Quick Vegan Breakfast Ideas

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oatmeal with berriesVegan doesn’t have to be complicated!  There are tons of super simple, healthy and delicious meals that come together in a snap and require little to no prep. Here are some easy and tasty breakfast ideas that will fill you up and satisfy you until lunchtime. Whole-grain cereal – many cereals are vegan and a perfect, nutritious breakfast for a busy morning when paired with non-dairy milk. Look for one that has fiber and protein for a fullness that lasts. Overnight oats or oatmeal – the possibilities really are endless! Walnuts, pecans, peanut butter, chia seeds, and shredded coconut are some of my favorite toppings. To prepare overnight oats, just combine oats and water or milk in a 1:1 ratio in a jar the night before you want to enjoy it. Place it in the fridge, and your oats will be softened and ready for you in the morning. Toast topped with avocado or nut butter – with the nut butters, try adding fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, or shredded coconut on top! Smoothies – smoothies are a great way to load up on tons of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, all at once! They are also easily customizable. Combine any fruits and veggies of your choice (my favorite simple combination is banana and a handful of leafy greens) with chia seeds, and your favorite nut butter for a nutritious boost.

Tofu Scramble

Tofu scrambles come together quickly and taste remarkably like scrambled eggs! Here is an easy, delicious recipe that is loaded with protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 6 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Drain the tofu by wrapping the block in paper towel. Place cutting board on top of the block of tofu. Apply even pressure to the top of the block by placing a cookbook (or something of equal weight) on top of the cutting board. Let tofu drain for about 10–15 minutes.
  2. Crumble tofu with your hands until it resembles scrambled eggs and place in large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes (to get rid of any extra water).
  3. Add in kale and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and stir to combine thoroughly.
  5. Cook for 5–10 minutes. If the tofu sticks to the pan, add a splash of almond milk.

Annie Markowitz is the blogger behind VegAnnie.com

How to Stock Your Vegan Pantry

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wooden spoon with vegan grainsIf you are a new vegan, it may seem overwhelming when surfing the web or browsing through cookbooks to find vegan-friendly recipes. Having these pantry staples on hand will help you breeze through new recipes and make sure you always have something easy and tasty to whip up.

Oats – I love oats because they are so versatile! They work wonderfully as a binder in veggie burgers and are also perfect on their own to make oatmeal, overnight oats and baked goods. You can also blend them up into a fine powder to create your own oat flour, which is a wonderful gluten-free flour substitute for baking.

Beans – Having cans of beans on hand can be a lifesaver when you want to throw a quick meal together. From creating a delicious bean burger, to enjoying a bean chili, beans are an essential to any vegan pantry. You can even make healthy baked treats using beans, like these Healthy Fudgy Brownies!

Spices – Spices are amazing to add flavor to any dish. Some of my favorites are garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika, which can instantly take a dish from good to gourmet with a few dashes of each. I like to sprinkle them on top of French fries, roasted vegetables and plain raw veggies for snacking. Salt and pepper, too, of course!

Nutritional yeast – This ingredient is used very often in vegan cooking. It is deactivated yeast that adds a delightful, cheesy flavor to any dish. You may also see it referred to as “nooch” on the internet.

Cereal & granola – Don’t forget that vegans can also eat many cereals and granolas (with non-dairy milk!). I always have cereal and granola on hand for lazy or busy mornings.

Nuts – Nuts are a great go-to because they are packed with fiber, healthy fats and protein. No prep necessary, just grab a handful and you’re good-to-go!

Non-dairy milk – It’s always helpful to have a shelf-stable, non-dairy milk on hand when you’re in a pinch but want to make a smoothie or enjoy a bowl of oatmeal.

Nut butters – Peanut butter and almond butter are two essentials in my pantry. I love adding them to smoothies for a boost of protein and healthy fat or spreading them on toast for a delicious, nutritious breakfast or snack

Pasta and marinara – Spaghetti is one of the simplest meals to whip up, and is always a crowd pleaser. Having these ingredients around makes creating a quick weeknight dinner easy as pie! Add in some of your favorite spices to take it up a notch.

