.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.