Wheat comes to your mind when you think of vegan breakfast? Is it toast with jam, fruit salad or avocado on a rice cake Nonsense, vegan breakfast can also be rich in protein. In addition to classics like oatmeal and peanut butter, there are many other ways to make the first meal of the day richt in protein. We explain how it works.
- Vegan breakfast: Why should it be rich in protein?
- Advantages of plant pased protein
- Plant based protein source
- Breakfast ideas and vegan recipes
Vegan Breakfast: Why Should it be Rich in Protein?
Along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is one of the three macronutrients that the body needs to survive and function. Protein molecules consist of 20 different amino acids, some of which the body can produce itself, but some of which must be ingested with food. Not only our muscles, but also our skin, hair and brain are largely made out of proteins. They are also significantly involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies, support oxygen transport as well as a strong immune system and help with cell renewal.
Thanks to its molecular structure, protein also ensures that we are satiated for a long time and that the blood sugar level - unlike with a sugary meal - remains stable after the meal and does not shoot up abruptly. This effect reduces cravings.
The metabolism is also boosted by a protein-rich breakfast. When we eat protein, the body has to spend more energy on digesting it than on fats or carbohydrates. Means concretely: The calorie consumption is automatically increased.
Protein is a must have in the diet of athletes. It contributes to muscle building and maintenance and is, along with carbohydrates, an important source of energy during long endurance sessions.
Vegan protein vs. animal protein
Whether for muscle building or for an energized start to the day: protein-rich foods, whose structure is very similar to the body's protein, are particularly valuable. The so-called biological value of proteins indicates how much protein from a food can be converted into the body's own protein. Some plant based foods, unlike animal sources of protein, possess certain amino acids only in small amounts, which is why meat, eggs and dairy products generally have a better amino acid profile than plants.
But plant based proteins are in no way inferior to animal proteins. The amino acid profile of the foods complement each other, so that their biological value is also increased in vegan food combinations. The foods do not have to be consumed in a single meal, but they also complement each as the day progresses.
How much protein do I need per day?
The German Nutrition Society recommends a daily protein intake of 0.8 g to 1.2 g protein per kilogram of body weight for adults. For athletes, the requirement is higher - up to 2 g per kilogram of body weight. Keep in mind, however, that the energy requirements of competitive athletes are also higher. This means that not only do they need more protein, but they also have to eat more overall to meet their calorie needs - and therefore naturally eat more protein.
High on Vegan Protein: Advantages of Plant Based Protein
Vegan and high in protein - does that go together? And how! Plant based proteins are in no way inferior to animal proteins. On the contrary, unlike animal foods, they provide plenty of indigestible carbohydrates, also known as dietary fiber. They serve in the large intestine as food for health-promoting bacteria, saturate for a long time and have a balancing effect on the blood sugar level.
A vegan diet which is rich in protein also reduces cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, which are found particularly in meat and dairy products. Saturated fatty acids and animal protein, on the other hand, can promote the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and increase the risk of cancer.
Plant based sources of protein also contain many important vitamins, minerals and secondary plant compounds.
Kick start to the day: Why should I have protein for breakfast?
It's smart to rely on plant-based protein at your first meal. On the one hand, you lay the foundation for the day and - whatever happens that day - you've already had a whole load of protein.
On the other hand, the protein-rich breakfast gives you energy for the day, satiates for a long time and prevents cravings.
After early morning exercise, the protein-rich meal also feeds your tired muscles and supports recovery.
Plant Based Sources of Protein for Breakfast
Whether you want to build muscle or start the day with full power: With the right foods, you can increase the amount of protein in your breakfast all by yourself. The following foods are packed with plant-based proteins and can be combined as desired.
The cereal flakes from oats provide a full 12 g of vegetable protein from 100 grams and are also particularly rich in fiber and iron. Especially the fiber beta-glucan in oats has a positive effect on our health and lowers cholesterol levels. Oatmeal is an absolute classic for porridge and overnight oats.
Used as flakes in muesli or as wholemeal bread: spelt has it all. A whopping 15 g of protein per 100 g makes spelt one of the most protein-rich cereals. The special: Spelt is a very valuable vegan source of protein, as it contains all the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce itself.
Unlike oats and spelt, pseudocereals are gluten-free, but are in no way inferior to them in terms of protein. In addition to abundant protein, amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat also provide polyunsaturated fatty acids and many minerals such as calcium, zinc and iron.
Whether almonds, cashews, peanuts or hazelnuts: Nuts are small powerhouses and provide a lot of plant based protein and valuable fat. A tablespoon of nut butter should not be missing from your vegan protein breakfast.
