What about breakfast?!
The most important meal of the day,
Serving it up, Gary's way.
- Spongebob Sqarepants -
No problem if you never watched Spongebob, but the yellow sponge is absolutely right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After a long night in which you have not eaten anything and your body has consumed its reserves, breakfast is the first meal of the day with which your body starts to work. The first thing you fill in, will set the course in which direction your day will start. Therefore it's extremely important to eat the right food in the morning. It's fuel for the day!
You may know the saying "Eat like an emperor in the morning, like a king at noon and like a beggar for dinner". It mustn't be misunderstood of course, because the other meals are also very important. But you will sleep better and get up more rested, when you don't eat so heavy for dinner or late at night. So better eat more in the morning or for lunch. But it seems that most people have difficulties especially with the breakfast. Either there is no time, no mood or there are simply no alternatives. I show you 10 dishes that are easy to combine, easy to prepare and partly contain a high amount of protein.
If you don't like or can't use an egg in your recipes, just replace it with 50-60 grams of silk tofu or half a banana.
Yeah, I'm serious. If your thoughts are now "Please not such a goop", then first listen. If the classic oat flakes are simply too boring or too dry for you, you should try Porridge. Porridge was originally used as breakfast in Scotland, because it is simple and very nutritious. Porridge is ready to buy and only needs to be mixed with milk (warm/cold). Any kind of milk, as almond/coconut-milk is possible. Even water. The variety is limitless.
Whether you put in some fresh fruits, nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, cocoa or peanut butter. Everything can be easily integrated and gives the porridge a great taste. It is easy and quick to prepare, rich in nutrients and keeps you full for a long time. Porridge is a great source of complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic value (i.e. insulin levels do not rise as much as carbs from sugar etc.). It is rich in fiber and supports a healthy digestion. Oatmeal is one of the healthiest sources of carbohydrates.
Tip: If you want to add more protein, you can of course add some protein powder. Approx. 20g can help you to create a perfect breakfast dish. Of course you can also mix your porridge with cottage cheese.
2. the (lactose-free) low-fat curd cheese
Everybody knows that low-fat curd is a protein bomb. 250g of low-fat curd cheese contains over 30g of protein. But the great fitness magazines don't talk about the fact that low-fat curd cheese tastes sour and is totally gooey to eat. Therefore I would like to give you a little hint. Try lactose-free low-fat curd. This contains a little less acid and tastes a little sweeter due to the removal of lactose.
I am not lactose intolerant myself, but I have noticed that the lactose-free version is much more pleasant for my stomach. A handful of nuts for good fats/magnesium and a handful of dried fruit like cranberries. You can store these add-ons for months in a drawer in the office. Simply add a fresh low-fat curd cheese every day and refine it with the desired ingredients.
Tip: If the quark/curd cheese gets too soggy, then it helps immensely to add a sip of water, then the consistency becomes like that of a yogurt. And Terry loves yogurt. ;-)
3. Protein Pancakes
Everybody thinks about Pancakes when he hears breakfast. You can eat them warm or cold, which is very practical for work. That's why they're so great. There are a lot of dishes on the internet and so I made a basic recipe. I don't like it at all when the pancakes are too dry and taste like cardboard. So build your perfect pancake according to your taste and preferences. Stick to the quantities, and always choose only one of the suggested ingredients. That means: not oat flakes AND porridge, but EITHER 50g oat flakes OR porridge.
- Teaspoon of oil for the frying pan
- 50g: tender oat flakes or oat porridge or almond / spelt / rye flour
- 1 banana or 100g Greek yoghurt / low-fat curd cheese
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- teaspoon baking powder
- Optional: some cinnamon / vanilla flavor / 15 grams protein powder
- Mix all ingredients well. If the dough gets too dry, add a little low-fat milk (cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk etc.).
- One possibility is to separate the egg if you want the pancakes to be a little fluffier. Beat the egg whites separated from the egg yolks until foamy using a mixer. If you like a proper challenge, you can also do this by hand with a whisk. Caution, at some point you will think your arm might fall off. Mix the egg yolk with the rest of the dough. Then lift the beaten egg white under the stirred dough.
- Put a teaspoon of rapeseed-, coconut- or olive-oil into the pan and bake on both sides at medium heat until golden brown.
Tip: Some honey, cinnamon or even a little maple syrup tastes excellent with the pancakes.
4. Breakfast-Brownies or Muffins
Brownies or muffins are a great breakfast. Especially if you know what's inside. No artificial ingredients or preservatives. Only good stuff that you have chosen yourself. One advantage is of course that you can prepare a certain amount and eat them later. For example, you bake 15 muffins, but you only want to eat one per day. In the fridge they usually lose their taste after 2-3 days, outside they dry very quickly. The simplest and best solution is to freeze muffins or brownies. Put them in a bag and then in the freezer. So if you want to take one with you in the morning, you simply take it out of the freezer the previous evening and defrost it outside in a bag. In the morning they are still fresh. You can keep muffins/brownies frozen for 3-4 weeks, if not even longer.
