There's nothing worse than mid-morning hunger pangs. Especially when they hit right after breakfast — no, you're not the only one eating lunch a few hours into the day.
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But a tablespoon of nut butter (or two) may be the important ingredient your breakfast is missing. With its healthy fat, protein and fiber content, nut butter can help control your blood sugar levels and keep you satiated throughout your entire morning.
But before you start packing on the peanut butter, keep portion control at front of mind. Nut butters are full of beneficial nutrients but they're also a calorie-dense food, so scoop mindfully.
Alongside portion size, don't forget to check the ingredient list on your favorite jar. Some peanut or almond butter brands can pack in added sugar, added oils or artificial ingredients. Instead, buy a jar that has only one ingredient on the label.
Now that you've got the nut butter basics down, it's time to give these five crave-crushing breakfast recipes a try.
1. Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes
- Calories: 207
- Protein: 21 grams
With these pancakes, you'll start your morning off with a kick of protein. Providing 21 grams of protein per stack, you definitely won't find yourself snacking before lunch.
This dish calls for a half cup of non-fat cottage cheese, which contributes most of the protein in the recipe. Cottage cheese is also high in calcium, providing about 11 percent of your daily recommended intake per cup, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This nutrient is crucial for your bone health and can support healthy metabolic function.
Get the Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Almond Spice Baked Sweet Potato
- Calories: 293
- Protein: 8 grams
You heard it here first: Breakfast sweet potatoes are the new hash browns. But instead of savory ingredients, this loaded sweet potato is filled with almond butter, slivered almonds and cinnamon.
Sweet potatoes are also high in fiber, a nutrient that's known to keep you feeling full long after your meal is done, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Fiber slows the digestion of your food and helps regulate blood sugar levels, keeping your cravings at bay.
Get the Almond Spice Baked Sweet Potato recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal
- Calories: 300
- Protein: 16 grams
Raise your hand if you've ever eaten a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and felt hunger pangs about half an hour later. With this protein oatmeal, that will be an issue of the past.
A whole grain, oatmeal is loaded with nutrients like fiber, magnesium and iron. Paired with egg-white protein and peanut butter's healthy, unsaturated fats, this oatmeal gives you a great balance of macronutrients that's sure to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
Get the Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Maple Nut Oaties
- Calories: 202
- Protein: 4 grams
Cookies for breakfast — but make them healthy! Bake these Maple Nut Oaties the night before and you'll wake up to the perfect crave-crushing breakfast.
With a half-cup of chopped almonds in the recipe, these cookies are high in healthy, unsaturated fat. In general, nuts are excellent for your heart health. Eating more nuts can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, improve your arteries and reduce inflammation in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Get the Maple Nut Oaties recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Peanut Butter 'French Toast' With Simple Blackberry Syrup
- Calories: 421
- Protein: 13 grams
This recipe combines two breakfast favorites — PB&J and french toast — into one decadent dish. With about 421 calories total, this sandwich is high in fiber and healthy fat, which means your lunch will be the last thing on your mind.
Instead of dousing your french toast in maple syrup, this recipe calls for a fruit spread. You'll want to look for a jam or jelly that has little to no added sugars to keep the total sugar count as low as possible. Or, you can even smash up some berries and bananas for a healthy DIY.
Get the Peanut Butter 'French Toast' With Simple Blackberry Syrup recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Almond Butter and Blueberry Smash Smoothie
- Calories: 238
- Protein: 8 grams
If you don't have time for a sit-down breakfast, this smoothie is the perfect grab-and-go meal. It takes only ten minutes to prepare and will supply all the nutrients you need to keep you full through the beginning of your day.
While the almond butter and yogurt in this recipe will give you the fiber and protein you need for satiety, the blueberries in this recipe give your breakfast an extra boost of nutrients. Blueberries are high in an antioxidant called anthocyanins, which can help reduce inflammation and increase your body's immune function, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Get the Almond Butter and Blueberry Smash Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
7. Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- Calories: 334
- Protein: 12 grams
There's nothing quite as classic (and delicious) as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But if you want to take this staple to the next level, try this three-ingredient recipe that takes only seven minutes to prep.
This recipe swaps refined white bread with whole-wheat bread for added nutrition. Whole grains are high in fiber but also some valuable antioxidants, like vitamin E and B vitamins, according to the Whole Grains Council. This bread will also add some magnesium and iron to your breakfast.
Get the Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich recipe and nutrition info here.