Burning Down the House: Vegan Breakfast Smoothies and More

The last few months have involved the ingestion of many a frozen banana at our house, as J.K. has worked her way through an array of incredibly delicious vegan breakfast smoothies. I have loved loved loved these, and have been remarkably excited about every one. Every time I bring home a bunch of bananas, it seems they’re gone by the next day, if not the same day.

Having eaten yogurt with fruit for breakfast pretty much every morning for the last few years, with occasional bouts of yogurt with granola, I recently (temporarily, I hope) gave up dairy and went through a saddish transition phase of breakfasts consisting of non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, rice) and protein powder. These chalky, lumpy drinks weren’t something I’d exactly recommend… especially as a die-hard breakfast devotee who always eats breakfast, even when, say, leaving at 3 a.m. to summit a glacier (not in this century) or (more likely) to drive to the airport.

But when J.K., who also doesn’t eat dairy, started experimenting with vegan smoothie recipes and then made up a few of her own, all was no longer lost. Far from lost.

Oddly enough, these delicious concoctions do not seem to lack for being non-dairy. I suspect there’s some kind of sleight of hand afoot here that I can’t put my finger on yet. (Did I really just use hand, foot, and finger all in the same sentence, not premeditated and not anatomically?) We get to have variations of pumpkin pie for breakfast (something I normally wouldn’t think twice about), chocolate peanut butter cups and other chocolate concoctions? And this is supposedly healthy? In case anyone’s wondering, I didn’t get to have Count Chocula for breakfast as a kid.

As “the Edgy Veg,” author of the chocolate peanut butter overnight oats recipe we sampled, writes, “Yes, chocolate is an acceptable breakfast food when used correctly.” Who am I to argue, or to probe what she means by “correctly?”

The Edgy Veg blog and the “it doesn’t taste like chicken” blog have been J.K.’s primary resources in this venture. As Sam Turnbull, author of “it doesn’t taste like chicken,” wrote in a recent post, “There are few things more exciting than when people exclaim that my [vegan] recipe tastes just like the non-vegan version or EVEN BETTER! Woot! Joy.”

Over the last couple of months, J.K. has made cinnamon bun, blueberry pie, and peanut butter and jelly smoothies from “it doesn’t taste like chicken,” and pumpkin pie smoothies, chocolate peanut butter overnight oats, and “Make Ahead Vegan Breakfast Sandwiches” from the Edgy Veg. My absolute favorite has been the pumpkin pie smoothie, with the cinnamon bun smoothie coming in second. After a few too many rounds of non-dairy milk with protein powder, having actual food elements (e.g. pumpkin puree, rolled oats) in my smoothie has been a revelation, nourishing and delicious. I also liked that the blueberry pie smoothie was really unusual, and actually tasted like pie.

Some of these recipes call for frozen bananas, or, as is the case with the chocolate peanut butter overnight oats, require a few minutes of advance preparation. Definitely worth it, especially in the morning.  

I can’t evaluate the healthy-ness or lack thereof of these particular dessert smoothies, but as far as flavor and deliciousness, I would recommend these breakfasts to anyone, vegan or not.

For the smoothie recipes mentioned above as well as other great vegan breakfast recipes from these two blogs, you can check out the following links: