Finding Protein-Packed Plant-Based Breakfasts

Are you craving protein in the morning and looking for a plant based solution? When adopting a plant-based lifestyle, finding a replacement for your morning eggs may seem like a challenge. Tofu scrambles are often the vegan’s answer to a protein packed breakfast instead of traditional scrambled eggs. Tofu is a great source of plant based protein which will fill you up, keep you full for hours and help regulate your blood sugar level. Add some vegetables and seasonings to crumbled tofu, saute it all together and you’ve got a tofu scramble. Try this recipe for Persian Tofu Scramble.

tofu scramble with oranges
Persian Tofu Scramble Breakfast Bowl

Tofu isn’t the only way to add protein to your plant based breakfast. Other sources of beans are also a great choice such as using chickpea flour to make a chickpea frittata. A traditional frittata is a baked vegetable and egg dish. A chickpea frittata replaces the egg with chickpea flour, water and a little olive oil. Try your favorite traditional frittata combinations or this Roasted Cauliflower and Onion Chickpea Frittata with Golden Raisins. Another tip: Make mini frittatas in muffin pans and eat them throughout the week.

roasted cauliflower chickpea frittata
Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Frittata with Golden Raisins

More beans for breakfast? Try a black bean smoothie. Protein powders are often added to smoothies for a quick and easy high protein breakfast. There are many vegan protein powders, however, keep in mind that protein powders are highly processed foods. Unlike whole protein, protein powders made from isolated soy protein, raise blood sugar which can lead to a variety of health problems including inflammation and type two diabetes. Next time, try using beans as a whole food option. Beans can be canned, frozen, or cooked from dried beans. It is best to pair beans with strong flavors such as cherries, raspberries or cocoa powder to avoid having a smoothie that tastes like beans. Try our favorite Cherry Black Bean Smoothie recipe.

Cherry Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie

Alternately, silken tofu (made from soybeans) tastes great in smoothies and is packed with protein, and has a mild flavor. Black beans or the more exotic, adzuki beans work great in smoothies when paired with frozen cherries and cocoa powder. We also love using a combination of tofu with orange juice concentrate which my daughter has named Orange Tofulius. It is so good we eat it as a milkshake with our Friday night movie.

Orange Tofulius

Did you know that most vegetables are great sources of protein? Even the humble potato contains 9% of your daily protein needs. The vegetables among the highest protein content are spinach which is 49% protein, broccoli 45%, and cauliflower is 40%. Try roasting your favorite vegetables for a healthy breakfast packed with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Prep the vegetables the night before by cutting the vegetables in even sized pieces then tossing lightly with a drizzle of oil. In the morning spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and seasonings then bake at 425 degrees until tender and browned on the edges. Butternut, sweet potatoes, zucchini, cauliflower, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli and Brussels sprouts all roast up beautifully. Learn how to make Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts.

walnut maple Brussels sprouts
Walnut and Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Breakfast burritos and wraps are also a great way to serve up protein for breakfast. Wrap up any combination of tofu scramble, black beans, leftover roasted or steamed vegetables, fresh greens, fruit or nut butters in a whole grain tortilla or wrap. Looking for a way to encourage your kids to eat more vegetables? Wrap them up. My kids will pile a pita high with chopped apples, celery, nuts, onion and raisins for a waldorf style salad on a pita. Another favorite? Basic refried beans on a tortilla are a go to in our home for any meal or any hour of the day.

Nutrition Packed Tofu Scramble
Superstar Tofu Scramble

It’s not only leftover pizza that makes a great breakfast. Stir fries, curries and salad all taste great the next day. My fifteen year old daughter loves to save chopped salad from lunch the day before and eat it for breakfast. It isn’t as fresh and crisp as it is when it is served immediately, but for a day or two it is still good to eat and the best fast food breakfast option for a busy morning.

Nuts and seeds also provide a great protein option for breakfast. They contain healthy fat which is great for growing children and those who need extra calories. We like to make a Nut and Seed Loaf with a variety of nuts and seeds held together by chia and psyllium. Slice it, toast it, and add avocado or a slice of fresh tomato to the top for a delightful, first class breakfast. Add nuts or seeds to your oatmeal or nut butter to your toast or pancakes. Try these Oatmeal Pancakes with Hemp, Chia, and Flax topped with peanut butter and molasses.

oatmeal pancakes
Oatmeal Pancakes

Tofu, beans, vegetables and nuts and seeds add protein to your plant-based breakfast. Here are a few more ideas:

tamales in corn husks
Black Bean Tamales
Peach Pie Parfait
fried sweet potatoes
Crispy Sweet Potatoes
Creamy Parsnips