5 Surprising Ways to Eat Your Vegetables at Breakfast

Why not start the day right with these delicious breakfast recipes that include vegetables? They are kid-friendly too! This wonderful post is a guest post from my friend, Katie, at Kitchen Stewardship. If you haven’t already, check out her wonderful blog! I love her honesty-at-all-costs writing integrity, and how practical and relatable she is as a person. And check out her awesome (and honest and practical) eBooks! I’m proud to be one of her affiliates. — Kimi 

It’s easy to add some carrots and dip to dinner and make veggies a priority, but breakfast can be a tricky one.

Whether you believe that the government’s “My Plate” or old “food pyramid” demonstrate the best way to eat or not (Me? Not. All those grains? Oy yi yi…), not many people will argue that shooting for “5 a day” when it comes to vegetables isn’t a bad goal.

That many servings can be hard to hit for busy families, especially if young children are a bit picky when it comes to veggie-laden soups, stir fries, or steamed broccoli.

Why not get off on the right foot at breakfast?

And I’m not talking about just tossing some peppers and onions into your eggs (my kids pick those out anyway) or making a green smoothie (although nothing wrong with that).

Here are 5 ways to get a serving or two of vegetables into your family before they even leave the house for the day, without fighting about green things on the plate (or in the glass).

1. Grain-free pumpkin pancakes

Pumpkin Pancake Recipe - one of five ways to include vegetable in your breakfast! Check out the link for this recipe and four more! -- The Nourishing Gourmet


That’s a bit mis-leading – these aren’t always grain-free pancakes, but they’re about the most versatile recipe I’ve ever met.

They work with wheat flour, brown rice flour (gluten-free), almond or coconut flour (grain-free), and even sourdough. Make them however you like, and celebrate the fact that for each ¼ cup or less of flour, there’s a full cup of pureed orange vegetables: squash, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin.

They’re yummy enough to eat with or without syrup and sturdy enough to make into nut-butter-pancake-sandwiches for packed lunches the next day. More nourishing lunch ideas in The Healthy Lunch Boxuse the code GOURMET for 30% off.

We make a quadruple batch once a week and usually run out of fall squash that I’ve frozen by the end of May. Did I mention that’s 4 cups of veggies plus nourishing eggs for breakfast? Rock on. Grab the recipe for grain-free pumpkin pancakes HERE.

Time-saving Tip: Bake 1-3 squash while you’re making dinner and already in the kitchen. Scoop out all the flesh into one huge bowl and whiz with an immersion blender to make puree, then freeze some in 2, 3 or 4-cup portions for future batches. Refrigerate what you want for this recipe overnight and use that big bowl for your pancakes in the morning.

2. Chocomole

Chocolate avocado pudding

Simple Chocomole recipe: Wake up your food processor when your coffee maker ticks on and make a simple pudding with 1 avocado, ¼ cup cocoa powder and ¼ cup raw honey.

Looks like chocolate pudding, tastes like chocolate pudding…but kids are eating vegetables full of healthy monounsaturated fats. Add a banana for a different twist, like Kristin’s version of Chocolate Avocado Pudding (pictured above)

This breakfast pairs great with your favorite green smoothie, especially if you’re dairy-free and don’t include fats like whole milk or yogurt in your smoothies. The avocado offers a nice balance to the fruit sugars in smoothies.

Time-saving Tip: Make a chocolate-y recipe in your food processor after breakfast without washing it – like the black bean brownies in The Everything Beans Book or the Peppermint Coconut Bark in Smart Sweets.

3. Sweet potatoes and greens with an egg on top

Delicious breakfast crepe with lots of flavor and healthy vegetables for a yummy start to the day. Check out the link for 4 other recipe ideas for including vegetables at breakfast!

Don’t hate me for including some straight up greens.

This idea might be adults-only in your house (pat yourself on the back right now if your little ones eat greens without a word! I’m impressed!). I love the synergy between sweet potatoes, greens and eggs so much that I just have to share it.

Peel and slice a cooked sweet potato and saute that with any leafy green. Swiss chard is particularly delicious this way – be sure to chop the stem separately and saute it first, preferably in bacon grease or beef tallow!

Soft fry an egg next to it or crack one right on top and put the lid on your pan until the egg is firm on the bottom but runny on the inside. Let all that golden gooey-ness run on your greens on the plate and dig in! (If you want to make it really special, serve it in a crepe like I’ve pictured above!)

Time-saving Tip: The way to make this work for breakfast (i.e. FAST) is to bake some sweet potatoes during dinner prep – toss a few in anytime the oven is on for something else.

