I had a friend recently contact me. She wants to go back to a vegan diet but was worried that would leave her eating too much fruit. She was stressing about breakfast because, when she cut fruit out, she felt it only left high carbohydrate options, such as cereals and muesli. I thought my advice would be of assistance to anyone else who finds themselves in this situation. Below are my best low carb (vegetarian/vegan) breakfast ideas:
You can’t go past the brilliance of a well put-together smoothie. When using the right ingredients, smoothies can offer the perfect morning combination of nutrients. Note that I am specifically talking about smoothies and not juices. I have written previously on the reason I don’t drink juice (you can read the post here), but in a nutshell, juices are completely void of nutritional value. The juicing process strips back the fruit/vegetable, leaving only the fructose – or the high concentration of sugar – as the remnants, meaning you are getting less nutrition and more sugary calories for less.
I start my mornings with a banana almond butter smoothie (recipe here) however there are so many variations of smoothies you can make it is ridiculous. A really basic green smoothie, for example, can be made using the following ingredients:
- Handful of kale
- Handful of spinach
- 5 stalks of celery
- 1 apple
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 ½ cups of coconut water
Mix together in the blender for a thick, green smoothie!
Mashed avocado with chia
Avocados are extremely versatile and can be eaten at any meal. Instead of smothering toast with avocado in the morning, slice a large tomato and top with avocado mixed with chia seeds, a dash of olive oil, Himalayan sea salt and fresh basil. Delish! Serve with some sautéed spinach if you have time for added greens and iron.
Almond flour pancakes
Try replacing the flour in your normal pancake mixture with almond flour. Not only is this flour gluten-free, it is very low in carbs and much higher in protein. Use coconut oil to moisten the mixture instead of eggs and milk and chuck in some extra goodies like chia, flax seeds, berries and hemp seeds for an added nutritional boost. Fry quickly in a non-stick pan and serve with coconut yoghurt. For something special in the morning, check out this recipe for delicious vegan and gluten-free vanilla blueberry buckwheat pancakes. Note, you can omit the maple syrup and replace with rice malt syrup for a sugar free version.
Nuts are a great food to start the day with. They have loads of good fats, protein and will keep you full until lunch time. Throw together a big batch of chopped mixed raw nuts, roasted coconut, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon and anything else of your choosing and roast in the oven on low for 20 minutes or until golden, gently turning intermittently. Eat either dry, or top with coconut yoghurt or mixed berries. Sprinkle raw cacao on top for a chocolate twist also. I love Sarah’s Wilson’s Coco-Nutty Granola recipe which can be found here.
Veggies or other leftovers
There is no rule saying we can’t eat non-traditional foods for breakfast. If you can stomach it in the morning, heat up some leftover dinner from the night before, or sauté some vegetables with quinoa.