Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Breakfast

August 27th, 2014 · 14 Comments · Tips, Upgraded Nutrition

Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Breakfast (Both Savory and Sweet Ideas!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship


This post is from KS contributing writer Debra Worth of Worth Cooking

I learned a long time ago that I felt much better when I had loads of vegetables in our diet. That means far more to me than any research paper, or dietary guidelines. So, I wanted to eat more, and enjoy them, of course. Thus began a journey I am still on of figuring out tasty ways to add vegetables, and LOTS of them, into my diet.

I am going to be sharing some of the ways I like to incorporate vegetables into breakfast, specifically, because that is often the hardest meal to add them to. Also, if I eat vegetables for breakfast, I am more motivated to eat healthy the rest of the day.

I will be sharing both general ideas for adding vegetables, and linking to specific vegetable friendly breakfast recipes.  While I have not tried every one of these recipes as my family has several food allergies, they are examples of the ideas I use day in and day out to get myself and my kids excited about vegetables.

Sweet Breakfasts with Vegetables

Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Breakfast (Both Savory and Sweet Ideas!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship

Warm Cereals + Beta Carotene

How is that for a category? Oddly named or not, this has some of my favorite ideas. Fall is coming which means all things carrots, sweet potato, and, of course, pumpkin. All vegetables. Why leave breakfast out of the fall deliciousness? Add some pureed squash or sweet potato, or grated carrot to warm cereals.

The great thing about most orange vegetables is they have their own sweetness. I always feel like a mad scientist nutritionist whenever I can cut back on the sweetener needed for oatmeal/rice pudding/quinoa because I added vegetables! I usually do add some sweetener, but less is needed. I also always add vanilla and spices for a true autumn taste.

Note: If adding grated carrot to warm cereals, make sure they get cooked. If the cereal takes a while to cook as is the case with quinoa or steel cut oats just cook it at the same time. If doing a quicker cooking cereal (quick oats, for example) make sure you simmer the carrot for a bit before adding the oats/other cereal.

Recipes:

Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Breakfast (Both Savory and Sweet Ideas!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship

Vegetable Rich Puddings and Custards

Beta carotene rich vegetables aren’t the only things that go well with breakfast– avocados make a deliciously creamy pudding. Simply puree with flavors and sweetener of choice. Plus, they are a really great vegetable breakfast without eggs (something we have needed until recently, due to allergies).

Recipes:

Now back to the orange vegetables. We just recently added (duck) eggs back into our diet, so I have been loving making puddings and custards. When naturally sweetened they make wonderful breakfasts:

Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Breakfast (Both Savory and Sweet Ideas!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship

Veggie Filled Baked Goods

I rarely have time to bake for breakfasts, other then occasionally on Saturdays. So, most of these I would recommend you make ahead of time for quick, healthy breakfasts. For added vegetables, serve these along with some of the other ideas as they are not as high in vegetables as some of the other ideas.

Recipes:

Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Breakfast (Both Savory and Sweet Ideas!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship

Green (or Orange) Smoothies

I absolutely love smoothies, as do my children and husband. Usually, I make them pretty straight forward with fruit, but occasionally I will get a little more creative with the nutrition and throw in some vegetables.

  • Avocado makes smoothies incredibly creamy. Since I don’t like to add sweetener beyond fruit, I keep the avocado to about 1/4 of an avocado per serving so it is not too overwhelming.
  • Then of course there are the popular green smoothies. My favorite green to use is spinach. But, other ones work too (you just might want to steam them first). Simply add a handful of greens to a smoothie.
  • Frozen cubes of squash puree, or other lower flavor frozen vegetables, work great too. I have replaced ice with frozen squash before with great results. I have even used cauliflower… but that did not go over well, hence the recommendation of lower flavor vegetables.

Recipes:

Savory Breakfasts with Vegetables

Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Breakfast (Both Savory and Sweet Ideas!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship

Sauteed Vegetables + Eggs

When we did whole20 (whole30 we cut short, oops!) I kept seeing breakfasts for sauteed or pan fried vegetables topped with eggs. Simple, but delicious.

  1. Cook what vegetables you have (steam/pan fry/saute)
  2. Season with salt, garlic, and other seasonings of choice.
  3. Top with poached, fried, or soft boiled eggs.
  4. Let the yolk coat the veggies. Enjoy.

Specifically, I tried it with asparagus (pictured) and kale. I wish my photo of the kale had turned out so I could have featured it more. It was so delicious. My 5 year old son, whose perspective on greens is “humans aren’t really supposed to eat leaves” thought it was delicious. The runny yolk over the vegetables was delicious!

Vegetables Cooked In Eggs

Almost any vegetable that is not super water-y can easily be cooked in eggs. Simply cook the vegetables ahead of time (or use leftovers) and bake or scramble with eggs and salt and other seasonings and cheese if desired.