4. Breakfast Burritos Deluxe

Breakfast Burritos are one great way to add healthy protein and vegetables to your breakfast! Get four other great ideas for adding vegetables to breakfast here.

I’m back to being realistic for kids – you know how if you chop up vegetables in your kids’ eggs you end up watching them pick the veggies right back out? That’s the way it flies at my house, where my kids are generally excellent eaters with rather mature palates.

But if I dress them up just a little bit more…

Wrap eggs with sauteed veggies in a tortilla and add cheese and salsa, and they think you’ve brought McDonald’s into your kitchen.

I recommend homemade tortillas, simply because I haven’t found ones that are both affordable and don’t use scary fats. Purchased corn tortillas are more likely to be on the clean side, but corn can be another issue entirely…

Time-saving Tip: You can keep peppers, onions, zucchini, and greens all chopped and handy in your freezer, no blanching required (although recommended for greens).

5. Veggie Latkes

Vegetable Pancakes are a tasty way to get vegetables in! Even kids love them. Go to post for 4 more great ideas for including vegetables in your breakfast.

These little cakes aren’t traditional latkes, so don’t yell at me for misusing the word, but “shredded vegetable cakes” will likely not go over so well with the fam.

My family has always served “potato pancakes” made with white potatoes, but those aren’t exactly the most nutrient-dense veggies out there.

Try making “latkes” with 100% sweet potatoes instead, or use some white potatoes but 50% shredded zucchini, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, fall squash, parsnips, turnips or other nutrient-dense root vegetables.

You can even blend broccoli or cauliflower in (stems included!), but no more than a quarter of the total shreds or the flavor comes through in an unpleasant way.

Want to make Popeye proud or celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style? Try spinach. It makes the pancakes green. And awesome! Get the recipe for Potato Vegetable Pancakes HERE.

Time-saving Tip: Shredding all these veggies, even in a food processor, can take a lot of time in the morning. You can totally get away with shredding them the night before and keeping the mixture ready to go in the fridge, then frying in the a.m.

Save even more time by planning a dinner meal for that night using the food processor, or even just shred cheese for the freezer. A little cheese residue isn’t going to mess with your shredded veggies.

Bonus idea: why not leftovers for breakfast?

I may or may not have known a teenager who would eat cold chicken stir fry in the mornings standing at my…er, her kitchen counter.

Do you need a breakfast makeover? What are your goals for your kids in the morning?

Another time that’s a mighty hard sell for healthy, nourishing food is the potluck table. It can even be tricky to figure out what to bring that others will eat and enjoy. I’m excited to share a mini eBook with the Nourishing Gourmet audience: 10 Real Food Party Recipes for Every Eater.

The recipes range from appetizer to salad to adult beverage, all homemade, not too pricey, and totally beloved by even the Standard American Eater. They’re some of my family’s favorites, and I’ll share my best tip for helping kids eat well even at parties with sugar-laden buffet tables. If you are interested in getting this eBook and signing up for my newsletter, click on the button below!

Free Cookbook – Download NOW >>

About the author

Katie Kimball is the boss lady over at Kitchen Stewardship, where she digs into real food research and recipes with a non-toxic fork. It’s all about the balance – keeping your family, earth and budget healthy at the same time. She’s the author of 7 eBooks, including Healthy Snacks to Go, Better Than a Box, and all these. Feel free to use the code GOURMET for 30% off one or all of them. :) She’s also mom to 4 children, ages 9, 6, 3 and 4 months, all of whom actually eat her food, including vegetables at breakfast (but not sauteed greens. Good luck getting kids to eat those!).

25 Healthy Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

25 healthy breakfast and brunch recipes (for Christmas!)Our special Christmas meal was usually a simple, but lovely brunch. Some years it had lots of different items, and other years, it was kept simple. My husband’s family also concentrated on a yummy celebratory Christmas breakfast, and so it has been natural for our family to continue that breakfast tradition. We are still getting into the rhythm of what that looks like exactly now that we have our own kids, but it has been a fun evolving adventure to create our own traditions by combining our two families’ traditions.

Usually, we open stockings first thing in the morning, and while the kids have a chance to admire their new things, I finish up breakfast, and then we sit down for a meal together. After breakfast we open gifts (including our book gifts!). It is a wonderful way to prolong the gift giving and Christmas excitement instead of simply ripping through all of the packages in five minutes. 😉 Plus it builds holiday memories of enjoying the proverbial breaking of bread together as a family each Christmas, and that act of eating good food, talking together and just being with each other, is part of what is important to us as a family culture. Last year our girls got the flu Christmas Eve, so we are trying to keep everyone healthy this year so that we can enjoy all of the holidays!

