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Breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day. Some of us like a quick, light breakfast and others crave a big meal. Either way, incorporating fresh and nutritious ingredients into your first meal of the day is best. Here are some great ways to start the day with tasty, plant-based recipes!
You will find several muffin recipes in this lively line-up. I started developing breakfast muffin recipes many years ago, because I found that good vegan options were hard to come by in the supermarket. Well, now muffins are one of my specialties! Mix ‘em up, pop ‘em in the oven and it’s time for muffins!
Have a happy and healthy morning!
Apple Muffins with Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 6 Muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup raisins
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 ½ cups fresh apple purée (see note)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup maple syrup
½ cup non-dairy milk, plus more as needed
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a six-cup standard muffin tin.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the raisins and pumpkin seeds and stir to coat. Stir in the apple purée.
Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, and nondairy milk, and mix just until incorporated. The mixture will be quite thick, but if it seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is moist. Don’t overmix or the muffins will be tough.
Mound the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of each muffin with a knife. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: To make apple purée, peel and core two (or three) very large apples, four medium apples or five small apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apple pieces into a blender and process just until pureed. Be careful not to liquefy!
Rocky Mountain Toast
Makes 4 to 6 servings
4 to 6 slices whole grain bread
1 to 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 block (about 15 ounces) firm or extra firm tofu, drained
½ cup shredded vegan cheese
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon tamari, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Place a bread slice on a cutting board. Cut a hole in the center of the bread, about 3 inches in diameter, using a bread knife or cookie cutter. Continue with all slices of bread. (Save the bread “middles” for making breadcrumbs).
Spread a bit of vegan margarine on each side of the bread slices. Set three of the bread slices into a large, non-stick fry pan. Turn the heat on medium-low and let the slices begin to brown on one side.
Meanwhile, put the tofu in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until crumbly. Add the vegan cheese, turmeric, tamari, sea salt, and pepper. Mash until the tofu resembles the color and texture of cooked scrambled eggs.
Scoop up one quarter of the tofu mixture and place in the center of each bread slice in the pan. Pat down firmly until the filling is compact inside the “hole.” Cook for two to three minutes and then flip. Cook on the other side for 5 to 7 minutes or until the underside is golden and crispy and the tofu mixture is warmed through. Keep warm in a 300 degree F. oven. Repeat with the other bread slices.
Serve immediately with fresh fruit slices on the side.
3 3/4 cups water
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons raisins or dried cranberries, or a combination
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar, maple syrup, or maple sugar
Nondairy milk (optional)
Put the water, oats, raisins, optional sunflower seeds, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium- low and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is creamy. Remove from the heat and sweeten with the brown sugar to taste. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with non- dairy milk and more sweetener if desired.
NOTE: After the oatmeal is cooked, it will stay warm for about 20 minutes in the covered saucepan, which is ideal for family members who trickle in for breakfast.
Raspberry-Banana Green Dream Smoothie
MAKES 2 SERVINGS
2 fresh or frozen bananas
11⁄2 ounces (2 cups, lightly packed) mixed baby greens or spinach
11⁄2 to 2 cups frozen raspberries or blueberries
1 to 2 cups filtered water
Put the bananas, greens, berries, and 1 cup of the water in a blender. Process until smooth, adding more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Serve immediately.
Jazzy Tip Always keep bags of frozen raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries in your freezer. These sweet, convenient fruits will help you to make breakfast smoothies and creamy desserts in a flash.
Spinach-Tomato Vegan Omelet
Makes 2 servings
2 medium tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Several grinds of freshly ground pepper
5 to 6 cups very lightly packed baby spinach, washed and dried
TOFU “EGG” LAYER
1 block (14 to 16 ounces) firm regular tofu
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (for dusting top)
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup of shredded vegan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat with vegan margarine a heavy, ovenproof 10-inch round sauté pan or skillet with tight fitting lid.
Arrange the tomatoes in the prepared skillet by overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle the thyme, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper evenly over the top of the tomatoes.
Top the tomato layer with all of the baby spinach, pressing it down slightly.
Put all of the tofu “egg” layer ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Spread the tofu mixture evenly over the spinach, smoothing the top as you go. Dust the top of the tofu layer with 1⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika.
Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
Carefully cut the omelet into two servings, by slicing down the middle. Gently lift one-half of the omelet out of the pan, using two very large, flat spatulas. Place it tomato side down onto a rimmed dinner plate. Place a second rimmed dinner plate of the same size firmly over top of the omelet and quickly flip it over to invert the omelet so the tomatoes will now be facing upward. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vegan cheese, if desired. Then, use the spatula to gently fold the omelet over. Proceed with the second half of the omelet in the same manner.
Spoon the sauce that remains in the bottom of the pan over each omelet. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Serve warm.
