Eggs can be delicious and they are certainly a good option for a high-protein, low-carb breakfast. That said, eating eggs every morning can get old pretty fast. Sick and tired of eating eggs every morning? Here are 7 tasty options for a high-protein, low-carb breakfast with nary an egg in sight.
1. Breakfast Smoothie
A smoothie can be a great way to start the day, and the possible variations are almost endless. There are a lot of great recipes out there, but the breakfast smoothie is also something that can be somewhat improvisatory. Good high-protein and low-carb ingredients to include in your breakfast smoothie include:
- milk (cow’s milk, almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, etc.)
- greek yogurt
- low-carb protein powder
- chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts
- nut butters, like peanut butter or almond butter
- leafy greens like spinach
- low-carb fruits, especially berries
A fun smoothie variation that is becoming pretty popular is the smoothie bowl, and this is another great choice for a high-protein, low-carb breakfast. A smoothie bowl might be a little bit thicker and is eaten with a spoon. The major benefit of a smoothie bowl is that toppings are a must. Toppings add a different level of dimension in terms of both texture and flavor and they can also be a great way to add more protein. Good toppings are nuts, seeds, and berries, but you can get creative. Beverly Meyer has put together a great guide to making a low-carb smoothie bowl.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is one of the best protein sources out there, with 1 cup packing 22 grams of protein. Plain is a better choice than flavored varieties when you are trying to minimize your carb intake. Plain yogurt might not sound all that appealing, but there are ways to mix it up and make it an almost decadent treat.
Top it with nuts like pecans and walnuts, throw in some berries, and try a sprinkle of flax seed or chia seed. You can also try it with some low-carb grain options, like quinoa, wheat germ, or oat bran. This is another breakfast item with a lot of possible variety. You could eat Greek yogurt several times a week and have it be very different each time.
If you’re not a fan of greek yogurt, try cottage cheese. This is another fast and easy high-protein, low-carb way to fuel your day. Try it with some fruit, like berries or cantaloupe. Cottage cheese is relatively low-carb, but it has a high-enough carbohydrate count that you probably shouldn’t eat this one every day or in huge quantity.
Tofu scrambles are pretty similar to egg scrambles, but it’s different enough from eggs that it can feel like a refreshing change. Tofu gets a bad rap sometimes, but it’s a complete protein that is low in carbs and it can actually be delicious when prepared right.
A tofu scramble is pretty easy to make. You just break up a tofu brick into pieces and sauté in a pan like you would make scrambled eggs. This probably won’t taste very good by itself, but when you add in spices and veggies, it can make a filling, healthy, and delicious breakfast.
Although you can experiment after you’ve made it a few times, it’s a good idea to start with a recipe for this one. The Southwest Tofu Scramble from Minimalist Baker is a good place to start.
A good variation for the tofu scramble is to make tofu scramble breakfast tacos. Just remember to use a low-carb tortilla. Try Kathy Fang’s Low Carb Tofu Kale Tacos.
4. Low-Carb Pancakes or Waffles
Pancakes and waffles, even if they require eggs, are not egg dishes and they make a hearty and satisfying breakfast. The key to these pancakes and waffles is using low-carb choices like almond meal, coconut flour, and flaxseed instead of traditional wheat flour along with high-protein ingredients like eggs, cream cheese, and cottage cheese.
Most recipes will work equally well for pancakes or waffles. If you’re looking for a recipe that gets as close as possible to traditional pancakes and waffles, try this Fluffy Keto Pancake/Waffle Batter from KetoGirl.
You’ll want to avoid the traditional carb-heavy syrup to top your waffles. Instead, experiment with things like a little greek yogurt and some berries or some nut butter. You can also make syrup substitute by combining greek yogurt with a little bit of maple syrup, a splash of milk, and some cinnamon. You’ll get the same flavors but in a nutritional package that fits into your high-protein, low-carb diet.
You can also puree some fruit to make a substitute fruit syrup. Stick to berries to stay as low-carb as possible. Or, you can use chia seeds and fruit to make a tasty jam that tastes great spread on waffles or pancakes. Just mash up a few cups of fruit and mix in a few tablespoons of chia seeds. The consistency will become jam-like within a few minutes. You can blend the mixture if you prefer to have the texture to be a bit more smooth.
5. Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon is a brunch staple, but there are more ways to enjoy it than just on top of a bagel or with eggs. There are a number of ways to enjoy smoked salmon during the first meal of the day.
A plate of Smoked Salmon Cucumber Bites can really hit the spot. The Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Bundles from Giada De Laurentiis look and taste like something you’d be served at a classy catered event. The Avocado Salmon Boats from The Nourished Caveman are a novel way to stop your breakfast boredom, and both the nutritional makeup and the taste receive high marks.
6. Chia Seed Porridge
Porridge is a traditional breakfast dish but not one that is typically low-carb friendly. Porridge made with chia seeds offers a hearty low-carb dish with plenty of protein. There is also quite a bit of room for variation with chia porridge. Best of all, chia seed porridge couldn’t be any easier to make. Just mix chia seeds and any spices or other mix-ins with your milk or coconut cream base and let it sit for at least a few hours. It works best to let it sit in the fridge overnight. Top with desired toppings and enjoy.
To really maximize your protein content, try using a mixture of greek yogurt and almond milk as your base. You can also try mixing in some low-carb protein powder. Finally, you can add some extra protein by topping your porridge with some nuts or flax seed.
Once you make it a few times from recipes, you should try experimenting with different flavor variations to suit your personal tastes. If you love pumpkin flavors, try Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding from Lisa at Low Carb Yum. If you can’t get enough java, try this decadent Mocha Chia Breakfast from Libby at Ditch the Carbs.
7. Dinner for Breakfast
Who says your breakfast has to consist only of traditional breakfast foods? You might have to overcome an intrinsic bias based on habit, but eating foods not traditionally enjoyed in the morning is a great way to mix up your routine. Try enjoying a chicken breast and some asparagus first thing. Or you could enjoy a high-protein, low-carb salad. You can even tear into a bunless hamburger or a juicy steak. Hearty foods that you enjoy can and should be enjoyed at any time of day.
Some nontraditional breakfast meals to try:
- A salad from Livestrong’s list of High-Protein Low-Carb Salads
- Steak With Skillet Tomatoes and Spicy Green Beans from Real Simple
- Pan Fried Porkchops from Caveman Keto
- Oven “Grilled” Asian Chicken Thighs from Ruled Me
- Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole from Low Carb Yum
Don’t hold yourself back by thinking you can only eat certain kinds of foods in the morning. If you like it and it fits your high-protein, low-carb needs, enjoy it first thing. You’ll be powered up for the day and your tastebuds will be happy as well. It’s certainly a refreshing change from an endless stream of eggs.
These 7 high-protein, low-carb breakfast ideas are “eggsactly” what the doctor ordered if you’re sick of eating eggs each morning. With variety, ideal nutritional profiles, and tantalizing tastes, these meals will have you going to bed each night with your mouth watering at the idea of the next morning’s feast. Eggs are still a good breakfast choice for those eating high-protein and low-carb, and you may return to them one day, but these alternate options will leave you more than satisfied in the meantime.