Tag Archives: breakfast

5 Healthy Plant Based Breakfasts

Its been over a year and a half since I moved to a plant based diet and I can’t tell you how much I’ve looked forward to every meal since that day. With the abundance of vegan processed foods on the market these days, its certainly easier than ever to eat a fairly junky plant based diet, so just like everyone else, even vegans need to be conscientious about healthy eating. I certainly adhere to an 80/20 rule. I eat whole, plant based foods 80% of the time, leaving 20% of the time for the occasional bit of whatever-the-heck-I-fancy food (although always vegan)! Here are a few of my favourite healthy plant-based breakfasts.

All the recipes below contain fairtrade organic ingredients and this article has been sponsored by Atlist, a fantastic new platform to help you with all the ethical shopping inspiration you could ever want.  Find out more about Atlist or sign up here.

Strawberry Smoothie

1. Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to cram in lots of antioxidants and vitamins into your diet. I recommend buying organic fruits where possible, as while the vitamin content of conventional produce is similar to non-organic, antioxidants are found in much higher concentrations in organic produce. Although the addition of a frozen banana will give an excellent milkshake-like texture to your smoothie, frozen avocado will do the same whilst adding healthy fats and it won’t affect your blood sugar as much. Add as many frozen berries as you care to, along with a splash of plant-based milk and a spoonful of your favourite nut butter, for some protein. Smoothies are also a great place to hide a scoop of protein powder too. My favourite recipe is:

  • 200 ml cashew milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (or a teaspoon of your favourite nut butter)
  • half a frozen banana (or half a frozen avocado)
  • large handful of frozen strawberries
  • heaped teaspoon of inositol powder (to help lower blood sugar)

Blend all that up in a high speed blender for 1 minute until you have a thick, creamy strawberry milkshake-like appearance and enjoy!

Scrambled tofu & sourdough


2. Toast & Scrambled Tofu

Learning how to make scrambled tofu made the transition to a plant-based diet much easier for me, as I used to enjoy scrambled eggs from time to time as a weekend breakfast. You’ll need to crumble half a block of extra firm tofu (I recommend fermented tofu if you can find it) into a bowl and add 1/3 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Stir it all up and let it sit for a few minutes while the turmeric really stains the tofu. Then toss it into the frying pan and heat it up and serve it with your toast of choice – I like sourdough. You can also add some Indian black salt for a more authentic eggy flavour. The turmeric adds a great source of antioxidants to this dish, but if you add some black pepper to your eggs just before serving, you’ll increase that even further because the pipeline in the pepper boosts the bioavailability of the curcumin in the turmeric by up to 2000%.


3. Overnight Oats

Overnight oats will rock your world if you’re always busy and never have time to make breakfast in the morning. Everyone’s worried about carbs these days, but there’s no reason to fear oats as they contain beta-glucans which help prevent our blood sugar from spiking when we eat them. And of course oats are a great source of fibre, with regular consumption being associated with smaller waistlines and a reduced risk of obesity.

Get yourself a good mason jar – something with a lid that won’t fall off in your handbag. Buy a big bag of organic Scottish style porridge oats (they work better than the jumbo oats) and fill your freezer with your favourite frozen berry. There! Now you have no excuse not to eat breakfast ever again.

The easiest overnight oat recipe I can suggest is to take your mason jar and fill the bottom 1/3 with a layer of frozen berries, then add 1/3 oats (you can add some dried fruit and nuts here if you like) and then top the final 1/3 of the jar with more frozen berries. Now grab your favourite plant milk (I make my own because its so cheap and easy to do so – get the recipe here) and fill the mason jar just until you cover the top of the oat layer. Put the top on the jar, stick it in the fridge and forget about it until tomorrow morning when you go to work. Of course, the beauty of this recipe is that you can add whatever you like – dried fruits, spices, coconut yogurt and even a dab of almond butter. There are no rules! Pinterest is filled with delicious overnight oat recipes to inspire you and I can highly recommend apple pie overnight oats!

