Popular vegan breakfasts are often dishes like oatmeal, pancakes, French toast and granola bars. However, low-carb dieters have to avoid regular consumption of grain-based foods. This means most low-carb vegan breakfast foods need to incorporate other healthy, plant-based ingredients.
Soy-Based Low-Carb Vegan Breakfast Ideas
If you're looking for low-carb vegan breakfast ideas, tofu is likely the easiest place to start. Tofu is made from soybeans, which are legumes. Soybeans can be turned into a variety of different products, including soy sauce, tempeh and tofu.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, soy products are rich in a variety of essential nutrients, including B-complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium and dietary fiber. They're also a good source of complete protein, which can be difficult for vegans to obtain.
While you may not think of soy products as breakfast items, a January 2014 study in the Appetite Journal reports that natto (fermented soybeans) and miso soup are both components of traditional Japanese breakfasts. Miso soup, which is made from fermented soybean paste, also integrates low-carb plant-based foods like tofu, seaweed and spring onions.
If you'd prefer a more Western breakfast, medium and firm tofu can also be used in breakfast stir-fries like this LIVESTRONG.com recipe for Tofu Tricolor Stir-Fry, which has 19 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat and 16 grams of carbohydrates. Soft tofu can easily be used to make tofu scrambles — the vegan alternative to scrambled eggs.
Read more: 12 Vegan Breakfasts That Everyone Will Love
Balanced, Low-Carb Vegan Breakfasts
It's very easy to make a plain tofu scramble with a bit of salt and pepper. Add a side of avocado or incorporate your scramble into a breakfast burrito, and you end up with a balanced, low-carb vegan breakfast.
Many tofu scrambles incorporate other ingredients into their recipes, which can alter the net carb content of your low-carb vegan breakfast. Keep in mind that tofu scrambles can have a lot of variation in their macronutrient content. It's best to choose healthy high-fat, high-protein, low-carb ingredients whenever possible.
For example, our Mushroom Tofu Scramble has 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of carbs (7 net carbs), while our Vegan Curry Sunrise Scramble has 21 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbs (8 net carbs).
There is more than four times as much fat and one and a half times the amount of protein in the Vegan Curry Sunrise Scramble compared to the Mushroom Tofu Scramble, yet it has just 8 net carbs. If you're following a stricter low-carb diet, higher-fat tofu scrambles like this may be better for a balanced diet.
Quick, Easy, Low-Carb Vegan Breakfasts
If you're in too much of a rush to prepare a tofu stir-fry or scramble, you can make an easier breakfast with soy yogurt. Combining ingredients like yogurt with nuts and seeds — as shown in this LIVESTRONG.com Walnut and Flaxseed Soy Yogurt recipe — can help you make healthy, low-carb vegan breakfast foods. You can also swap out soy yogurt for a low-carb nut-based yogurt, like almond yogurt.
Use nut and soy milk products to create low-carb vegan breakfast smoothies. Our Vegan Chocolate Nut Shake with Sea Salt and Vegan Fresh Peppermint Shake are both rich in protein and healthy fats and low in carbohydrates.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, ingredients like added sugars are often found in otherwise healthy foods, like yogurt and juices. These added sugars can derail your low-carb diet. So it's best to prepare your own yogurt-based, low-carb vegan breakfast foods at home.
- Food and Drug Administration: "Sugars"
- Appetite: "Lifestyle Constraints, Not Inadequate Nutrition Education, Cause Gap Between Breakfast Ideals and Realities Among Japanese in Tokyo"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Straight Talk About Soy"
- Netrition: Joseph's Low-Carb Pita Bread
- Westsoy: Seitan
- Vegetarian Resource Group: Seitan
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Food Nutrient Database: Kale