Welcome to Episode #40 of the Raw Food Podcast. I am your host, Laura-Jane – the Rawtarian – and today we are talking about breakfasts: Raw vegan breakfast options, how to start your day off beautifully, healthily, well, and so that you will be just jazzed up to go forth with the rest of your day. So stay tuned and we will be talking about breakfasts shortly.
Thank you so much for joining me on another episode of the Raw Food Podcast! Here we are at Episode #40; it’s the middle-age of the Raw Food Podcast, and I’m so happy to have you here with me today. So, I was doing some interlinking between blog posts and podcasts and I was like, “Where’s the podcast about breakfasts?” And, believe it or not (I didn’t believe it), I realized that I hadn’t really just done a really high-level episode just talking about breakfast options as a raw vegan, and I just slapped myself and I said “What is wrong with you? Why don’t you have a breakfast episode?” So, I’m here today to remedy that problem.
One of the most key things that I love to talk about when you’re just starting out with the raw food (or even healthy food in general) is that if you can have a healthy breakfast (yes, I know it sounds cliché), but it sets you up so well for the rest of the day. Not even because of anything nutritionally. Just emotionally you’re like, “Ah. I’m a rockstar! I’ve had a healthy breakfast. Maybe I should have a healthy snack,” and it just propels you off for success because you kinda wanna keep doing good things.
Some of the main breakfast options that we’re gonna talk about today – and I’ll just run through all 5 of them and then we’ll talk about each one individually a little bit – but Number one: just have some fruit. It’s so easy; it’s so beautiful. Just have some fruit. Number two: you could have a green smoothie for breakfast, or a smoothie in general. It doesn’t have to be green, but we’ll talk about that later. Number 3: we could have some semblance of a cereal. We’re gonna talk about ‘bowls’, so that might be cereal, etc. And I guess the next topic I had to talk about is granola, which is a lot like ‘bowls’, but we’re gonna talk about that separately. The fifth and final item would be the sort of fancy stuff like pancakes and raw vegan omelets, which would just be reserved for special occasions, because they’re a little bit complicated. Because what you wanna have out of your breakfast is something you can do quickly, you can do easily, that’s not too expensive. Just something you can just get it together, and eat it, and go without putting too much effort into it.
So, let’s just jump ahead and go right into the first topic of fruit. Yes, so obvious, so simple, but it is a beautiful way to start your day. For example: even today – what did I have? – I believe I had 3 clementines, which I feel like this is some new fruit that I never knew existed before, but they’re like a mandarin orange. So I had 3 clementines and a banana. And I was actually quite physically hungry when I got up, but I felt totally good and satiated. So, fruit is a beautiful way to start your day with breakfast.
Now, the segue into the second topic of green smoothies is: sometimes fruit (peeling it and eating it) can actually take a little bit of time, depending on what you’re gonna be peeling and eating. Today it wasn’t too bad with the banana because of course that’s so easy and the oranges as well that I had, not too bad in terms of... you can really inhale a banana really quickly! But sometimes it can actually be much faster (and I know that sounds counterintuitive) to just have a smoothie because you can slam it back really fast rather than having to chew everything and so on and so forth. Even if you take the most basic example: let’s pretend that you made a smoothie and it was the most boring kind of basic smoothie (it was like 3 bananas and some water in a blender). That’s gonna be super easy and quick to make. Also it’ll be super easy to clean your blender; all you have to do is really just make it and then rinse it immediately after and the cleanup is actually really not that bad. Especially for that banana smoothie, come on, you wouldn’t even need a cutting board or a knife! So sometimes having a smoothie in the morning is actually faster depending on the volume of food you’re eating, particularly if you’re eating a lot of fruit in the morning – more than what I had today – then it’s just gonna be faster for you to have a smoothie.
I have a whole podcast, of course, about green smoothies, but ultimately you can add greens, spinach and parsley are my favorite. Spinach is my ultimate favorite because it has almost no taste when you combine it. It’s gonna look green, you’re gonna get great nutritional content from the spinach, and it is not going to “taste green”, which is why we love the green smoothies. If you have a ratio of about 2/3 fruit and 1/3 greens, especially with the kind of of bland-tasting green like spinach, you are not going to taste the green; it’s just going to be fruity. So you don’t have to think it’s going to be gross. And, relatedly, the quality of your blender is quite important when you’re making a smoothie, particularly if you’re making greens or using apples or oranges, things that are more fibrous and they don’t blend more easily. So, if you’re having green smoothies and they’re kind of gross-tasting to you, then probably you need a better blender and it’s gonna make everything super silky-smooth.