blueberry chia pudding

4. Coconut yogurt with berries, nuts & seeds

Some people really just aren’t breakfast people, and if that sounds like you, this may be your ideal breakfast. Even if you’re not too organised about preparing food ahead of time, you can grab a pot of coconut yogurt on the go, along with a box of blueberries and a bag of your favourite raw, unsalted nuts, and just graze away all morning long. If, like me, you try to prepare your own food and don’t want to buy too much packaged stuff, just load up a mason jar with fresh berries (maybe a few slices of banana) and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of coconut yogurt and sprinkle with a few chopped up lightly toasted almonds or raw walnuts. Throw in some chia seeds for some extra omega 3’s and fibre too. If you don’t like buying out of season fruit, you could buy bags of frozen berries (like I do) and prepare it all in a mason jar the night before. Berries are a really low glycemic index food and are packed with antioxidants, so this breakfast is great for anyone trying to keep their blood sugar balanced (just make sure you stick to berries and avoid adding other high glycemic index (GI) fruits like banana, mango or pineapple).

smashed avocado on toast

5. Smashed Avocado on Toast

Seriously, who doesn’t love avocado toast? (Well, my husband actually.) But I’m fairly certain that everyone else in the world has the potential to love smashed avocados on toast. Avocados are full of healthy fats like omega 3’s and oleic acid, vitamin K and they are a low glycemic index food as well as a good source of fibre. If, like me, you live in an area where the quality of the avocados isn’t very dependable, you can now buy bags of frozen halved avocados, which is helpful for portion control too. (I recommend Mexican hass avocados if you can get ahold of them. ) You can bring out the required number of avocado halves, thaw them overnight, give them a good smash (using a bowl & fork – nothing fancy) with a pinch of sea salt and maybe some dried chilli flakes if that’s your thing (it’s my thing) followed by a squeeze of lime juice and roughly pile it onto a slice of toast – it’s particularly good on Poilane bread if you can get your hands on a loaf of that, but any sourdough will do. A sprinkle of dukkah is a delicious addition too.

Sources: World’s Healthiest Foods, Science News, NutritionFacts

Photo Credit: Avocado on Toast image by Maggie Lynch, Overnight Oats image by Jourdan Bourke, Photo by Rezel Apacionado on Unsplash

Wedding Breakfast

Last week I went to a wedding breakfast.  Literally.  The ceremony was a short registry office affair which Mr Harris and I witnessed at Chelsea Old Town Hall at 9.15 and by 9.45 we were seated in Chelsea Quarter Café, perusing the menu.

 I thought of saying to my husband, “see, we could have done it like that!” but then thought better of it.  When Mr Harris first proposed to me, I had suggested a registry office affair, followed by lunch with a few nearest and dearest.  I envisioned myself in a chic Italian Jackie O-style ivory cocktail dress ensemble with ¾ length jacket and a birdcage veil.  But that suggestion (the registry office ceremony, not the dress) went down like a cup of cold sick.  And so, we did it all.  The long ivory dress & morning suit.  The Church of England ceremony.  The silver Daimler.  The John Lewis gift list.  The ridiculously expensive floral arrangements.  The champagne reception with live jazz pianist.  The three course Livery Hall dinner, complete with speeches, specifically designed to induce stress to the bride and groom and halt digestion of the large meal just consumed.  We had day guests.  We had evening guests.  And we all danced the night away to the band before my husband whisked me away to a chic Clerkenwell hotel.

But back to the wedding breakfast.  The happy groom suggested ordering a bottle of champagne (perfectly reasonable, I thought) until his equally happy, but 5 months’ pregnant new wife gave him an incredulous glance and we all opted for freshly pressed juices instead.  Probably for the best, as Mr Harris was on a tight schedule – he had to get to Corrigan’s of Mayfair for a client’s retirement lunch by 12.45pm.  (A broker’s life is a difficult one, you see.)

