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Low-Carb Vegan Breakfast Recipes

Marta Napoleoni

by
MPharm, AfN Nutritionist

7 Low-Carb Vegan Breakfast Recipe Ideas

In today's article, we'll look at what a low carb diet is and the benefits of pairing it with veganism.

Plus, we'll give you 7 wonderful vegan recipes with varying carb counts for you to try.

Waking up to a nutritious breakfast is the best way to start the day right.

And if you're following a vegan diet, chances are you're already fuelling your body with lots of healthy ingredients.

But what about making your morning meal both plant-based and low-carb?

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of a low-carb breakfast, then keep on reading. Otherwise, jump right to the recipes using the table of content below.

Vegan Low-Carb Diet

Besides the environmental and ethical reasons behind going vegan, a plant-based diet is one of the best diets out there, on all levels. It helps you reach a healthy weight and maintain it in the long term. It also promotes good health, from disease prevention to improved nutritional status.

If you're already vegan and are now considering a low-carb diet too, it's probably because you heard it can help you lose weight faster while keeping hunger in check. So combining a low-carb diet with a vegan diet could make you get the most out of both worlds.

How Many Carbs Are Low-Carb?

But before we dig deeper into this topic, let's first answer your most burning questions: What's a low carb diet? And how many carbs am I supposed to eat?

According to national guidelines[1], 45% to 65% of your total daily calories should come from carbohydrates. This means between 225g and 325g of carbohydrates a day in a 2000 calorie diet.

A low-carb diet is generally considered one that includes fewer than 150g of carbs a day[2]. However, some very low-carb diets can go as low as 50g-20g a day as in the ketogenic diet[3]

In our article, we'll classify low-carb diets in:

  • Moderate Low-Carb, 150g-100g of carbs a day

It's a great starting point if it's your first time trying a low-carb diet and you're not ready to give up starchy carbs like potatoes.

  • Intermediate Low-Carb, 100g-50g of carbs a day

An optimal range to lose weight while keeping some carbs in, mostly from fruit and vegs.

  • Very Low-Carb (Ketogenic), below 50g of carbs a day

The most extreme low-carb diet, where only a few limited fruit and vegs are allowed, but that ensures the fastest weight loss.

And if we consider that breakfast provides a fourth of our daily calories and macronutrients, we'll divide our breakfast recipes as follows:

  • Moderate Low-Carb Breakfast, 37g to 25g of carbs 

  • Intermediate Low-Carb Breakfast, 25g-12g of carbs

  • Very Low-Carb Breakfast, below 12g of carbs

Carb Are Not All The Same

Besides reducing the overall carbohydrate intake, it's also important to focus on the quality of those carbs you'll still eat.

Fibre content, degree of processing, glycemic index and glycemic load are useful indicators of the quality of carbs[4].

You should aim for minimally processed foods, high in fibres and with a low glycemic index or load.

This means cutting down on packed foods, swapping juices with fresh fruit, and eating whole grains instead of refined cereals.

High-fibre foods are your best ally in any weight loss journey. Fibres are carbs that don't get digested. They make you feel full for longer and reduce cravings; that's because they slow down the rate at which the stream of energy from absorbed food is released.

Total Carbs VS Net Carbs

When counting carbs in low carb diets, it's important to distinguish between total carbs and net carbs. 

Net carbs are those you actually digest and absorb, counting towards your calorie intake.

Instead, total carbs include both net carbs and fibres, which are indigestible, meaning they don't add calories. 

You can easily calculate the net carb count of food or a meal by simply subtracting the number of fibres from the total carbs.

Is a Low-Carb Vegan Diet Good for You?

Besides its many science-backed health benefits, a plant-based diet also promotes weight loss and helps you keep a healthy weight in the long term.

That's for two reasons. First, because by excluding animal products from your diet, you're automatically consuming fewer fats and calories, thus losing weight.

Secondly, because plant-based foods are very high in fibres. These indigestible carbs make you feel full for longer and keep your blood sugars in check. This way, you're less likely to have food cravings and energy crashes, and you won't overeat.

On the other hand, low-carb diets are also great for losing weight fast and keeping hunger at bay. 

They rely largely on fats and proteins as a main source of energy. And because these nutrients take longer to digest than carbs, a low-carb diet is great at curbing appetite, making it easier to stick to it.

Moreover, low-carb diets are particularly effective at getting rid of belly fat, also called visceral fat, which is linked to inflammation and insulin resistance[5].

If you want to boost your weight loss and gain more control over your blood sugars and food cravings, a low-carb diet might be your best choice.

