Plant-based treats for breakfast

Penelope Maguire. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Penelope Maguire. Photo: Gregor Richardson
I’ve never really been one for breakfast at breakfast time but I love nothing more than breakfast food for lunch or dinner.

Toast for lunch and pancakes for dinner seem to keep the whole family happy. These recipes, though, will have you bouncing out of bed on these cold mornings.

Plant based could, for some people, mean slowly including more and more plants in their usual diet and, even though it is not always thought of this way, breakfast is a great meal to up your intake of fresh fruits and veggies.

If you have greens already prepped in the fridge it is easy to throw them in with your scrambles or on top of your avo toast. Pre-roasted pumpkin makes a great spread on toast with crispy chickpeas, cumin seeds, olive oil and lemon juice for breakfast bruschetta.

Shop-bought frozen fruit is processed at its prime and full of vitamins and minerals and so easy to throw in a smoothie or blend through porridge.

Lux ‘bullet proof’ hot chocolate

It’s easy to inject that little extra bit of health at breakfast time.
Top tip: if you’ve run out of milk, blend or shake together 1 tablespoon of smooth nut butter (peanut, almond or cashew work well) with one cup of water in a blender and use as is, no need to strain and great in coffee!
This one’s a little bit fancy but if you’re not wanting a large meal and would prefer something that keeps you full, feels like a healthy treat and warms you up from the inside out, this is it. This is also a great base to add your herbal powders and supplements.
You will need a blender that can handle hot liquids.

Serves 1

2 tsp dark cocoa powder

1 Tbsp cacao butter (or coconut oil)

1 Tbsp soaked cashews (or ½ tbsp any nut butter)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

pinch sea salt

pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup just boiled water


Carefully place the hot water in your blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high speed with the lid on until smooth, thickened and frothy and drink by the fire in your pyjamas.

Almond, date and cinnamon breakfast smoothie

Heavy on the cinnamon, even though this smoothie is icey-cold the flavours hum of winter puddings and help to keep you energised throughout the morning.

No need to use expensive medjool dates here, just keep a small bowl of pitted dates soaking in water in the fridge. They will last about a week like this. If you’re so inclined, add a shot of espresso to really start your morning off right.

Serves 2

3 frozen bananas

2 tbsp almond butter

4 soaked pitted dates

or 2 Tbsp date syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cinnamon

2 C plant milk


Blend on high till smooth (you may need to add a little more plant milk or water) and serve sprinkled with more cinnamon.

Scrambled tofu

The best tofu to use here is either fresh tofu or tofu packed in water, both of which you can get from Asian supermarkets.

This makes soft-set scramble perfect for toast, nourish bowls and breakfast wraps.

Serves 2

1 block soft tofu

1 Tbsp scrambled tofu seasoning (see below)

1/2 cup plant milk

fresh herbs

plant-based butter


In a bowl, mash the tofu with the back of a fork and mix through the tofu seasoning, plant milk and fresh herbs.

Heat the butter in a non-stick fry pan and fry off the tofu for about 5 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

For a super healthy and filling plant-based big breakfast, serve with toast or roti, hummus, sauteed broccoli and kale, sauerkraut and a wedge of roasted pumpkin.

Scrambled tofu seasoning

1 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp powdered vegan chicken stock (Massel's brand is good)

1 Tbsp turmeric

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 white pepper

Blend to a fine powder in a food processor and store in a clean jar in the pantry.

Ginger and cardamon hotcakes

The baking powder is the key ingredient to make these pancakes fluffy, so give the jar a big shake to make sure all the active ingredients are evenly distributed.

Serves 4

2 cups flour (for gluten free do 1 cup gluten free flour, 1 cup rice flour)

4 tbsp sugar

4 ½ tsp baking powder (give the jar a shake first)

¾ tsp salt

3 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cardamom

2 cups of plant milk

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp golden syrup


In a medium bowl mix plant milk and apple cider vinegar and leave for 10 minutes (don’t worry if it looks curdled).

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently with a whisk. After 10 minutes add vanilla and golden syrup to plant milk/vinegar mixture. Slowly fold wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over mix.

Let batter sit 10 minutes while you heat flat fry pan on medium heat.

Lightly oil pan and pour on small amounts of batter (about ¼ cup). When bubbles appear on surface flip the pancake and cook another minute or so until golden underneath.

Serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit, coconut yoghurt and ... flowers.

Turmeric chai porridge with roasted mango, whipped tahini

Serves 2

1½ C porridge oats

2 C plant milk

2 tsp turmeric chai spice mix (see below)

1 C frozen mango

juice & zest of 1 lime

2 Tbsp tahini

big pinch flaky salt

2 tbsp maple syrup, plus more to serve


Turmeric chai spice mix

2 C coconut or brown sugar

¼ C ground turmeric

¼ C ground cinnamon

¼ C ground ginger

2 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180degC. In a small oven dish add the frozen mango and coat in lime juice and lime zest. Roast 10 minutes till just starting to break down and caramelise.

In a medium bowl, whisk together tahini, salt and maple syrup then little by little whisk in cold water until it thickens, turns pale and whips up like cream. It may seize at first but keep whisking and adding water and it will relax and thicken.

To make the porridge add the oats, plant milk and chai spice to a sauce pan and whisk till thick and creamy. Add more milk if you like yours thinner.

To assemble pour hot porridge into a bowl, top with roast mango, whipped tahini, a drizzle of maple syrup and an extra sprinkling of turmeric chai spice.

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