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How To Make Your Breakfast Vegan 

 March 19, 2021

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Welcome to our 13 Steps To Go Vegan's challenge number 1: Make your breakfast vegan.

The Challenge

Plan to eat 5 vegan breakfasts a week. If you eat more, then great! If you miss a day, don’t worry. Just start again the next day. The goal is to try this out and to substitute some staples.

Why start with making your breakfast vegan?

Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and it is only logical that this is a great first challenge. No matter what you like for breakfast, we’re sure you can veganize it (with some help from us of course)!  Breakfast can be very different for different people. Some like a bowl of oatmeal or porridge in the morning, while others like to dine out for breakfast at a restaurant at the weekend or make something for a leisurely Sunday morning - we’ve covered all the options for you. For those who like a caffeinated beverage (which is many of us!), we’ve got you covered too!

On the other side, we are launching into unknown territory here, because dairy products feature heavily in most breakfasts. However, as vegan dairy products are very widespread and easy to find and taste amazing, this is not so hard to make vegan.

How to make your breakfast vegan

Most of us have the same thing for breakfast every day. Personally, I go through phases of breakfast. I’ll have toast for a few weeks, then I’ll switch it up and have hot oatmeal for a few days, then I’ll see frozen fruit on special and I’ll switch up to smoothies. I often change my breakfast depending on the weather too so it is not always the same for everyone. Here are the steps for you to figure out how to veganize your breakfast.

Step 1: What do you usually have for breakfast? 

Whatever you normally have, we are pretty sure that it is pretty easy to make vegan. What are the individual components of your breakfast? To find information on how to find vegan alternatives then simply look below!

We also tend to have a special breakfast that we have for the weekends. It could be pancakes or waffles. Try to integrate a couple of these more complex breakfasts as you are tackling this aspect of the challenge.

Step 2: What ingredients do you need to substitute to make that breakfast vegan?

Once you have identified what you would like to have for breakfast, consider the ingredients that are required. Take a look further down this post and find the ingredients you will need. We have included some pictures of some brands so you know what to look out for further down the page.

Step 3: Do a mental rehearsal

When we are rushing around in the morning, that is not the best time to look up recipes or rush around doing new things when we have to be out of the door in 10 minutes. Take a little time to do a mental rehearsal and if you can do some preparation.

Step 4: Make and eat your breakfast

Prepare, eat (and hopefully love) your breakfast.

Step 5: Reflect

Did you and the members of your family enjoy the breakfast you prepared? If not, what was wrong with it? Perhaps you need to try a different non-dairy milk or find a different recipe. Make a mental note about how you will fix the problem for next time.

Vegan versions of common breakfast ingredients

Non-dairy milk products

Have you tried vegan milk before?  10 years ago, you might not have, but today most people have. If you haven’t, then don’t worry, we are going to help you navigate this. There are many different types of non-dairy milk and they all taste a little bit different depending on the base grain or bean and the brand. Many shop bought non-dairy milks are fortified to make them nutritionally similar to dairy milk. They are often fortified with calcium or B12 to make them nutritionally similar to dairy milk.

non-dairy milk products

Soy milk

Soy milk is generally a bit thicker and richer than some other milks. This means that is a good substitute for a fuller fat milk. Most people think that soy milks taste the most like dairy milk and for this reason it is very popular and it is also well-priced. Soy milk can come in many flavors including vanilla and unsweetened.  It has a similar macronutrients ratio to dairy milk. It contains about 8 grams of protein per cup with only 4 grams of fat. Soy milk is my preferred milk due to the taste consistency and price. 

soy milk

Almond milk

Almond milk is also a non-dairy milk that has been around for quite a long time now. I find it to be really thin. It doesn’t really taste of almonds at all. If you like very low-fat milk, then almond milk might work for you. It’s of course perfect for people who have a soy allergy but generally speaking it is not very nutritious.

Oat milk

Oat milk has become really popular in recent years and people love it in smoothies, coffee, cereal and so much more. It is a popular choice at coffee houses. It is usually more expensive than some of the other milks. The nutrition in oat milk is generally good.

Other nut milks

You can actually make and buy non-dairy milks out of any nuts from macadamia to hazelnut. They have a similar consistency and taste as almond milk.

Other grain based milks

While you can make and buy milks made out of any nut, you can do the same with any grains. Quinoa, rice or barley are some popular ones.

Other bean based milks

Innovative companies are making other non-dairy milks from beans so that you can have the same qualities of soy milk, but it will be soy free, perfect for those who have a soy allergy.

NUTRITIONAL INFO

CAL.

FAT (g)

CARBS (g)

PROTEIN (G)

Notes

Soy (1 cup)

80

4

3

7

Good replacement for dairy milk

Well-priced

Easy to find

Nutritious

Oat

120

5

16

3

Increasingly popular

A little more expensive than other brands.

