Breakfast inspiration

Some people find changing to a whole-food plant-based diet easy, for others its more challenging. One area that seems to be a big stumbling block is breakfast. On the surface it seems easy – cereal or toast are most peoples go-to options. But when you start looking at the types of cereal that are actually whole-food, or what’s the best option to put on toast, it can get a bit more complicated, particularly if you are using food as medicine or have food intolerances.

Last week I ran a series of posts on Instagram and Facebook with 5 different whole-food and plant-based breakfast ideas that are simple to make, full of lovely nurturing nutrients and, most importantly, wonderfully tasty. It seemed to hit the spot as there was a lot of interest, so here they are altogether in one post.

But before I start, I want to spend a moment discussing toast, or rather the bread used for toast.

Bread can be a contentious issue in the world of diets, health and allergies or intolerances. Some will view it as the worst thing you could possibly consume whilst others will see it as the best (since sliced bread?). And everything in between!

The issue for me is the ingredients. Bread should consist of four ingredients – whole-grain flour, water, salt and a raising agent, ideally a naturally derived ferment. Most commercially produced bread that you find on the supermarket shelf has a whole list of ingredients including sweeteners, colourings and preservatives. They also tend to contain palm oil – that’s what keeps it bouncy and flexible – and fast-acting yeast. I believe that this type of yeast, along with highly refined fast-grown wheat, is contributing to the rise in gluten and yeast allergies and intolerances. It’s just not what our bodies are used to.

So what bread is good bread? Well that’s a loaded question in itself, as it completely depends on each person and what they can tolerate. Firstly, if you are not gluten intolerant, then whole-grain wheat flour, preferably organic, or whole-grain spelt. Sourdough is by far the best – a natural ferment with a long resting time helps the bread rise naturally and makes gluten more digestible. If you are yeast-intolerant like me, soda bread is a good option. If you need to eat gluten-free, there are lots of options available but their list of refined ingredients doesn’t necessarily bode well! If you can, make your own brown rice or buckwheat bread, or the superfood bread in my book Eat Well Live Well with The Sensitive Foodie.

The key thing with bread is just to work out what’s best for you. The right type of whole-grain bread can provide a wide range of healthy nutrients including protein and healthy fats along with some gut-loving fibre.

Enough of bread, on with the breakfast! Here are the five ideas I posted last week with their accompanying recipes. There’s many more to try. I’d love to hear what your favourites are.

  1. Avocado, mushroom and rocket on toast. One of my favourites – filling, delicious and full of lovely healthy fats and rainbow nutrients. If grown in the light, mushrooms are a great plant-based source of vitamin D. Here’s an old blog post with the recipe
  2. Oats, spelt and fruit. Whilst porridge is awesome, it’s not necessarily something you want to have, or have time to make, every day. Overnight oats are a super easy breakfast to make – add in some spelt flakes and you get added flavour and nutrients. If you are gluten-intolerant, skip the spelt and try quinoa flakes instead. And if you forget to get it ready the night before, even one hours soaking the morning will make it soft and tasty. Just place 30g of oat and 30g of spelt flakes in a bowl with a handful of raisins. Cover with dairy-free milk of choice and leave to soak. When you’re ready to eat, add more milk as needed and top with whatever fruit you have to hand along with a few chopped almonds or walnuts. Lush!
  3. Tomatoes on toast. Pan con tomate is easy to prepare and makes a delicious rainbow start to the day. Here’s the blog post with the recipe
  4. Fresh seasonal fruit. It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best way to start the day is with a delicious bowl of seasonal fruit. Eating seasonally not only saves money and reduces food miles, but also provides the vitamins and phytonutrients that supports our bodies at that time of the year. For example, melon and berries contain a wonderful array of anti-oxidants that help protect and support the skin during summer, whereas oranges and other citrus fruit that are in season in winter provide nutrients that support the immune system. If you feel like more than just fruit, top your selection with a couple of tablespoons of dairy-free yoghurt and a spoonful of ground flaxseed.
  5. Scrambled tofu. This is our go-to breakfast when we want something a little more substantial. It does take a little longer than the other breakfasts, but still only about 7 minutes, so it’s worth it. Not only that, but if you are following a diet that encourages an intake of turmeric every day for it’s wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, it’s super tasty way of having it! If you want to create a brunch, then make some carrot ‘bacon’ and rosti to accompany it – two more recipes you’ll find in Eat Well Live Well with The Sensitive Foodie. Check out this post for the basic recipe

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