If you wanna know more about that, it’s one of my very earlier podcasts, so you can find that at therawtarian.com/podcasts or of course in iTunes and so on and so forth. So that is the basic idea of the smoothie. So simple!
I love them and of course I’ve got lots of great recipes on my site, but ultimately, I find that the best green smoothies have spinach as the green, because, as I said, it has the least “green” flavor. I always love to have some lemon, be that even just lemon juice that you have in your fridge or fresh-squeezed – well I don’t even put fresh-squeezed juice; I would just peel a lemon and put it into my smoothie. It’s the acidity in the lemon. It really just tastes so good. And it doesn’t make it sour; it just balances the flavors of the sweetness particularly. Then, of course, I always tend to have tons of delicious fruit. My main green smoothie fruit that I would use would usually be banana because it’s creamy and super sweet. That’s all that I’ll say about smoothies for now, but those are some of my key tips.
Wait, my last tip on the smoothies – you knew I wouldn’t be able to stop with this – would be never leave your blender dirty. Don’t store leftover smoothies in your blender in your fridge. Please don’t do that. The reason for this – I don’t care about the quality of your blender – it’s because the next time you wanna use your blender it’s in your fridge and it’s dirty and you’re like “aww”. Similarly, don’t put it in the dishwasher, either. Just rinse it. It will take, like, ten seconds. And if you’re using it all the time… ok, just stop Laura-Jane. Stop.
So that is the second idea of the breakfast option of the smoothie. Love it!
Another really nice quick option, Number 3: Here we have different types of bowls. I have a very, very, popular recipe on my website called The Rawtarian’s Raw Breakfast Bowl and you can get that for free at therawtarian.com. Just do “breakfast bowl” in the search bar there. What this is is it is essentially a cereal that you make on the fly with some nuts and some raisins and a little bit of coconut and some chia seeds, which are the key ingredient because they’re gonna plump up and make it more interesting than just a bowl of nuts and raisins. And of course when I make any type of cereal, I will usually use a nut milk. Almond milk is what people are most traditionally used to, which is great, and almonds have some of the highest protein of all the nuts, so I love almonds. But I do find that cashew milk is easier to make, because you don’t need to strain it and I might even have a podcast about nut milks! I’ve made so many podcasts; I think if I don’t have one, I should or I will soon. I think I do.
But ultimately what you’re doing is you’re making sort of a cereal mixture. I don’t make a big batch in advance and then keep it in a box like cereal; I just make it on the fly. And the more you make it, the better you’ll get and you don’t need to follow a recipe. I do have recipes, but then once you get into the flow of it, you don’t really need a recipe. You just kind of grab a little of this and a little of that and go with it.
So, I love those bowls. And for me, for the first few years, I probably had green smoothie or some kind of cereal bowl experience every morning. I just alternated between those two. I am gonna talk at the end – I should even write this down – I just wrote down “Habits” as something to talk about at the end, because I really like to talk about that, and we will later.
Number 4 would be the granola. I guess the only reason I separated this out really is because this does need to be made up in advance, if you make a really tasty delicious granola like the one I make. So, in my dehydrator, what I will do is: I have a good recipe, but basically you’re just taking a really big bowl of nuts and seeds and raisins and coconut and then you’re adding some tahini and a bit of sweetener and coating your nuts with this uber-delicious, amazing coating. And then you’re going to dehydrate that. I would make a really big batch if you’re going to take the trouble to make granola. Fill up every tray in your dehydrator with it, because it keeps really well and it’s so tasty. So that would be definitely quite a bit nut-dense and high in fat, so what you’d want to do with that granola is probably pair it with some fresh fruit in the morning. You probably wouldn’t want to just have a huge bowl of granola, because that would be a lot… unless you’re having a small bowl for your breakfast. But that is a fabulous, tasty recipe, and not too hard to make if you have a dehydrator. So that is number 4.
SPECIAL OCCASION BREAKFASTS
My last item on my list was the idea of the complicated breakfast. I have a very nice pancake recipe that is flax-based. Of course it is raw vegan and uncooked, so you’re just forming pancakes with your hands with ingredients and then they’re pancake-like and you can top them with all kinds of different things.