Spicy Baked Home Fries
Makes 4 servings
6 cups unpeeled, cubed russet potatoes (1-inch cubes)
2 medium sweet onions, sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
Preheat the oven the 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the potatoes, onions and olive oil in a large bowl and toss to coat. Put the chili powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Add the spice mixture to the potatoes and toss gently to coat.
Spread the potatoes and onions in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until soft on the inside and golden on the outside, turning with a spatula halfway through baking. Cool slightly and add more salt, as desired.Serve warm.
Julieanna’s Breakfast Sunshine Salad
Makes 2 to 4 servings
3 medium carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ cup raisins or currants
2 tablespoons raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1 banana, cut into disks (about 1 cup)
1 orange, halved and divided (see note)
Put the carrots, raisins, coconut and banana in a medium-sized bowl. Squeeze the juice from half of the orange over the salad and gently stir to combine. Peel and chop the remaining half of the orange into small pieces and add to the salad. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Chef’s Note In place of the orange, you may use 2 or 3 clementines or tangerines, if desired.
Recipe from The Vegiterranean Diet reprinted with permission from Julieanna Hever and Da Capo Lifelong Books.
Quick Coconut-Grape Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour, plus more as needed
½ cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup packed brown sugar or Sucanat
1¼ cups coconut nondairy milk beverage or nondairy milk of your choice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup raisins
12 heaping teaspoons grape jelly
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a twelve-cup standard muffin pan with paper liners. Put the flour, coconut, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
Stir in the nondairy milk and vanilla extract to make a batter. Stir in the raisins and mix just until incorporated. If the batter seems overly loose, stir in a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Don’t overmix or the muffins will be tough.
Fill each prepared muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. Make a small well in the center with a spoon or finger. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the jelly into the well. Top with the remaining batter, distributing it evenly among the muffin cups. Smooth out the top of each muffin with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the side of a muffin comes out clean. Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of each muffin with a knife. Let cool for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover muffins will keep for about 2 days.
Pear and Apple Breakfast Pizza
Makes 2 to 4 servings
1 (8- to 10-inch) whole-grain tortilla (gluten free is fine)
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 large pear, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 heaping tablespoons raspberry preserves (see note)
1 teaspoon filtered or spring water, plus more as needed
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a medium, rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the tortilla on a large dinner plate. Put half of the maple syrup in a small prep bowl. Coat both sides of the tortilla with a thin, even layer of the maple syrup, using a pastry brush.
Put the apple slices, pear slices, remaining half of the maple syrup and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl and stir until evenly coated. Arrange the apples and pears on the top of the tortilla, slightly overlapping the slices in a spiral pattern to cover the entire tortilla. Transfer the tortilla to the lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the fruit is soft and the edges of the tortilla are crisp and golden. Put the baking sheet on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, put the raspberry preserves and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk together to combine. Add a bit more water if the preserves seem too thick to spread over the pizza. Spread the preserve mixture evenly over top of the pizza while it is still hot, using a pastry brush or small spoon. Let the pizza cool 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut it into four slices using a serrated bread knife or pizza cutter. Serve warm.
Chef’s Note: You may use your favorite variety of preserves (such as; apricot, strawberry or blueberry) in this recipe in place of the raspberry preserves if you prefer.
Magnificent Maple Granola
6 to 8 servings
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raw or toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the rolled oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, walnuts, wheat germ, and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the maple syrup and stir until evenly coated.
Spread the mixture in an even layer on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Add the raisins and bake 5 minutes more or until the oats are slightly golden. Transfer to a room temperature baking sheet and let cool for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with optional Banana Whipped Topping, if desired.
Banana Whipped Topping
8 ounces soft or firm regular tofu, drained (sprouted variety is preferred)
1 ripe banana
2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup if a sweeter flavor is desired.
Makes 12 mini-muffins
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup nondairy milk, plus more as needed
3/4 cup grated zucchini, drained (see note)
⅓ cup raisins
12 teaspoons whole-fruit blueberry preserves, excess liquid drained off
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a twelve-cup mini-muffin tin with paper liners.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the brown sugar and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the lemon juice and nondairy milk, and mix just until incorporated. Stir in the zucchini and raisins. The batter will be quite thick, but if it seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Don’t overmix or the muffins will be tough. Mound half of the batter into the prepared mini-muffin cups. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the preserves into the center of each muffin. Top each muffin cup with the remaining half of the batter, evenly distributing it among the twelve muffin cups. Put the muffin tin on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Put the muffin tin on a wire rack. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Chef's Note: You can press out excess liquid from the shredded zucchini by putting it in a large, screened colander and placing it over a medium bowl. Let the zucchini drain for 5 to 10 minutes, and then gently press the excess liquid out into the bowl using a soft spatula.