It’s a well known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and and shouldn’t be taken lightly. As the word itself suggests, it is the first morsel of food that we put in our empty tummies after an overnight fast. Anything that we eat on empty stomach gets digested maximally. So, we should make optimum use of this opportunity, and eat the healthiest foods, so as to make the most out of the nutrients they offer.
When it comes to breakfast, many prefer having something quick. Sadly, majority of these quick breakfasts – with all the dairy, meat, eggs, refined flours, sugar and deep-frying – prove to be very damaging to our body. However I do recognize the need to save time and have something that’s easy to make and also fills our tummy. So let me not waste more time and present these not just simple and easy but also nutritious vegan breakfast ideas! If you want your daily caffine dose, try herbal tea, lemon tea, vegan mylk-tea, black coffee or soy milk coffee (tastes good with vanilla!).
Fruits are the healthiest fast-food offered by nature! They take the least amount of time to get digested, hence they are the best eaten empty stomach. Try these different ideas of incorporating fruits in your breakfast, especially the mango fruit pudding!
Traditionally Poha is generally made of beaten white rice, which doesn’t make it a healthy dish. Try red rice or brown rice poha, instead. It takes a bit of more soaking time (at least 10 minutes) for them, but it’s healthy and tastes exactly the same.
Idly or dosa can easily be made in a healthy way by simply replacing white rice with red/brown rice or any millet of your choice! Try red rice idly/dosa recipe from this collection.
4. Ragi porridge
Mix sprouted ragi flour with water, cardamom, jaggery, and coconut powder. Heat it on the stove and keep stirring with spoon until it thickens. You can even replace jiggery with homemade date paste. Add date paste in the end to avoid it from heating. This can actually be a very nutritious breakfast item for kids!
Radish, cauliflower, potatoes, onions, carrots, spinach; there is a way that some of these vegetables to be included in your breakfast – through Parathas! And instead of loading yourselves with cholesterol and saturated fat found in conventional dairy butter, try healthy versions like coconut butter or a non-dairy cheese spread (recipe below).
Coconut butter: Use chutney jar of mixer to blend coconut pieces. Keep scraping sides and blend again until it starts sticking together. Take out the pulp in a muslin cloth and squeeze well. You will get thick coconut cream. Add some salt if you wish and let it set in the fridge for at least an hour.
6. Muesli in plant based milk
There are various plant based milks made of coconut, almonds, cashews, soy, or rice, that can be used for muesli. Here is an easy recipe for making your own healthy muesli at home.
7. Bread, spreads and sandwiches
Making whole wheat bread at home is easy. Here is the basic sandwich bread recipe that can be used to make whole wheat bread. I do realize that it may not be possible for everyone to make their bread at home. In that case store-bought whole wheat bread is the second best option (however they contain only 40% whole wheat flour).
As for spreads, there are a number of plant based options, such as peanut butter, cashew based cheese spread, vegan mayonnaise, guacamole, pesto, hummus, tahini (sesame butter), almond butter, or even our desi chutneys! Here is a great recipe collection that has all these spreads and a lot more!
You can also make any sandwich with your choice of veggies and vegan mayonnaise and this super-delicious cashew based vegan cheese spread! `
Cashew based cheese spread
Unlike the dairy cheese, this one is free of cholesterol and addictive casomorphin. Soak a handful of cashews for 3 hours and drain all the water. Blend them with 3-4 cloves of garlic, salt, black pepper and dried herbs. Optionally also add 1 tsp of vinegar. It can be eaten immediately, but tastes better after letting it set for at least an hour. Here’s another recipe for fermented cheese spread.
8. Sprouts bhel
Mix any sprouts of your choice with onion, tomatoes and pomegranate seeds. Add in coriander-mint chutney and tamarind chutney and enjoy the healthy bhel! It’s a good way to have greens too!
Traditional upma is generally made of white rice rava/semolina. To make a healthy version of it, use rava made of millets or brown/red rice.
10. Chillas/Instant dosas
Pesarattu and moong chillas are very famous in some parts of India. One can also make neer dosa, which doesn’t need fermentation. Dosas can also be made almost instantly using millets or rava. Here’s a sample recipe:
Mix 2 tbsp flax seeds soak in 4 tbsp water and let it set for 5 minutes. In a deep vessel, take ½ cup ragi flour (or millet semolina), ½ cup brown rice flour, flax seed+water mix, grated ginger, finely chopped green chillies, cumin seeds and salt. Add enough water to have consistency of dosa batter. Use this batter to make dosas on your regular/nonstick dosa pan.
While there are lots of vegan pancake recipes around, I recommend to start with these delicious vegan whole grain pancakes for your breakfast! (Note: I prefer to use jaggery instead of sugar to make it healthier.)
12. Fruit pudding
During the mango season, mango-apple pudding is my favourite breakfast. Just blend some cut mangoes without water. Add in finely chopped apple pieces and a pinch of vanilla extract. Throw in some raisins and sunflower/pumpkin seeds and the pudding is ready.
13. Sevai upma
I stumbled upon ragi vermicelli in the last organic bazaar and tried this vermicelli upma recipe with that. It turned out super cool!
Missed out on one of your favourite healthy breakfast routines? Share them with us in the comments space.