Starting your day with a nutritious, filling, and energizing meal is the best way to get your day going on the right track, and a plant-based breakfast is the perfect place to start. Try some of our favorite recipes to kickstart your morning.
Breakfast’s reputation has been through quite a lot these past few decades. It’s gone from being celebrated as the most important meal of the day to a meal that’s skipped by many in the name of intermittent fasting (or a busy morning schedule.) The truth is, not every day or every person is the same—some people feel better with some fuel right away while others need to wait a bit after getting up to start chowing down. However, whether you eat breakfast bright and early every morning or dive into your first meal of the day at noon, I encourage my members at Parsley Health to start their day off with an antioxidant-rich plant-based breakfast or meal that helps to fuel, energize, and nourish the mind and body properly.
Here, I’ll walk you through some of my top favorite recipes for balanced, 100 percent plant-based breakfasts because whether you’re following a vegan, pegan, paleo, keto, or an intuitive eating nutrition plan, everyone can benefit from more plants in their diets.
We’re big smoothie fans here at Parsley Health, but we’ve got good reasons to be—smoothies are one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re getting all the right macronutrients into one easy, portable vessel for all under about five minutes. When making smoothies, the goal is to get a healthy mix of fruit, non-starchy veggies, healthy fat, plant-based protein, and fiber. Here’s how:
Parsley Health Ultimate Protein Berry Smoothie
This recipe combines 26 grams of plant-based protein from our Parsley Rebuild Protein Powder with antioxidant-rich blueberries and raspberries, healthy fat from almond butter and walnuts, and extra fiber from flax seeds. For an added bonus, mix in two heaping handfuls of some fresh greens for a phytonutrient boost.
Cherry Crunch Cacao Smoothie
For a chocolate lover’s delight, consider this creamy combo. It mixes together chocolate plant-based protein powder with frozen dark sweet cherries, blood-sugar balancing cinnamon, and healthy fat from almond butter and avocado for a sweet and satiating plant-based breakfast.
Throw Together Plant-Based Breakfasts
If you’re not a smoothie fan but still want something quick and on-the-go, pudding and parfaits can make for great alternatives that are still easy to throw together.
Dairy-Free Yogurt Parfait
Is that 15-20 minute wait time for chia seed pudding a deal breaker? We’ve got a similar yet just as satisfying option for you—try a non-dairy yogurt parfait.
Unlike your traditional deli-style overly sweetened granola and dairy yogurt parfait, we recommend a high-quality, unsweetened coconut, almond, cashew or pili nut-based yogurt as the base of your parfait meal. Top your plant-powered yogurt with chia seeds, flax seeds, cacao nibs, chopped nuts, and some of your favorite berries to add a bit of crunch. The truth is non-dairy yogurts tend to be lower in protein than dairy yogurts so to balance your perfect plant-based parfait, we recommend mixing in a scoop of your go-to plant-based protein powder to the base before topping with your favorite nuts, seeds, and fruits. Here’s a great example recipe:
- 4-5 ounces of Anita’s Coconut Yogurt, Forager Project Cashew Milk Yogurt, Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt or Lavva Plant-Based Yogurt
- 1/4 cup berries (blueberries, raspberries or blackberries are best)
- 1-2 tbsp chia and/or flax seed
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon and/or nutmeg
- 2 tsp hemp hearts OR 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
Place yogurt in a small bowl and mix with plant based protein powder or hemp hearts, chia, and flax seeds. Top with berries of choice and cinnamon or nutmeg and enjoy!
- Vanilla Banana Pumpkin Toast
For a new take on a classic jam and toast breakfast, consider this healthy twist.
Instead of jam, this recipe provides sweetness through spreading high quality coconut yogurt, vanilla bean paste, and fresh banana slices on gluten-free vegan sourdough bread and topping with zinc-filled pumpkin seeds and protein-rich hemp hearts. This one is a great one for kids, too!
Make Ahead Plant-Based Breakfasts
This next category is best for those that like to prepare in advance for the next day. These quick and easy plant-based breakfast ideas involve a little prep that goes a long way.
- Overnight Oats
This is one of our top picks for breakfast meal prep because you can make them on a Sunday and they will taste just as good on Friday. Oats are a nutritious gluten-free whole grain with an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as zinc, folate, thiamin, and magnesium. Letting oats soak overnight in your favorite non-dairy milk allows them to expand and moisten and creates the perfect base to mix in seeds such as pumpkin seeds, creamy nut butters, and your favorite fruits the next morning. Because oats are a grain they’re higher in carbohydrates for those that need a little energy boost in the morning but make for a well-balanced meal nutritionally when paired with healthy fats and proteins from the nuts and seeds added. Check out an easy overnight oats recipe below.
- 3/4 cup certified gluten free oats
- 1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (such as unsweetened coconut milk)
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp nut/seed butter of your choosing
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup berries or apple, chopped
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp vanilla, optional
Put the oats in a mason jar and pour in non-dairy milk. Stir well. Place a lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir the oatmeal and add the desired toppings – nut/seed butter, apple pieces or berries, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon or anything else you desire. Note: You can also add 1-2 scoops of Parsley Rebuild Protein powder or your own plant-based protein powder (we recommend pea or hemp based) for an added protein boost for your breakfast meal!
