Meal Prep: LIFEbar Protein Edition
Whether you’re working remotely, taking classes online or just trying to accomplish everything on your to-do list, breakfast remains a crucial part of any day. No matter what time your alarm is set to, a protein-rich meal can set the tone for the day and get you started on the right note.
Unfortunately, we’ve all suffered a midday energy crash or felt the need to constantly rotate mugs of coffee throughout the day. Yes, caffeine can stimulate a burst of energy, just like carbs can. And while a slice of toast or a banana are easily accessible, quick options, incorporating protein into your breakfast lineup has incredible benefits. Not only does plant-based protein provide steady energy throughout the day–protein itself is linked to greater attentiveness and a healthy immune system. The amino acids derived from protein support your body in times of stress and illness. And scientists have proven that with enough calories in plant-based proteins each day, we not only gain essential amino acids, we access other nutrients like complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibers.
Now, how to include plant sourced protein in the morning without upending our sleep schedules? It’s easier than it looks, thanks to countless options that can be prepared the night before and enjoyed the next morning.
Kick-starting the day has never been easier with these recipes:
Coconut Almond Energy Balls (Serving Size: ~24 balls)
If you need to eat some quick calories on the commute to the office or want to pack a snack for a hike, these energy balls are easy to travel with! Plus, they’re filled with protein, vitamins and antioxidants to keep your energy up throughout the day.
· 1 ½ cups of oats
· ¼ cup coconut oil, melted (optional)
· 1/3 cup of honey or 3-4 large dates, chopped
· ½ cup of almond butter
· ½ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
· 1/3 cup of chocolate chips
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· ¼ cup of ChocoMaca Protein Powder Blend
· Optional: 2 teaspoons of Reishi Latte Adaptogen Boost Blend
1. Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Transfer bowl to the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and roll into balls or scoop out of bowl with small cookie dough scoop. Get balls to a tightly-packed consistency to keep their round shape.
3. Place balls in a covered container and store in the refrigerator.
Brownie Overnight Oats (serving size: 1)
Is there anything better than waking up and indulging in a brownie you baked the night before? We think so! This brownie batter-like serving of overnight oats doesn’t just satisfy your sweet tooth–it’s packed with protein and healthy fiber!
· ½ cup of rolled oats
· ¾ cup of nut milk
· 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
· ¼ teaspoon of salt
· 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
· Optional, to sweeten: honey or chopped dates (pitted) to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or container with a lid. Mix ingredients until incorporated, making sure that there are no clumps of dry cocoa powder or protein powder.
2. Cover and place in fridge overnight (at least 5 hours).
3. Enjoy cold the next morning or heat for one minute in the microwave.
Quinoa Berry Breakfast Bake (serving size: 8)
Full of fiber, protein and vitamins, this dish is easy to reheat or enjoy cold. This breakfast bake is simple and nutritious, and easily customized to work with your favorite nuts and berries. (And definitely best for those who prefer quinoa to oats!)
· 1 cup of quinoa
· ½ cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
· ½ cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen)
· 1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
· 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
· ¼ cup of BanillaMaca Protein Powder Blend
· 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
· 1 teaspoon of vanilla
· 2 cups of nut milk
· 2 flax eggs
· Optional toppings: coconut yogurt, almond butter, fresh berries and sliced almonds
1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
2. Add all ingredients to a 10.5 x 7.5 baking dish (or any similar-size casserole dish you have on hand) and mix until fully combined, with no dry clumps of protein powder. Bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and no liquid remains in the center.
3. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. After cooled, enjoy or refrigerate overnight.
4. Reheat in microwave or enjoy cold the next morning.
Optional: drizzle flavored yogurt, almond butter, fresh berries and sliced almonds over the bake after it’s cooled.
Cinnamon Pumpkin Protein Muffins (Servings: ~8 muffins)
Enjoy the warm flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon plus plant-based Pumpkin Spice protein! These muffins are perfect when you’re in a rush, or when you just want a boost of vitamins from sacha inchi and hemp seeds.
· ¾ cup almond flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
· ½ cup of Pumpkin Spice Keto Protein Powder
· 2 Flax eggs (To make the flax egg use 1 tsp of flax meal and 3 tsp of warm water)
· ½ cup coconut yogurt
· ½ teaspoon of baking powder
· 1 cup (240 grams) of canned pumpkin
· ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract
· Optional: ½ tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
· Optional: ½ cup of chocolate chips
1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and spray 8 molds in the muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray, or place 8 silicone muffin molds into your muffin tin.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Optional: mix in pumpkin pie spice.
3. Gradually stir in the eggs, canned pumpkin, yogurt and vanilla extract. Stir until you have an evenly mixed batter. Optional: stir in chocolate chips, distributing evenly throughout the batter.
4. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin or molds, filling each mold about ¾ full.
5. Bake for 23-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool.
7. Once cooled, store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
8. To enjoy the next day, microwave for 1-2 muffins for 20 seconds.
From rich chocolate oats to bold berry bakes, you can enjoy a well-rounded breakfast in just minutes. With so many flavorful, protein-rich meal prep recipes out there, the breakfast world is truly your oyster! So, don’t let a hectic schedule or a snoozed alarm limit your options–with overnight meal prep, you can have an energized day, no matter when it starts.