Grains – Having grains around is a must. I like to keep it simple with brown rice and quinoa. You can make a big batch and use them in different recipes all week long, like stir fries and chili. They also make a great side dish on their own.

Condiments – Having things like red wine vinegar and olive oil on hand makes it super simple to whip up a delicious salad dressing. Soy sauce drizzled over veggies and rice can turn your boring ol’ veggies into a lovely Asian meal. Ketchup and mustard are an essential, too, for your veggie burgers and French fries!

Annie Markowitz is the blogger behind VegAnnie.com

Vegan Substitutes

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Alternative Milk and Vegan SubstitutesThere are tons of vegan substitutes for common non-vegan baking and cooking products. Here is how to substitute some of the most popular ingredients used in baking and cooking, so that you don’t have to miss out on the foods you love!

Eggs

Any of these can be used to substitute one egg in a recipe.
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
  • ¼ cup blended tofu
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • Ener-G egg replacer

Butter

Any of these can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for butter in baking and cooking.
  • Coconut oil
  • Margarine
  • Vegetable shortening

Milk

There are many vegan milk alternatives available that can be substituted in any recipe that calls for milk. These are some of my favorites:
  • Almond milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Soy milk

Chocolate

You can find chocolate for baking, chocolate bars, and chocolate chips that are all vegan and taste just like their non-vegan counterparts. Here are some of my favorites for baking (and eating when I need a chocolate fix!):
  • Lily’s chocolate baking bars
  • Lily’s chocolate chips
Enjoy life vegan chocolate chips

Cheese

Many vegan cheeses exist that are sliceable and can be melted perfectly on a pizza or sprinkled over vegan tacos. You can find vegan cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, and even ricotta! Some common brands are:
  • Daiya
  • Tofutti
  • Follow Your Heart
 

Annie Markowitz is the blogger behind VegAnnie.com

How to Stock Your Vegan Fridge

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fridge full of vegan foodsIf you are new to becoming vegan, there are a some staples that you will want to have on hand so that you can throw together a quick, delicious meal in a snap. These are some of the best items to have stocked up in your fridge to make it super easy to incorporate more vegan foods into your diet.

Fruit and Veggies

Fruit is a perfect snack or breakfast, and the best part is that you don’t have to do any prep work for many fruits! Apples, oranges, and pears are some of my favorites. Having some sliced up veggies and baby carrots in your fridge is also a lifesaver when you need a quick, healthy snack. You can easily throw a salad together or sauté your cut up veggies into a delicious stir-fry in 10 minutes or less.

Non-Dairy Milk

Having non-dairy milk in your fridge makes it super easy to whip up a smoothie, oatmeal, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal for a quick and delicious breakfast.

Tofu

Tofu can turn into so many different things and adds the perfect protein boost to any meal. Blend it up and sweeten it into a vegan yogurt or crumble it into a tofu scramble for scrumptious, savory breakfast. It’s also perfect to toss into a veggie stir-fry for lunch or dinner. The possibilities are endless!

Vegan Cheese

You can find all sorts of vegan cheeses, from Gouda to cream cheese to shredded mozzarella at the grocery store. Having vegan cheese around makes it easy to make a vegan pizza, snack on some vegan cheese and crackers, or enjoy the classic bagel and cream cheese for breakfast.

Pre-Made Meals

There are tons of vegan pre-made meal options! Vegan enchiladas, vegan pizzas, veggie burgers, vegan chicken nuggets, vegan burritos, and more. Perfect for those days that you need a quick and hearty meal but don’t feel like cooking.

Condiments & Dressings

Vegan ranch dressing, vegan mayo, soy sauce, ketchup, and mustard are great to have around for salads, sandwiches, wraps, and more!

Hummus

Crackers or veggies dipped in hummus can be a delicious, healthy, and easy snack! Hummus is also great to add to a sandwich or wrap for lunch.