- Chia Seed Pudding
While chia seed pudding can take a bit more time to prepare (we recommend letting sit for at least 15-20 minutes after making, or overnight), it’s worth the wait. This recipe combines your favorite non-dairy milk of choice (try organic canned coconut milk instead of unsweetened almond milk if you prefer a creamier texture) with gelatinous chia seed pearls. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and various micronutrients as well as protein. Basically, these little guys pack a big punch. Adding cinnamon and vanilla make this pudding a bit sweeter and all the more delicious.
- Raw Energy Matcha Balls
Another great breakfast meal prep idea is energy balls, like these matcha powder-infused powerhouses. This powerful green powder has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea and helps boost metabolism, calm the mind, relax the nervous system, enhance concentration, and balance blood sugar. What better way to start the day, right? These matcha balls also contain healthy fats from coconut and cashews, protein from hemp seeds, and a bit of added texture and sweetness from medjool dates. You can easily make 12-15 balls at a time to help prep for a whole week’s worth of breakfast bites.
- Peanut Butter Energy Balls
If matcha isn’t your cup of (green) tea, consider these instead. This easy no-bake recipe combines rolled oats, fiber-rich chia seeds, and natural peanut butter for a well-balanced breakfast ball. For those that like a chocolate taste, you can even roll the balls in cacao powder for an added boost of heart-healthy polyphenols.
Hot Plant-Based Breakfasts
Our last breakfast category is for those who enjoy a slower morning and have more time to dedicate to their first meal of the day. You might even pick these plant-based breakfast recipes for a weekend morning as a brunch meal to enjoy at home.
- Fluffy Protein Pancakes
These hot cakes are unlike your average pancake recipe as they’re free of eggs, butter, milk, and wheat flour. The cakes get their fluffiness from flax eggs which are simply made up of ground flax seeds and water and the base of the batter contains oat flour, hemp protein, and blood-sugar balancing cinnamon. To finish, top your pancakes with creamy nut butter, fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds. For a little extra sweetness, add a small drizzle of pure maple syrup or a dollop of fresh coconut whipped cream. Check out the full recipe below!
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
- 5 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk or your favorite non-dairy milk alternative
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup hemp protein powder (or rice or pea protein powder)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix ground flaxseed in a small bowl with water and let sit for about 10 minutes. These will thicken and serve as your “eggs” in the meal. Set aside.
- Add the oat flour, cinnamon, hemp protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Combine well with a fork or whisk to create uniform consistency of the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, add the prepared flax eggs, almond milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk ingredients together and then slowly pour into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Let the batter sit 1-2 minutes to thicken.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes. When the pan is hot and evenly heated, add coconut oil and spread evenly on the surface.
- Once coconut oil is melted and evenly distributed, scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet. Repeat until 3-4 pancakes are on the skillet’s surface (depending on skillet size).
- Cook the pancakes for about 1-2 minutes until tiny holes form on the pancakes and the edges become more defined.
- Flip pancakes and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes more minutes, until golden brown. Place cooked pancakes on a plate and repeat until all batter is used.
- Drizzle oil in the pan before placing fresh batter down for the next round.
- To finish, top with your favorite plant based toppings. Our favorites are natural almond butter, pumpkin seeds, chopped apples, and a dollop of coconut whipped cream. You can also use a drizzle of pure maple syrup for added sweetness, if desired.
- Chickpea Flour Scramble
If you identify as more of a savory than sweet type of breakfast person, these are for you. This scramble is a great way to get in veggies such as leafy greens, bell peppers, onions, and asparagus before noon. Think of it as a plant-based alternative to an omelette. Chickpea flour and nutritional yeast supply the protein and you can boost antioxidants with additional herbs and spices such as turmeric, paprika, cilantro, and garlic. See an example recipe below!
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp flax seed meal
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- Dash of black pepper
- 1 tsp avocado oil, divided
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped onions or scallions
- 2 tbsp each of asparagus, green bell pepper, spinach or leafy greens of choice, zucchini or other veggies as desired
- 1/2 jalapeno, chopped
- Cilantro leaves, salt, black pepper for garnish
- Blend chickpea flour, water, nutritional yeast, flax seed meal, baking powder, salt, turmeric, paprika, and black pepper in a food processor or blender and put aside.
- Heart a non-stick skillet over medium heat with ½ tsp of avocado oil.
- Once hot, add in onion and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes until visibly translucent.
- Add in desired veggies including asparagus, bell pepper, zucchini, leafy greens, and jalapeno and cook covered for 2 additional minutes.
- Once veggies are cooked, pour the prepared chickpea batter on top. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Scramble mixture in the pan with spatula and drizzle with additional ½ tsp of avocado oil.
- Let settle again and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Place scramble on a plate and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro, salt, and black pepper. Enjoy!
- Additional toppings include a few slices of fresh avocado or chopped tomatoes
All in all, whether you’re on-the-go, a meticulous planner, or a daily full-cooked breakfast at home type of person, there is no lack of nutritious, plant-based breakfast options you can experiment with to start your day right. No matter the hour, the goal is always balancing your meals well between complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat to fuel your body with key nutrients that will balance you physically and mentally for hours (and years!) to come.