I enjoy Spanish tortillas and make it both with traditional potatoes and other vegetables as well. I particularly like using butternut squash and sauteed mushrooms (pictured above).

Recipes:

Hash + Leftover Vegetables

Creative Ways to Add Vegetables to Breakfast (Both Savory and Sweet Ideas!) :: via Kitchen Stewardship

Hash is a delicious southern classic. If you are willing to deviate a bit from tradition, it is also a great way to use left over vegetables. 

In the example above I chopped up some green beans and added it after the hash was done, stirring for a minute or so to heat through. Any other (non-watery) vegetables can also be used– whatever you happen to have around. For best results use vegetables that have been generically seasoned (garlic, onion, pepper, salt) so that it won’t clash with the flavors added to the hash.

Basic Hash instructions: par-boil or roast potatoes until you can poke them with a fork, with some resistance (half done). Cook in a single layer in a hot (I used medium heat and preheat several minutes), well-oiled pan for a few minutes. Flip, using the spatula to scrape up stuck pieces if need be. Repeat until well browned and soft. Continue to cook until soft and well browned. Add in chopped leftover vegetables of choice, heat. Season to taste. I like salt and pepper, paprika, and onion and garlic powders.

Latkes with Vegetables

Latkes (potato pancakes) are surprisingly easy to make, and these versions are stock full of vegetables (beyond white potato):

Vegetables that are Simple to Add

These things are simple to add to breakfasts, and can up the vegetable content in the meantime.

  • Pesto (on top of eggs, etc.)
  • Avocado Cream (pictured above with mushroom tortilla) or guacamole
  • Salsa (on top of hash, etc.)
  • Slices of salted tomato, cucumber, or avocado
  • Sauteed peppers and onions
  • Sauteed squash
  • Baked sweet potatoes

How are some ways you like to add vegetables to breakfast?

DebraDebra Worth is first and foremost a daughter of the king of kings. She resides in central Missouri with her husband of 6 years and three young kids. She is passionate about serving her family nutritious and delicious foods, especially after needing to cut out many foods due her family’s food intolerances. In March she started the blog Worth Cooking where she shares her healthy, delicious, and allergy friendly recipes.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • pdw

    My go-to breakfast is baked potato. White or sweet.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Debra Worth Reply:

    We do that frequently too.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Abi Craig

    That’s a lot of great ideas, Debra . . . I really like savory breakfasts – especially eggs with sautéed veggies. Recently I’ve been shredding raw sweet potato and frying it up in a bunch of coconut oil and topping with salt – YUM! Makes a great side dish for eggs when avoiding white potatoes.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Debra Worth Reply:

    That sounds delicious Abi! Thanks for the tip. We are about to do Whole30 (this time we WILL finish it) and I will have to try that.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Karen

    My two year old will only eat his eggs with salsa. Works for me :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Debra Worth Reply:

    Yes, indeed. We just made LF salsa and I love that my kids think it is awesome.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jennifer

    Such a great compilation! So many I want to try! Thanks!!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Debra Worth Reply:

    Thanks Jennifer. I hope you enjoy the ideas!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Cait

    Love these ideas! I’ve tried breakfast salads and while I do enjoy them (at least when I have bacon and avocado, or with cheese when I’m not avoiding dairy) it’s hard to make it filling enough. Plus if it’s not totally prepped I’m way to hungry to make it first. The promise of something hot and filling is enough to make me wait for a cooked breakfast though (I don’t like eggs, which is very unfortunate). We’ll be trying some of these for sure!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Debra Worth Reply:

    Thanks Cait. I have been seeing breakfast salads around, but have not really tried. I am going to have to give it a go, but I agree salads are REALLY hard to make filling. Maybe with some avocado or with a baked sweet potato also.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Christi

    We sauté veggies several times each week and serve them over rice with a peanut sauce. Our 12 & 14 year olds gobble them up. I sometimes fry an egg as an additional protein. Our friends all think we are nuts. But I think they’re nuts for thinking that pastries, cereals, and other processed foods make a “real” breakfast.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Debra @ Worth Cooking Reply:

    That sounds delicious :D We often eat lunch and dinner type meals for breakfast. But, occasionally I want something a bit more traditional.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Molly

    great list. i was REALLY disappointed to see my favorite breakfast veggie not even on your list- RED CABBAGE. it’s amazing on breakfast burritos, just sliced super thin and it makes it extra crunchy, my fav! also, you can lightly saute the cabbage in garlic/olive oil to lightly warm and infuse with the garlic flavor. it’s so good. cabbage makes everything better. omlettes, quiches, coleslaw (try red cabbage instead of green!), and more. it’s amazingly healthy and makes the dish pop with color! it adds so much beauty and makes a meal look truly gourmet. i hope you give red cabbage a try!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Debra @ Worth Cooking Reply:

    I never really thought to top savory breakfasts with red cabbage or coleslaw. What a creative idea! I have sauteed a full head and ate it, but that just seemed a bit too far out of the box.

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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