Start your day the healthy way with our fabulous clean eating breakfast ideas! These recipes are packed to the rafters with healthy vitamins and nutrients to help power your day.September 23, 2021 3:08 pm October 05, 2021 5:04 pm
Breakfasts of yore
When we were kids, breakfast options were a bit more limited than they are today. Usually, it was white toast with butter and jam, or sugary breakfast cereal with semi-skimmed milk.
We’d head off to school and then wonder why we were getting hunger pangs at 11am!
Sadly, the breakfast options from our childhood weren’t that great from a nutritional perspective. For instance, white bread has developed a profoundly bad reputation. In fact, one doctor and radio host famously claimed: “the whiter your bread, the sooner you’re dead.”(1)
He was probably exaggerating; in fact, a recent groundbreaking study found that the best type of bread to eat (out of white bread of sourdough) might actually depend more on the individual than the grain.(2) However, we could all do well to eat more whole grains, and swapping to brown bread is an easy way to do it.
Jam and processed breakfast cereals also present their own issues, mostly in regards to their sugar content. The British Heart Foundation released a list of breakfast cereals ranked best to worst in terms of health, citing chocolate granola as the least healthy option. A 50g serving came in at an astonishing 24g of sugar – almost a third of your daily recommended maximum in one bowl!(3)
(Side note: if you love your chocolate granola, keep scrolling for an excellent healthy option to make your own!)
Not to mention that the breakfast goodies we used to enjoy only supply us with certain nutrients (predominantly carbs and fiber). We were missing out on an opportunity to include protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals from fruit and veg.
A bowl of goodness
So, it looks like the breakfasts of our childhood are hardly ideal. What should we replace them with if we are to make healthier choices?
There are a few simple rules to follow.
Firstly – can you balance your breakfast? For example, instead of simply eating carbs and sugar (from white bread or breakfast cereal), can you add other healthy food groups? Something as simple as adding fresh fruit to your cereal bowl adds vitamins, minerals and fiber. A scattering of nuts and seeds introduces protein. Suddenly, with minimal effort, your breakfast has become more nutritionally diverse.
Secondly, can you swap refined grains for whole grains? We’re always bemused by the popularity of microwaveable instant porridge, for example. Generally speaking, lots of the healthy fiber has been lost and a lot of unnecessary sugar added. And yet, making your own porridge with whole grain porridge oats is just as quick and easy, and much, much healthier.
Thirdly, how about breaking free from the sugary breakfast items of Western culture? In many parts of the world it’s traditional to eat savory foods for breakfast. In Latin America, for example, rice and beans, served with plantain or eggs, are popular. Meanwhile in China, you might find steamed buns, dumplings or noodle soups on the breakfast table.(4)
A note on ‘clean eating’
Just before we get into our favorite clean eating breakfast ideas, a note on the term.
If you’re reading this article, you probably have an interest in health and wellness. Perhaps you’re looking for breakfast ideas that offer a healthy alternative to processed breakfast cereals and pastries. Or, maybe you’re looking for ways to pack healthier foods like fruit and whole grains into your diet.
All of this is great stuff. After all, scientists think that in general people from Western countries should aim to eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruit. We tend to eat more processed and junk food than is good for us, and it’s wreaking havoc with our health.(5)
So, if you’re looking for ways to make healthy changes to your diet, you’re in the right place! These breakfast recipes were designed with our good health in mind.
However, ‘clean eating’ is a controversial term. In fact, we’ve written another article on it, and Erbology’s stance on it, over at ‘What is ‘clean eating’?’ It’s a great place to start if you’re coming to clean eating for the first time, and talks about why the term has come in for some criticism in recent years.
In a nutshell, people use the term ‘clean eating’ to mean different things. For some, it’s about making healthier life choices and avoiding overly processed foods. We’re all for that.
But some people interpret it to mean cutting out whole food groups without medical advice, or even moving towards disordered eating in pursuit of unrealistic health and beauty goals.
At Erbology, that’s not what we’re about, and we don’t want to contribute to that culture. The recipes we’re sharing here are designed to be part of a healthy, balanced diet that makes you feel fantastic and cares for your body.
OK, now that’s sorted, let’s get into the breakfast ideas!
Clean eating breakfast ideas
How did the dishes in this article make the cut? Well, they all feature:
- Whole grains in place of refined ones
- No refined sugar
- Plenty of fresh fruit or veg
- Ingredients bursting with vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrients
- Healthy fats
- Only natural, whole-food ingredients
And, they’re all vegan-friendly to boot!
