As a beginner vegan used to eating eggs and bacon myself, I have always wondered what do vegans eat for breakfast.
If you are a starting vegan like me or someone who wants to become vegan, bacon, cereal, milk, eggs, ham, and cheese are what comes to mind after hearing the word breakfast.
But this is a strong contradiction to what I found out about vegan breakfast food during research.
Obviously plant-based only, it mostly consists of oats, smoothies, and homemade bowls of a mixture of nuts and fruits. Anything that has milk or cheese in it is out. Eggs are out too but tofu omelets are fine. As a matter of fact, anything that is plant-based can be eaten by a vegan for breakfast. But people usually tend to get choosy when it comes to food, especially breakfast.
It is common knowledge that meat packs a lot of protein. So you might be wondering where does vegan get their protein. Are they getting enough?
Vegans do get enough protein. It depends on the variety and the type of plant-based food they eat of course. The same goes for all other non-vegan diets.
What can a vegan eat for breakfast
I personally am not finicky about food, but it is just me, and there are other vegans out there that are.
Back then, I would eat anything.
Fish, pork, beef, veggies, you name it! Except maybe the exotic ones which I generally avoid but would eat on a dare.
When I started being vegan, a.k.a. strictly no animal or animal byproduct for food, I felt kind of limited on my choices. I still needed to eat breakfast though.
Breakfast is an important meal. If you are only going to eat once, it should be breakfast. Breakfast, or the food you eat right after you wake up, gives you the boost you need to start the day. Eating early means that you are mostly going to use the energy from the food throughout the day. As opposed to eating dinner when you sleep a few hours later and your body “saves” most of the energy as fat.
Fat is good.
Back in the ice age when people do not encounter food for days and sometimes even weeks. People with the most fat survived longer until an opportunity to find food comes knocking at their doors, or should I say cave boulders, again.
Nowadays, food is everywhere and you can get some almost anytime, almost anywhere.
Given the situation, the choice is ours to make and decide what can we eat.
Here are some vegan breakfast ideas that will kickstart your day with enough energy and nutrients you would need.
Oats and oatmeal
As long as you do not use milk from animals, you can never go wrong with oatmeals. They are protein-rich and have enough carbohydrates to power you for the rest of the day. Flavored oatmeals (make sure they are purely vegan) should make things exciting in the long run. Add in the infinite possibility of sides, all vegan, of course, oats should be more than satisfying as a vegan breakfast.
Bread, being one of the oldest known food throughout the world, is a staple breakfast food. I used to make bread a couple of years ago but I was not vegan back then. The recipe I know of includes eggs and sometimes even milk. Those are no longer options. Luckily, those two non-vegan ingredients just need to be removed and the bread automatically becomes vegan.
One good thing about bread is that it is a good breakfast food if you are not strictly vegan. Perhaps you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian or an ovo vegetarian.
This is the strict vegan’s usual choice as an alternative to milk. But even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, you should give soy milk a try and maybe make it a regular on your diet. Soy milk has about the same nutritional value as cow’s milk but with less fat and fewer carbohydrates. Depending on the manufacturer, soy milk can be enriched with other vitamins which make it a superior alternative to non-vegan milk. A note though, some people are allergic to soy and soy-based products so make sure you are clear before jumping in.
Another go-to alternative for vegan converts, tofu is a common vegan alternative for meat. You can use it as a stand-in for most meat products. Sure there are differences in taste and texture. But tofu actually has more protein and less fat for a similar calorie count compared to beef. Again, tofu is a soy-based product, so if you are allergic to soy products, check out the next item.
Wheat gluten (seitan)
Seitan is a vegan meat alternative that looks like and resembles the texture of meat when cooked. It has more or less the same protein content as meat and is a promising staple choice for vegans. I myself have not had the chance to try seitan yet but I am looking forward to it.
Lentils, chickpeas, green peas, and most beans
One of the most common sources of protein is a group that consists of seeds, nuts, and beans. There are whole meals made primarily of beans and peas. These meals are great for breakfast and they easily fit into the vegan diet. Personally, I prefer beans and peas as sides or ingredients to meals with a different primary ingredient.
Barley and other grains
If oats are not your thing, barley is a good substitute. It has almost double the protein in a serving that is about half the calories. You are not limited to barley as other grains like wheat and rice also great for an energy-boosting breakfast. People in South East Asia eat rice primarily and in all meals.
What a vegan cannot eat for breakfast
Let me state something upfront: anything can be eaten for breakfast since breakfast is a time, not a type of food. But since we are talking about what vegans cannot eat for breakfast, the short answer would be anything that is non-vegan.
Anything that came from an animal or a byproduct of an animal.
That being said, there are vegan food that because of culture and what we are used to, do not really fit into the breakfast category.
Fruits, for example, are nutritious. But they contain acids that our just-woken-up digestive systems are not prepared to handle yet. This may interfere in their processes and give us discomfort and a little bit of pain. Fruit juices are worse. They contain about the same culprit acids and probably additives like sugar which contribute more unnecessary calories.
Do vegans eat egg for breakfast
Eggs are so full packed with nutrition. But vegans avoid all animal based food. That includes eggs.
If you are a strict vegan, that means no eggs for your breakfast.
Some vegetarians though, like the lacto-ovo vegetarians and ovo vegetarians, allow egg in their diet. This is outside of the vegan circle but if you classify as one of them, then this opens up a lot of possibilities in your breakfast options.
Do vegans get enough protein
Protein is important for our bodies. It promotes growth and help build muscles and bones back which balances metabolism.
It is a common misconception that humans need to eat a variety of food (including animal) to take in a complete collection of proteins needed.
That is not true.
The human digestive system breaks food down into amino acids. Amino acids are what make protein up and our bodies can rebuild specific types of proteins depending on what is needed.
Having a proper vegan meal for a breakfast is more than enough for your day’s protein needs. Just make sure to switch things up to avoid eating the same thing over and over again every morning which can become boring really fast.
In the following section, I have listed a few ideas for a vegan breakfast which you can follow if you are out of ideas.
What is a good plant-based breakfast
The important thing when choosing your breakfast is that it has high enough protein and just enough carbohydrates to power you in your day. Luckily, most vegan meals fit this criterion.
But not all vegan food is plant-based and the term plant-based does not necessarily mean vegan. They can be interchanged most of the time but vegan food can still contain sugar and other heavily processed ingredients.
Plant-based food, on the other hand, is more selective and leans towards minimal processing. Those that directly come from or closest to the source, plants. A plant-based diet may sometimes include ingredients or sides that a vegan would never touch. Examples could include eggs from free-range chicken, fish, and to the extreme free-range poultry.
Here are some examples:
Bread. With or without non-vegan ingredients. Any type will do, I have been wanting to try an apple-walnut bread.
Cocoporridge bowl. Chocolate, vanilla, and bananas!
Oatmeal. With small fruits and nuts.
Omelet. Made from tofu or real eggs along with some spices, tomatoes, and veggies as sides. I hear an omelet made from chickpea flour tastes great!
Chocolate pancakes. Serve with small fruits and berries as sides.
Even though being a vegan may sound limiting when it comes to choices, I hope this article has cleared things up on the fact that it is not a limit at all. In fact you probably just came up with ideas of your own just from the examples. At the very least, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to breakfast.