Plant-Based Breakfast Recipes for Energy and Endurance

By Marni Wasserman

On a plant-based diet, you won’t be grabbing a sugary, processed, and caffeinated energy drink to boost your energy throughout the day. It’s important to start off right with an energy-boosting breakfast. Try some of the following plant-based recipes:

Super Chia Banana Porridge

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

1/4 cup chia seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup water or hempseed milk for 10 minutes

1/2 to 1 ripe banana, mashed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon green powder (optional)

1 tablespoon softened coconut oil or nut butter

2 tablespoons fresh berries

  1. Stir the soaked chia seeds until a gel-like consistency forms. Add a bit more liquid if desired.

  2. Add the mashed banana. Combine until the mixture has a porridge-like consistency.

  3. Stir in the cinnamon, green powder (if desired), coconut oil or nut butter, and berries.

  4. Serve in a bowl and enjoy. Top with coconut flakes for extra crunch.

Per serving: Calories 382 (From Fat 243); Fat 27g (Saturated 13g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 11mg; Carbohydrate 33g (Dietary Fiber 16g); Protein 8g.

The ideal amount of time to soak chia is approximately 10 minutes for a thick consistency; for an even thicker consistency, soak it longer. If you want it thinner, add more liquid.

Green powders come in many varieties. Aim for a single-source powder such as chlorella, spirulina, or hemp powder, or blends that contain only green ingredients. This ensures that you aren’t getting any other additives.

Try sunflower-seed butter or cashew butter instead of coconut oil for a variation. Also try adding a scoop of protein powder or topping the mixture with hempseeds, goji berries, or pumpkin seeds for an extra boost of protein.

This breakfast is great on the go — you can get it ready the night before and have it ready to take with you in the morning.

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4–6 servings

2 cups sifted buckwheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons maple crystals or coconut sugar

3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar

2 cups rice milk

1 to 2 very ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup fresh or frozen organic blueberries

1 tablespoon coconut oil

  1. In a small bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and maple crystals. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the apple-cider vinegar and rice milk. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then add the mashed banana.

  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat only until blended.

  4. Add the blueberries.

  5. Heat the coconut oil on a griddle. Using a 1-ounce ladle, pour the batter onto the greased griddle. Cook the pancakes until the bubbles in the batter break on the surface; flip and cook until browned. Repeat until you’re out of batter.

  6. Serve on a plate and top with maple syrup, cinnamon, fresh fruit, coconut yogurt, or cashew cream.

Per serving: Calories 349 (From Fat 63); Fat 7g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 701mg; Carbohydrate 65g (Dietary Fiber 10g); Protein 12g.

Try these pancakes with different fruits, such as cranberries or strawberries, or make them even more decadent by adding some non-dairy chocolate chips. You can also substitute another gluten-free or whole-grain flour such as brown rice or oat flour for the buckwheat flour.

Soaked Oats with Goji Berries

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus soaking time

Cook time: 2–10 minutes

Yield: 1–2 servings

1/2 cup whole rolled oats

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup rice milk or almond milk

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 banana, sliced

2 tablespoons goji berries

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon maple syrup

  1. Combine the oats, water, and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover with a plate and soak overnight at room temperature.

  2. For cold oats, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and enjoy.

  3. For warm oats, add all the ingredients to a pot with an additional splash of rice milk. Warm for 5 minutes and serve.

Per serving: Calories 433 (From Fat 144); Fat 16g (Saturated 2.5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 49mg; Carbohydrate 62g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 15g.

If you like your raisins or pumpkin seeds soft, soak them overnight with the oats. If you want to make the warming process even easier, prepare this recipe in a slow cooker the night before and just turn the heat on in the morning for a few minutes to warm it up.

Try using some of these toppings instead for a different flavor: chia seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, currents, apple slices, pear slices, cacao nibs, or hempseeds.

Liquid Nutrition Smoothie

Preparation time: 4 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 cups rice milk, almond milk, or hempseed milk

2 to 4 tablespoons plant-based protein powder (such as Sunwarrior or Vega)

1/2 cup blueberries or mixed berries, fresh or frozen

1 banana

1/2 cup chopped mango, peach, or pear, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup ice

1 teaspoon coconut nectar or raw honey

1/2 to 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain.

  2. Pour into two glasses and enjoy.

Per serving: Calories 186 (From Fat 27); Fat 3g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 283mg; Carbohydrate 31g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 11g.

The smoothie will keep for eight hours in the refrigerator.

Try adding a tablespoon of any of these superfoods: goji berries, cacao nibs, coconut oil, flax oil, chia seeds, hempseeds, carob powder, maca, matcha green-tea powder, almond butter, or acai-berry powder.

This smoothie will be creamier if your fruit is frozen, so opt for frozen fruit whenever possible (or just add more ice).