1. Yoghurt parfait with poppy seed oil
Our yoghurt parfait can be made with any yoghurt of your choice, but here we’ve chosen coconut. Why? We love the flavor of it alongside the fresh blueberries which sit coddled beneath its silky layers. Make sure you look for a ‘live’ coconut yoghurt as this acts as a probiotic, sending healthy bacteria to join your microbiome.
Most of the sweetness required for this recipe comes from fruit; it includes berries, apple and fig. If you have a particularly sweet tooth, a drizzle of maple syrup offers a lower GI option than sugar. Add a teaspoon of crushed hazelnuts for texture and protein.
Here, we get our healthy fats from our Organic Poppy Seed Oil. You might not have thought to try a drizzle of cold-pressed oil on your breakfast bowl, but it’s a great way to boost your nutrient intake. For example, poppy seed oil is high in vitamin E, which fights free radicals and is great for your skin, hair and nails. It also contains unsaturated fatty acids which support your brain health.
What’s more, a bit of healthy fat may even help you get more out of your fruit and veggies. A 2004 study found that a little bit of fat helps you better absorb healthy nutrients such as carotenoids (antioxidants present in blueberries and other fruits).(6)
2. Fluffy vegan pancakes
Think pancakes are off the menu when it comes to clean eating? Think again! Mercifully, a few tweaks to the classic recipe make these pancakes a delicious and healthy everyday breakfast option.
First up, we substitute some of the refined flour for whole grain flour, to up the fiber and nutrient content of our pancakes.
Next, we swap sugar for agave or maple syrup and add a little fresh apple to the mix for extra sweetness.
Our secret weapon is the addition of three teaspoons of our Organic Sunchoke Powder. Made from sunflower tubers, it’s rich in a special type of prebiotic fiber called inulin. We can’t digest it ourselves, but the beneficial bacteria in our gut can. So, it’s like sending them a tiny, nutritious care package! It’s great for your microbiome – and what’s good for your microbiome is also good for your digestion, overall wellbeing and even your mental health.
You can top a stack of these fluffy pancakes with fruit or a little more maple syrup. Our favorite combo is a little fresh apple cooked with a sprinkling of cinnamon. It’s just the thing for a weekend breakfast; it feels indulgent, but is actually very healthy.
3. Green smoothie bowl with milk thistle and aloe vera
Sometimes, when we want to feel clean, fresh and light as a feather, we love to mix up this vitamin-packed smoothie bowl.
The smoothie itself is a great way to get in plenty of fruit and veg first thing. It contains spinach, cucumber, pineapple, banana and kiwi and is packed with vitamins!
Next up, we add a shot of Erbology Aloe Vera for its refreshing flavor and nutrients. Aloe juice contains acemannan polysaccharides, which are thought to support your natural immunity and have an antioxidant effect.(7)
But we’re not done! We also add a drizzle of our Organic Milk Thistle Oil for those all important healthy fats. However, milk thistle oil is also high in skin-nourishing vitamin E.
Sure, you could serve this smoothie as a drink in a glass. But why miss out on having it as a smoothie bowl which you can decorate with extra goodies such as crushed hazelnuts, chopped kiwi and currants? Plus – it tastes as good as it looks.
"Something as simple as adding fresh fruit to your cereal bowl adds vitamins, minerals and fiber. A scattering of nuts and seeds introduces protein."
4. Erbology signature porridge bowl with apricot and chia oils
Porridge has got to be one of the most perfect breakfast foods out there. It’s filling, full of fiber and protein, and low in fat. It’s also incredibly versatile. Transform it into a bowl of chocolaty goodness with a tablespoon of raw cacao, or even go for the traditional Scottish version which uses salt rather than sweetener.
Our version, however, has been perfected by our chef Ana through many different iterations. It’s made thick and creamy with plant milk (we particularly like almond milk here, although coconut works well too). Then, we load it with fresh raspberries and blueberries and a sprinkling of golden raisins. Raw almonds and sesame seeds add the protein. Then, a drizzle of our delicious apricot and chia oils add healthy fats.
Our Organic Apricot Kernel Oil is particularly lovely with porridge thanks to its naturally mildly sweet, botanical flavor. It contains omegas 6 and 9 and is a source of vitamin E and health-supporting polyphenols, too.
5. Tropical smoothie bowl with sea buckthorn
Love smoothies but aren’t convinced by the ‘green smoothie’ trend? We have another recipe just for you, bursting with tropical flavors.
