Breakfast is an important meal that I never skip. There are so many benefits of eating breakfast including higher energy levels, increased mental focus, better portion control throughout the day, metabolism boost and maintaining body weight. My struggle with breakfast is getting enough protein. I blogged about how important protein is as a part of my afternoon snacks last week and today I’m discussing how I’m trying to get in first thing in the morning to jump start my day. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve most likely noticed that I almost never eat eggs for breakfast despite how great I think they are for fueling not only for workouts but the day ahead. I lean much more in the direction of things like oatmeal and smoothies. Recently, I read an article on WebMD about incorporating lean protein into breakfast and it had me itching to get a little more serious about the nutritional makeup of my own breakfast.
Adding a little lean protein to your breakfast may be just the boost you need to help keep you feeling full until lunchtime. “Protein blunts your hunger the most, and is the most satiating,” Purdue University researcher Wayne Campbell, PhD, tells WebMD. And a traditional breakfast of eggs may be one of the best ways to get your morning protein. While eggs are not always associated with weight loss, they contain some of the highest-quality protein.
In a study presented at the 2007 Experimental Biology meeting, researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center compared weight loss in women who ate either two eggs or a bagel for breakfast. The two breakfast meals were identical in calories and volume. “Compared to the bagel eaters, overweight women who ate two eggs for breakfast five times a week for eight weeks as part of a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet, lost 65% more weight, reduced waist circumference by 83%, reported higher energy levels, and had no significant difference in their … blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels,” reports researcher Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, PhD.
I have been experimenting with AllWhites® egg whites to develop breakfast recipes that help pack more of a protein punch and today I have TWO egg white breakfast recipes to share with you. One is for those who struggle like me to eat eggs first thing in the morning and the second for savory breakfast lovers. AllWhites is a great source of lean protein and is a fat-free, cholesterol-free and low-calorie alternative to shell eggs.
First up, banana egg white oatmeal! When you add egg whites to your oatmeal it almost doubles the volume of the oatmeal and gives it a much fluffier and creamier texture. I know it sounds weird to add egg whites to oatmeal and I was skeptical when I first tried it but I can 100% assure you that there is absolutely no egg-like taste or texture, just a big pillowy bowl of banana oatmeal.
My method for making banana oatmeal is to combine all the ingredients except the egg whites in a small, heavy saucepan and let it cook over low heat for about 5-7 minutes. Once the oats get soft and the banana slices start to break down, I give it a really vigorous stir to fully incorporate the banana. Once you’ve done this you slowly pour in the egg whites and stir the mixture for about 3-4 minutes until the egg whites are fully incorporated the mixture fluffs up. The key here is to add the egg whites slowly over low heat so that they don’t cook right when they hit the pot. Scrambled egg banana oatmeal = no bueno.
Of course always better when topped with peanut butter! Years ago when I first started this blog I tried the egg whites in oatmeal thing a few times but I always feel so bad about not using the whole egg when I cook with egg whites. AllWhites alleviates that concern for me because they sell all the egg yolks to food service companies for things like ice cream, mayonnaise, puddings and more.
Banana Egg White Oatmeal
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup milk (skim, coconut, almond, soy)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon dried cranberries or dried fruit of your choice (optional)
1/2 banana, sliced thin
1/3 cup AllWhites Liquid Egg Whites (equivalent of 2 egg whites)
Combine oats, milk, water, chia seeds, cranberries, banana, cinnamon and salt in a small heavy saucepan and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until oats have softened and absorbed most of the liquid and banana begins to break down. Vigorously stir the mixture to fully incorporate the banana. Slowly add in egg whites and cook for another 2-3 minutes until mixture is fluffy and egg whites are fully incorporated. Yield: 1 serving
I whisked together AllWhites, spinach, roasted red peppers and artichokes and poured the mix into muffin cups. The result is a protein-packed, low-calorie, portable egg breakfast option.
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups AllWhites
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Spray a small saute pan with nonstick cooking spray and cook spinach, roasted red peppers and artichokes over medium heat until spinach is wilted and some of the liquid has cooked out of the peppers and artichokes. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, yogurt, veggie mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, pour egg mixture into prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle each cup with feta and bake for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are set. Run a knife along the edges to release from pan. Eat immediately or store in the fridge either individually wrapped or in a Tupperware. Reheat for 20-30 seconds. Yield: 12 egg cups.