Whether you’re a full-blown vegan or testing out the dietary preference with a vegan breakfast, lunch, or dinner, research shows there is a myriad of benefits to following an all-vegan diet. Seriously, cutting out all animal products and byproducts such as meat, eggs, dairy, and honey, from your diet can lower your risk for chronic illness and some life-threatening diseases. These include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers. “A plant-based diet provides vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that are important to all of our body processes,” says Lauren Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club.
However, some nutrients are harder to consume with a plant-based diet—one of those being protein. “It’s definitely challenging to ensure adequate protein intake in a vegan diet, and it takes a little planning to get it right, especially at breakfast,” Pincus says. Here, dietitians share the high-protein vegan breakfast recipes they rely on to give them a lasting energy boost until lunch.
P.B. Banana Chia Pudding
With a whopping 17 grams of plant-based protein and 18 grams of fiber, you’re setting yourself up for success with this nutritious vegan breakfast. “Prep it the night before for a grab-and-go vegan breakfast that will keep you full for hours,” Pincus says. “What’s more: You benefit from half a day’s worth of calcium in your morning meal.”
¼ banana (1 ounce), mashed
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons powdered peanut butter
1 packet stevia
⅔ cup unsweetened almond milk
3 slices banana
1 teaspoon peanuts, chopped (approximately 4 peanuts)
2 teaspoons powdered peanut butter mixed with 1 teaspoon water for drizzle
- Add all ingredients except garnishes to a Mason jar or container with a lid, and mix very well.
- Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
- When ready to serve, stir the pudding and top with banana slices, peanut butter drizzle, and chopped peanuts.
Silken Tofu Smoothie
Most people associate tofu with lunch or dinner. But it can serve as a great source of protein in the morning hours, too. “Tofu’s creamy texture makes for a perfect smoothie ingredient,” says Natalie Rizzo, M.S., R.D., NYC-based registered dietitian. “It packs plenty of protein along with calcium and replaces the dairy in traditional smoothies.”
1 cup frozen fruit
6 ounces silken tofu
½ cup nut milk
2 tablespoons nuts
- Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend away!
Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are so in right now—and for good reason. They’re easy to prep and incredibly nutritious, packed with tons of protein and little sugar. Following right along with the trend, Sharon Palmer, R.D., of The Plant-Powered Dietitian, developed a carrot cake oats recipe, which has become a hit with her followers. “It’s super-easy!” she says.
½ cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon flaxseed, ground
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
¼ cup shredded carrots
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup plain, unsweetened plant-based milk (e.g., soy, almond, coconut)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional)
- Select a container for your overnight oats, such as a Mason jar or glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Layer as follows: oats, cinnamon, allspice, flaxseed, coconut, walnuts, and carrots.
- Pour over vanilla, maple syrup, and plant-based milk.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, stir together with a spoon, and enjoy cold or warm.
Wild Blueberry Peanutty Protein Smoothie
“This vegan wild blueberry peanutty protein smoothie is a nutrition powerhouse. It’s packed with 24 grams of protein thanks to some tofu and powdered peanut butter,” Pincus says. “The fiber clocks in at 13 grams, which is more than 50 percent of the daily recommended intake for women.” With 50 percent of your recommended daily vitamin A, 60 percent of calcium, and 25 percent of iron, how could you go wrong?
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup powdered peanut butter
4 ounces firm tofu, drained and patted dry
1 packet stevia
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
A few ice cubes
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
Sprinkle of powdered peanut butter for garnish
- Place all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth.
- Garnish with extra powdered peanut butter.
Add these high-protein vegan breakfasts to your weekly meal planning for a blast of filling energy that will last until lunch.