Forget Cereal, Vegetables Are the True Breakfast of Champions

Multiple studies have shown that many Westerners just aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. In 2017, for example, the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) reported that only about one in 10 American adults are eating enough. And in 2022, another study by UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s revealed that 25 million Brits are also struggling to eat their “five a day.”

When asked why, the participants in the UK study noted that they often forget to add vegetables to all of their meals, or they simply don’t know how to incorporate vegetables into meals outside of dinner. If you can relate, we’ve got good news: adding vegetables to your first meal of the day, as well as your last, is not just easy, but it’s also pretty tasty.

Spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, and carrots are just a few examples of the types of vegetables that go perfectly with breakfast foods. Below, we’ve listed a few vegan recipes that will show you how to prepare them and help you make your first meal of your day not just nourishing, but delicious, too.

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The benefits of eating vegetables for breakfast

The CDC recommends that American adults should consume around two cups of fruits, and two to three cups of vegetables per day. This might seem like a lot to some, but if you start the day with a cup or two, you’re already well on your way to meeting this target. It also means that you’ve kicked off your morning with some important nutrients, says Stephanie Wells, MS, RD, LD, ACSM-CPT, the founder of Thyme to Go Vegan Nutrition Services

“A serving of vegetables at breakfast provides a boost of dietary fiber and antioxidants,” she explains. “Fiber slows down digestion in a helpful way, helping you feel full and satisfied for longer periods while reducing food cravings. It also helps regulate bowel movements throughout the day.”

Antioxidants are also extremely beneficial. These plant-based compounds, which are present in fruits and vegetables, help to tackle free radical damage in the body, which, in turn, may reduce the risk of chronic disease. “Since antioxidants help fight chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, adding a serving of vegetables in the morning can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer,” notes Wells.

Which vegetables are good for breakfast?

Ultimately, there are no rules about which vegetables are best for breakfast, it just comes down to which ones you like. After all, nobody wants to start the day by forcing down a meal that they don’t like. “The best vegetables to eat at breakfast are the ones you enjoy and that can be incorporated easily into your favorite breakfast meals,” notes Wells. “All vegetables will provide you with a boost of dietary fiber and antioxidants.”

That said, if you’re following a plant-based diet, it makes sense to pay attention to your vitamin C intake, continues Wells, as this can help to increase the bioavailability of iron. To put that more plainly, you’ll absorb more iron if you eat iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods. “Red bell peppers, white potatoes, tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, red cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are all high in vitamin C,” explains Wells.

RELATED: Adam Levine Says Bell Peppers Are the ‘Best Thing’ You Can Eat Every Day—Is He Right?

7 ways to eat vegetables for breakfast

As highlighted above, adding vegetables to recipes you already enjoy is one of the best ways to eat them for breakfast.

“Try adding sauteed peppers or pico de gallo to tofu scrambles and breakfast tacos, mixing mashed sweet potatoes or pumpkin into oatmeal or chia pudding, adding shredded carrots to carrot cake-inspired muffins and pancakes, and baking broccoli into vegan quiches,” recommends Wells. “You can also blend baby spinach or steamed cauliflower into fruit smoothies, as both are mild enough not to overpower the fruit.”

For more delicious vegetable-packed breakfast inspiration, you can find a few of our favorite vegan recipes below.

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1 Vegan Skillet Breakfast Eggs and Potatoes

Fresh sautéed vegetables, like bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and baby potatoes, take this plate of hearty vegan egg scramble to the next level. The recipe from Orchids + Sweet Tea uses a bottle of liquid vegan egg, but you could swap in scrambled tofu if you prefer.
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2 Vegan Protein Pancakes With Spinach and Chia

If you’re a fan of pancakes for breakfast, bookmark this recipe from The Vegucated Family Table cookbook. The green color comes from spinach, but you won’t even taste it in the final dish, especially if you serve it up with plenty of strawberries and maple syrup.
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VegNews.CarrotLoxToastOne Green Planet

3 Vegan Carrot Lox Toast With Herbed Cheese

Carrots are a great salmon alternative, as this recipe from the Blessed by One Green Planet cookbook proves. Marinade them with ingredients like maple syrup, capers, liquid smoke, and garlic powder, before serving on toast with a generous amount of herbed cream cheese for an indulgent, healthy breakfast vegan lox.
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VegNews.PortobelloBenedictThe Ravens

4 Easy, 4-Step Vegan Portabello Benedict

Eggs Benedict, who? You won’t crave chicken eggs once you’ve tried this delicious portobello Benedict recipe from The Stanford Inn vegan hotel. For extra vegetable goodness, load it up with tomatoes and spinach, too.
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VegNews.TofuScramble.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

5 Easy Two-Step Tofu Scramble With Mixed Veggies

This tofu scramble fits the criteria for busy mornings: it’s easy peasy, tasty, and packed with goodness. This recipe calls for ingredients like zucchini, carrots, red peppers, and onions, but you can swap in any vegetable you like.
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VegNews.HashBrownFrittataJackie Sobon

6 Vegan Breakfast Frittata With Hash Brown Crust

If you’ve got a little time on your hands, you can’t beat this breakfast frittata recipe from the Vegan Yack Attack’s Plant-Based Meal Prep cookbook. It’s packed with tasty vegetables, including yellow onions, bell peppers, and black beans, and the hash brown crust makes it truly irresistible.
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VegNews.BreakfastBurritoLinda Soper-Kolton

7 Vegan Freezer-Friendly Black Bean Breakfast Burritos

Make these vegetable-heavy, freezer-friendly breakfast burritos in advance if you’re short on time in the mornings. The recipe is packed with flavor as well as delicious vegetables like bell peppers, red onions, spinach, and black beans. Load it up with hot sauce if you like to start your day with a kick.
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