Plant based milk
You can also get an extra load of protein with the right plant-based milk. Unlike oat or almond milk, soy or pea-based milk alternatives are packed with protein (up to 5 grams of protein per 100 ml). The right choice in a smoothie or for making porridge.
Red lentils, soybeans or chickpeas contain protein, fiber and many minerals such as iron. For breakfast, legumes are especially good as a spread - for example, as hummus or as a creamy paste in combination with sesame puree. Tofu can be enjoyed as an ingredient in a smoothie or serve as a scrambled egg substitute. Roasted chickpeas pimp any avocado bread and chickpea flour can be used to knock up vegan omelets in no time at all.
Soy yogurt is rich in protein and can be used in many ways: In combination with granola or muesli and fresh fruit, as a topping on porridge or as a secret ingredient for creamy smoothies.
Seeds and kernels
Chia seeds do not bear the title "superfood" for nothing. Similar to flax seeds, they have more than 15 grams of protein per 100 grams, provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids and have plenty of fiber. Another very good source of protein are pumpkin seeds.
Spinach, kale, broccoli and beans also contain protein, and when combined with other vegan protein sources, green vegetables become an absolute High Protein Breakfast. How? Green leafy veggies plus oatmeal, pea drink, peanut butter and banana as a Green Smoothie or Tofu Scramble with broccoli and greens as a side. Greenlicious!
Vegan protein powder
If you want to increase protein or build muscle, plant-based protein powder is a great way to sneak some extra protein into your breakfast: Just mix the powder into your smoothie or blend it into your breakfast bowl or overnight oats. Unlike Whey protein, plant-based powders are made from rice, hemp, pea, soy, or lupine, among others. Make sure that the powder combines different organic plant proteins (keyword: biological value)and that it contains no sweeteners and flavor enhancers.
How much of my protein needs can I meet with a vegan breakfast?
Cleverly combined, a vegan breakfast can already cover a large part of your daily need for protein in the morning. Want a protein kick?
How about porridge made with spelt flakes, ground flax seeds, topped with soy yogurt and peanut butter? You'll end up with about 25 grams of protein in a medium bowl.
Or stir-fried tofu with a whole-grain spelt bread topped with hummus and pumpkin seeds? You'll secure around 27 g of Plant Power.
A breakfast shake made of banana, spinach leaves, soy drink, chocolate protein powder, cocoa, chia seeds, and cashew butter even comes to a whopping 33 g of protein.
Get Your Protein: Ideas and Vegan Recipes
Start your day rich in protein: These ideas are very simple, bring variety to the breakfast table and are super easy to integrate into everyday life.
You don't have much time in the morning to have a big breakfast? No problem - just mix yourself a super delicious and filling protein shake. The base is fresh fruit, which you can combine with cereal flakes, protein powder, nut butter and seeds. Our favorite: banana, oat milk, oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate protein powder and a few hemp seeds.
Proats: protein porridge
In the mood for proteins in a bowl? Then porridge is just the right power breakfast for you - cereal flakes combined with plant based milk and toppings of your choice. Boil the flakes with twice the amount of plant based milk and let the porridge simmer for a few minutes until it becomes a creamy porridge. Sweeten the porridge as desired and top it with fresh fruit such as berries or banana, nut puree, seeds or / and a blob of soy yogurt.
Protein and pancakes in one? Oh yes! All you need for the batter is a few ingredients: Crushed banana, spelt flour, baking powder, plant based milk and optionally a scoop of protein powder. And don't worry: the pancakes will be wonderfully fluffy even without egg. Almond flour or finely ground oats are also great. Spread with nut puree and enjoy after the workout garnished with fresh blueberries - delicious!
Overnight oats with extra protein
This protein-rich breakfast to go is ideal for those who are already on the go in the morning. Prepare the Overnight Oats the evening before and top them the next morning with a few fruits and a blob of nut butter - ready is your vegan breakfast to go.
Spelt sandwich with lentil spread
You prefer a hearty meal in the morning? How about a wholemeal spelt bread with lentil spread? For the spread you can use, for example, cooked red lentils and puree them with tahini and salt to a creamy mass. Season to taste with ginger, pepper and cumin. Top the vegan sandwich with smoked tofu and fresh vegetables or serve a portion of scrambled tofu.
Whether it's pancakes, porridge, a shake or a sandwich, top your breakfast with sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and any other nuts and seeds you like. Not only do they add extra crunch, but they also provide plenty of protein.