Your body needs protein first thing in the morning. Research shows that protein-rich breakfasts offer important benefits. Eating protein in the morning can reduce your need to munch throughout the day. Protein-packed breakfasts can also help you build muscle and control blood sugar. They may even help you burn more calories each day, too.
If your go-to breakfast is typically heavy on the carbs, then consider swapping out some of your staples with more nutrient-dense options. Looking for a place to start?
Spice up your morning routine with these eight seasonal breakfast ideas.
#1) Cider-glazed sausage
When you’re in the mood for fall flavors but short on time, give glazed sausage links a try. You can have this seasonal breakfast on your plate in less than 15 minutes.
Eat With Your Eyes can get you started. For this Cider-glazed Sausage recipe, all you’ll need are store-bought frozen sausage links and a jug of apple cider. Apple juice will work as well.
If protein is your main goal, then this breakfast dish may be enough to satisfy you. Nutrition facts vary by sausage brand, but some contain about 3 grams of protein per link.
Of course, you may want a more well-rounded meal. Eat With Your Eyes suggests serving the sausage with frittata slices. Other options include a fried egg or a slice of toast. Nutritionists suggest choosing whole-grain bread with at least 3 grams of protein in every slice.
#2) Eggnog overnight oats
Protein powder provides an easy way to get more protein in your diet. For the most basic preparation, you could simply stir the powder into a glass of water. Why do that, though, when there are so many more delicious ways to use it?
Take oatmeal, for example. Protein powder mixes easily into hearty oatmeal dishes. Plus, if you choose a flavored variety, the powder could enhance the overall dish.
Eating Bird Food adds vanilla protein powder to Vegan Eggnog Overnight Oats. The recipe also includes chia seeds, another good source of protein at about 5 grams per serving. And while this oatmeal recipe uses less than a full serving, every bit of protein helps.
One advantage of this eggnog-flavored breakfast is that it requires almost no prep work in the morning. If grab-and-go breakfasts are a must for you, you’ll appreciate how speedy this dish is.
Of course, if you have a few minutes to spare, you can sprinkle a few toppings on before diving in. Eating Bird Food recommends pomegranate or nutmeg.
#3) Butternut squash frittata
Eggs are a breakfast classic. Plus, each one contains up to 8 grams of protein.
Fried and scrambled eggs are easy, but you may be in the mood for something different. Try a frittata. Similar in many ways to an omelet, a frittata is an egg dish of Italian origin. Recipes abound, but most are loaded with a variety of flavorful add-ins.
Once Upon a Pumpkin makes a Butternut Squash Frittata in the oven. In addition to squash, the recipe also features spinach. Optional red pepper flakes give this dish an extra punch.
Chopping a raw butternut squash can be a lot of work. Fortunately, this recipe works just fine with frozen squash. Since the frozen variety comes already peeled and diced, you can shave off quite a bit of prep time.
#4) Protein pumpkin pancakes
Many pancake recipes include protein powder for nutritional heft. For a different approach, try recipes loaded with eggs and Greek yogurt. Both ingredients are powerful protein sources. Just 6 ounces of Greek yogurt may provide up to 20 grams of protein.
Healthful Blondie makes a fall version of protein pancakes. The site’s Protein Pumpkin Pancakes recipe is flavored with canned pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup contribute as well.
And because these pancakes use oats instead of wheat flour, they may be suitable for people on gluten-free diets.
To make your mornings easier, prepare pancakes ahead of time. You can cook a large batch and freeze the extras. Just zap frozen pancakes in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.
#5) Acorn squash breakfast bowls
Pancakes are one way to squeeze in a serving of Greek yogurt, but you can also eat yogurt on its own. Greek yogurt is an unassuming canvas for a variety of seasonal toppings. Think nuts, granola and dried cranberries. And for a sweet finish, add a drizzle of pure maple syrup to complete the dish’s fall flavor profile.
She Likes Food takes the fall yogurt bowl one step further. The site’s recipe features loaded Greek yogurt served in a halved acorn squash.
To prepare the squash for these Acorn Squash Breakfast Bowls, you’ll add butter and cinnamon. Next, you’ll roast the squash in the oven until tender.
After cooling slightly, the baked squash will be ready for a scoop of yogurt and the toppings of your choice. With each spoonful, you can grab both yogurt and a bite of squash.
#7) Sweet potato breakfast hash
Sweet potato casseroles are a Thanksgiving staple for many families. Don’t limit yourself to enjoying this seasonal flavor for only one meal a year, though. Instead, try an autumnal breakfast that features sweet potatoes as the star of the show.
Jordo’s World can get you started with a recipe for Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash. The recipe features hearty vegetables, turkey sausage and lightly-cooked eggs.
Protein abounds in this recipe. Sausage and eggs both contain a good dose of protein, of course. And an average-size sweet potato has a little over 2 grams of protein itself.
This filling meal will get your day off to a great start. It’s also a dish that works well for seasonal lunches or dinners. Customize your plate with toppings like diced avocado or shredded cheddar.
#7) Autumn almond breakfast smoothie
Many smoothies feature an array of tropical fruits, perfect for a summer breakfast. Come cooler weather, though, you may want a different flavor profile.
Dash of Jazz has the recipe for you. This Autumn Almond Breakfast Smoothie with Protein includes cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup.
Protein comes from the almond ingredients, particularly the almond butter. From the 2 tablespoons used in this recipe, you’ll get around 5 grams of protein.
A blender is a must for this smoothie. Among the ingredients are oats and a banana. You’ll need to let the mixture blend for several minutes to break those ingredients down into a silky smooth beverage.
#8) Apple cinnamon breakfast bowls
After a fall visit to an orchard, you may have an abundance of apples to use up. Start your day off right by incorporating those freshly picked reds and greens into a flavorful breakfast dish.
Along with diced apples and your dairy product of choice, this recipe also contains walnuts, granola, cinnamon and sweetener. The walnuts contribute to the dish’s protein content. For an even bigger nutritional boost, check your grocery store for a high-protein, low sugar variety of granola.