How to Make a Filling Breakfast Using High-Protein Plant-Based FoodsEvery good day starts with a good breakfast. Your morning meal should help you start things off on the right foot by filling you up, giving you long-lasting energy, and (most importantly) being frickin’ delicious! Contrary to popular opinion, you can make a breakfast that ticks all these boxes without using animal-based foods.
Now, there are some haters out there who say that you can’t make a tasty breakfast without foods like sausage, bacon, milk, or eggs. They think that non-dairy diets are based on nothing but twigs and grass and are forbidden from eating anything delicious. Fortunately, that’s not true — and we’re here to show you why.
You can make a plant-based breakfast that’s just as filling, just as flavorful, and much more energizing than any meat- or dairy-packed meal by using the right high-protein, animal-friendly foods. You just need to know the building blocks of a sustaining breakfast.
Read on for the low-down on how to construct a filling breakfast, along with a set of delicious, nutritionally-balanced recipe ideas.
The Building Blocks of a Sustaining Breakfast
Complex carbohydrates: Whole grains are one of the best sources of complex carbs. Unlike refined sugars that cause a short spike in energy followed by a crash, complex carbohydrates will give you energy that will last until lunch.
Vitamins and minerals: B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C all play an essential role in boosting your energy levels. Getting a dose of these vital micronutrients in the morning helps keep you active and alert throughout the day.
Healthy fats: Your body needs fats to function properly. Getting enough of them in a vegan diet can be tricky, so including healthy fats in your breakfast is vital. Avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are all healthy fat sources.
Protein: Protein is the most satiating of all nutrients. While animal-based foods fill this role in traditional breakfasts, there are plenty of high-protein plant-based options you can use instead.
The Best High-Protein Plant-Based Foods
Now for a brief lesson in everyone’s favorite subject: biochemistry. Wait, where are you going? Don’t scroll away! I promise it’s simple.
Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. The body needs twenty-two different amino acids, thirteen of which it can synthesize on its own.
The nine that we can’t synthesize are called essential amino acids, and we have to get them through our diet. Foods that contain all nine essential amino acids are said to provide a “complete protein.”
Because animal-based food contains all of the essential amino acids, many consider them to be the best sources of protein. However, there are plant-based foods that also contain complete proteins, including:
— Soy, including soy products like tempeh and tofu.
— Chia seeds
You can also create a complete protein by combining different plant-based foods, such as whole grains and legumes (nuts, peas, or beans). So, classic combos like rice and beans, and bread with peanut butter, can also meet your protein needs.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
There are tons of breakfasts out there that use high-protein, animal-friendly foods. Here are a few ways to start your day the right way! (Yes, I know that rhymed...)
Green smoothie with whole-wheat avocado toast: Use greens like spinach and kale that are full of vitamins and minerals. Add a source of protein (chia seeds, soy-based protein powder) and a little agave (#savethebees) for sweetness, and you’ve got a beautiful, nutrient-packed smoothie.
Pairing your smoothie with delicious avocado toast will complete your breakfast by providing healthy fats and whole grains.
Blueberry buckwheat pancakes spread with almond butter: Buckwheat is an outstanding source of protein and complex carbohydrates, and adding blueberries will help sweeten your pancakes and add vitamins. Almond butter is another source of protein, as well as of healthy fats and minerals.
Strawberry-walnut oatmeal: Oatmeal and walnuts combine to form a delicious complete protein. The walnuts also contain zinc and healthy fats, and the strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.
Whole wheat pita pockets with hummus and alfalfa sprouts: If you are more of a savory breakfast type of person then this one is for you! Like oatmeal and walnuts, pita and hummus combine to form a complete protein. On top of adding a yummy, toothsome crunch, alfalfa sprouts are loaded with vitamins and minerals to round out your meal.
Tempeh breakfast hash with potatoes, peppers, and portabella mushrooms: Tempeh is one of the very best high-protein plant-based foods. Pair them with potatoes, a great complex carb option, and the peppers and Portobello mushrooms for a power punch of vitamins.
What If I’m Still Hungry After Breakfast?
Any meal with complex carbs, micronutrients, healthy fats, and high-protein plant-based foods will help you fight your hunger. However, sometimes breakfast alone isn’t enough to tide you over until lunch.