Meal times can often become uninspired for those suffering with an allergy or intolerance that seems to keep them from eating everything a traditional continental breakfast usually offers. Those of us who are intolerant to a specific food or foods often find ourselves eating the same 2 or 3 breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, because finding something new that is dairy-free, easy, and tastes good is a time consuming task that naturally files itself toward the bottom of the to-do list.
But that’s where we come in. We’ve put together a hefty list of easy breakfast recipes featuring simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store, so you can successfully mix it up in your kitchen with none of the extra work. Save this list for your next grocery run so you can feel like you’ve got it all together.
1. Overnight Oats with Flax & Chia
Overnight oats are one of the most convenient breakfast recipes that doesn’t compromise nutrition for ease. Even better, it requires only a few ingredients and is totally customizable to whatever you have on hand. The night before, just measure out a 1/2 cup of rolled oats— rolled oats absorb more moisture than steel cut — about 2 teaspoons of chia seed and flax seed for fiber and omega 3’s, and combine in an airtight container. Pour your favorite plant-based milk over the mixture (about ¾ cup — you want to make sure all the ingredients are covered and there is extra milk for the chia and oats to absorb) and store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top with your favorite fruit, nuts, spices, and more. I love a classic cinnamon sprinkle with banana, peanut butter, and a spoonful of wild blueberry jam.
2. Green Banana Smoothie
This smoothie is one of my favorite ways to get in an extra serving of veggies without any effort (or taste!) whatsoever. Just combine one ripe banana, ice, a half cup of plant-based milk (I prefer almond or oat as they provide the creamiest texture), a handful or two of spinach or kale, a drizzle of honey, and my favorite part, a few slices of fresh ginger. On mornings after I run, I also like to add in a plant-based vanilla flavored protein powder for some extra creaminess, sweetness, and nutrition. Feel free to omit the ice if you’re using a frozen banana.
This smoothie is a powerhouse for a lot of reasons. Spinach and kale are low-calorie superfoods loaded with vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and calcium, all important vitamins and minerals you usually find in animal products. Dairy-free and vegan eaters often lack these key nutrients, so I love loading my smoothies and pasta dishes with leafy greens to make up for it. Ginger is also an amazing anti-inflammatory rich in antioxidants that is said to help in digestion and pain relief. The best part about this smoothie? Besides the color, you would never know it was full of greens. The bite of ginger helps to mask the taste!
3. Elevated Avocado Toast
You knew an avocado toast recipe would make this list. Not only is it very Instagrammable, it’s a meal or snack packed with healthy fats, and if you do it right, a ton of flavor and added nutrition like fiber, healthy whole grains, protein, and omega 3s. The key to elevating an avocado toast from good to great is all in the bread. I love using sprouted grain bread for all my toast and sandwich needs because its naturally high in fiber and nutrients and lower in carbs due to the fact it’s made with unprocessed whole grains. You can often find seeded versions that add flax seeds, chia seed, spelt, and sunflower seeds for more healthy fats and fiber.
To make my elevated avocado toast, toast your sprouted or seeded bread to your liking and spread a thick layer of mashed avocado on each slice. I usually use one half of a large avocado for two pieces of bread. Next, add your favorite seasonings — mine happen to be everything bagel seasoning, red pepper flakes, and a hint of garlic powder. If you are not a practicing vegan, to further elevate your toast, heat your skillet over medium heat and add ghee (clarified butter that is naturally lactose and casein free!) plant butter, or avocado oil. Crack your two eggs over the pan once it heats, and fry them to your preference. Then place the eggs on your toast and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Southwestern Dairy-Free Omelette, Scramble, or Burrito
Even if you don’t eat eggs, there are plenty of options to create a dairy-free or vegan version of the classic protein-packed omelette or scramble. There are egg replacements on the market that function just as a scrambled egg would and have relatively the same nutrition profile. Eggs or egg replacements can be used to fry up a delicious South Western style recipe that is one of my favorite savory breakfasts.
Dice up a handful of bell pepper, white onion, avocado, tomato, and a few slices of jalapeño if you’re feeling adventurous. Start with a nonstick pan on medium heat. Saute your chopped peppers and onions with a bit of oil or ghee, just until you see the onions turn translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside, and heat a second non-stick pan to medium low. If you’re worried about sticking or just have a regular skillet, feel free to add ghee or avocado oil to coat the pan. Make sure the entire pan is coated! Whisk your eggs or measure out 1/2 cup of egg replacement. Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour your mixture in the pan once heated. Allow the egg to solidify and warm for about 1 minute, or until the edges look cooked. There shouldn’t be any runny egg left— make sure to tilt the pan to distribute anything uncooked. Flip the omelette and let it cook for another 30 seconds to a minute. If you’re adding dairy free cheese— I recommend cheddar—add the cheese on top of the cooked egg and let that melt, about 1-2 minutes. Next add the sauteed veggies, avocado, and tomato on top of the cheese. I like to add all my filling to one side so it’s easier to flip one side over. Using a spatula, flip one side of the egg over the fillings. I let this continue cooking in the pan for a minute or two before carefully transferring to a plate using a spatula. Add your favorite salsa, guacamole, or dairy-free sour cream for a real treat.
For a scramble version of this omelette, I scramble egg and dairy-free cheddar together in a non-stick pan (or skillet with ghee or oil) and add in my sauteed veggies once the egg has cooked. Avocado and tomato are placed on top as a garnish. If you prefer not to use an egg replacement, this scramble can be made with crumbled extra firm tofu using the same method! Just make sure to properly season it—I’d recommend cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, or a combination of them all. And if you’re feeling like you need a bit of a heartier breakfast, warm up a whole wheat or low-carb coconut wrap and turn your scramble into a breakfast burrito.
5. Healthy Banana Pancakes
Any healthy version of a childhood favorite is a huge win in my book. Although I’ve definitely graduated from Aunt Jemima syrup and loading my pancakes up with more chocolate chips than pancake batter, I can still appreciate a pancake or waffle on a Saturday morning. This version is inspired from one of my favorite healthy food bloggers and can easily be made in a blender. All you need are 2 ripe bananas, 1/2 cup almond milk (oat milk works just as well), 2 eggs or egg replacement, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 cup of rolled oats and salt to taste. I also sprinkle in a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon to add some spice. All you have to do is mix all the ingredients in a blender. This serves as your pancake batter. I like to fry mine over medium low heat in ghee or olive oil to give them a good crispy edge. Serve with antioxidant-packed berries and real maple syrup for a healthier take on this classic.
Don’t be afraid to jump outside your breakfast food comfort zone! I know from experience that it's so easy to get caught in the rut of the few meals you think you can eat. But trust me, there is so much more out there. Start here!