Breakfast: How do you like your Protein & Fats in the Morning?

 

breakfast. low carb

If you’ve been following The Clean Coconut on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you may have noticed my obsession with breakfasts similar to the one above! There is no doubt – I’m a big fan of high-protein breakfasts that are full of good fats and low in carb.

In general, I don’t tend to train in the mornings, at least not Monday-Friday, so I don’t really need carbs in the morning. I prefer to keep my carbs for pre and post workout. If I was training on a Saturday morning I would usually opt for my Proats or Protein Pancakes for a higher-carb breakfast that would adequately fuel my workout. If I’m not training in the morning though, nine times out of ten my breakfast will be low carb, high protein, with some healthy fats.

Lately I have been opting for combinations of eggs, greens and other veg, along with another protein source such as smoked salmon for my morning kick-start. I also often wash this down with a glass of kefir for a low-carb probiotic protein boost. Kefir has the consistency of a drinkable yogurt and because the good bacteria in the kefir ‘eats’ the lactose (milk-sugar) in the milk, a cup of kefir will typically contains one gram or less of sugar, compared with about thirteen grams of sugar in a cup of standard milk. Basically kefir boosts my protein intake in the morning because it has the same protein level as milk would, yet it maintains my low-carb morning time macro-nutrition because its has little-to-no sugar. Read more about kefir here. 

breakfast, low carb

Having a low carb breakfast that is high in protein and contains healthy fats also helps to prevent blood-sugar spikes and allows the insulin response to be controlled. Essentially, this helps me to feel fuller for longer and helps eliminate sugar or carb cravings throughout the day. Apart from that though, this truly is a delicious breakfast which I really look forward to! It doesn’t take very long to make and can be cooked in one pan so there is minimal clean-up when you’re rushing in the morning.

For this breakfast I have three different flavour options which I alternate between depending on which one I’m craving! You can vary the specific amounts of eggs/veg/salmon etc. to suit your own specific nutritional needs and appetite. Each picture represents one  portion for me.

breakfast, low carb

Breakfast: Main Ingredients

  • Eggs (organic, grass-fed)
  • Selection of greens and other veg, I tend to choose some or a mix of all of the following; kale, spinach, courgette, tender-stem broccoli, asparagus, spring onion, peas, mushroom, tomato, shallot. I like to have at least half my plate filled with veg.
  • Another protein source; usually smoked salmon, sometimes chorizo. You could also use chicken or another suitable protein source, but when I’m stuck for time in the morning I find the former options a lot handier! Sometimes a little bit of cheese depending on the flavour (see below).
  • Raw, organic, virgin coconut oil – to cook.

Flavour Combinations:

I usually choose from one of the following three flavour combinations when cooking this breakfast;

  1. One teaspoon each of turmeric, chilli flakes and smoked paprika (use a half-teaspoon of chilli flakes or less if you don’t want it too hot).
  2. The leaves from one sprig of rosemary and one sprig of thyme, both finely chopped along with a teaspoon of dried sage (or use fresh sage too if you have it!).
  3. One teaspoon of dried oregano, 8 fresh torn basil leaves, black pepper, extra tomato and some mozzarella. I use chorizo or parma ham rather than smoked salmon for this version.

To each of the above flavours I will also add two teaspoons of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, but if you can’t get your hands on that then try using tamari instead.

Adding flavour combinations like these to your breakfast really makes all the difference. It is not a struggle to eat your greens when they taste this good!

Breakfast: Method

  1. Melt some coconut oil on the pan and add in your veg. I usually start with the tougher greens like broccoli, asparagus and black-kale and then add the softer veg like mushroom and tomato etc. after a minute or two.
  2. Toss your flavouring of choice and your Bragg’s Liquid Aminos all over the veg. Allow to cook.
  3. Add in your smoked salmon or other protein source and toss together.
  4. Finally, when the veg is pretty much done, I make a space on the pan, crack two eggs open and allow them to cook with the veg. If you really wanted to boost the protein in this breakfast you could also add an additional egg white or two at this point.
  5. If you want to up the fat or fibre of this breakfast try sprinkling the end product with some ground flax seed or chia seed.

breakfast, low carb

I love a soft yolk , its my favourite part of an egg! That’s why I tend to cook my breakfast this way rather than mixing it all together in an omelette. I do make omelettes from time to time though and likewise, each of the above flavour combinations will work really well in any omelette!

So have a go at this breakfast for a week or two and see if it keeps you full for longer and helps curb those mid-morning cravings!

The Clean Coconut x

breakfast, low carb

 

 

Proats Recipe: The Clean Coconut

 

Proats

Proats, or Protein-Oats are amazing. In essence, making Proats involves combining some form of protein powder with oats, as the name suggests! I have been enjoying Proats for the best part of a year now and in that time I have perfected a fool-proof recipe for making them.I like having Proats at night if I have had a heavy weight training session in the evening. I also like them in the morning – particularly if it is cold, wet and miserable outside – they were a staple for me in January! I also like having them as a treat on the weekend with some extra yummy toppings! As well as that, they’re brilliant pre-workout for a boost of energy! So yeah, basically there is never a bad time to have Proats!