The groom & I both ordered eggs Florentine, served with the thickest and yellowiest hollandaise I’ve ever seen in my life.  But not thick or yellow in a horrible, fake way.  It was delicious.  Mr Harris, ever the traditionalist, went for eggs Benedict.  And the bride went for a sausage & egg butty.  It was all excellent.  I downed the last of my ginger, apple and carrot juice as the groom took care of the bill, and by 11.30 we had all wended our way to Sloane Square tube station and said our goodbyes.

As I made my way home on the tube, I thought about how relaxed and pleasant the whole affair had been.  I wondered why more weddings weren’t like this.  I thought of the newlyweds, and I silently cheered “well done you two”.

Upside Down Breakfast Cake

They say you should start the year as you mean to go on.

me 3I don’t know about that; that sounds like a challenge for tomorrow morning. But if how you end it says anything, I should worry.

My shoulders are permanently knotted from work stress and they make a range of snap, crackle, pop and clickity noises whenever I move my head, neck, arms or shoulders.

My memory is so bad, I have a near total dependence on the Google function of my iPhone to recall the most basic of facts. (“That actor who was in that movie…he was also in that…other movie. With the other guy. I can’t remember his name either. Hang on, let me Google this…”)

Yesterday I spent 10 minutes – 10 solid minutes – nattering on to my husband about various train/tube/overground routes and the lack of consistency in Oyster charging policy across the Greater London TFL network yesterday. (At this rate, I fully anticipate by the end of 2013 I’ll be standing at the end of Platform 1 at London Bridge station with my pencil and notebook in hand, engaging in heated debates with my new – and by then only – friends, the other trainspotters: “Clapham Junction; its just not a junction!”)

And finally, this morning I appear to have left the house dressed, well…really not that dissimilarly to Mr Tumnus (tweed jacket, cashmere turtleneck jumper, long scarf and carrying a cane umbrella). Possibly a side effect of watching too much Narnia on Channel 4 this Christmas.

One good thing, however, is that I started the day with a slice of my excellent upside down breakfast cake.  And unlike the name of that actor who was in that movie with the other actor, I actually have this recipe committed to memory.


3 oz butter
3 oz low fat crème fraiche
6 oz caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp baking powder
A quantity of cut fruit, a few small extra knobs of butter & 3 tbs dark brown sugar


Step One: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition, followed by the crème fraiche and vanilla extract.

Step Two: Sift the flour and baking powder and add the salt. Fold the liquid with the dry ingredients and mix only until the ingredients are moistened and there are no flour lumps left.

Step Three: Prepare two small loaf tins by greasing the sides. (I also line mine with a long strip of parchment, the width of the loaf tin, to help the cake avoid sticking to the sides when turning the loaves out.)

Step Four: If the fruit you are using is a small berry, such as a blueberry, use it whole, but larger fruit, such as apples or pears will need to be cut into small manageable chunks. Place the fruit in the base of both tins, around an inch thick, and then evenly scatter a few small knobs of butter and 1.5 tbs of dark brown sugar on top of that, so it can create its own caramel as its baking. Pour the batter on top of each loaf tin.

Step Five: Bake the loaves, undisturbed, in an oven at 190C for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let sit for no less than 5 but no more than 10 minutes before inverting onto a baking rack or serving plate. Let cool before slicing into thick slices – a perfect accompaniment to a cup of strong black coffee.


Keeping It Real…in London

This is the desk of a Londoner at 7.45am.


This could be the desk of any Londoner at this time of the morning. Inside the bag could be a bacon roll, possibly porridge or ham & emmental croissant. Most likely a bacon roll. Londoners LOVE bacon rolls, especially oozing with brown sauce. Personally I don’t eat bacon or rolls, so this particular bag contains a pot of porridge with slices of banana and maple syrup.


So you may hear me wittering away from time to time about blissful mornings at Borough Market, perusing tables of fresh baked goods & organic cheeses or I may even claim to the odd morning of waking up with the birds to whip up some fresh muffins.  But during the week – this is how I eat.  This blog is called Eating London and believe me, this is how London eats.