Plant-Based Diet for Beginners: 3 Easy (and Yummy) Breakfast Options

by | May 30, 2017 | Plant-Based Diet | 0 comments

plant-based-diet for beginnersGiven how well-received our Plant-Based Diet for Beginners (and Curious Omnivores) series was, I thought it would be helpful to follow up with some plant-based brekkie ideas.

Because, why not?

When you’re just starting out, adopting a plant-based lifestyle it can seem a little daunting.

You’re used to eating whatever you like and now you’re not sure what’s permitted and what’s verboten.

Take oats, for example.

Is Oatmeal Plant-Based?

How do you know if oatmeal is plant-based? In their original form, oats are vegan-friendly. If you’re a general knowledge nerd, Nairn’s (the guys who make those delicious oatcakes) explain where oats come from.

For our purposes, all you need to know is that rolled oats are plant-based. Where things get tricky, however, is at the processing and manufacturing stage. You’ll often find that cow’s milk has been added to increase creaminess and flavour.

Not to worry, it’s easy enough to avoid inadvertently consuming dairy. The fail-safe option is to stick with plain rolled oats. (You can’t go wrong if all you’re buying are the oats.)

If you’re intent on buying single-servings of readymade oatmeal (I hear you, they do make life easy), flip the package over and take a look at the allergens. They’ll either be listed separately or highlighted in bold.

Allergens actually make it super easy to know whether or not a product is plant-based. The only ingredient not listed as an allergen is honey. If you’re avoiding it make sure to scour the food label.

Okay, we’ve covered oatmeal, but what about other food? I’m glad you asked. Helpfully, Vegan First explains in detail how to know if your food products are vegan, leaving us free to focus on breakfast.

Finally.

Bircher Muesli (aka Fancy Soaked Oats)

plant-based-diet for beginners

Bircher Muesli is a fancy term for soaked oats, so don’t get yourself in a tizz just yet. It’s super easy to make, I swear. Plus, it’s almost impossible to bugger up, so even if you have difficulty locating the kitchen you’ll still be able to make this.

What you’ll need:

  • Rolled oats (¼ – ½ cup)
  • Non-dairy milk* (½ – ¾ cup)
  • Raisins (handful)
  • Almonds (7-8 chopped or whole)
  • Grated apple (1/2)

*Soy, rice, almond, oat, etc.

Optional additions:

  • Cacao powder (1 tsp)
  • Maca powder (1 tsp)
  • Hemp powder (1 tsp)

Optional toppings:

  • Sliced banana
  • Coconut shavings or chips
  • Cacao nibs
  • Maple syrup

Method:

Put all the ingredients except for the milk in a bowl. Add liquid until the oats are just covered. Err on the side of less, because you can always add more if it seems too thick or stodgy.

You can prepare this the night before and leave it in the fridge or you can make it in the morning. The oats really only need about 20 minutes to soak. However, if you decide to make breakfast in the morning it’s a good idea to chop the nuts up as they won’t have had time to soften. If you don’t mind the crunch factor, skip the last step.

Notes:

Avoid quick-cooking oats if at all possible, because your breakfast will get mushy. Although if that’s all there is, go for it. With the toppings and additions, it’ll still taste good.

Be adventurous. Swap out the non-dairy milk with water. We normally use water because it’s more cost-effective. Also, the milk is more of a nice to have than a must.

Be even more adventurous and chop and change the other ingredients as well. Try mixing in cacao for a chocolatey flavour or maca if you’d prefer something maltier.

You can replace the raisins with dates, goji berries, white mulberries or any other dried fruit that takes your fancy. Leave them out completely if you’re not a fan.

Adding things like banana and raisins will sweeten the deal anyway, but if that’s not enough, go ahead and drizzle some maple syrup on as well. Cinnamon is another natural sweetener, so give that a go too.

Try going without the extra sweetener though, if you do your taste buds will eventually adjust and you’ll learn to appreciate the natural flavours more.

Plant-Based Smoothie (Berry or Chocolate)

plant-based-diet for beginners

Some of us are lazy and prefer drinking our breakfast. Sporty doesn’t fall into this category, but maybe you do. If that’s the case, read on and be instantly smitten. But first, allow me to dispel a myth.

