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Are you getting enough protein in the morning?

What’s your typical breakfast look like? Toast? Cereal? Nothing at all? You’re probably tired of hearing about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but studies continue to show that consuming between 10 and 20 grams of protein in the morning can help you feel full for longer and help prevent overeating later in the day. If you’re not sure if you’re hitting that mark, here’s a few tweaks you can make to your morning meal.

Toast

If you’re enjoying the avocado toast trend, check to see how much protein is in the bread you’re using. Breads made with whole grains will naturally be higher in protein (and fiber, too, which also helps you feel full). In fact, many whole grain breads can have between 3 and 6 grams of protein per slice. Topping avocado toast with slices of a hard cooked egg can add 6 more grams of protein. Another idea is to top your toast with light cream cheese (about 2 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons) and smoked salmon (about 8 grams of protein per ounce).

Oatmeal

While oatmeal is a great source of fiber and other beneficial nutrients found in whole grains, a typical 1/2 cup (before cooking) contains 4 to 5 grams of protein. Stirring in a tablespoon of peanut butter can add about 4 more grams of protein. And preparing it with milk or soy milk instead of water can add an additional 7 or 8 grams of protein. There’s also the option of choosing oat-based products that have added protein, like the Kodiak Cakes oatmeal packets. One packet contains 12 grams of protein and fewer than 200 calories.

Cereal

Many popular cereals contain about 2 to 3 grams of protein per serving. Now let’s say you add 1/2 cup of milk, which is about 4 more grams of protein. That’s still less than 10 total grams of protein for the morning. Instead, you could turn your favorite cereal into a parfait, layering it with Greek yogurt and toasted nuts.

Pancakes and waffles

When you think of a protein-packed breakfast, pancakes probably aren’t the first thing to come to mind. But they can be. Try making your batter with Greek yogurt or soy yogurt, ricotta cheese, or even cottage cheese. If that’s not your thing, you can also try the Kodiak Cakes toaster power waffles, which have 12 grams of protein for two waffles, which can get an extra protein boost by adding a little peanut butter or ricotta cheese on top.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Serves 14

You can even add extra protein to your holiday baking projects by using Kodiak Cakes All Purpose Baking Mix, which has 12 grams of protein per serving. That totally changes the way we feel about cinnamon rolls.

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons Wild Friends gingerbread peanut butter or nut butter

3 tablespoon Earth Balance butter spread

2 cups Kodiak Cakes mix

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/2 tablespoons ginger

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons molasses

1 packet instant yeast

Filling

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) Earth Balance butter spread

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Glaze

2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter spread

2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Directions

Dough

1. In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk, butter, and peanut butter until melted together but not boiling.

2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool until it’s slightly warm, but not hot add yeast packet and set aside for about 10 minutes to activate yeast.

3. Add brown sugar, salt, molasses and vanilla extract and mix in a separate bowl, mix Kodiak Cakes mix, whole wheat flour, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

4. Add dry ingredients to weight ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition the dough will become sticky and thick.

5. Take out of the bowl and begin to knead until it forms a ball put the ball of dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and wait at least an hour for the dough to rise.

Filling

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and creamy.

2. Once the dough has risen, flour a large surface and roll out to form a big rectangle so the dough is about 1/4 inch thick.

3. Spread the filling evenly on top of the dough.

4. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top.

5. Cut the dough into long strips, about 2 inches wide for each strip.

6. Roll each strip until it forms a roll about 2 inches wide.

7. Lay the roll on its side and cut in half to make two rolls.

8. Lay all the rolls out evenly into a greased cake pan.

9. Bake at 350 for about 22-25 minutes until the rolls have puffed up and browned slightly.

10. Combine all ingredients for glaze and drizzle on top.

Nutrition facts per serving: 176 calories, 8g fat, 18mg cholesterol, 176mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 7g sugar, 6g protein

Claire Henning is a register dietician at Hy-Vee in Marshall.

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