The alarm rings. You get ready, rush out the door, head toward a drive-through to grab coffee, then crash a couple hours later once the caffeine wears off. Sound familiar? Mornings can get pretty hectic, and if you don’t make time to eat breakfast, you won’t have any fuel in your body.
Or maybe you do eat breakfast, but you grab a greasy sausage-and-egg breakfast sandwich that leaves you bloated and tired an hour later? Meat-heavy breakfast foods are pretty standard in American society.
What is the best way to start your day?
Breaking Your Fast
First, think of the word breakfast. If you break it apart, it literally says “break fast.” When you’re sleeping at night, your body is fasting. So the first thing you put into your body in the morning is pretty darn important—you’re breaking your fast! When you break a fast, you want to think of foods that are nutrient-dense so your body has something to feed off of. Nutrient-dense means food that has high nutrient value, versus some foods that are more calorie-dense or others that are both nutrient- and calorie-dense. An example of this would be a bagel versus an apple. A bagel is high in calories and low in nutrients. An apple is high in nutrients but low in calories.
When you hear nutrient-dense, think fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. A great way to eat a lot of nutrient-dense foods is with vegan recipes that are loaded with a wide variety of vegetables or fruits and other plant-based foods like oats and chia seeds. All nutrient-dense! When you flood your body with nutrients in the morning, it gives you the fuel you need to jump-start your morning and power through the day.
Try these seven vegan breakfast ideas to give your body the boost it needs to have an energy-filled day. They are pure, nutrient-dense plant power!
1. Mango Detox Smoothie
This smoothie is a great way to start the day! Packed with leafy greens for fiber, herbs for natural detoxification properties, and fruit for glucose—you’re going to be ready to tackle your day with this smoothie. The brain feeds on glucose, fiber helps keep you full, and the more detoxifying foods you can consume, the more help you give your body’s natural detoxification channels. And as a bonus, this recipe only takes five minutes to throw together! It’s light, but filling, and tasty, too.
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk or water
- 2 1/2 cups kale, stems removed
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 2 bananas
Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Drink up and enjoy!
2. Almond Protein Smoothie
When you hear the word vegan, you may not automatically think of protein. But good news―there are plenty of plant-based foods that have protein. In this smoothie, for example, you have almond butter and hemp seeds, which both contain some protein. Along with plant-based proteins, this smoothie includes dates, which are high in fiber and natural glucose. And beyond the nutrients, this smoothie tastes like dessert in a glass. Yum!
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 bananas
- 4 medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
Note: If your dates are dry, soak them in warm water for five minutes before adding to the blender to soften them up.
3. Coconut Yogurt with Fresh Berries and Hemp Seeds
Yogurt is a traditional breakfast food. Most yogurts are dairy-based from cow’s milk. But did you know there are lots of dairy-free alternatives on the market now? And they are all vegan. You can find vegan food options made from ingredients like soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk. Coconut milk yogurt typically has the best consistency because of its high-fat content.
The important thing to look out for is the sugar content. Many of the dairy-free options are flavored and contain high amounts of sugar. Read the ingredients label and stick to unsweetened options if possible. The great thing about this breakfast is that it’s a quick grab-and-go option. Stock up on a few coconut yogurts, prep berries in a container, and then mix it up when it’s time to eat! It only takes a couple minutes for an easy throw-together breakfast.
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut yogurt
- 2 cups berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries—whatever you like!)
- Optional toppings: hemp seeds, almond butter, cacao nibs, chopped almonds, cinnamon
Add yogurt to a bowl and top with berries. Add any toppings of your choosing and you’re ready to eat!
4. Sweet Potato Toast with Almond Butter and Banana
Toast is a traditional breakfast food, but you can elevate it and keep it vegan. Enter the sweet potato. The “simple” sweet potato is far from simple. It has complex carbohydrates, which the body digests more slowly so you don’t get a spike of energy and then a crash. Compare it to “traditional” toast typically made from white bread, which is classified as a simple carbohydrate. This means it breaks down more quickly in the body and your energy crashes sooner.