Mix everything together. The basic recipe is the same. Depending on the addition of the following ingredients, you get either brownies or muffins.
- Add the cocoa powder and nuts to the basic dough. Heat the oil and dark chocolate in a small pot and melt it (do not boil). Then combine all the ingredients and mix well until the dough forms a smooth mass.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340° F).
- Spread out everything on a flat baking tin with baking paper. Best with a baking pan for lasagna. If you spread the dough too thin and too wide, the brownies get too dry.
- Bake at 170 (340° F) degrees for 15-20 minutes.
- Use a wooden stick to pierce the brownies. When it comes out clean, the brownies are done.
- Combine all additional ingredients with the basic dough and stir well until the dough forms a smooth mass.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340° F).
- Place everything in a muffin baking tin. Grease them a little beforehand.
- Bake at 170 degrees (340° F) for 12-16 minutes.
- Use a wooden stick to pierce the muffins. When it comes out clean, the muffins are done.
Eggs sometimes have a bad reputation. Especially the egg yolk. One should only eat the egg white or avoid eggs completely. I do not understand these opinions in any way. I recommend of course, in order to remain animal-friendly, eggs from no laying battery, but from a organic origin. I myself buy eggs from regional farmers. I also don't think it makes much sense to separate egg white from egg yolk. Firstly, half of the whole egg is thrown away and most of the positive characteristics of an egg are lost. The proteins in the egg white are insufficient and only in combination with the egg yolk do they become complete. There are more (healthy) fats in the egg yolk and therefore more calories, but why should that bother you, unless you'd like to eat 12 eggs for breakfast. With regard to a low fat diet, it can be useful to make your scrambled eggs from one egg yolk and 3 egg whites, otherwise I don't see any great sense in this thing. Only exception is, if you're vegan. Then I can understand, that you won't eat any eggs.
Breakfast eggs are, as the name suggests, a great way to eat essential fatty acids and proteins. Whether cooked hard, as scrambled eggs or omelettes. Eggs can be prepared very quickly and easily. There are many recipes and possibilities. Fry 2 eggs and add some ingredients: spring onions, parsley, parmigiano cheese, ham, mushrooms or paprika. A nice omelette with a few extra ingredients on whole grain bread can be perfect when you are on the run or at work. Fast, simple, healthy, protein-rich are the key words here.
Tip: If you eat a boiled egg and a banana or apple, you'd have a perfect combination of vitamins, proteins, fats and carbohydrates to start your day properly or as a substitute for the protein shake.
6. The Breakfst-Smoothie
For me personally, a smoothie or homemade shake in the morning is the best choice. I need energy early in the morning for my training, but I don't want anything that is too heavy in my stomach. So I prepare my own shake. A good blender is recommendable. I have tried some of these little smoothie makers and many of them are not bad either, but if you use them for a longer time, they will all stop working sooner or later. So invest in a good one with a glass carafe (easier cleaning and hygiene). The investment is worthwhile, if you are planning to prepare smoothies.
The great thing about smoothies is that you have endless possibilities. One person likes it fruity and uses more fruit, the other puts in vegetables or even porridge. Here I present two recipes I like. One with protein powder and a fruity one.
- 1 banana
- 200 ml fat-free milk/ water/ soy or almond milk
- 20g protein powder
- 1 tsp Matcha powder
- Optional: 0.5 tsp cinnamon and/or 5g BCAA
- Optional: some baby leaf spinach
- 1 apple, freshly juiced
- handful of berries or cherries (pitted)
- 200 ml cherry or apple juice
- Optional: fresh mint leaves and/or a tea spoon Matcha
Tip: A smoothie can quickly become too thick. If it looks more like fruit cream than a drink, you can either skim off half of it and pass it through a filter or add more liquid (juice, milk, water).
7. The Protein Shake
The protein shake is of course a very time-saving option. Since the body takes longer to digest and process proteins, foods with a high protein content keep you full for a long time. It would of course be an option in the morning. Mix some powder with milk or water or use a shaker. If you then add a piece of fruit to your shake, it is a full meal. The advantage here is clearly the low amount of time required to prepare it.
Tip: Just make sure your protein powder's a good one. You can buy protein powder in any supermarket. There's nothing wrong with these products, but if you use it more often I'd go for a better quality product. I am always looking for protein powder without flavor-additives and sugar substitutes. I want a shake without artificial flavors or aspartame and sucralose. So I use pure and neutral protein powder. Since this tastes like unsweetened baby milk, I can put some cocoa, peanut butter or vanilla milk instead of milk if I need it. I want to decide for myself what is in it and you should do the same.