For those also looking for some fun, healthier, Christmas morning breakfast recipes, here are lots of great options! And for those needing last minute gift ideas, check out this fun list of homemade food gifts! 

Healthy Pancakes and Waffles

Soaked Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup: Spiced pumpkin pancakes with a homemade apple cider syrup – what a great combination!

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis: Plump blueberries burst in your mouth as the creamy custard-like batter hints of fresh lemon zest and the subtle zing of ginger. This adapted version of the traditional French dessert is absolutely brimming over with flavor!

Crispy Gluten-Free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Waffles: These crispy gluten free waffles are surprisingly delicious and simple to make.

Soaked Chocolate Chip Whole Wheat Pancakes: For the kid in all of us, these healthier chocolate chip pancakes are a delight!

Whole Grain Blender Pancakes (Soaked, with gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free options): Make life easier for yourself with these easy peasy blender pancakes!

Sourdough Pancakes: I love the tang of sourdough in pancakes.

Blueberry Lemon Pancakes (made with sprouted flour): I love lemon, including in these bright pancakes.

Healthy Baked Goods and Hot Cereals

Spiced Currant Orange Muffins (gluten, dairy, and egg-free): These mini  muffins are easy to premake and are so delightful for little hands!

Grain Free Banana Muffins: Do you like banana bread? You’ll like these then.

Grain Free Spiced Apple Muffins: These flavorful apple muffins are super easy to make and full of protein too!

Chocolate Grain Free Bread: Chocolate, need I say more? This loaf makes a great gift, but I find that even breakfast or brunch is chocolate bread worthy.

Chocolate Dipped Mini Chocolate Donuts: Speaking of chocolate, these moist gluten free donuts are one of my kid’s very favorite recipes. Definitely holiday worthy.

Gluten Free Biscuits (egg free, dairy free as well): Making biscuits and gravy? These are what we use smothered in gravy. Yum!

Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits: When you soaked these biscuits overnight, you will be surprised at how fluffy they are when they are baked!

Pumpkin Maple Baked Oatmeal: Many of my readers have let me know that this is a favorite recipe of theirs from this site! Plus, all of the work is done the night before.

 Grain free Coffee Cake: I’ve loved coffee cake for a long time, and now those grain free can enjoy it too!

Creamy Quinoa Porridge with Coconut milk and Spices: A simple gluten free porridge that is rich and satisfying.

Eggs and Bacon

Easy Egg Muffins with Pesto and Ham: Flavorful, easy, and even portable!

Individual Ricotta and Spinach Omelets: Yum! Keep things flavorful, protein-rich, and simple with this dish.

Twisted Candied Bacon made with coconut sugar: Bacon just got better with this recipe.

Sweet Potato Crusted Spinach Frittata: Oh, this is a fun dish! And impressive too.


Creamy Raspberry Vanilla Smoothie (lower carb, and dairy-free): My current favorite smoothie recipe!

Nut Butter Banana Smoothie: A delicious and creamy protein rich smoothie.

Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie: Do you like Nutella? Then you will love this healthier smoothie.

Mango Orange Smoothie: Oranges and mangos make an amazing smoothie!

Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Recipe: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup- a perfect fall and winter breakfast! The homemade syrup make the spiced pumpkin pancakes even more amazing! www.thenourishinggourmet.com

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Warm autumn spices and moist pumpkin puree enrich pancake batter to make the perfect fall breakfast – pumpkin pancakes (For regular soaked whole wheat pancakes see this recipe: Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes). To seal the deal they are drizzled with a delicious apple cider syrup. It’s all of the best things the season has to offer on one plate.

I was first introduced to the idea of this seasonal breakfast when a good friend made them for 50 plus people in Mexico about 10 years ago. They were a hit! I didn’t remember exactly how she made them so this fall I decided to give them a try starting with the star ingredients – pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and apple cider. How can you go wrong with those amazing foods? And I was pleased to find that they turned out similar to the first ones I tried so many years ago.

There is something beautiful about cooking with the seasons. The bounty that is provided at each unique time of year always delights me. It is another way to celebrate the world around us and be grateful to the one who created it all.

Next time you have a chance, put your comfy clothes on or embrace the PJs. Then start a fire if you have one and whip up a batch of these tasty pumpkin pancakes. It is highly suggested that you enjoy them with hot coffee; you might even want to add a bit of the apple cider syrup to your cup!

