Finding breakfasts that taste good, are easy to make and will keep you full until your next meal are difficult to find. That's why I came up with these 10 insanely good breakfast recipes made with (vegan) protein powder. They are great if you have long waiting times between meals or if you're trying to increase your protein intake.
Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day for a good reason. A nutritious breakfast that includes carbs, fiber, protein and healthy fats will provide energy for the entire morning.
While we can cover our dietary needs with whole foods, protein powder sometimes comes in handy. These recipes are perfect if you're bored of protein shakes and want to switch things up by incorporating it into your breakfast.
Vegan protein vs whey
Whey protein is derived from cow's milk and is a by-product of the cheese-making process.
Vegan protein is derived from plants, such as pea, rice and soy. A powder can be made of a single or a combination of plant proteins. They don't contain dairy or lactose.
If you want to learn more about the differences between whey and plant-based protein, and their effectiveness for muscle growth and weight loss, I highly recommend this article that is based on scientific articles.
Incomplete protein myth
Plants are often considered an incomplete protein source because it’s believed that they do not contain all 9 essential amino acids (those that our body cannot produce). But that’s a myth! Just like animal-based food, plants contain all 9 essential amino acids.
However, not all plant contains high amounts of all 9 amino acids. That’s why a varied plant-based diet is important (read more here).
Protein needs and when to use protein powder
According to this medically-reviewed article, a healthy female needs 46–75 grams of protein per day and a healthy male 56-91 grams per day.
Always try to satisfy your protein needs with whole food foods first. High-protein plant-based foods include quinoa, oats, buckwheat, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, peanuts butter, almond butters, as well as flax seeds, hemp seeds and seed butters.
Note that most people will naturally meet their needs by eating a varied diet and don't need to track their protein intake.
People with increased protein needs
- Athletes and people that are very physically active
- Pregnant women
- Older adults
- People recovering from injuries (source)
When to supplement with protein powder
- If you have increased daily protein needs and find it difficult to meet them with a regular diet.
- If you're trying to lose weight or have long waiting times between your meals. High-protein meals can help you feel full for longer.
- For muscle recovery (read more here).
Elo's favorite protein powders
Clean ingredients are my top priority when it comes to powders (and food in general). I have two brands that I rotate and absolutely love for different reasons.
What I look for: no artificial or natural flavorings, no artificial sweeteners, no gums, and no filler ingredients.
- Best flavor: This vegan plant protein mix has the best taste and texture (and ingredients) I tried so far. It's my favorite to add to smoothies and drinks.
- Gut health: This vegan digestive support protein powder is the best if you have a sensitive gut and experienced bloating with other powders in the past. I love it for baking and adding it to overnight oats. I don't use it for shakes as it has a slightly grainy texture when dissolved in liquids. The flavor is good but a little earthy (hence why I use it in recipes that have other ingredients).
Why you'll love these recipes
- You just got a new tub of protein powder and are not sure what to do with it.
- You have an old tub that you really need to empty.
- You're bored of regular protein shakes and want to switch things up.
Breakfast recipes with protein powder
Protein powder is very easy to incorporate into your breakfast. You can add it to your oats, coffee, smoothies and more. All these recipes are made with simple ingredients you most probably already have at home.
Let's start with overnight oats: an easy breakfast based on rolled oats and chia seeds that you can make ahead of time. Try this first version with vanilla protein powder or the second with chocolate.
If you're looking for more special and indulgent recipes that you can make on the weekend, these pancakes, waffles and french toasts are just perfect. Simply add (chocolate) protein powder to the batter for a high-protein breakfast.
Are your mornings really busy and you don't have time to prep anything? Then these grab-and-go cookies and protein balls are ideal for you. Whether you eat them for breakfast or as a snack in between meals, they are a great alternative to protein bars (and taste a lot better).
Recipe by Meesha from Plantiful Cooking.
Last but not least, I wanted to include several drinks that taste so much better than a regular protein shake. Did you know that you could add protein to your morning matcha or coffee? These shakes will change the way you see protein. Plus, they have one scoop of protein powder each.
Recipe by Tajda from My Vegan Minimalist.
Recipe by Kelli from Hungry Hobby.
If you're a smoothie bowls lover, these recipes are for you! Adding your favorite protein powder to your smoothie provides extra creaminess. Top them with fresh fruit and nut butter for additional protein.
Recipe by Stacey from Garlic Salt And Lime.
Frequently asked questions
It's not unusual for people to experience bloating, gas, stomach cramps or diarrhea from protein powders. That's why I recommend powders with minimal ingredients such Nuzest Digestive support protein. This brand has really clean ingredients and added probiotics. Thousands of reviews report no upset stomachs with this specific powder and I can confirm that.
Not necessarily, as most people have an adequate protein intake from a varied diet. In several cases (e.g., high levels of physical activity, recovery, weight loss), supplementing with protein powder can be handy. We discuss this in more detail above.