Our tropical smoothie bowl is made with coconut milk, pineapple, banana and our Organic Sea Buckthorn Shots. While sea buckthorn berries tend to grow in Europe and Asia, they have a surprisingly tropical flavor. We think they taste like a blend of pineapple and gooseberry.
But we also include them here for their amazing nutrient profile. They’re rich in vitamin C and contain beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A. This is important for healthy vision and immunity. They’re also a rare plant-based source of omega-7, which looks after your skin and mucous membranes.
Top with figs, sliced banana and black sesame seeds for a healthy and photogenic clean eating breakfast.
6. Make your own granola (with chocolate)
If you love having granola for breakfast but are worried about its sugar and fat content, making your own homemade version is an easy way to control what goes into it.
Our recipe features puffed amaranth, which contains protein and is one of the best known plant sources of squalene. As skincare lovers will know, squalene is a great moisturizer for your skin cells.
We throw in a handful of our Organic Raw Almonds for protein, cranberries and coconut chips for sweetness, and keep the sugar low with a couple of tablespoons of agave syrup.
Naturally, we also add raw cacao to our granola. Because if one can have chocolate for breakfast, one should.
7. Avocado toast with chestnut mushrooms and hemp seed oil
Yes, we know: at this point avocado toast is hardly groundbreaking breakfast news. However, it’s well worth including it on our list of clean eating breakfast ideas, as it scores so many points for its healthy nutrients.
We like to use sourdough bread for our toast here, but you could use whole grain if you prefer. We also add some sautéd garlic mushrooms for an extra treat.
Avocado is naturally full of healthy fats and vitamins. However, you can boost your breakfast even further by adding a drizzle of our Organic Hemp Seed Oil.
It has a perfect 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, plus it’s a source of vitamins D and E. It has a lovely, nutty flavor which perfectly complements the avocado and mushrooms.
As a bonus: hemp seed oil makes a fantastic oil for use in skincare. Smooth a little over your skin to nourish and condition, or use as a carrier oil for black seed oil or sea buckthorn oil. Skincare good enough to eat!
8. Wild fruit, sea buckthorn and chia pudding
Few foods symbolize clean eating better than the humble chia seed. It was once an Aztec superfood, and now is a mainstay of our smoothies and breakfast bowls.
Why? For a tiny seed, chia is packed with protein and fiber.
In fact, its fiber is the reason that chia pudding develops that lovely creamy texture. Chia seeds can hold an enormous amount of water compared to their size, which combines with soluble fiber to become a sort of gel which coats the seed.
That’s what makes chia seeds so great at thickening smoothies and even making low sugar jams!
With our wild fruit pudding, we wanted to go one step further and create three flavorsome layers. Start with a layer of thick and indulgent cashew cream. Then, layer with fresh wild berries. Next up, a layer of chia pudding flavored with raspberries and blueberries. Finally, a layer of gently spiced turmeric chia pudding.
Not only does it provide a beautiful rainbow of color, but turmeric is also well known for its anti-inflammatory effects.
Sprinkle over a handful of Erbology Tigernut Granola with Sea Buckthorn for added crunch and some gut-friendly prebiotic fiber.
9. Cleansing aloe vera milk with Erbology granola
If you’re well and truly a breakfast cereal person, the good news is that some options are actually healthy for you.
When we came up with our Erbology Organic Granola, we threw the rulebook out the window. Gone are the oats and honey. Instead, we start from a base of tiger nut, which contains gut-friendly prebiotic fiber, and sprouted buckwheat.
We sweeten our flakes with fruits such as apples and dates, instead of refined sugar.
Finally, we add tasty flavors such as raw dark chocolate, sea buckthorn and aronia berry, and apple, chia and nopal cactus.
They’re a completely unique version of breakfast cereal, made with your health in mind.
In our cleansing aloe milk recipe, we’ve also found a way to make the most of the milk part of the ‘cereal-and-milk’ combo. We blend activated almonds, oats, aloe juice, and medjool dates with fresh strawberries to create a pretty pink milk. You can have it as a refreshing drink, or pour over your Erbology granola.
Delicious, easy and oh so healthy.
Our favorite clean eating breakfasts
We hope these few recipes will tempt you away from those out-of-date breakfast habits. They’re all easy and delicious, and use ingredients specially selected to nourish your body.
For more healthy recipe inspiration, don’t forget to head over to our Editorial section and click ‘recipes’. We also have articles with healthy vegan dinner recipes, workout snacks and more!
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