And when you pair it with a high-fibre, whole foods-based, and vegan diet, you've hit the jackpot!

Starting your day with a low-carb, vegan breakfast can really help you nourish your body from the inside out. And at the same time, regulate your blood sugars and appetite so that you won't have those mid-morning pangs anymore.

Low-Carb Vegan Breakfast Ideas

And now that we've talked about the ins and outs of a low-carb, vegan diet, let's have some fun with our list of delicious breakfast recipes.

As mentioned above, we'll divide the recipes according to their carb count, from moderate to very low, so you can pick the ones that best match your diet goals. 

Ready? Let's go!

Blueberry Silken Tofu Smoothie

Rank: Moderate Low-Carb (<30g carbs)

Each serving comes with 25g of net carbs and 5g of fibres, making this smoothie low in carbs and high in fibres.

Blueberries are nature's concentrate of antioxidants, fighting off those nasty free radicals.

The combo of silken tofu, almond butter, and pumpkin seeds makes this breakfast drink a powerhouse of plant-based proteins that will keep you full and curb mid-morning cravings.

Whizz it up in a flash and sip it on the go if you're short on time.

Papaya Smoothie Bowl

Rank: Moderate Low-Carb (<30g carbs)

Smoothie bowls are the new gang in town! They're an exciting and practical way of pairing a silky smoothie with crunchy nuts and seeds.

Here we blended ripe papaya with soy yogurt for a luscious smoothie, yet rich in proteins.

Spoon it into your cutest bowl and top it with rolled oats, blackberries, and nut butter for a balanced breakfast with 25.8g of net carbs.

Walnut Plantain Bread

Rank: Moderate Low-Carb (<30g carbs)

Who said that a slice of cake can't be low in carbs? In this tropical-inspired loaf, we swapped bananas with plantains and stock up on fibres from wholemeal flour, raisins, and walnuts.

And it's 100% vegan, no butter, no eggs, nor dairy. Awesome!

It's a delightful treat perfect for a cosy breakfast on the weekend, maybe with a cup of herbal tea. One serving has only 150 calories, and it's still low in carbs, 20g net carbs per slice. 

Tahini Cookies

Rank: Intermediate Low-Carb (<20g carbs)

If you're into Lebanese cuisine, our tahini cookies are a super fun spin on the classic biscuits. Prepared with sesame paste, pistachios, and cinnamon, they're a truly unique treat.

Tahini and coconut milk replace butter and dairy for a fully vegan recipe, while oats and rice flour make it even gluten-free.

One generous cookie has 150 calories, only 16g of net carbs and very few sugars. Wow!

Chocolate Quinoa Muffins

Rank: Intermediate Low-Carb (<20g carbs)

In the chocolaty muffins, we used a combo of wholemeal flour and cooked quinoa to bring down the carb count while adding fibres and proteins.

One muffin has 17.5g of net carbs and just 180 calories.

And of course, we packed them with all the plant-based goodness of flaxseeds and almond milk, plus maple syrup instead of nasty refined sugars.

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Rank: Very Low-Carb (>10g carbs)

With just 9.6g of net carbs but a whopping 9g of fibres, this lovely pudding meets your keto carb count and yet lets you stock up on precious fibres.

Not to mention that one serving comes with 10 grams of proteins, all from vegan sources like chia seeds, soy yogurt, and walnuts.

It's not just pretty and healthy, but super convenient as you can prepare it the night before and keep it in the fridge ready for the next morning.

Cauliflower Cookies

Rank: Very Low-Carb (>10g carbs)

If using cauliflower in cookies sounds impossible, wait till your try one of these keto cookies!

Grated cauliflower florets and almond meal replace flour, bringing the carb count down to only 1.5g per cookie. They're perfect for those following even the strictest ketogenic diet with no more than 20g of carbs a day.

Extra dark chocolate chips and zero-calorie erythritol keep the sugars at a minimum. Chia seeds and nut butter provide healthy fats, plus omega-3 and plant-based proteins.

Takeaway

You should now know more about how a low carb diet can help you reach your weight loss goals when paired with a plant-based diet.

But mostly, we hope you discovered one or two super yummy recipes that will become your new breakfast favourites!

And if you're looking for more inspiration, we have a free recipe search engine that lets you filter out the hundreds of recipes on the site according to allergens, diets, nutritional macros and more. Check it out!

Have a great day!

Article by

Marta Napoleoni

Recipe Developer in Chief. Loves all things nutrition, painting, and gardening.