Why should I eat a low carb vegan breakfast?

Why would a vegan wish to eat low carb when they already have a limited range of food options?

It could be a sign of an eating disorder, or it may be a sensible choice. Let me explain…

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The unhealthy relationship with carbs

Many vegans enjoy a very healthy diet, with a variety of foods not even considered for the average MacDonald’s eater and if you don’t have variety in your diet, you will not deliver the nutrients needed to nourish your body.

The Western unhealthy relationship with carbs is compounded by the ‘Eatwell Plate’, which recommends half the plate to be carbohydrates. This reduces the intake of other foods needed to ensure adequate vitamins and minerals.

Consider this, to meet just the recommended daily intake of vitamin C you need to consume a minimum of 5 portions of vegetables and fruit per day.

How many people, hand on heart, eat this every day?

What are the benefits of carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates should not be demonised. When the body converts carbohydrates to glucose, they provide us with essential energy for daily life. In fact our brain cells need a constant supply to keep us sharp and alert.

So what is the problem with carbohydrates?

The problem with carbs, or more exactly, the problem with humans is, we eat far too many of them.

If we had the physically demanding job of our ancestors, or we were training for an endurance event such as a marathon, we could justify the amount of carbs we eat. However, many of us sit at a desk all day and slump in front of the television at night.

Stacking up on the vegan pizza, will ultimately cushion our stomach and hips and that’s the bit we can see.

The invisible effects (only seen by a scan) of too much sugar, leads to a dangerous fatty layer around our internal organs, causing problems like heart disease. It therefore makes sense to reduce our carbohydrate intake.

Low carb vegan recipes

Weekend vegan brunch

For when you have a bit more time to cook.

Ingredients

1 large flat mushroom i.e. Portobello
1 clove garlic grated
Drizzle olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Good handful spinach washed
Sprinkle nutmeg
2 slices x 1cm thick tofu
Vegetable bouillon powder
Drizzle sesame oil

Directions

1. Place the mushroom on a baking tray and sprinkle with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Lightly steam the spinach, chop, sprinkle with nutmeg and place on top of the mushroom.
3. Drizzle sesame oil over the tofu, then sprinkle with a little vegetable bouillon. Place on top of the mushroom.
4. Bake for approx ½ hour at 220c.

 

Nutty Quinoa Savoury Slice

These can be made in advance and eaten on the go.

 Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, rinsed.
1 dessert spoon marmite (or vegetable bouillon if marmite offends you)
½ red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup flaked almonds
Small handful chopped parsley
4 heaped dessert spoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 heaped dessert spoons ground flax seeds

Directions

1. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups water with the marmite until all water absorbed and quinoa cooked.
2. Add red pepper, parsley, sunflower seeds, almonds and nutritional yeast flakes.
3. Mix together with ground flax seeds and transfer to a baking dish.
4. Cook in the oven 220c for ½ hour. Leave to cool before cutting.

low carb vegan breakfast_2

Apple and Cinnamon Chia Pudding

Super simple. Great for people who don’t have time to prepare breakfast. Don’t be put off by the ‘frogspawn’ look; it tastes much better than it looks.

Ingredients

3/4 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
2 dessert spoon Chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 apple chopped

Directions

1. The night before, mix all the ingredients together and leave in the fridge overnight. Done!

 

Coconut Yoghurt with Flax and Blueberries

Of course it doesn’t have to be coconut yoghurt, Soya yoghurt is just as good.

Ingredients

1 pot natural vegan yogurt
1 teaspoon stevia
2 dessert spoons ground flax seeds
Handful blueberries
Sprinkling almond flakes

Directions

1. Mix the stevia with the yoghurt and place a couple of dollops of the mixture in the bottom of your dish of choice.
2. Cover with a layer of flax seeds.
3. Place another layer of yoghurt on top.
4. Top this layer with blueberries and almond flakes.

 

Chocolate Orange Almond Pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup ground almonds
3 heaped dessert spoons Milled Linseed with Goji Berries, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
2 dessertspoons cocoa powder or carob
2 teaspoons Stevia
Orange slices
1 cup water
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp vanilla
Coconut oil

Directions

1. Mix all the ingredients apart from the orange together and leave for approx 5 minutes.
2. Heat a frying pan to low to medium heat and add some coconut oil.
3. Place spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan, don’t make the pancakes too big as they will be difficult to handle.
4. Cook for 5 minutes each side.
5. Place pancakes on a plate and layer with orange slices.

Note: I would much rather suggest a natural sweetener such as honey, but that is not low carb.

Out of the many options of artificial sweeteners on the market I recommend stevia, as it is made from a herb and doesn’t cause the insulin reaction that some other sweeteners do such as aspartame.

Ideally this would be used rarely, as a treat. Relying on sweeteners will not retrain the taste buds to prefer savoury foods.

Read more from WatchFit Expert Alison Aldred

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