I also have a crêpe recipe, which does require a dehydrator as well, but that’s really nice. And ultimately, what you’re doing with that is making a smoothie, pouring it on a dehydrator tray, and then dehydrating it. And you’re making a crêpe. And that is fun!
I also have a nice omelet-ish nut paté crazy thing. Again, these are special occasion fun things and not something that I would have every day.
So those are the main types of breakfasts that I would have as a raw vegan.
So, remember that I wrote “habits” down with my left hand as my #6 topic? Really what I wanna say about breakfasts – and it’s not a new concept from me; you’ve heard me talk about it a lot – and it is: repetition. Particularly in the mornings when you’ve got maybe children going out to school or you’re trying to race to get ready in the morning for work, you don’t wanna have to make something and come up with a creative idea. What you wanna do – it’s kind of like brushing your teeth or whatever other habits you have in the morning – you wanna just get in the kitchen and make your breakfast. It doesn’t have to be the most gourmet thing; it doesn’t have to be different than what you had yesterday.
One of the keys, particularly when you’re new and trying to make healthy habits for yourself: Just make the same thing every day until you get bored of it. And then just switch it up and make THAT thing every day. So that’s one key is just repetition, because then you’re gonna get really good at making that one thing, and it’s gonna become easier every time you do it, and you’re gonna get used to it. And remember, it is habit that is going to keep you going.
So, I don’t want you to try to make a different smoothie every single day, or have granola one day and, you know, don’t make it too complicated. You can and I love you if you can make it happen, but if you’re new and you want to make this streak of health going, then I want you to keep it as simple as possible. So that is a very big piece.
Thirdly, I also advocate thinking about it the night before. You don’t have to lay out the food or anything, but just kinda make a mental commitment, like “Tomorrow, I should probably have a smoothie.” Just having that kernel of a plan will help you the next morning to get up and be like “OK. Well, I’d better get in the kitchen and make that smoothie.”
Because the fewer decisions you have to make in the morning, the better. We have so many things to think about and if you can have a plan in advance, even if it’s just like “OK. Tomorrow I will have a raw breakfast” or “Tomorrow I will have this”, just that little intention is gonna set you up in the morning with a different way of starting the day, because it’s probably gonna be easier to just grab a donut out of the lunchroom or something, so you do have to help yourself make the right decisions by planning a little bit or making an intention.
So what else can I say about breakfasts? Let me think for a second. We talked about fruit, and that’s good: just the basic fruit. I think all of these things come down to: Do you actually have these ingredients in your house? Because if you think “Yeah tomorrow I should really make some sort of healthy breakfast” and all you have in your house is Lucky Charms, then that is a big problem. So, it all starts at the grocery store. Sometimes that might mean spending a little bit more at the grocery store that you’re used to, and I know that’s always a challenge for us all. Believe me, I know. But, ultimately, I believe in you.
And I think, again, having that breakfast first thing if you can do it, especially if you can get into a pattern of it where you think. No matter what else goes wrong in the day, whether you’re going to have a big steak dinner and I don’t care… but if you can just commit to having a healthy breakfast each day, that could lead you somewhere else down the line. And all of these habits start with one really tiny thing. Just like all of these really nice cliché analogies, like how a big tree was once an acorn and all of these things, people don’t eat completely healthily overnight. It sometimes takes a transition, and breakfast is a beautiful way to start it. Again, if you can just have the same thing every day, like the green smoothie with one banana, one orange, whatever the ingredients are, just keep doing it. Don’t think about it; it’s gonna get easier and easier, and pretty soon it’ll just be part of your regular life, just like watching TV. It doesn’t have to seem like such a huge ordeal. It will seem like one at the beginning, but the more you do it, and especially the easier you make it for yourself by making the same things over and over if you like them, then you will be off to a fabulous start.
Thank you so much for joining me on the Breakfast episode of the Raw Food Podcast. I am loving doing these podcasts. This is episode 40, which is kinda hard to believe, but at the same time… No, actually it is hard to believe. That’s a lot of talking! Especially for someone such as myself who is actually quite introverted. The last thing I will leave you with is if you have a request for something you would like me to cover in the Raw Food Podcast, that would be great. Or a specific question that you would like an answer to and maybe I can answer it in verbal form, I would be into that. So, do send me an email at LJ@therawtarian.com and thank you so much for being here with me. I really appreciate it. Goodbye!
This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with like-minded, qualified health care professional(s). I wish you success on your raw journey!