A high-protein breakfast helps you feel full longer. A study published in the "British Journal of Nutrition" in 2009 found that when you consume more protein with breakfast, you'll feel more satisfied and be less likely to overindulge at subsequent meals. When you think of breakfast protein, eggs and bacon come to mind -- but you have alternatives. Oatmeal isn't usually considered a high-protein food on its own, but you can easily stir in ingredients that boost its protein content.
Protein powder, made from whey, soy, hemp or brown rice, provides a convenient source of extra protein. You can easily mix it into cooked oatmeal to add 15 to 25 grams of protein, depending on the type you use. Sprinkle the powder over cooked old-fashioned, steel-cut or instant oats and stir until it dissolves. This method can leave the cereal grainy or pasty, so for the smoothest result, dissolve the protein powder in a bit of water or milk, then stir it into the oats. Vanilla-flavored powders usually taste best, but natural or fruit flavors may also be used. Add fresh or dried fruit to boost the flavor and texture.
Nuts and Seeds
Peanut butter or almond butter adds about 7 grams of protein per each 2 tablespoon serving. Simply stir the nut butter into cooked oats. Adding nut butter and protein powder gives you a double-whammy of protein, and the nut butter can mask any protein aftertaste. You could also sprinkle oatmeal with toasted walnuts or almonds for a boost of protein -- 1 ounce of these nuts adds between 4 and 6 grams. Hemp seeds also mix well into cooked oatmeal and offer a nutty, roasted flavor. Two tablespoons of the seeds add about 8 grams of protein.
If you usually make oatmeal with water, cook it with milk instead to add 8 grams of protein per cup and increase the creaminess of the hot cereal. Top the finished oatmeal with plain Greek yogurt, which has about 8 grams of protein per ½ cup, and fresh berries. Alternatively, stir in cottage cheese, with 12 grams of protein per 1/2 cup, for another high-protein oatmeal option.
Bake It Into Muffins
Turn your oatmeal into something other than a bowl of cereal. Bake oatmeal into high-protein muffins using a batter than includes mashed banana, egg whites, Greek yogurt, oats, whey protein powder and baking powder and soda. These muffins make a high-protein, portable oatmeal snack, which may be your best option for mornings on the go.
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
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