They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For some reason, though, I’ve never been a huge breakfast person.
Now, of course I love a good brunch or going out for donuts (our favorite spot is Holey Moley in Milwaukee!) but other than a treat, or special occasion, I’ll admit I used to be a breakfast skipper.
Since I started running about five years ago, I’ve discovered that skipping breakfast leaves me feeling not-so-great during the day. I always used to think it was no big deal, but I can see a difference when I take the time to prioritize breakfast.
Sam on the other hand is a guy who HAS to have a breakfast. He gets shaky and his blood sugar drops if he doesn’t eat (he teaches gym, after all). He needs breakfast with some protein, complex carbs and some staying power. Coming up with vegan breakfast ideas that fit the bill used to be a challenge.
But now we’ve pretty much narrowed the process down to a science. Here are our favorite easy vegan breakfast ideas–perfect when you’re on the go, in a hurry and need a healthy energy boost.
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1. Tofu Scramble Wrap
Back in my pre-plant-based days, I used make egg and cheese sandwiches every day. It takes like, 3 minutes to scramble an egg and toss in some cheese. Put it in a wrap and you’re good to go. Well, it’s absolutely just as easy to make a tofu scramble wrap.
Simple “scramble” extra firm tofu on high heat with a little oil or spray. Season with your favorite all-purpose seasoning. We love Penzey’s Fox Point but any seasoning you love will do. If you want a more “eggy flavor” consider using black lava salt. It adds a sulfuric quality that really does taste egg-like. Top with your favorite shredded non-dairy cheese (like Daiya). Wrap and go.
2. Peanut Butter on Toast or Waffles
Almond butter works great on toast too, but really, you can’t beat the classic of PB&J. If you’re in a hurry, it takes literally no time to make. In fact, you don’t even have to toast the bread if you’re in a rush. I use raspberry preserves, which my mom and I make together in the summer and freeze (but any jam that’s your jam will do).
Van’s makes a frozen waffle that’s vegan. They also make gluten-free varieties if you’re gluten sensitive. Their frozen waffles are really good (just as good as that famous brand) and they toast up in about a minute. PB on waffles is really good and portable.
3. Hummus Bagel
My favorite bagel topping has always been hummus, ever since I used to get REAL bagels when I lived in NY! Now, we have some decent bagel places in Wisconsin, but I’ll admit they aren’t quite what they were in the Big Apple. Still, bagels are a great delivery device for breakfast nutrition. They’re satisfying and yummy.
I prefer an Everything Bagel topped with hummus and a little sriracha, but I prefer hot sauce on all the things I eat. For a milder bagel, you can go with just hummus. Made from chickpeas, it’s high in protein, smooth and delicious. It goes perfectly with the chewiness of a great bagel.
4. Overnight Oats
My new favorite breakfast is overnight oats. In fact, I’ve been making them almost daily for the last couple months. It couldn’t be easier! I take a small Mason jar (the freezer-jam size) and fill it with about ¾ cup of regular Old Fashioned Oats.
Then we cover the oats with almond milk, add in a teaspoon of maple syrup and top with all sorts of goodies–nuts, coconut, chia seeds, craisins and hemp seeds. Then screw on the lid and they go in the fridge overnight. In the morning you have a yummy cold cereal (or remove the lid and microwave for about a minute). They’re portable and I love to take them to work. I eat them at my desk first thing while I check my email. (I’ve learned eating breakfast a little later help me feel hungrier than if I try to eat when I first wake up.)
5. Smoothie with Protein
Sam’s go-to favorite breakfast is a smoothie with protein powder. We love Vega powder. It’s delicious and not overpowering like some smoothie powders. The vanilla is our favorite, hands down (but the chocolate’s pretty good too). We make a smoothie with a scoop of powder (with 20 grams of protein!).
Typically Sam prefers frozen tart cherries in his smoothie. He blends up a cup of cherries, a banana, and about a cup of almond milk with the protein powder. He also adds some hemp seeds and occasionally some spinach or greens. I like peach or mango. Cherry is really the best smoothie fruit, though.
6. Oatmeal Bars
Our baked granola energy bars are another go-to for breakfast. These bars are so easy to make (recipe here) and can be easily customized for any taste. To be honest, they taste like slightly less-sweet oatmeal cookies, and honestly, who doesn’t love the idea of a cookie for breakfast (especially one that’s totally healthy).
You can add Vega powder to the granola bars if you would like more vanilla or chocolate flavor and a to give them even more protein. The bars are great with sunflower seeds, cashews and pecans. Try the basic bar first and then get creative and experiment with new flavors and add-ins.
7. Breakfast Burrito
Traditional breakfast burritos feature egg. You can easily swap out the egg for soy crumbles or beans to get the same protein boost. Breakfast burritos are a great way to use up leftovers from last night’s taco filling. If you’ve got fajita vegetables, pico or corn, toss it in a pan with about half a cup of beans or crumbles.
Once your filling is heated through, simply add some cheese shreds, like Daiya and top with avocado and a scoop of Sour Supreme and wrap it in a tortilla. You can wrap your burrito in waxed paper, if you’re looking for a portable method to take it on the go.
8. “Ham” & Cheese
Yves makes a veggie “ham” that’s unbelievably ham-like. I prefer it to fakin’ bacon, to be honest. If you’re looking for a savory breakfast sandwich try slices of “ham” or Tofurky slices along with “Better than Cream Cheese.” Use this great filling on a bagel, toast or an English Muffin.
You can also top your sandwich with a non-dairy cheese slice, like Daiya. If you have time, grilled cheese is perfectly delicious for breakfast, but even cold this sandwich is great. It’s also really good on a dinner roll.
9. Fancy Toast
Fancy toast has been a “thing” for the last few years. Avocado toast, almond butter toast topped with figs or toast covered in almond ricotta. It makes perfect sense–toast is pretty darned easy and it’s delicious. If you’re going to go with toast, topping it is limitless.
I suggest going for some protein–hummus or nut butter and then adding fruit. Craisins are great. My favorite is almond butter topped with shredded coconut, sea salt and figs. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with fancy toast. Avocado smashed with cayenne or pepper flakes, lemon pepper and a little bit of salsa is also really awesome.
10. Pre-Made Energy Bars
When all else fails, there’s always the option of grabbing a pre-made energy bar. There are tons of brands out there on the market and many of them offer great vegan options.
Kind bars are yummy–usually full of nuts and seeds. Larabars are blended with figs and contain just a few ingredients (but yet, somehow taste really incredible). Luna bars are available in tons of vegan-friendly varieties like Peppermint Chocolate and Lemon Zest. While some of these bars have extra sugar in them, they’re still a great option if you’re in a rush as a once-in-awhile treat.
So, if you’re looking for vegan breakfast ideas that you can grab on the run try out a few from this list. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
What’s your favorite vegan breakfast option on the go?