With my weight loss clients, one of the biggest things I discourage is missing a significant amount of protein at breakfast. Why?
Packing in the protein at the beginning of the day helps regulate our hunger hormones throughout the day, so we don’t feel like bingeing on all the food once we get home at the end of the day. We also need to remember there is an upper limit for how much protein our bodies can use at one time, therefore it is helpful to spread our protein throughout the day.
However, I see people consuming high carb and low protein choices at breakfast all the time. Cereal, toast, waffles, muffins, you name it.
I get it though – we’re in a rush in the morning, so we’re looking for something easy to grab. We also simply may prefer the taste of a light and sweeter breakfast in the morning vs a heavier protein-heavy breakfast.
However, protein doesn’t have to just be bacon and eggs! Or even a protein-rich smoothie (and sometimes we do make mistakes with our smoothies – see my quotes in this article for how we sabotage our breakfast smoothies).
I’ve been recipe testing this past weekend to makeover 3 traditional high-carb breakfast choices – muffins, crepes and granola bars – to add protein and extra micronutrients. They’re still super easy and quick in the morning and taste delicious! Check out the recipes below.
1. Breakfast Crepes
Major Protein Source: Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt Breakfast Crepes
I love this recipe! I've been adding in Greek yogurt and berries to these little guys, but go ahead and add your own toppings (almond butter and bananas would be delicious for example!) I also tend to like to make this recipe ahead of time at keep them in the fridge for about 2-3 days.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- grated zest of 1 orange
- toppings of choice
- Avocado oil
- Crack 3 eggs in bowl and beat with fork until well blended. Add yogurt and mix until smooth. Sprinkle the four, baking soda and salt a little at a time, incorporating well. Add in lemon zest, mix.
- Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat. Add 2 tsp avocado oil.
- Drop small amount of batter to form about 6 inch pancakes. When they form small bubbles, quickly slip spatula under and flip. Cook until each side is slightly browned.
- Add in your favourite toppings and enjoy!
2. Baked Granola Bars
Major Protein Source: Lentils
Lentil Berry Granola Bars
Adding lentils to granola bars is a great way to boost up iron, protein and fibre! These bars are a filling and delicious way to start your day.
- 1/2 cup cooked red lentils
- 1½ cups quick oats
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup dried strawberries
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or avocado oil
- 1/3 cup peanut or almond butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown sugar, oat flour, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, nut butter, maple syrup, egg, lentils and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined and crumbly. Press into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and golden around the edges. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
3. Berry Muffins
Major Protein Source: Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp Berry Protein Muffins
I've struggled with finding a great way to consume hemp protein powder and this recipe is it. The hemp protein adds a big protein pump and goes virtually undetected. Bake a batch of these muffins on Sunday and enjoy them for 3-4 quick breakfast meals during the week!
- 2 medium over-rip bananas
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or avocado oil)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1.5 cups oat flour
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup hemp seed protein powder (I use Manitoba Harvest)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a muffin tin liberally with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add maple syrup, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla, stirring to combine.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except blueberries). Stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
- Pour batter evenly into muffin tin (I got 10 muffins).
- Bake for about 28-30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean. Cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes before carefully transferring muffins to a cooling rack.