Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Reader Question: Healthy Vegan Breakfasts on the Go

A few weeks ago I received a question from one of HGK's readers and I need every one's help answering it. "What do you do for quick breakfasts for kids. We run out the door eating They usually eat a cinnamon toast waffle plain."

The following are some ideas, but I have a feeling that YOU, the readers of HGK, have a lot of great suggestions for this breakfast challenged family! So please, leave your comments below with your suggestions.

If I have said it once, I have said it a million times (or at least a few times), eating healthy takes planning and preparation. As a society, we have become very spoiled when it comes to food and now we are paying for it dearly.  I won't go into how painful it is to be overweight or how much it costs to medicate yourself after you develop diabetes or heart disease. Feeding a family healthy food day after day does take a lot of time and effort (not to mention money), but the rewards of truly nourishing yourself and your family are so worth it.

So here are some ideas of healthy ways to start your family's day:

Real, whole fruit. I keep a large bowl of washed apples, pears and bananas on my kitchen counter. In plain sight at all times. You cannot imagine how much more whole food my family is eating because of this. Citrus fruits are a little trickier because they need to be peeled, but are also a great breakfast choice. Washed grapes are also a staple in my refrigerator for convenience snacking. Grab a banana and another fruit on your way out the door and you can't believe how great you will feel.

Lara Bars (you can find them at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and probably at most local grocery chains at this point!). Composed of the fewest ingredients possible, you can feel good about your kids eating these on the way out the door.

Ezekiel toast with peanut, almond or other nut butter. Add bananas for an even better breakfast!

Smoothies. A green smoothie is my number 1 go-to breakfast. You can make these more convenient if you use convenience items or prep things in advance. For example, I purchase one box of baby spinach leaves per week, I just pop a handful of leaves into my blender. I keep ripe frozen bananas in a baggie in my freezer. Other frozen fresh fruit is kept in abundance in my freezer--Trader Joes and Whole Foods are great sources for these things. Other things like kale and celery would need to be washed and chopped in advance and kept in a baggie in the fridge. I like small Persian cucumber because I can grab one out of the package, run it under water and quickly slice it into the blender.

If your kids are not ready for a green smoothie, go ahead and make one entirely out of fresh and frozen fruit with ice. Add a little water if it is too thick. It's like a yummy dessert in a glass. Check out some great fruit smoothie tips I recently learned from a VitaMix rep.

Oatmeal with toppings. You can definitely make this ahead and package into individual serving containers for reheating in the microwave in the morning. Just add a splash of nut milk before heading out the door and stir and it will taste just like you made it that day!

Quinoa salads can be made ahead of time and packaged individually. Quinoa is great with some chopped nuts and dried fruit (think dates, cranberries or apricots) and will last for days in the refrigerator.

Sweet potatoes. Yes, baked for an hour in the oven tastes best, but 6 or 7 minutes in the microwave does the trick, too. You can mash in lots of almond butter for protein, as well as a dash of cinnamon.

Breakfast burrito. Wrap refried beans, guacamole, and leftover stir-fry veggies in a whole wheat tortilla. Ready this the night before and grab one and go! Or how about a peanut butter banana burrito? With or without jelly?

Vegan pancakes. They’re easy and can be made on the weekend and be stored in individual packages perfect for grabbing as you walk out the door. Doctor up your favorite traditional pancake recipe like this: Replace each egg with 1 T ground flaxseeds and 2 T water, and replace buttermilk with almond or soy milk with a little bit of cider vinegar. Replace half the white flour with whole wheat, and add in some blueberries or sliced banana. Click here for The Engine 2's AMAZING Whole Wheat Vegan Blueberry Stuffed Pancake recipe. I made a big batch of these one weekend and enjoyed them all week long.

Banana boats. You can do this with one or two bananas, depending on how hungry you are. Split each banana length-wise and spread each half generously with peanut butter. Optional: top with raisins.

What other healthy and quick breakfast ideas can you contribute to help out this fellow HGK reader?


Tamar said...

These are great, thank you! I wanted to mention that my WF has frozen bags of kale and chopped spinach, so no need to cut or prep the greens for green smoothies. :)

Alipet813 said...

Oh loving this! I did a chocolate whey protein, banana, almond milk smoothie this morning. I gave my son a fiber plus antioxidant bar from Kellogg's. Not the greatest, but better than some. I want to start with green smoothies, but I think it will take a bit to get my kids there.

Dan & Rivky said...

we add spinach, broccoli and kale to fruit smoothies. that way we are getting the added good stuff even though we are not quite ready for a real green smoothie.

katshealthcorner said...

Girl, you covered most of the breakfasts I have when I'm in a hurry. Some of my favorite on-the-go breakfasts are Green Smoothies, Pancakes, Oatmeal, Fruit, and Peanut Buttah on Toast! :)

Megan said...

This morning I made a recipe out of Dr. Fuhrman's Eat for Health book.

8 T of 100% Pomegranate juice
1/4 C of rolled oats
1C of frozen blueberries
1 sliced up banana
1T of raw sunflower seeds
1T of chopped up almonds or walnuts

Microwave for 3 minutes and enjoy!

You can prep this the night before in tubberware and then just pop it in the microwave on your way out the door:)

Anonymous said...

Steel Cut Oats are the best for quick and reheated recipes! They have this amazing consistency that reheats perfectly, unlike regular rolled oats. Plus they are cooked overnight and ready first thing in the AM. Check out this recipe (obviously you can do whatever toppings you prefer)--

Overnight Oatmeal with Almonds and
Dried Cranberries
From Food and Wine, Dec 2008
1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
6 cups water
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Pure maple syrup, for serving
1. In a large saucepan, boil the oats in the water for 1 minute. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
2. The next day, uncover the oats and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the oatmeal is cooked and creamy but still a little bit chewy, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon the oatmeal into bowls. Top with the chopped almonds and dried cranberries and sweeten to taste with brown sugar or pure maple syrup (or bananas and pecans with maple syrup, etc.).
Make Ahead: The prepared oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Rewarm in a microwave oven and thin with water if necessary before serving.

Anonymous said...

In addition to green smoothies, you can highlight other good veggies to make more kid-friendly color combinations. Try these two-- (I love the beet! It feels great)

Carrot Blend:
Banana (optional), Handful of baby Carrots, Frozen Strawberries, Apple or white grape juice

Beautiful Beet:
Banana, ice, 1/3 raw beet, 1 handful frozen berry blend, orange juice, agave (a little sweetener is important here)

saravixen said...

Kinda like the larabars, but you can make your own bars pretty easily... and most of the time they're really good ;)

Benjamin Britton said...

Our local health store (sunflower market) sells oil-free whole wheat breads. Low cal, low salt, there is some good choices for toast!

aimee said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas! I like the sweet potato one the best!

Yoona said...

Amazing post! Thank you!

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