Monday, November 4, 2013

High Protein Breakfasts and Snacks

All three of my favorite natural health pregnancy books (Real Food for Mother and Baby, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way) recommend eating 80-100 grams of protein per day for a healthy pregnancy.

Not only is 80-100 grams of protein about double what I normally eat, during both of my pregnancies I have had aversions to eggs and meat, two of the best sources of protein (and especially superior to plant sources because they are complete proteins).  To top it off, clean meat is expensive (even when you know how to get deals like I do), making it cost-prohibitive for me to double my intake.  And right now our chickens aren't producing a lot of eggs as two of them are molting (crossing my fingers that they are almost done!)  So, I have to be a bit creative, as well as very intentional to get my protein intake to where it should be. Every meal and snack has to contain some protein, and optimally, a lot of it.

If you like eggs, they are a great high-protein breakfast option (I like them scrambled with veggies mixed in, fried in grass-fed butter and served in an english muffin or scrambled with beans served in a tortilla with salsa for a breakfast burrito).  When I was really nauseous, I couldn't even touch them, and now that I'm less nauseous, I can still only do them 1-2x per week (before pregnancy I ate them almost daily).  This means I have had to be more creative to figure out ways to incorporate protein into my breakfasts (and snacks), since eating 80-100 gm/day means every meal needs to pack a protein punch.

Higher Protein Breakfast and Snack Recipes

(I say "higher" because I am comparing it to what Americans generally eat for breakfast, such as muffins or bagels, or for a snack, such as chips.  I haven't done the math to figure out how many grams of protein are in each serving, you will want to do that yourself if you need to know.)

Bean Fudge It sounds strange, but I have made this many times and I actually really like it.  You would never guess in a million years that it contains beans.  I recommend using pinto beans over black beans, as they have a smoother texture.  I have served these to guests with tons of compliments.

Grain Free Coffee Cake - Make this with the almond flour (over arrowroot starch) for the highest protein factor.  I actually like the texture better when made with arrowroot, but the almond flour style is delish as well.

Coconut Flour Pancakes - Almost any coconut flour recipe will be high in protein, as coconut flour needs lots of eggs in baked goods to work.

Soaked Dutch Babies/German Pankcakes - Another breakfast recipe that isn't "eggy" but calls for lots of eggs, and therefore is higher in protein.  I have been making this with homemade strawberry sauce recently and we have been loving it!

Add a scoop of protein powder to any smoothie recipe, such as this one (depending on the protein powder and what other ingredients you put in the smoothie, you could get an easy 20-30 grams of protein per serving!)

Black Bean Brownies - The thing I love about these is that they are much easier than regular brownies because you just throw all the ingredients into a blender and turn it on and they are mixed up.  Easy peasy!

Grain Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars - I love everything pumpkin in the fall!  I tried these for the first time this week and they were a hit in the house.  Bonus is that they also contain a vegetable!

Do you have any other high protein snack and breakfast recipes to share?

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