As a vegan, getting enough protein in your daily diet can be difficult. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 10 and 35 percent of your daily calorie intake should come from protein. (See Reference 1) Starting the day with a low-calorie, high-protein breakfast makes it easier to meet your nutritional needs.
Eggless Breakfast Scramble
Firm tofu works as a substitute for eggs and has a large amount of protein; 3 ounces of firm tofu has 6 grams of protein. (See Reference 2) Mix tofu with low-calorie vegetables that provide a source of protein as well as added flavor and nutritional benefits. For example, ½ cup of kale has 1 gram of protein, and a ½-cup serving of tomatoes has 20 calories and 1 gram of protein, according to the CDC. (See References 3 and 4)
Fruits and berries are naturally low in calories, and many have at least 1 gram of protein per serving. For example, the CDC reports that ½ cup of plantain has 90 calories and 1 gram of protein; a ½-cup serving of blackberries has 30 calories and 1 gram of protein; and a ½-cup serving of strawberries has 25 calories and 1 gram of protein. (See Reference 5) By combining these three ingredients into a fruit cocktail, you get 3 grams of protein for only 145 calories.
Plain instant oatmeal is low in calories and has a significant amount of protein -- 1 cup of oatmeal can have up to 6 grams of protein. Add fruits or nuts to oatmeal for added flavor and nutritional benefits. For example, 2 tablespoons of almonds has 4 grams of protein, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group. (See Reference 6) A ½-cup serving of blueberries has 40 calories and 1 gram of protein, according to the CDC. (See Reference 5)
Fortified Cold Cereals
A few manufacturers make vegan friendly cold cereals; these products often include ingredients like dried berries, nuts and whole grains, all good sources of protein. Some of these cereals are fortified with added vitamins and minerals, or additional sources of protein. The serving size of many vegan friendly cereals does not have many calories. Add soy milk or almond milk to increase the protein count; 8 ounces of soy milk has 3 to 10 grams of protein, depending on the brand. (See Reference 2)
- Centers For Disease Control: Nutrition for Everyone
- University of California San Francisco Medical Center: Soy Protein Content of Foods
- Centers For Disease Control: Vegetable of the Month: Cooking Greens
- Centers For Disease Control: Vegetable of the Month: Tomato
- Centers For Disease Control: Fruit of the Month: Berries
- The Vegetarian Resource Group: Protein in the Vegan Diet