If you’re sick of your usual porridge then try out this version and enjoy a protein and fibre packed bowl of goodness! For some more inspiration on toppings follow me on Instagram or Facebook!

Proats

Proats: The Clean Coconut Recipe

This is my fail-safe, basic Proats Recipe that I always stick to. I always cook them on the hob, never in the microwave. This recipe will make a large bowl that will keep you full for ages! A bowl of these will provide about 32g of protein, 13g of good fats, 11g of fibre and just 20g of carbs. There are about 330 calories in a bowl*.

Proats

Serves: One (If you’re Greedy!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Oats (I use gluten-free oats)
  • 1 Cup/250ml of Almond Milk (Or milk of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (Milled or whole – I much prefer whole though as the milled can give the Proats slightly more of a gel-like texture!)
  • 1 Scoop of Protein Powder (Flavour of choice. I use whey or vegan rice protein)
  • 1 Tablespoon Milled linseed
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Goji Berries (Optional)

Bonus Ingredients:

  • For even more added ‘bulk’ and nutrition without excess calories try adding in half a finely grated courgette/zucchini to turn your Proats into Zoats…I promise you won’t taste it!
  • Drop of Vanilla Extract (For Vanilla Proats)
  • Tablespoon of Cacao powder (For chocolate Proats!)
  • Drop of peppermint extract for mint Proats – especially good when combined with chocolate protein and cacao powder!

Proats

Method:

  1. Place the oats in a pot and cover with the almond milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 minutes (I get my toppings ready during this time!). If you are including the vanilla extract or zucchini/courgette add them while the oats are simmering.
  2. Remove from heat. Add in the goji berries, chia seeds, ground linseed, protein powder. Stir well so that everything is mixed.
  3. Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you fancy. Some of my favourite toppings are nuts, seeds, berries, nut-butter, greek yogurt, honey, bee pollen, cacao nibs, desiccated coconut and dark chocolate.
  4. Enjoy 🙂

Proats

*Nutritional info is an approximation based on specific brands I have used and based upon use of almond milk and inclusion of goji berries in recipe. Toppings and use of zucchini or other bonus ingredients are not accounted for in nutritional info.

The Clean Coconut x

Protein Pancakes: A Gluten Free Recipe

Protein Pancakes are not just for Pancake Tuesday!

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Protein pancakes are one of my favourite choices for weekend brunch. One Sunday I was craving some protein pancakes but I didn’t seem to have the right ingredients for any of the recipes I’ve tried before. I decided to improvise and came up with this recipe which turned out great. These pancakes are packed with protein and are really filling. They are also totally gluten-free and dairy-free*. They turn out like thick American-style pancakes rather than thin crepes.

I love having protein pancakes as a treat on the weekend, especially if I’ve been having smoothies for breakfast Monday-Friday! They’re also great after a heavy gym session to aid recovery. The best part about these pancakes is that they are full of clean ingredients. They’re high in protein and fibre, as well as being gluten and sugar free. They never leave me feeling bloated like typical refined wheat-flour pancakes would.

You can use whatever toppings you like but I really love some berries and maple syrup on my pancakes and the odd time I will drizzle some melted dark chocolate over them too to make them extra yummy! These protein pancakes are definitely a great way to ‘cheat-clean’ on your healthy eating regime and I’ll be stacking my plate high with them this Pancake Tuesday!

 

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Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes: The Recipe

Yields: About 4 good-sized pancakes – Serves 2

Protein Pancakes: The Ingredients

  • 1 cup of wholegrain buckwheat flour
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 1/2  cups almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder* (Whey or rice protein works best – *use vegan protein to make these dairy-free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of milled chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder* (Optional – makes pancakes more ‘fluffy’).
  • Coconut oil for cooking

Toppings:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Maple Syrup
  • Dark Chocolate (Melted – I used one square of chocolate per person)

Method:

  1. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix before adding the wet ingredients (except the coconut oil) and mixing. Blend together with a hand whisk.
  2. Heat some coconut oil on a frying pan to a medium-high heat.
  3. Ensuring the pan is well-oiled and has heated up, use a ladle to scoop out some pancake mixture and spread it out on the pan. Fry on each side for a few minutes until golden. Wait until you see the edges of the top side of the pancake are beginning to cook before flipping.
  4. Top Pancakes with chopped strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup and some melted dark chocolate.
  5. Enjoy!
  • Approximate nutrition per serving (excluding toppings):  347 calories, 9.3g fat, 17.4g protein, 38.8g carbs – 10.2g of which is from fibre.
  • These macros do not include calories/fat from coconut oil used to fry the pancakes as I find the amount used can vary depending on the pan. Generally I will use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per pancake.

The Clean Coconut x

protein pancakes