Almond / nut

60

2.5

3

1

Thinner

Similar to skim milk

Rice / grain

120

2

22

less than 1g

Thinner

Similar to skim milk

Shop bought vs homemade non dairy milks

Unlike dairy, you can actually make vegan milks by yourself and this is a fantastic thing to do to save money and to save waste however, the taste will be different. The shop bought products that have some ingredients that aren’t in homemade ones to preserve them, to help with the consistency and the taste. By all means try the homemade ones, but if they aren’t working for you, then try the shop bought ones.

almond milk

Getting used to non-dairy milk

When I first became vegan, my biggest fear was replacing the milk in tea. I was living in a place where there was very little choice in terms of non dairy milks. I had very little back up plans if I didn’t like it. I tried my first soy milk and I really didn’t like it but was totally floored when I got used to it in just three days. 

For your coffee

For most people, coffee is something pretty important and the idea of messing with it can cause a concern. Happily, there are some fantastic products available

Creamer: The purpose of creamers is to sweeten the coffee and lighten it.  If you are a creamer in your coffee kind of person, then there are lots of options for you at your local supermarket. 

Barista style non dairy milks: There are many non dairy milks that have been designed especially to be steamed for espresso creating a foam that lasts really well. 

HELP! Why did my non dairy milk curdle in my coffee?

Many people who change to a vegan milk for their coffee are shocked to find that when they add the non dairy milk to their coffee, the milk curdles and won’t mix properly and it simply is not very nice. The reason why milk curdles in your coffee is because coffee is rather acidic and it coagulates the milk. There are some ways to avoid this. 

  1. Let your coffee cool a little before adding the non dairy milk.
  2. Add the coffee to the milk rather than the other way around.
  3. Choose another brand of coffee or non dairy milk.
  4. Use a barista blend non dairy milk just for your coffee.
  5. Switch to iced coffee.

Yoghurt

These days, there are lots of vegan options in the yogurt department. Soy and coconut-based are the most popular, but different countries have different options, so chances are there are some available that you will like. There are plain, fruit flavored and even very creamy Greek style ones.

vegan yogurt

Toast & Bread

We are happy to tell you that most bread is vegan especially if you buy more of the artisanal breads. This includes bagels, English muffins, sourdough.

bread

Cereal

If you love cereal for breakfast, or your children are, most of them are vegan and the only things to look for in the ingredients are milk powder or honey.

Some more processed cereals use vitamin D which is animal derived although, I wouldn’t worry too much about this at this stage of your vegan journey. 

cereal

Butter

You can find vegan butters quite easily these days. Go for a dairy-free spread that is marked vegan. Some of the more conventional margarines look like they are vegan, but actually, they contain some sort of milk powder. Check the ingredients or look for the vegan mark.

vegan butter

Cream Cheese

If bagels are something you love, then you can easily find a vegan cream cheese to schmear on your it.

vegan cream cheese

Nutella

We’re so sorry to say that Nutella is not vegan because of milk powder.  However it is very easy to find replacements for it.

vegan nutella

Honey

If you like honey on your toast, then you can replace it with this agave nectar or maple syrup. There are some wonderful vegan honeys available as well.

Eggs

Scrambled eggs

Many people use crumbled firm tofu and kala namak (a black sulfurous salt) to make a scrambled egg. There are also some fantastic products out there to replace eggs that you can buy at the supermarket.

scrambled tofu

Omelettes

You can create omelettes with silken tofu, chickpea flour and kala namak and you can even buy boxes of frozen vegan omelettes and pop them in the toaster to make a egg and vegan sausage or ham muffin. 

just vegan eggs

Meats

Smoked salmon

If you like to have a decadent smoked salmon with your cream cheese bagel, you can even replace that too! While a vegan smoked salmon might not be available in your local supermarket, it could be available in some specificity vegan store / online.

vegan smoked salmon
vegan smoked salmon on bagel

Here’s the salmon in action! Bagel with vegan cream cheese and ‘salmon’

Bacon

While bacon might not be something you eat every day for breakfast, we are happy to tell you that vegan bacon exists and it is not a bad substitute but will certainly work in a vegan egg and bacon muffin. You can also make your own.

vegan bacon

Sausages

Sausages are an important part of a big fry up and you can find vegan sausages extremely easy or you can make them yourself out of seitan.

How to convert some common breakfast to vegan versions

Oatmeal / overnight oats

Oatmeal is vegan of course, but it might have add-ons that aren’t vegan. Feel free to use vegan milks and agave nectar, maple syrup or dates instead of honey.  

Smoothies

Most components of a smoothie are vegan. If you add cows’ milk you can replace that with non dairy milk, honey can be replaced with dates, maple syrup or agave nectar and whey protein powder with a vegan protein powder.

Breakfast baked goods or pancakes

Breakfast baked goods might require a little more work to locate but you might find them in some vegan grocery stores, specialty stores, health food stores or perhaps even in the supermarket. If you can’t find the exact thing you are desperate to replace, then you can find recipes for everything in a cookbook or online. Just don’t start with pain au chocolat or croissants because they are quite an involved project.

vegan croissants

Breakfast Sandwich

A breakfast sandwich usually consists of a vegan meat, some sort of vegan egg and usually some cheese in an English Muffin, a bagel or a wrap.

