Friday, March 16, 2012

Power Up with Protein at Breakfast

Like most students, I always eat breakfast on the go paying little attention to the nutrient content of my breakfast. Typical “grab and go” breakfasts such as muffins and toast contain mainly carbohydrates. However, I’ve learned that a breakfast with protein and carbohydrate can curb your hunger and cravings better than carbohydrate alone. The best way to do this is to include at least three of the four food groups at breakfast.

Increasing your protein intake at breakfast is easy. Simply add:
  • One cup of milk
  • Three quarter cup of Greek yogurt
  • One or two eggs
  • One or two tablespoons of peanut butter
  • One quarter cup of nuts and seeds

Jazzberrylicious Smoothie (left)
and a Cranberry Orange Muffin (right)

To show how easy and delicious it is to make a protein –rich breakfast, we had Alberta Milk staff members sample the high protein Jazzberrylicous smoothie and Cranberry Orange Muffin recipes. They discovered that the recipes were incredibly delicious, filling and easily portable.

The Greek yogurt increased the protein content of the smoothie and made it thick and creamy. The sweetness of blueberries in the smoothie combined with the refreshing scent of orange and cranberry in the muffins were a perfect combination. The cranberry orange muffins contained lentils, a great source of protein and fibre. They proved to be an innovative way to add pulses to breakfast. Best of all, nobody could tell there were lentils in them.
Having a high protein breakfast is definitely worth the effort. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Cranberry Orange Muffins
Servings: 12

2 cups (500 mL) all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp (7 mL) baking powder
Dash salt
½ cup (125 mL) butter, unsalted
3/4 cup (175 mL) white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) lentil puree*
3/4 cup (175 mL) orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
1 ¼ cup (300 mL) whole cranberries, frozen

*Tip: When making lentil puree, add ¼ cup (50 ml) water for every 1 cup (250 ml) cooked pulses. You can use any kind of pulse. For more info, visit

1) Preheat oven to 375°F (190˚C). Prepare muffin tins with large muffin cup liners or lightly grease sides of tin.
2) In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
3) In a mixing bowl, blend together butter and sugar and eggs. Add lentil purée, orange juice and zest.4) Fold in dry ingredients until just blended and add cranberries.
5) Spoon mixture into prepared pan filling cups three-quarters of the way full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre of muffins comes out clean.
Recipe adapted from Alberta Pulse Growers resource: “ Pulses: Cooking with beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas

Nutrients Per Serving
Calories – 251 kcal
Protein – 5 g
Fat – 9 g
Carbohydrate – 37 g
Fibre – 2.0 g
Sodium – 47 mg
Calcium – 18 mg

Food Groups Per Serving
Vegetables and Fruit – 0.2
Grain Products – 0.8
Milk and Alternatives – 0
Meat and Alternatives – 0.2

Jazzberrylicious Smoothie

Servings: 2

1 cup (250 mL) milk
3/4 cup (175 mL) blueberry Greek yogurt
1/4 cup (60 mL) cranberry juice or pomegranate juice
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries
A handful of crushed ice (about 4 cubes)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Recipe adapted from Alberta Milk resource: “Smoothies
Nutrients Per Serving
Calories – 171 kcal
Protein –11g
Fat – 0 g
Carbohydrate – 20 g
Fibre – 2.0 g
Sodium – 54 mg
Calcium – 333 mg

Food Groups Per Serving
Vegetables and Fruit – 0.9
Grain Products – 0
Milk and Alternatives – 1
Meat and Alternatives – 0

Louise Cheung, Alberta Milk Dietetic Intern


  1. This is so interesting! Awesome recipe and information Louise!

  2. Louise - Alberta MilkMarch 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Thank you for your interest Celia. I am glad you found it easy, tasty and healthy!