The jury’s still out as to whether breakfast is the most important meal, but no-one can argue that it’s a way to help you get some essential nutrients. My patients often say they simply don’t feel hungry on a plant-based diet, and this is usually because I’ve suggested they have lots of fibre and plant proteins, which are very filling. This can mean you have fewer opportunities to take in all the foods you need to give you nutritional balance, so making time for breakfast is a chance to fill the nutrient gap.
This blog focusses on your breakfast carbs. They help to get your blood glucose up, which leads to a raised brain sugar, helping you to concentrate after you break a whole night’s fast (hence the name!). Low GI cereals will give you nice slow rises in blood glucose, helping you to stay alert for that mid-morning meeting – and you’re less likely to crave for sweet treats before lunch. If you can’t face a bowl of cereal and plant-based drink, try tea and wholegrain toast with peanut butter, a yogurt alternative smoothie, or even a banana as you swing out the door.
For a speedy smoothie, take half a cup of soya plant-based drink, a few berries, half a banana, half an apple, and a handful of almonds. Blitz them together and enjoy the protein and essential fats from almonds, antioxidants and fibre from the fruit, and calcium from the fortified soya drink. The carbs come mainly from the fruit, and most of the ingredients are low GI.
Choosing your breakfast carbs
Be careful as many processed breakfast cereals have a high GI, especially if they’re sugar-rich. When choosing cereals look for high fibre cereals such as All Bran or muesli. If you find these hard going on their own, add some of your favourite fruits, or a sprinkling of chopped walnuts and seeds.
Porridge is one of the best breakfast foods ever invented. The beta glucans in oats have been shown to lower blood cholesterol, and the carbs are slowly digested, helping to keep you fuller for longer. Instant hot oats are a convenient substitute.
Toast is always a favourite but choose your bread carefully. Go for grainy varieties such as multigrain, granary, soy and linseed. If you prefer white, try sourdough, it’s low GI….
Top Tip: Tasty toast toppers include beans on oaty toast with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, grilled vegan cheese, chives and sliced tomato on 2 slices of granary toast , or sliced banana on 2 slices of currant bread.
Vegan all day breakfast
And for a cook-up, try my vegan all day breakfast made from grilled seasoned tofu chunks, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, baked beans and baby potatoes.
Check out the recipe here