Sweet potatoes are great for breakfast because they can keep you full until lunch. And making them into toast is way more fun than eating them like regular potatoes! Just add some fun toppings like almond butter and banana. This vegan breakfast is filling and a big source of carbohydrate-loaded energy. It’s a great pre-workout breakfast or dish for when you are feeling extra hungry in the morning. The sweetness from the potato with the saltiness of the almond butter and the creaminess of the banana—it’s divine.
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Trim off the ends of the sweet potato and then slice lengthwise to make 1/4” slices.
You can either put the slices into a toaster or put them in the oven. In a toaster, you most likely need to toast well. Set your oven to broil and give the sweet potato slices 3–5 minutes per side.
Once the sweet potato is done, spread on your almond butter, and top with the sliced banana.
Finish it off with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon!
5. Chia Pudding with Apples and Strawberries
Chia seeds have a gel-like quality when soaked in liquid, so it’s an easy ingredient to make pudding with. And with the plant-based fats and protein chia seeds contain, it makes for a nutritious breakfast option. Plus, who wouldn’t want to eat a healthy pudding for breakfast? Sounds like a good deal to me. This chia pudding has roasted apples and strawberries in it, too, for natural sweetness. It’s almost like a dessert. This recipe is also great for preparing ahead. You can make it on Sunday and have it ready for the first few days of the week. It lasts for up to three days in the fridge, so meal prep away!
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 Fuji apple, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries, diced
In a bowl, combine the chia seeds, almond milk, and maple syrup. Stir until combined and let it sit in the fridge for 4–6 hours until thickened. You can also leave it in the fridge overnight.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the diced apples and strawberries in a glass baking dish.
Bake for 30–40 minutes until the fruit has cooked down. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
Once the chia pudding has set and the fruit has cooled, you can combine them in two bowls or jars for meal prep.
If you’re putting it in a jar for meal prep, add the pudding and fruit in multiple layers so when you’re eating it, you get fruit and pudding in every bite!
6. Pumpkin Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are a breakfast miracle. Overnight oats are exactly what they sound like—oats made overnight. They are a fix-it-and-forget-it type of recipe, which is perfect for the morning, especially if your mornings are hectic or you don’t want to wake up earlier to cook. Oats are loaded with fiber so they help keep you full until lunchtime. Along with the oats, you have creamy pumpkin, chia seeds, sweet maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and pecans. It’s like pumpkin pie in oatmeal form! Not only is it tasty, but it’s an easy recipe that anyone can make.
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
Combine the oats, almond milk, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.
Cover and store it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, divide into bowls and top with pecans.
Divide the ingredients in half and combine in two separate containers. Mason jars work great!
Secure with a lid and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Then it’s ready in individual containers for grab and go in the morning!
Note: These overnight oats can be eaten cold or heated up and served warm.
7. Fresh Green Juice with Banana
Fresh green juice is the ultimate vegan breakfast. What’s more vegan than fruit and vegetables?! Green juice is different from a smoothie. The juice is made in a juicer and all the fiber is removed to leave you with only the liquid that’s extracted. Smoothies are blended and contain all the fiber and liquid. Green juice is a great breakfast option to give the body nutrients in liquid form that is easy to digest and hydrating, too. Along with a carbohydrate-rich banana, this combo is the perfect vegan breakfast to get you going in the morning.
- 1 bunch celery
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 apples
- 1 lemon
- 1” piece of ginger, peeled
- 2 bananas
In a juicer, juice the celery, cucumbers, apples, lemon, and ginger.
Pour into two glasses and serve with a banana each. That’s it—simple and straightforward.
If you thought breakfast was all eggs, bacon, and sausage, think again. With all these easy and delicious plant-based vegan breakfast ideas, you can have plant-power every morning. Enjoy!
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.
Want to learn how to stay energetic and balanced all year long? Learn Deepak Chopra’s simple practices to tune into the healing wisdom of nature and thrive, with our self-paced online course, Secrets to Vibrant Health. Learn More.