Some recipes to get started

Pancakes

vegan pancakes

Ingredients:

1¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups soy milk
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Method:

Place dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.

Place a non-stick pan on high heat. When hot, spray oil in the pan.

Pour a half cup of the batter into the pan and turn the heat down to medium. After a few minutes, you will see bubbles form. Flip the pancakes until brown on each side. Serve.

Variations:

  • Experiment with different flour combinations like kamut, spelt, cornmeal, and whole wheat.
  • Substitute sugar for other sweeteners, like maple or agave nectar.
  • Serve with vegan ice cream, vegan yogurt, maple syrup, berries, vegan bacon.
  • Add blueberries or chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Add protein powder to the batter for an extra protein kick.
  • Add pumpkin spice and canned pumpkin to the batter to make autumnal pancakes.

Tofu Scramble 

This dish, reminiscent of scrambled eggs, is a great start for those who like a big American (or English) breakfast. With the addition of turmeric you also mimic the yellowy color that you get with eggs.

Tofu Scramble

Ingredients:

½ onion diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove minced½ capsicum diced
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
8 ounces (250 grams) of firm tofu broken into small pieces
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and ground black pepper

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add onion and capsicum and cook until translucent (5 mins). Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds more. Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, cumin, and seasoning.

Stir fry for 5-6 minutes until the tofu is slightly browned. Add a little water to the pan if the scramble is sticking to the pan. Serves 2.

Variations:

  • Add 1 cup of kale with the tofu or 1 cup of spinach, just before serving, for more nutrition.
  • Add pitted Kalamata olives and/or sundried tomato ribbons for a more Mediterranean flavor.
  • Add chilli powder, garlic powder, corn, and tomato and garnish with cilantro for a Tex Mex flavor.
  • Add smoked paprika and serve in a tortilla with spinach for a “breakfast burrito” on the go.
  • Double the recipe for breakfast later in the week. It reheats well.
  • Serve on toast with fried mushrooms, hash browns or potatoes, beans on toast, and vegan frozen sausages or bacon for a Sunday morning breakfast.
  • If you have Kala Namak (black salt), add a pinch just before serving for an eggy taste.

Overnight Oats

This can be made the night before and is the base for many breakfast ideas.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup rolled oats
Sugar to taste
2 cups of non-dairy milk
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
See a version of Overnight Oats I make.

Method:

Mix all ingredients well. Place in a container and place in the fridge overnight. Serves 2.

Know Your Ingredients: Chia seeds are tiny seeds that absorb liquid to develop a jelly consistency and are used in smoothies and puddings. The great thing about chia seeds is that they are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Variations: We love a good recipe but get creative and try switching things around to find out what you like best. Here are ideas of swaps you can make. 

  • Add ground cardamom, ginger, and cloves for chai-tea-flavored oats.
  • Place the oats in mason jars for breakfast on-the-go.
  • Double or triple the recipe for breakfast for the entire week. If you are scared they might not last the week, pop them in the freezer and put in the fridge the night before.
  • Add mashed banana to the mixture the night before or top with sliced banana in the morning.
  • Add berries or any other fruit on top of the oats.
  • Cocoa powder will make it chocolatey. Great for kids!
  • 1 teaspoon Spirulina or Chlorella will make your oats a funky green color.
  • Use finely-chopped dates, instead of sugar, for more fibre.
  • Substitute any sweetener, like maple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Dried fruits will plump up nicely if added the night before.
  • Flaked almonds, sunflower seeds, or coconut shreds add a delicious crunch.
  • Top with a dollop of nut butter.
  • Substitute ground flaxseed for chia seeds.
  • Add a scoop of vegan protein powder per serving.

Sausage and ‘Egg’ Muffin

This takes a lot of packaged products to make a very easy muffin sandwich.

Sausage and ‘Egg’ Muffin

Ingredients:

English muffins
Vegan breakfast sausage (I used Field Roast)
‘Egg’ (I used Just Egg folded egg)
Vegan cheese (I used Violife)

Method:

Cook your egg and sausage according to the instructions. Lightly toast the muffins. Place the sausage, egg and cheese and broil the muffin until it is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Know Your Ingredients:

Vegan breakfast sausage patties: There are so many vegan sausages that you can buy and you can also make them out of seitan

Vegan eggs: We used a Just Egg folded egg, but there are lots of other vegan products you can use and you can also find recipes online to make omelettes too. Kala Namak is a fantastic salt that has an eggy flavor which you can add to your vegan eggs.

Variations:

  • Add some Kala Namak salt to the folded egg to make it more eggy.
  • Change the breakfast sausage to a vegan ham or bacon and simply slice some vegan sausages and cook them up.
  • Change the ‘egg’ for some tofu scramble or a tofu egg.
  • Add some sriracha or other condiments to change the flavour.

Do you feel like you have mastered step 1 of going vegan? Congratulations! Let's move on to step 2: Making An Easy Vegan Choice.


Let's Discuss!

We'd love to hear from you!  Do you have any questions?  Do you have a favorite vegan breakfast item?  Let us know in the comments below!

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