Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; keeping us alert, satisfied (until lunchtime rolls around at least) and sharp for the start of the day. Although it’s very American to eat pancakes and cereal first thing in the morning, this isn’t the case for other countries around the world. Breakfast options vary greatly in different parts of the world, from fried plantains to rice bowls.
Continue reading to get a look into varying countries first meals, and get inspired with similar recipes from our Food Monster App! Let’s get international.
What do Aussies eat for breakfast? Turns out, they aren’t too different than the United States. Modern interpretations of an Aussie breakfast now appear on many menus. People from all over the world have immigrated to Australia and brought their culinary traditions with them. They also have a beautiful abundance of fresh food all year round!
An Aussie breakfast can take many forms but the most common is avocado toast and a fry up. Fry ups include eggs, bacon, grilled tomatoes, and mushrooms. They also enjoy a fried egg with spiced avocado, omelets, and fried tomatoes. Luckily for us, these Aussie breakfasts can be made into plant-based wonders. Try our Tomato Baked Chickpeas Over Avocado Toast or this Sunny Side Up Fried ‘Egg’. If you’re craving an egg-less omelet, opt for this Loaded Chickpea Omelet. And if you’d like some bacon the side, try this delicious Easy Mushroom Bacon recipe.
Africa, the second largest continent and home to over 1.2 billion people, is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination for the most adventurous travelers and eaters. African cuisine is an umbrella term for all the many cuisines of Africa. The continent has hundreds of different cultural groups and traditions, so there is no one picture of what African food typically looks like. The range of climates and growing conditions leads to a diverse mixture of ingredients as African food is usually centered on locally available foods. That also means that with all the fruits, vegetables, and grains, African cuisine can be satisfying and healthy.
No matter the country in Africa, there are a number of beloved breakfast foods! Many of the foods that are enjoyed for breakfast are also served throughout the day. Simple spicy one-pot dishes of plantains, rice, tomatoes, onions, and pepper are often served at parties and other festive gatherings. Meat and vegetable curries are also wildly popular. In Nigeria, spicy shish kebabs are popular while the people of Mozambique love a dish called grilled chicken Piri Piri, traditionally served with matapa, a dish of cassava leaves cooked in a peanut sauce. People in Morocco love a good plate of couscous or fine wheat pasta.
We love plantains too and happen to have quite a few recipes to try. Our favorites include Fried Plantains in In Tomato Gravy. If you want rice we have Spicy Plantains in Rice and Peas. This Raw Moroccan Vegetable and Chickpea Stew with Spicy Orange Cauliflower Couscous is also super delicious, as well as this Nigerian Ogi!
Today, having rediscovered the Greek diet and the beauty of fresh produce and home-made dishes, breakfast has changed for modern Greeks too. Sunny-side up eggs are typically drizzled with lemon juice and are a typical late morning breakfast in small restaurants in Crete. Elsewhere, the olive plays an important role in early mornings, usually paired with bread and cheeses. They’re also fond of beans, pies, a type of biscotti-like pastry called koulourakia, which is often studded with nuts and raisins. Thick Greek yogurt and honey is their favorite way to start the day.
Spanakopita Bites can be made vegan when combined with nutritional yeast and tofu. Tsoureki: Greek Pumpkin Sweetbread is perfect for topping with jam or an olive spread. Greek Wine Cookies (Koulourakia) are quick and simple to bake up while this Greek Cheese Spread is perfect for dipping Greek Flatbread slices in.
Korean cuisine has developed over many centuries. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in Korean food has evolved through natural environment and different cultural trends. Ingredients and dishes vary by area, but many dishes have become national, especially in the United States.
Korean breakfasts are largely based on rice, vegetables, and meats. Traditional Korean breakfasts are noted for the number of side dishes that accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and cabbage. These days, the people of Korea sometimes use traditional American foods for breakfast, like cereal and toast. The main difference between their breakfasts and other meals is that it’s much lighter. They enjoy kimchi, cucumber soup, bean sprouted rice and tofu with seasoned sauce, among many others.
If you feel like dabbling in a little Korean cuisine at home, opt for these Kimchi Potato Pancakes for a nice option. This Baked Gochujang Tofu is best served with simple sides like rice and steamed vegetables. This Easy Seaweed Salad is a great side dish to something heavier, like the commonly known egg toast, reinvented here as an Egg Sandwich.
While many places in India do not have a traditional routine of eating breakfast, there’s a wide array of dishes commonly consumed every morning. Pesarattu upma contains a lentil dosa, made from a batter of ground green gram dal, and stuffed with semolina upma instead of the usual potato filling. Parathas are the most famous breakfast items from North India, which are a type of flatbread.
With delicacies like idli, dosa, and aloo parathas, it is no wonder that Indians like to eat a hot breakfast rather than cold cereal or fruit. If you want to try some Indian breakfast dishes, try some Mint Parathas, Idlies: Soft Steamed Rice and Lentil Cakes, or a Gentle Morning Kitchari recipe. The options are endless.
Classic American breakfasts are the most breakfast-y of all. From eggs and toast to oatmeal with fruit toppings, to waffles and grits if you’re from down south. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find a combo of those all across America. There are some dishes and foods that are so closely tied to a place—because of agriculture, industry, or tradition—that they become part of its identity and breakfast in America, big breakfasts, are a huge tradition.
Stock up on your carbs with the vegan versions of these ‘Merican meals. Keep things simple with 4-Ingredient Banana Pancakes, Classic Wheat Free Waffles, Southwestern Style Grits, or make it interesting with a Cinnamon Apple French Toast, or Breakfast Sandwich with Tempeh Bacon, or a tasty, quick Cookie Crisp Cereal.
One thing is for sure, Europeans do eat breakfast and they seem to eat it more frequently than Americans. In Europe, breakfast is quite small, sometimes it’s nothing more than a piece of toast and coffee. This is a tiny breakfast when compared with the usual American breakfast. Since Europe is so big, breakfast varies from country to country. In England, they love a good porridge and fried tomatoes. In France, they love a baguette and in Spain they prefer churros. In Italy, a croissant will do and in Greece fresh fruit works wonders. In Switzerland, they love different bread rolls with fresh fruit. The choices vary.
If you want to eat like a European, try these: Coconut Almond Porridge, Fried Plantains in Tomato Gravy, French Baguettes, Churros With Lime Sugar and Caramel Sauce, Chocolate-Filled Croissants, Olive Oil Bread Rolls, Chilean Bread Rolls and these Paleo Dinner Rolls.
The amount of delicious international cuisine available is amazing and inspiring. There’s even more where that came from. For more info on plant-based eating, download the Food Monster App, where you can find tons of recipes for meat alternatives and other healthy food. The app is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day.
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