If your plant-based breakfast is leaving you hangry hours ahead of lunch, it might be time to consider adding some protein-packed ingredients to the mix. But if you’re vegan or are simply looking to eat less animal-based foods, finding a filling morning meal that’s rich in that important macronutrient isn’t as easy as scrambling up some eggs or throwing a couple of scoops of Greek yogurt into a smoothie.
Quick reminder: Protein is key to keeping you full, because it takes longer to digest than other macronutrients like carbs. These move through your body much quicker, leaving you hungrier faster. So aiming to get 20 to 30 grams of protein during the morning can help boost satiety, Natalie Rizzo, RD, author of Planted Performance: Easy Plant-Based Recipes, Meal Plans, and Nutrition for All Athletes, tells SELF.
Luckily, there are plenty of delicious and creative plant-based ways to get protein into your first meal of the day. Some recs to keep in mind? Consider tofu—you can combine it into your favorite breakfast dishes, shred it into a burrito, or blend it to make an egg substitute for a sandwich, Rizzo says. Seeds are also a great addition. By scooping a few tablespoons of chia or hemp into a nondairy smoothie or oatmeal bowl, you can tack on an extra 10 grams of protein or so onto your plate, she says.
Just remember it’s not all about protein; balance is important, too. Eating carbs and fat along with your protein can make your meal even more satisfying. So if you’re making a tofu-based burrito, add in a source of fat, like some ripe avocado, says Rizzo. If you’re prepping overnight oats, throw in some fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries for fiber-rich carbs, she says. And most importantly, have fun with it: Make breakfast recipes that you’ll be excited to eat.
If you’re looking for some inspo, we got you covered with 15 high-protein, plant-based breakfast ideas that are delicious and anything but boring—from vegan “eggs” Benedict to carrot cake overnight oats. Each tasty recipe is packed with at least 20 grams of protein, so you can focus on your morning instead of counting down the minutes until lunchtime.