Building a protein-rich breakfast on a plant-based diet is a piece of cake! (Okay, not really since we’re not going to have cake for breakfast, but I’m glad I caught your attention.) Hopefully you’re aware that a variety of plants are packed with protein, but if not, I’d like to show you how to start your day out on the right foot with a protein-packed, plant-based meal. No bacon, eggs, (or disturbing dairy) needed, whatsoever!
First though, why protein?
The importance of protein is essential to your health, as most of you know. It regulates metabolism, the nervous system, supports the skeletal system, and helps to regulate your blood sugar. But not all proteins are the same, and more isn’t always better. Animal protein increases the work that the body has to do to break down those proteins, which puts a great deal of stress on the kidney and liver. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, also found animal-based proteins to be a leading cause in the development of cancer. So it’s best to start your day out with a little high-quality plant-based protein-rich meal, which will help prevent blood sugar swings by regulating insulin, and jump start your metabolism for the day without harming your body.
How to Go Plant-Based
It’s quite easy to get plant-based protein in your diet considering leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables all contain protein. Sure, some do stand out above the rest. For instance, hemp seeds and hemp protein, are rich in all essential amino acids, and are easy enough to add to your meals throughout the day. And if you think plant-based proteins aren’t complete, check out these myth-busting facts about “incomplete” plant-based protein.
So, are you ready to start your day out with a plant-powered, protein-rich breakfast? Great!
Try These 6 Fantastic Protein-Rich Plant-Based Foods Out:
I know you’re probably tired of hearing about how great chia seeds are, but they truly are as perfect as it gets when speaking of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals (at least for such a tiny seed!) Chia seeds contain all essential amino acids and are one of the easiest plant-based foods to fit into your morning meal. You can use them in a smoothie, stir them into some oatmeal, make chia pudding, or even make your own raw energy bites with chia. Check out all our favorite chia seed recipes here!
This super seed often referred to as a grain, is also packed with plant-based fiber. Quinoa can be prepared savory or sweet, which makes it excellent for those who have specific cravings in the morning. Try some cinnamon-flavored quinoa with some almond or cashew milk, or spice it up with some nutritional yeast, savory spices of your choice, and cook it in a little vegetable broth to add more flavor. You can also buy quinoa flakes that cook up just like oatmeal if you’re craving something extra creamy. Or, if you’re more into muffins, these Quinoa, Apricot, and Oat Muffin Clusters are a great way to start the day.
Green smoothies can be customized to suit you, whatever your protein needs may be. Kale and spinach are especially rich in protein and make excellent green smoothie ingredients. Just be sure to rotate your greens so you get a nice variety into your diet. Try adding some chia or hemp seeds, plant-based protein powder, or even a couple tablespoons of raw almond butter to amp up the protein content even further. These choices will keep your smoothies extra thick, creamy, healthy, and more filling too. Try out some of our favorite Green Monster Smoothie recipes if you need some new ideas.
One of my favorite savory breakfast dishes to have in the fall is warm lentils with some cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and black pepper. Though it sounds a bit strange, the warming, ethnic flavor combination is out of this world. Lentils are rich in protein with 18 grams per cup! Just one half cup is plenty enough to have per meal and will help keep you full all morning long. You can also cook lentils savory style with some black pepper, Italian seasonings, and garlic for a heartier morning meal.
Oatmeal is a great breakfast option and an incredibly filling, muscle-building source of protein as well. It’s also a great source of magnesium, fiber, and potassium. Oats are a powerful focus-boosting food and are incredibly energizing as well. They’re one of the most unique grains in their ability to keep you full a long time since they contain specific soluble fibers that digest more slowly. Oats contain roughly 5-7 grams of protein per 1/3 cup, depending on if you choose rolled, quick-cook, steel cut, or whole oat groats. Always go for the least processed when possible and avoid instant oats that contain added sugars or preservatives.
Like tofu? Great, because it’s packed with protein! Made from soybeans, tofu is an extremely inexpensive way to add more protein to your diet. You can flavor it any way you like and benefit from its filling factor. Try out this yummy tofu scramble as a delicious way to start the day! Be sure to buy organic, non-GMO soy whenever possible so you can avoid genetically modified forms of soy. Regardless of the myths surrounding soy, it’s actually very beneficial to your health and packed with nutrition.
As you can see, protein is incredibly easy to get in a plant-based diet, so what are you waiting for? Change your breakfast and your health at the same time!
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Image Source: 5 Amazing Tofu Scramble Recipes