Breakfast can be tricky when you're trying to figure out a new diet.
It's how you begin the day. It sets the tone. This is true if you want to lose weight, go gluten-free, or keto. And it's true if you want to go vegetarian - or move to a more vegetarian diet.
If I start the day with pancakes with loads of butter and syrup, I pretty much give up the day for being healthy. And yes, I know there are ways to make pancakes healthier. And I agree, sometimes we need a treat. But the fact remains, it doesn't pave a path to healthy choices through the day.
Truthfully, I'm not a huge breakfast girl, and never have been. So I like quick breakfasts that come together without a lot of fuss. And bonus points if they can be made ahead and eaten at my desk or in the car.
If you're searching for new breakfast ideas that are easy, then I've got some ideas for you. I've also included some weekend brunch ideas for when you want to take a little longer with it for your family. But I've chosen ones that are easier, for one reason or another.
Quick + Easy Vegetarian Breakfasts
When you're looking for an easy vegetarian breakfast, it doesn't get easier than having your favorite yogurt piled with fruit. I like Siggi's dairy-free yogurt line, and have this many mornings, or for a snack in the afternoon. I sometimes add berries to it, and always add protein powder.
The protein powder I use is the All-In-One Plant Protein Powder at Whole Foods. Its protein is sourced from Pea Protein, Hemp Seed Protein, and Sacha Inchi Seed Protein. There's also a Proprietary Superfoods Blend Ingredients included.
Another favorite, easy vegetarian breakfast is to make a smoothie. Smoothies are easy to make, particularly if you have one of those powerful blenders. I have a Ninja blender - I actually have 2 of them - and use it for something almost everyday. It's been my workhorse for several years now, and can highly recommend it.
An Orange Mango Smoothie with Lime and Ginger is one of my favorite smoothies and comes together in 15 minutes. With all the citrus from oranges, lemon and lime, it's a great one to have as part of your morning routine this winter.
Want more smoothie ideas? Here's a fabulous post with lots of smoothie ideas from the Wholefully website.
I'm a huge fan of anything oats. I use oat milk for my morning cappuccino, and in place of water and / or (dairy) milk in many of my smoothies. My cholesterol has dropped over 30 points, and I credit oat milk with this feat.
So, oatmeal is a great choice for an easy vegetarian breakfast. Here's a great tutorial by Love & Lemons on how to make oatmeal, and a couple delicious recipes!
I firmly believe we come out of the womb loving muffins. It's like having royal permission to eat cake for breakfast. A lot of pleasure without any guilt. Well, mostly.
This time of year, I want these Healthy Apple Cheddar Muffins and Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce. Both are perfect for fall and winter. Both recipes have instructions for baking them at sea level and at high altitude like where I am at 7100 ft.
But let's face it, Blueberry Muffins are everyone's favorite all year round.
You can make your own granola any way you please, or purchase one at the market. If I purchase one, I always get one by Purely Elizabeth. There are several different ones in this product line, and they're all grain-free. They're Paleo + Keto Certified, vegan, and gluten-free. The one I'm loving right now is their Ancient Grain Pumpkin Cinnamon Granola.
I also make my own, using my recipe that won an honorable mention on Food52. It's appropriately called Crack Granola, and is loaded with pumpkin seeds, flax meal and dried fruit.
Or you can make granola bars. This recipe has oats, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, coconut oil, honey and pomegranate molasses. If you can't find pomegranate molasses, make your own! It's incredibly easy!
Scones don't take any more work than making muffins. And like muffins, they can be made ahead and eaten re-warmed or at room temperature. This make-ahead option puts them in the easy vegetarian breakfasts group.
If you haven't made a lot of scones, or would like some tips, this post on How to Make Perfect Strawberry Oat Scones is full of tips you can use for any kind of scone.
My favorite tip, which I learned from a woman I know who makes and sells scones at a Farmers Market in New York, is to freeze them before baking. This allows the scones to hold their shape during baking.
7. Jams and Butters
Making jams, preserves and butters is a little more work. But only because there are a few more rules for safety. When I studied preserving in culinary school, it was magical to me, and opened a whole new world I'd never explored.
But once you learn the rules, you're on your way to preserving the seasons forever. And since they last on the shelf for several months, up to a year, they fall into the category of easy vegetarian breakfasts.
The easiest way to start is by making a butter - which is really just a thick sauce. This recipe for Maple-Honey Pumpkin Butter doesn't require preserving by sealing. It's a luscious pumpkin butter sweetened by apple cider, honey and maple syrup.
By the way, this was one of the first posts I did on this blog nearly 10 years ago, which is why the photo is so small.
For true preserving of the seasons with sealing, check out either this post for Spiced Fig Jam or Ginger Pear Jam with Cinnamon and Vanilla. Both posts are full of tips, and recommendations for equipment if you plan to preserve regularly.
The easiest way, IMHO, of having eggs for breakfast is to hard-boil a few in advance and keep them in the refrigerator. I mark mine with an "H" so I know which are hard-boiled.
Then, when I need a protein hit at breakfast, or any time of day, I can peel one and quickly eat it.
But truthfully, it doesn't take long to scramble up an egg or fry it over easy. For a hardier breakfast, I add a fried egg on top of veggies, like this potato dish.
For brunch, or breakfast for a larger crowd over the holidays, make a quiche. This Vegetarian Quiche Lorraine with Hash Browns Crust is a favorite in our home.
Another brunch idea, which is a favorite, is Huevos Rancheros. This dish takes more work if you opt to make your own refried beans and salsa. But since they can also be purchased ready-made, you can simplify the dish very easily. My Huevos Rancheros recipe won first place in a recipe development contest run by Davidson Eggs.
I don't make a lot of pancakes, to be honest. But sometimes, for a special occasion it's a fun treat to make. Especially if you make Dutch Baby Pancakes. They're so fun to watch baking. And this Eggnog Dutch Baby Pancakes with Cranberries is perfect for the holidays.
I include these as an easy vegetarian breakfast because you don't have to flip these babies, or make pancakes in batches on the stove. That involves a lot of tending.
Dutch Baby Pancakes requires only whisking together the ingredients and pouring the batter into a hot skillet. You slide it into the oven and your job is done. Easy.
So there you have it. My 9 top ideas for an easy vegetarian breakfast. Either because it's super easy on the spot, or can be made ahead. I hope you try a few of these this week!