These pancakes can be made using homemade puree or canned. If you don’t have pumpkin, feel free to try sweet potato, butternut or kabocha puree. Whatever works for you is always best!

Other Healthy Pancake Recipes:

Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, coconut milk, kefir, or buttermilk - if using a non-fermented liquid such as coconut milk, add in 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar, water kefir, or other live culture liquid (I used raw whole milk)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • Apple Cider Syrup (optional)
  • Butter (optional)
  1. In a large glass bowl, mix your flour, melted butter and milk. Cover with a towel and leave on the counter for 12- 24 hours. (I usually do this the night before.)
  2. In the morning in a medium-sized bowl whip the pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  3. Pour the mixture into the flour that was soaked over night. Stir until the batter is smooth.
  4. Heat a skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium heat. You will know it is ready if you sprinkle a couple droplets of water on the pan and they sizzle.
  5. Pour batter onto the skillet to create the size pancakes you desire. I prefer about 4 inches in circumference, ¼ of an inch thick.
  6. Cook until bubbles start to appear. Flip over and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Serve fresh off the skillet or place in a baking dish in a warm oven.
  8. Top with butter and apple cider syrup.


Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup - www.thenourishinggourmet.com


Spiced Currant Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free w/ Egg-Free Option)

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg-free option too
by Alison Diven, Contributing Writer

This baked oatmeal in mini muffin form is quintessential Autumn–and so fun for little snacks or little hands! With their hearty texture, warm spices, subtle orange notes, and mild sweetness, they cozy up perfectly to a cup of tea and your favorite sweater . . . or cuddly story-time with your little ones. They’re also chock full of healthy ingredients, so I feel good about doling them out any time of day or taking them along on outings for easy nourishment.

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg free option too

This is great news because as my baby’s due date draws near (just 2 weeks now), it seems like there’s always another errand to run or midwife appointment to attend. Mama’s tired! I’ve baked several variations of these muffins and squirreled them away in our freezer for postpartum life, but truly, I’m already breaking into my stash. I can’t keep up with our daily food needs at the moment, so I’m extra grateful for foods like this that I can make in big batches when I have a burst of energy.

For the record, these freeze and reheat beautifully. I like them plain, slathered with butter, or broken up into a bowl with raw milk. My dairy-free son enjoys his solo or with a smear of almond butter and raw honey.

3 Variations to Try

  • Pumpkin Spice — One of my favorites! Just use pumpkin puree instead of mashed banana, omit currants and orange zest, and increase sweetener to taste.
  • Banana-Coconut-Chocolate Chip — My toddler’s favorite. Omit nutmeg, clove, orange zest, and currants. Add shredded unsweetened coconut and mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life has a soy-free, allergy-friendly product).
  • Cranberry Orange — Use chopped dried cranberries instead of currants and omit nutmeg and clove. Increase orange zest by up to double, depending on your taste.

Let your taste buds guide you! So long as you don’t overdo the wet ingredients, which will make your muffins forever gummy no matter how much you bake them (voice of experience here!), it’s hard to go wrong.

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg free option too

Related recipes you may enjoy from The Nourishing Gourmet:

Buckwheat Crepes (as Gluten-Free Sandwich Wraps)
Mini Zucchini Millet Muffins
Pumpkin Maple Baked Oatmeal
Apple Oatmeal Mini Loaves (Soaked Whole Grain and Naturally Sweetened)

Spiced Currant Orange Mini Baked Oatmeals
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 mini muffins
Perfectly spiced and gently sweet, these flourless oatmeal mini muffins nourish any time of day and are especially nice for little hands. You can, of course, make them as regular-size muffins by increasing the cooking time to 30 minutes. I chose currants because their size suits mini muffins, but feel free to use raisins instead, either whole or chopped up. Now that my son can eat eggs, I use them for the protein and vitamins, but the recipe works great without them, between the holding power of oats and banana. Just add enough additional liquid to make a batter.
  • 2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if needed)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
  • 2 eggs OR additional ¼ to ½ cup coconut milk for egg-free version
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut sugar or other natural granulated sweetener (liquid sweeteners add too much moisture)
  • zest of one orange
  • 6 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons currants (or raisins)
  1. The night before baking, mix together the oats, coconut milk, and lemon juice in bowl and leave out, loosely covered, overnight.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 and grease a mini muffin pan.
  3. Break up the thick, gummy soaked oats with a fork, then add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
  4. Scoop heaping tablespoons into the greased mini muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack.