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You’ve probably heard that protein is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Eating protein-rich foods helps you feel full for longer, and protein is essential for muscle growth, making it especially important if you work out regularly. One way to get your day off to a nutritious start is to eat high-protein breakfast foods. And if you’re groaning at the idea of egg whites on repeat, you might be surprised by the variety of options out there. Read on for some inspiration for your next high-protein breakfast.

High-Protein Breakfast Ideas

breakfast
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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

From animal-based foods like eggs and sausage to vegetarian and vegan-friendly options like chia seeds and nut butter, here are eight ways to eat a high-protein breakfast. Try each of these ideas on rotation, and you’ll never want to go back to basic, boring oatmeal again. 

1. Yogurt With Fruit and Cereal

yogurt with berries
Source: unsplash
High-protein yogurt is a healthy breakfast meal.

This super-simple breakfast food is packed with protein. Choose an unsweetened, unflavored yogurt (you can even buy extra high-protein varieties), then add your own flavorings like fresh-cut fruit, honey, or flavored protein powder. Top it off with a high-protein breakfast cereal, which makes for a substantial meal. You can even make your own yogurt if you want to get creative in the kitchen.

2. High-Protein Muffins

muffins
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Pick the right recipe, and blueberry muffins can be a source of protein.

Muffins are a tasty breakfast, and if you choose a recipe with plenty of high-protein ingredients, they can also be a way to boost your protein intake. The protein blueberry muffin recipe at A Healthy Life for Me uses egg whites, Greek yogurt, almond flour, and vanilla whey powder (along with other more traditional blueberry muffin ingredients) to pack in as much protein as possible. 

3. Homemade High-Protein Breakfast Cereal

cereal with stuff in it
Source: unsplash
Healthy, protein-packed cereal.

Some boxed cereals claim to be high in protein, but they’re also often high in sugar, salt, and processed ingredients. For a healthier take, put together your own high-protein breakfast cereal. Use rolled oats as a base and add a variety of nuts, seeds (like hemp, sesame, sunflower, and flax), buckwheat groats, and/or protein powder, alongside your favorite dried or fresh fruit. 

4. High-Protein Smoothies 

smoothies
Breakfast smoothies come in different flavors.

Breakfast smoothies are a great idea if you’re short on time—you can prepare them the night before and then blend the ingredients quickly in the morning. Adding milk, yogurt, nut butters, hemp seeds, or wheatgrass to your smoothies increases their protein content. 

Check out Steven Stocker’s tutorial on how to make high-protein smoothies with health benefits, like this weight-loss smoothie recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • Handful of fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 tbsp kefir or yogurt
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 serving wheatgrass powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon or cayenne pepper powder
  • Small handful of spinach or kale
  • 1 cup water or ice cube

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 20-30 seconds, until smooth and combined.

5. Bacon and Mushroom Omelette

omlette
A Florentine omelette combines many nutritious, high-protein ingredients.

Any breakfast dish containing eggs is going to be high in protein, but omelettes are an especially good option because you have the opportunity to add further protein or other nutritious ingredients. Skillshare instructor Steve Katsandres teaches how to make a Florentine omelette with bacon, veggies, and sour cream (though you could leave any of those ingredients out if you’d like). 

Ingredients:

  • Handful of chopped bacon
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 oz chopped onion
  • 1 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3 oz spinach
  • 1 tbsp sour cream

Directions:

  1. Spray a frying pan with some oil and add the chopped bacon. Cook until browned.
  2. Add the chopped onion and cook until browned.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
  4. Add the spinach and take the pan off the heat.
  5. Add the sour cream to the pan and let sit.
  6. Crack the eggs and whisk together in a bowl.
  7. Pour the eggs into a second frying pan. Cook until the underside is set but not browned. 
  8. Using a spatula, flip the omelette over and turn the heat off.
  9. Place the vegetable and bacon filling into the center of the omelette. Flip part of the omelette over to enclose the filling and transfer to a plate for serving.

6. Tofu Scramble

scramble egg
Tofu scramble: no animal ingredients included.

If you follow a vegan diet (or just want to try a plant-based recipe), then tofu makes a good substitute for eggs. It doesn’t quite taste the same, but it works in a similar way in vegan omelette or scramble recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pack of firm tofu
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tsp white rice miso paste or soy sauce/tamari
  • Pinch each of coriander, garlic, herbes de Provence, and turmeric powder (or adjust to suit your tastes)
  • 1 can of corn
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Sea salt and sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Grate the carrot.
  2. Add a splash of water to a non-stick fry pan. Add the carrot and saute until it softens.
  3. Mash the tofu in your hands and add to the pan with the carrot.
  4. Add the miso paste (or soy sauce/tamari) and mix everything together well while sauteeing. 
  5. Add the seasonings and mix well.
  6. Blend the corn in a blender to create a creamy paste.
  7. Add corn to the tofu and mix well. Add more or less corn depending on how creamy you want your tofu scramble to be.
  8. Add chopped fresh herbs before serving.

7. Breakfast Burrito

burrito
Source: unsplash
Put whatever you want inside a breakfast burrito.

What makes a breakfast burrito different from a burrito eaten at another time of day? Including some eggs and other typical breakfast ingredients, such as ham, bacon, or potato. Just grab a tortilla (or make one from scratch if you have the time) and add your protein-packed ingredients of choice.

Here are some ingredients you could add to your breakfast burrito:

  • Scrambled eggs 
  • Chorizo sausage 
  • Chopped ham 
  • Scrambled tofu
  • Kidney beans or refried beans
  • Cheese
  • Diced potato
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado

8. Chia Pudding

chia pudding
This looks like dessert, but it’s actually a high-protein breakfast.

While it might sound like “pudding” isn’t an ideal breakfast food, don’t be fooled: Chia is packed with protein, fiber, and minerals like magnesium and calcium. Plus, chia puddings are an easy high-protein breakfast to prepare the night before.

In their class, Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh teach you how to make a chocolate, chia, and avocado pudding (though if you’re not sold on the “chocolate for breakfast” concept, you could leave out the cocoa powder). 

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ chia seeds 
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place the ingredients together in a blender. 
  2. Blend until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Spoon mixture into two containers to be refrigerated overnight.
  4. Serve the next day, topped with fresh fruit if you like.  

Start Your Day the Right Way

banana and oatmeal
Healthy, high-protein breakfasts can be an exciting way to start the day.

Whether you prefer to start your day with a sweet meal or a savory one, these healthy high-protein breakfast foods will keep you satisfied. Breakfast doesn’t need to be a monotonous meal if you get creative and put some thought into its preparation. Bon appetit!

Good for Your Whole Body

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