Breakfast in the West is not really a vegan affair. Favorites include breakfast meats including sausage, ham, and bacon. Most dishes have eggs or milk in them and often times both. Butter is delicious slathered on breads and toasts. When going vegan breakfast can become very frustrating because even the cereal you enjoyed with cold milk changes in a big way. The good news is that as you do your research there are a lot of vegan breakfast ideas out there.
Cereal – You can still eat most breakfast cereals. You will want to check the back of the box to make sure. You should also aim for high quality and healthy cereals as well because having a healthy lifestyle and healthy food choices are important for vegans (and everyone else for that matter). You can use almond or soy milk (with a mouth feel similar to 2%) or rice milk (with a skim milk texture). It isn't the same and it might not become your favorite breakfast (we have been vegan 3 months now and I just can't eat cereal without real milk on it so I skip this option).
Granola – Granola can be purchased or even made. Home made granola is a lot more work, but it lasts a long time and is lower in fat than store bought versions. You can eat it with your alternative milk just like you eat cereal. You can also mix it with juice, fruit, or you can choose vegan yogurt (made from soy or coconut milk).
Toast – Toast can be a good option as the main part of your breakfast. You want a whole grain choice and can choose a nut and or seed bread or a fruit bread for added flavor. Top it with a vegan margarine (Earth Balance really is the best we have found).
Fruit – The truth is that fruit should always be a part of your vegan breakfast ideas. You can add fruit to your main dish, eat fruit on the side, or make fruit the main part of your breakfast. You can have a piece of fruit or a fruit salad. You shouldn't drink a lot of store bought juice though because often this has added sugar, is made sweeter by concentrating (and increasing the natural sugars in the fruit), and the processes often remove a lot of nutrients.
Hot Cereal – Often we think of hot cereal as oatmeal. However, there are a lot of options. You can enjoy oats in a wide variety of styles. You can also enjoy wheat (often called cream of wheat), rice cereal (often called cream rice), buckwheat, amaranth, and barley. While quinoa is a seed you can also enjoy. Millet is another seed that can be turned into hot cereals. On top of that you can enjoy multi-grain cereals that come in 3, 7, and 9 grain varieties. Couscous, a pasta commonly eaten in the Mediterranean, can be consumed at breakfast time. It is delicious with fruit, raisins, sweeteners, and or cinnamon.
Pancakes – When looking for vegan breakfast ideas, pancakes are usually not high on the list because most pancakes use dairy and or eggs in them. However, there are a lot of vegan pancake recipes that taste delicious and can be topped in any way that you want. You can also find vegan waffles and crepe recipes for a whole wide variety of delicious options.
Quiche – Quiche has to be out of the question when considering breakfast options for vegans. However, there are things that you can do that can make wonderful “pies” that are very similar to quiches. The fillings are made with either tofu, raw soaked cashews, or a mix of both. Vegetables can then be added for a savory mix. The mix is placed into a pie crust and baked.
Hash Browns and Potatoes – Vegans can certainly enjoy hash browns and potatoes. It is best to consider the fat content, just from a healthy side of point. You will also want to read the label if you are buying store bought, frozen varieties. You can mix your potatoes with a lot of delicious veggies, spices, and herbs. Fry everything together with a touch of oil.
Breakfast Burritos – Breakfast burritos can be made from veggies, hash browns, or scrambled tofu. You can get creative and mix and match a variety of these items. You can also top it with vegan cheese, cream cheese, or sour cream. Salsa, hot sauce, and ketchup can also be added.
Muffins – Baking is a lot easier than one at first thinks. You can make muffins using any recipe by adding 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds to 3 tablespoons of water and letting it soak. Then use it as 1 egg. You can also replace milk with any alternative milk such as almond or soy milk (two of the best options because they are higher in fat and have a better mouth feel for cooking with). You can also find vegan recipes for a wide range of muffins.
Breakfast Casserole – In a similar way to making quiche, you can make breakfast casserole using blended tofu mixed with alternative milk and any type of vegetables you see fit.
Scrambled “Eggs” - Scrambled “eggs” can be made by taking firm tofu and crumble it up. You then add salt and pepper or even veggies and herbs. You are heating it through.
Fruit Salad – You can mix up a wide range of fruits to make fruit salads. You can then eat them as a side dish or even as the meal itself. One of my favorites is pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. It's especially good if you mix them up the night before.
Breakfast Biscuits – Fast food restaurants have kind of made breakfast sandwiches the opposite of a vegan meal. Piled high with meat, cheese, and eggs screams, “No way this sucker can be vegan!” However, you can enjoy a vegan breakfast biscuit (or croissant or bagel). You could simply replace all of the ingredients with vegan alternatives. You can find vegan sausage, vegan bacon, and vegan ham even. Most of these product are made with soy or wheat protein or a combination of the two. You can also find vegan cheese made with either soy or rice milk. Finally you can buy a vegan egg substitute or cut out tofu and fry it up. However you can also choose to very it in a way that is healthier by piling vegetables on the biscuit or frying up a slice of tofu and topping it with tomato, lettuce, and such.
Bagels – It's easy to find bread that uses dough conditioners instead of milk and eggs. This includes a wide variety of bagels that can be eaten with vegan margerine, peanut butter (or other nut butter), fresh fruit or jam, or they can be used in vegan bagel sandwhiches.
Often times you just need to do a bit of brain storming to find lots of vegan breakfast ideas. It isn't always easy to figure out where to go from here. However, once you start exploring your options you can start to enjoy healthy and tasty breakfasts!