What's for breakfast?
So, something in you made you curious about eating less animal products. Awesome! You wake up, you look around, and uhhhh... milk in cereal? Yogurt in my granola? Omelettes? Pancakes with eggs? BACON? I am NOT living on smoothies Becky! Yea, me neither. It's January and no smoothie is touching my mouth in this 20 degree weather (unless you count a frozen banana peanut butter milkshake, then yes). In all sincerity, breakfast can be one of the hardest meals of the day to imagine without animal products. Blowing up a menu at a conventional restaurant to become the ass who wants 'hash browns with black beans, salsa, and avocado' because they saw all those items in different parts of the menu does not make me feel like a decent patron.
A few things before I give you some breakfast ideas:
1) Conventional cereals are trash. Sorry not sorry. They're loaded with sugar and overly processed grains (Processing. Think about what something looked like when it grew in the earth. Now look at white flour. If you can't picture a wheat plant, google it) and your body will burn it right up with no sustained energy and minimal nutritional benefits.
2) You are not a cow stop drinking milk. Have you ever heard those stories about a pig adopting a tiger cub, or a cat nursing a baby rabbit? Nature's miracle, rare, and only because of abandonment. You have not been abandon. You are also not a nursing baby (or you are and learned to read so quick, good job baby!). Cow's milk was beautifully and perfectly designed for baby cows. Not grown ass humans whos dairy industry spends billions of dollars to make you believe that your bones will crumble without calcium from milk and low fat dairy is the key to a skinny waist. Your bones will not crumble without milk. In fact, countries with lower dairy consumption have LESS osteoporosis in their elderly. And just to boot, here's a study showing that in fact, less meat might actually help more. You are welcome to do your own research and find counter article and whatever you will. That's your use of your own energy time. I'll be over here eating lots of green leafy vegetables, stretching in the sun, and not worrying about pus in my milk.
3) Eggs, are they good or bad? I will conceit more than milk, that eggs could have nutritional value to humans. Do I think it's weird that we started eating unfertilized chicken eggs? Sure. Does research point to good and bad? Sure. This one strikes me more for the horrible condition chickens are kept in to create all those eggs we love. I will also say that if you love eggs, Harvard recommends you eat no more than 1 a day and no more than 3 a week if you already have diabetes, heart disease, or are at risk for heart disease. So enjoy your 1 omelette and then eat nothing with eggs in it for the rest of the week. For me, who's family has a history of heart disease and carrying weigh around the middle, I'm cool going eggless.
Ok, so now that I gave you my thoughts on those, let's get back to the positive of what do I eat for breakfast? I will put this into two categories, quick and relaxed, depending on how much time you have, or allow yourself, in the morning. I am almost always quick. Except these past 6 days off... allll slow.
- Avocado toast; hipsters for the win! I go ezekiel break (sprouted wheat bread) with smashed avocado. Top with salt and pepper, nutritional yeast (people will tell you it's cheesy. Meh. It's delicious, but I'm not over here thinking it's cheddar), hot sauce, or my personal favorite, Trader Joe's Everything Bagel seasoning.
- Overnight Oats or Quick Oatmeal. Add in brown sugar and maple syrup, raw nut butters, smashed bananas, coconut milk and mango, the sky's the limit. Make it with cashew/soy/rice/hemp/almond milk to make it creamier. Put it in the fridge to be ready for you in the morning; cold or hot.
- Granola made with maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave. Store bought granola is great, but it's PACKED with sugar and empty calories. Ain't nobody eating at 1/4 cup sized serving for 150 calories. Not that maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave isn't sugar, but when you make it yourself you can limit how much you put in. Brown rice syrup has a lower GI then the others so it will spike your blood sugar less and if you want to really go crazy you can dehydrate your granola instead of baking it to keep it raw.
- Pre-made seasoned hash browns or home fries. Put these in a microwave Tupperware, bring some salsa and avocado and voila! Delicious.
- Waffles or pancakes. Whole wheat pastry flour, leavening agents such as a tsp of baking soda, a half a smashed banana, and some plant milk and you're in business. If you are trying to burn through some stuff in the pantry or are having guests over who aren't into your whole deal, bisquick heart smart, and most pancake mixes that aren't buttermilk are vegan. They honestly don't need an egg replacer but if you want, you can do apple sauce, half a smashed ripe banana, or some chia or flax seeds soaked in water.
- Tofu scramble. Sorry Brother, I know you hate tofu. If you sauté some seasoned veggies (mushrooms, peppers, onions) and then crumble some tofu on top, you've made a tofu scramble. If you want to trick your senses and get some good stuff in, add turmeric. It will make the tofu the same color as egg and add a nice dimension of flavor.
- Breakfast tacos. Take your tofu scramble, add some beans, salsa, and cashew cream (cashews soaked in water for a few hours, drained and then blended with some garlic powder, salt, and whatever seasonings you want) will hit the spot.
- Leftovers. Seriously. Don't keep breakfast in the corner. You eat what you want for whatever meal you want! Chinese leftovers and pizza... I'm looking at you.
- Things that aren't great but are vegan: most crescent rolls, most cinnamon rolls (read the package ovi), grands biscuits that aren't buttermilk or 'butter' flavored, anything gardein brand (sorry Morning Star, you lost me at eggs and milk), and other breakfast meat replacers. I could talk about meat replacers FOREVER, but I'll abstain till next post.
This is a super short list so if I didn't hit your favorite breakfast food I'd love to hear about it and try to make a vegan version for you that doesn't suck!