You don’t need milk to make your smoothie creamy and delicious. It’s true.

Okay, if there’s no milk in the smoothie, how on earth do you get that amazing ice-cream like consistency? I’m glad you asked. Allow me to enlighten you forthwith.

What you’ll need for a berrylicious smoothie:

  • Rolled oats (¼ – ½ cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Blueberries (½ cup)
  • Frozen bananas (1-2)

What you’ll need for a chocolicious smoothie:

  • Rolled oats (¼ – ½ cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Frozen bananas (1-2)
  • Cacao powder (1 T)
  • Cacao nibs* (1 T)
  • Peanut butter* (1 tsp)

*Optional, but very much recommended for added crunch and tastiness

Method:

Put all the ingredients in your blender and blend on high for about 30-60 seconds. What you’re after here is a smooth, lump-free consistency that’s thick enough to seem decadent and liquid enough to drink. It’s a very scientific process, but with practice you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Notes:

If oats don’t agree with you or you’re simply not a fan, leave them out. I like them because they keep me full for longer and add some creaminess to the mix. Double win. You could also sub them with oat bran or granola, but then reduce the quantities to no more than a quarter cup or so. You know, to avoid it becoming a complete fat fest.

Definitely try making the smoothie with water first, then if you really feel like you need additional creaminess you can try adding half milk (non-dairy, obvs) and half water. Water is the shizz, just give it a chance.

Also, the frozen bananas are the key ingredient here. You can use fresh if that’s all you have, but the taste and consistency won’t be nearly as delish. I’m not sure what happens to the banana molecules when you freeze them, but they somehow get much sweeter.

Finally, if you feel like the smoothie isn’t sweet enough you can always add a couple of dates to the mix. Just leave the blender on for a bit longer to get rid of all the lumps. Unless of course you like that sort of thing, in which case don’t.

One last point, I swear. 

If you don’t have a blender we recommend getting one of Blendobi’s cousins. If that’s out of your price range (or you prefer something more compact), the Nutribullet is a great choice. We loved ours!

Need some help deciding? Click here to learn more about how to find the perfect blender, so you get delicious smoothies every time.

The guide is super comprehensive. It walks you through everything you need to know about your potential new blender, from how to clean it and navigating the control panel right the way through to motor power and durability.

It’s definitely more in-depth than anything I’ve ever put together. Then again, Mostly Mindful is a minimalist blog, so…

Plant-Based Toasties

plant-based-diet for beginners

I’m not a fan of savoury fare first thing, but evidently a lot of people are. If that’s you, then these toastie options will do the trick. Along with being ridiculously easy to make, toast also offers a blank canvas of possibilities to please the palate and fill your tummy.

What you’ll need:

  • Bread (rye, essene, wholewheat, spelt, etc.)
  • Topping of choice (see below for suggestions)

Optional toppings:

  • Nut butter and sliced banana (add maple syrup if it’s Sunday)
  • Hummus and pan-fried cherry tomatoes (or plain old sliced tomatoes)
  • Avocado and grilled red peppers (check out this avo toast for extra inspiration)
  • Scrambled tofu* (if you’re feeling slightly more adventurous)

*Mention tofu to most people and they shudder in response (I know we used to). But, the thing about tofu is that it’s also a blank canvas of sorts. Fry up some onions and peppers, crumble your tofu and add it to the pan with a few splashes of tamari (soy sauce) and a scan teaspoon of turmeric and you have a really delicious breakfast ready to be inhaled (or eaten).

Method:

Erm. Slice bread and place in toaster. Toast. Remove when done and place on plate. Add toppings and serve. Or, put everything on the table and let everyone make their own. Eat. Drink coffee. Be happy. Repeat.

Notes:

The bread you choose will depend on your taste. Being German, Sporty likes dark rye, while I prefer essene bread. The only thing I’d say is to avoid white and overly processed bread. If possible, buy directly from a local bakery.

More Plant-Based Breakfast Options

The additional recipes are to show you just how exciting you can make your plant-based breakfast menu. They’re also a way of putting you in touch with other vegan food blogs, so you don’t get stuck just eating our boring old soaked oats.

Yeah, we’re cool like that.

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