Sticking to a healthy, cleansing diet can be difficult, especially in the mornings. When you’re barely awake after your first cup of coffee, sugar-laden cereals, ready-to-eat oatmeal packets, packaged breads, and pastries are so easy to grab and eat when you’re running out the door to work or school. Many of those pre-packaged breakfast items are vegan, so we’ve definitely not been immune. But while being technically vegan and convenient, they are far from healthy (some popular breakfast foods have more sugar than a Snickers bar!!). Sugar-laden foods may give your body the “energy” to get through the morning, but they will without fail leave you feeling sluggish and reaching for a snack well before lunchtime.
This month, we’ll share two of our favorite breakfast recipes that are quick and easy while being nourishing and kind to your body. Our secret…. Preparing in advance! We love to make our favorite breakfast foods in big batches on the weekends and refrigerate them to eat throughout the week. One of our go-to breakfasts is oatmeal – nourishing, full of good-for-you fiber, and hearty enough to keep you full until lunch. We’ve turned up the volume in this casserole-style recipe, adding in a ton of superfoods:
- Quinoa: The only grain that is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is full of fiber for digestion, iron for red blood cell health, lysine for tissue growth and repair, magnesium for blood sugar control, and the antioxidant manganese.
- Berries: High in antioxidants, berries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as dietary fiber. They are widely believed to fight the ills of aging and ward off cancer.
- Chia Seeds: Full of omega-3 fatty acids (often missing from a vegan diet), these little seeds are also loaded with fiber and antioxidants and help regulate blood sugar. And they’re available at most grocery stores. We buy the Bob’s Red Mill brand.
- Walnuts: Rich in heart-health omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, these nuts add great texture to the oatmeal.
- Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds: These little seeds are powerhouses, loaded with magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids to promote heart health and steady blood sugar.
And the only sweetener we used is agave nectar. Agave nectar has a much lower glycemic index than regular sugar, meaning it will not spike your blood sugar, lead to cravings, or leave you feeling hungry in an hour. In small amounts, agave nectar is a great alternative for those who love a little sweetness in their lives but don’t want the adverse effects. You can find it at your local grocery store in the baking aisle, usually near the sugar substitutes like Truvia.
- 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup uncooked instant oatmeal
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup sliced strawberries
- ½ cup halved blueberries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 banana, sliced in ½″ rounds
- 1½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 Tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, oatmeal, chia seeds, baking powder, and half of the strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, distributing evenly.
- Top with the remaining strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Scatter the banana slices overtop.
- In a bowl, combine the almond milk with vanilla extract and agave nectar. Pour evenly over the oatmeal mixture, making sure the mixture goes throughout the oats.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the oatmeal has absorbed the milk and starts to brown on top. Serve warm.