8. The ( whole grain ) rye sandwich
Sandwich simply sounds much better and more appetizing than bread with something on it. I recommend this good old breakfast. You can do it really fast and decide what you put on it. Whether vegan or not. Look for good ingredients like cold cuts, cheese, vegetables or curd. A good whole grain bread, e.g. rye whole grain, may not appeal to everyone, but you can make it delicious as you like. The advantage is that a real whole grain bread is long durable and does not dry out so quickly. It has complex carbohydrates and a lot of fibre. Some are even with grains or nuts, which is an additional advantage. When I talk about whole grain bread I mean really dark bread such as pumpernickel, not whole grain toast or the like. Here is a sample recipe.
Turkey cream cheese sandwich:
- 2 slices of whole grain bread
- curd cheese or cream cheese with herbs
- smoked turkey breast (cold cuts or home-fried and thinly sliced)
Sauce: 1 tsp mustard, 0,5 tsp honey and dill (fresh or dried)
Tip: Easy to take with you and easy to prepare. Put some tomato, pickles or salad on your bread to make it juicier.
9. The ProteinBar
Very easy to take with you and it's a nice source of protein. Mostly also good fats, cause of nuts and more. Actually a super thing, if there wasn't almost always so much crap in it. Don't misunderstand me, there are some products that are really good, but these are usually very expensive. A small bar, which is inhaled in less than 2 minutes and then costs a lot of money, makes little sense to me, unless you don't care about money. The cheap alternatives usually contain huge amounts of sugar, fat or taste additives.
It is important to inform yourself or take a look at the list of ingredients. Carbohydrates are OK, but if a bar contains 40 grams of sugar, then you can grab a Snickers or Twix instead, it usually tastes better. I don't see much difference there. Just pay attention to what you eat and don't let yourself be deceived just because "contains 30% protein" is written on the package. There are great and easy ways to prepare granola- or protein-bars at home.
- 1 banana or 50g peanut butter (preferably low sugar or unsweetened)
- 50g oat or spelt flakes/ porridge/ puffed amaranth
- 50g chopped nuts of your choice (also mixed)
- 2 tablespoons grated coconut or almond flour
- some vanilla extract/aroma
- 100 ml milk of your choice
- 1 tsp Chia seeds or ground linseed
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon honey/ agave syrup/ stevia
- Optional: 20g protein powder
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (Celsius) / 320°F.
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix at a low speed (the slower the speed, the bigger the nut pieces). You can also mix everything with a fork. However, this does not result in such a creamy consistency.
- Pour the dough into a greased baking tin (rectangular).
- Bake for approx. 25 minutes, possibly 2-3 minutes longer so that the remaining liquid can escape.
- Use a wooden stick to pierce the dough. If it comes out clean, the bars are ready.
- Allow to cool for at least 2 hours and then cut into small rectangles.
Tip: Absolutely simple and delicious. Depending on your mood, you can also experiment with cornflakes, quinoa, puffed rice, raisins, cranberries and everything that usually comes into a granola.
10. The Protein-Bread
There is protein bread already ready to buy. It usually contains few carbohydrates and many more proteins than conventional bread. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, as like wholemeal bread. I'd just give it a try, because here, too, it depends on what you eat it with. With peanut butter or just like a real sandwich. I would like to show you one last recipe. I simply like things that I prepare once a week and then can eat for several days.
- 100g oat or spelt flakes/ porridge
- 100g wholemeal flour of your choice
- 2 tablespoons coconut or almond flour
- 1 packet baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 250g Greek yoghurt or low-fat curd cheese
- Optional: 20g protein powder
- Optional: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Celsius) / 350°F.
- Mix all ingredients together. If the dough is too dry or tough, add some water as needed.
- Pour the dough into a greased bread tin (rectangular)
- Bake for approx. 45 minutes
- Use a wooden stick to pierce the dough. When it comes out clean, the bread is ready.
- Leave to cool for at least 1 hour and then turn out of the tin.
Tip: The baking time may be somewhat shorter or longer, depending on the amount of water added. Therefore, test again and again after 30 minutes with a wooden stick.
I hope one or the other tip or recipe suited you. Try out a little and find what you like the most. Our everyday life can often be very hectic, so I recommend to prepare some things on Sunday, so that you can benefit the whole coming week. A muffin or protein-bar that you can easily grab to eat, is of course great and practical. Above all, you can decide for yourself what's inside these breakfast dishes. You can also perfectly fill your macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) for the day. If you need more protein, add some powder, if you need more healthy fats, then use linseed oil or peanut butter, etc. I wish you a lot of fun and a good appetite.
I hope the article was helpful for you. If so, then share it, so others like you can also benefit from it. I wish YOU the best.
- LdR -