There are many reasons one might choose to avoid dairy–including allergy, intolerance to lactose (milk sugar) or casein (milk protein), ethical beliefs, respiratory ailments, or lack of access to high-quality dairy products. Luckily, grocery and health food stores stock all manner of dairy substitutes, from milk substitutes made from nuts, seeds, coconut, soybeans, rice, or even oats, to nondairy, non-hydrogenated margarines. Here are five nutritious, dairy-free breakfast ideas, so get inspired and ditch the boring dry cereal and orange juice!
1. Fast Fruit Smoothie
Place one cup of cold orange juice or your favorite nondairy milk in a blender. Add one peeled banana and one cup frozen berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries) and blend until very smooth, adding water as needed to achieve a drinkable texture. Enjoy as is, or blend in any number of superfood additions before serving–try one cup fresh spinach leaves, a scoop of dairy-free protein powder, one tablespoon ground flaxseed, or one tablespoon tahini or almond butter.
2. Eggs and Toast
This fresh, hot breakfast takes only a few minutes to whip up, so it’s suitable even for weekday mornings. Fry or scramble two pasture-raised eggs in coconut oil and top them with ketchup, salsa, or hot sauce to taste. While the eggs are cooking, toast a slice or two of your favorite bread. Slather the hot toast with non-hydrogenated margarine or additional coconut oil, dust with a sprinkle of sea salt, and enjoy immediately.
3. Loaded Oatmeal
In a small saucepan, combine half a cup old-fashioned rolled oats with one cup water or your favorite nondairy milk. Over medium heat, stir frequently, until the oats soften and the mixture is thickened to your liking. Top the hot oatmeal with chopped walnuts or pecans, a drizzle of pure maple syrup, a handful of dried fruit (like raisins, cranberries, or chopped dried apricots), a spoonful of ground flaxseed, a dab of coconut oil, and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon or ground nutmeg.
Tip: Pressed for time? Microwave the oatmeal instead.
4. Eggs and Fruit Salad (Take It to Go!)
If you have a job that requires early mornings or a long commute, consider preparing your weekday breakfasts over the weekend. On Sunday, hard-boil a dozen eggs. Cool, peel, and submerge them in a container of water, and keep them in the fridge. Prep a big batch of fruit salad in advance by combining equal parts red grapes, chopped cantaloupe, chopped honeydew, and chopped pineapple; divide it between several small, single-serving containers and refrigerate. Grab two eggs and a serving of fruit salad on your way out the door in the morning,
5. Easy French Toast
In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together one egg and a quarter cup of your favorite nondairy milk. Stir in a quarter teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of sea salt. Dredge two thick slices of sprouted whole-grain bread in the egg mixture, turning over several times to coat both sides. Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the soaked bread slices and cook for three to five minutes, turning once halfway through, until the bread is cooked throughout. Enjoy hot with non-hydrogenated margarine and/or real maple syrup on top. A side of pasture-raised, nitrate-free bacon makes a great accompaniment.