Salsa

Who doesn’t love chips and salsa? You can also turn salsa into guacamole in a snap by mashing up a few avocados and mixing it all together. A dollop of salsa over a salad is also a great way to use it and add a kick to your salad.  

Annie Markowitz is the blogger behind VegAnnie.com

Ground-Based Nutrition

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Superfood Protein

Fuel for Life

When Charles Weller was looking for a clean protein to build muscle and help keep him healthy, he struggled to find something that was natural and tasted good. His old whey protein caused too much inflammation in his body so he knew he had to go plant-based. He started making Superfood Protein in his kitchen, mixing all the ingredients that were vital to building muscle and keeping the body healthy, including organic plant-based protein, a full serving of greens and superfoods. He wanted something that wasn’t chalky or gritty, but mixed well and tasted great. People in San Diego kept trying to buy his Superfood Protein for themselves after tasting it. After all, shouldn’t your protein smoothies taste as amazing as you are?? That’s how Ground-Based Nutrition was born.

Always Organic … Always Ground-Based!

Ground-Based Nutrition’s Superfood Protein is made with natural whole-food organic ingredients. It is certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, certified vegan and gluten-free. There’s no soy, dairy or whey and zero sugar. Superfood Protein is packed with 20 grams of muscle-building plant protein and superfoods to enhance your life. It tastes like an amazing treat, while being the perfect fuel to energize your body and keep you healthy. Try the delicious Pure Vanilla or Rich Chocolate flavors and see why Superfood Protein is voted #1 best-tasting plant-based protein! ENERGIZE! For more information, visit www.Ground-Based.com or follow Ground-Based Nutrition on Ground-Based Nutrition’s Facebook, Ground-Based Nutrition’s Twitter, Ground-Based Nutrition’s Instagram or Ground-Based Nutrition’s Pinterest.  

GoMacro

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GoMacro is a family-owned company that was founded to promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Today, they rely on five key principles to guide their company:
  1. Veg out on vegan foods
  2. Live a long, healthy life through a macrobiotic diet
  3. Be well by only eating wholesome ingredients
  4. Give back to the community
  5. Source sustainably
Aligning with these principles, GoMacro offers delicious bars that are packed with wholesome ingredients and deliver time-released energy. GoMacro believes that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste for nutrition, so they focus on creating bars in a variety of scrumptious, good-for-you flavors. Under 300 calories, low in sugar and packed with protein, these bars are ideal for pre and post workout. All Macro Bars are made with nutritious and sustainably sourced ingredients. They are gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, kosher and vegan. Marco bars even fuel pro sports teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns. Learn more about GoMacro.  

Cholaca

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Boulder, Colorado-based Cholaca was founded in 2012, by Ira Leibtag, with one dream in mind: to bring healthy, organic and regeneratively farmed liquid cacao to the masses, while curating sustainable economic partnerships with farmers throughout Peru and Ecuador. Cholaca is pure liquid cacao made from one of the planet’s most nutrient-rich superfoods. This delicious product, available as a liquid or in baking wafer form, is also a natural stimulant and mood enhancer that can be enjoyed on its own or in various recipes. It is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly! Cholaca comes in a few varieties and is made from only a couple ingredients with no preservatives, emulsifiers or additives. You will love this pure, cacao perfection!

The “Cholaca Lifestyle”

 
Video description: Make Cholaca a part of your lifestyle. How do you Cholaca?
  Visit the Cholaca website: cholaca.com/products  

Top 6: Raw Superfoods and Their Health Benefits

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chia seeds on a spoonWe’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day yet many of us are either not hungry immediately in the morning or don’t have the time to make a well-balanced, nutritious meal before heading off to work. In the same amount of time as it takes to make your morning coffee, you could whip up a delicious smoothie that will not only energize you, it will help you feel full longer so you’re not starving by lunch time. Give your day the kick start it needs by enhancing your morning smoothie or oatmeal with these 6 powerful raw superfoods.

Goji Berries

  • Good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene
  • Low in calories, fat-free and loaded with fiber
  • Good source of protein and iron

Chia Seeds

  • Loaded with antioxidants
  • Good source of fiber
  • Supports weight loss by helping you feel full
  • Rich with heart health omega-3 fatty acids

Cacao Nibs

  • High in antioxidants
  • Good source of fiber, magnesium, potassium and flavonoids
  • Improves moods by boosting the “feel good” neurotransmitters

Hemp Seeds

  • Significant source of protein
  • Easily digestible compared to meat and other high protein foods
  • Rich in vitamin E
  • Delivers a continuous source of energy

Maca Powder

  • Rich in vitamins B and C
  • Good source of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids
  • Known to increase energy and stamina
  • Female hormone balancer

Flax Seeds

  • Provides a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids
  • Great source of fiber
  • Supports brain function
  • Contains lignans, which have antioxidant properties

Up Your Blender Game with The Blender Girl

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Put your blender to good use—they’re not just for smoothies! The Blender Girl, Tess Masters, is here to take you from appetizers to desserts. Enjoy these downright delicious, vegan recipes that anyone can make with their blender.
Video description: Watch Facebook Live to learn some clever ways to up your blender game with Tess Masters, AKA 
The Blender Girl.
Green Smoothie with Salad

Green Queen

Ingredients:

For the Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil cold-pressed
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice, freshly squeezed, to taste
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley (leaves only), chopped
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch Chives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Blanched raw almonds, (or 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds), soaked
  • 1/2 Avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Water, plus more as needed
For the Salad:
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 8 cups Earthbound Farm Baby Spinach or Baby Arugula (or your favorite mixed leafy greens or microgreens)
  • 1/4 Purple cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 cups Broccoli stalks, julienned (or 2 cups peeled, seeded and diced or julienned cucumber)
  • 2 Avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bunch Green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 ea. Hemp seeds, sunflower or pumpkin
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. To make the dressing, put all of the ingredients into your blender and purée on high for about 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Adjust the flavors to your taste (you might want more lemon juice, garlic or salt). This dressing should have the consistency of thin mayo, but add a little more water to thin it out if you prefer. It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  2. To assemble the salad, shave the zucchini lengthwise into strips with a vegetable peeler, discarding the seedy core. In a large serving bowl, toss together the zucchini strips, greens, cabbage, broccoli, avocados, green onions, almonds and seeds. Add the dressing to your preference and toss well. Season with salt and pepper, and pass any remaining dressing at the table.

Raw Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding

Raw Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding

 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 med. Avocados, pitted, and peeled
  • 3/4 cup Raw cacao powder
  • 3/4 cup Pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup Raw almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ground cinnamon, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch Celtic sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Throw all of the ingredients into your high-speed blender, and blast on high for 30–60 seconds until smooth and creamy. Use the tamper to guide the ingredients through the blades. (You may need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the container.)
  2. Spoon into glasses, and chill the individual servings for a few hours before serving.
  3. Serve with ice cream, cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
       
Watermelon salsa in a bowl

Watermelon Gazpacho

 Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Seedless watermelon, roughly chopped, plus 6 cups diced
  • 2 cups Tomato, diced
  • 1 cup Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup Red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp.Red onion, diced, plus more to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. Basil, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Mint, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. Lime juice, freshly squeezed, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. Lime zest, finely grated
  • 2 tsp. Ginger,  minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Green serrano chile, minced, add more to taste
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Natural salt, add more to taste
  • 1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Put the 4 cups of chopped watermelon into your blender and purée on high for 30–60 seconds, until liquefied. Pour into a serving bowl.
  2. Add the 6 cups of diced watermelon and all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine well. Tweak flavors to taste (adding more onion, lime juice, chile or salt).
  3. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably 12–24 hours to allow the flavors to fuse and the vibrant red color to develop.
  4. Before serving, tweak flavors again (if it’s too spicy, add some lime juice).
  5. Set out additional lime juice and salt and enjoy!