7 Ways to Get More Protein at Breakfast

Read this post to learn ways to get more protein at breakfast!

If you’re reading this blog post, you probably eat breakfast. I don’t have any scientific data to back that up, but I’ve noticed that bloggers and blog readers alike tend to love breakfast (best meal of the day, am I right?)! So anyway, I’ll spare you my spiel about why breakfast is important.

Instead I’m going to get nitpicky and focus in on one nutrient that is often missing from many typical breakfasts – protein. We do a good job of getting enough at lunch, and often times too much at dinner (that 8 oz steak could feed two people!), but breakfast tends to be lacking.

So what’s the deal about protein – why should we be getting enough at breakfast? Protein is slower to digest, meaning it can help keep you satisfied for longer and keep your blood sugar more steady than a breakfast containing just simple carbs – this is one of the reasons why protein can help with maintaining a healthy weight. Research also suggests that spreading protein intake out evenly over the day is the best way to maintain and grow our muscles, which is beneficial for overall health (not just bodybuilders!).

With all that being said, here are a few of my favourite ways to get more protein at breakfast time:

1. Eggs

This is probably the obvious protein source at breakfast, but I think it warrants mentioning anyways. Eggs are great because they can fry up in just a few minutes, making them a fast choice. Are your mornings more rushed? Hard boil a half dozen on weekends so that you can grab 1-2 along with a yogurt and piece of fruit when you’re on-the-go. If you have the luxury of having more time on your hands in the mornings, whip up a skillet hash or even a strata that will make leftovers for your next few breakfasts.

Mexican sweet potato skillet hash with a fried egg and melted mozzarella cheese

2. Add some cottage cheese

When you saw this point you probably either nodded in agreement or scrunched up your nose in disgust – I know not everyone is a cottage cheese fan! But if you are, it’s a fantastic source of protein with 16 grams in just 1/2 cup. If your usual breakfast is toast, add some cottage cheese on the side topped with fresh fruit, or you can even try blending it into pancakes.

3. Make a better smoothie

Smoothies are a great convenient breakfast that whip up in just seconds. But if the only ingredient in them is fruit, you’re missing out on some important nutrients. Use milk or soy milk and add 1/2 cup Greek yogurt for some protein to make sure your smoothie keeps you full. And don’t forget some healthy fats from a tablespoon of nut butter or ground flax!

4. Boost your cereal

Breakfast cereal is usually low in protein – and if it boasts high protein content on the package, be wary and check the nutrition label – it’s probably high in sugar too! To make cereal a higher protein breakfast, pair your cereal with milk or soy milk rather than almond, coconut, hemp, or rice milk which are all lower protein options with only ~1 g protein per cup.

It’s the same story with hot cereal – it’s all about what you add to it! I pump up the protein in my oatmeal with these 5 tips, which make it a great post-workout breakfast after my strength training sessions at GoodLife Fitness.

Oatmeal with banana, blueberries, and almond butter

5. Sprinkle with seeds

Whether you like toast, cereal, or oatmeal in the mornings, a good sprinkle of seeds can help boost protein. Hemp hearts are especially potent, with 10 grams of protein in 3 tbsp!

6. Try beans at breakfast

Did you hear it’s the International Year of Pulses? So if you’re not already on the bean bandwagon, this year is a great time to start! Beans may not be thought of as a typical breakfast food, but  they make a great addition to a breakfast wrap with eggs, salsa, avocado and cheese. Or try experimenting with chickpea flour and make socca, a flatbread you can make in a pan in just a few minutes. Top it with savoury flavours like egg and avocado or sauteed mushrooms and cheese.

7. Make a healthy parfait

Not only do they look pretty and taste good, but they can be a fantastic source of protein! Use Greek yogurt, which gives you 17-19 grams per 3/4 cup serving, and layer it with fruit (use fresh or frozen, or try making a compote from dried fruit) and granola. Granola can be high in sugar, so keep your serving size to 1/4 cup – or make a homemade granola that’s lower in sugar!

Fig and Date Compote with Greek Yogurt and Toasted Almonds

Do you pay attention to protein at breakfast? How do you add protein to breakfast?

This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.


Filed under nutrition

11 Responses to 7 Ways to Get More Protein at Breakfast

  1. I pay no attention to protein at any meal. Oops. I’m also super guilty of a fruit (and spinach and flax) smoothie in the early a.m.. I deliberately skip the protein or grains there because I want something light and easy, even though it means I’m eating again a short while later (usually granola with Greek yogurt). It’s my stomach’s way of waking up I guess. I will toss in some yogurt though if I know I won’t be eating again for awhile.

    Also, I adore my eggs and eat them every chance I get…hello weekend breakfasts.

    P.S. I love that every option here is a whole food one. It makes me happy.

    • Chelsea

      I just cannot get on board with protein powder! I’ve tried a couple of brands and really disliked all of them.

      But anyway, considering you eat a good amount of cheese, nuts, and beans, I’m sure you’re doing fine on the protein front, whether you pay attention to it or not. ;)

  2. Gosh, Chelsea.

    you’ve turned into such a bro.

    Just kidding. I found I was OD’ing on protein so have cut back WAYYYYYY much (aka I was eating 1/2 a chicken for dinner…). I love cottage cheese too. Oh man.

    • Chelsea

      Haha! It happens more commonly than you’d think! So many people have no concept of how much protein is in meat and don’t realize you can get over 20 grams in just 4 oz raw (which shrinks to closer to 3.5 oz cooked). It doesn’t take much!

  3. Great post and options Chelsea! I personally do try and get some protein with my breakfast- fortunately some of my favorite breakfast items are naturally high in protein. My usual go-tos are eggs, chickpea flour or Greek yogurt. If I’m in a pinch, I’ll get my fix from a scoop of Sunwarrior protein powder i.e. one of the few protein powders I can actually hack.

    • Chelsea

      I’ll have to give that one a try! I haven’t liked any of the protein powders I’ve tried, but maybe that one will be the winner.

  4. I always forget about the cottage cheese… which is surprising because I’m a huge fan!

    Thanks for the informative post. Happy breakfast-ing!

  5. 7 Ways to Get More Protein at Breakfast…. WITHOUT protein power. Love love love this list and that they are all food options. I would rather know what is going into my breakfast and avoid the odd colored, smelly, expensive powder.

    • Chelsea

      Right?! They all smell awful! I have tub that I got for free that I’m trying to use up, but I wouldn’t dare ruin my oatmeal with it haha. I’ve been disguising it in granola/date bars which has been working well so far though.

  6. Pingback: 5 ways to add protein to your oatmeal - Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

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