Protein snacks are a great way to fill up just enough, and give us longer-lasting energy than the usual, heavy carb options. Here are a few snacks packed with protein!
01. Banana Nutter
Few pairings are more comforting than a classic peanut butter with banana. Simply top a rice cake (brown rice for extra fiber points!) or whole-grain toast with 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter and half a sliced banana. Sprinkle with cinnamon for some extra healthy benefits!
02. Portable Cheese Platter
Who doesn’t love a classy cheese plate? Make yourself a mini plate with a cheese stick (or 2 slices of cheese), 2 whole-grain crackers, and a few roasted almonds.
03. Soy Milk Smoothie
Time to take a break from the moo-juice. While cow’s milk does have it’s nutritional benefits (calcium and vitamin A, to name a few), soy milk wins in other categories (vitamin D and iron), and they’re nearly comparable in terms of protein. Try blending 1 cup of your favorite flavor of soy milk with 1 cup of frozen blueberries or raspberries (for added fiber and antioxidants).
04. Easy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Flash back to elementary school snack time with this sweet (but still healthy!) treat. In a microwave-safe bowl (or mug), mix 1/4 cup oats, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour (of your choice), 1 egg white, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon raisins. Flatten mixture into bottom of bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Cool, pop it out of the bowl, and enjoy!
05. Chunky Monkey Shake
It’s time to get funky, monkey! Blend 1 medium banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1 cup of chocolate milk with 1 cup of ice for a protein-packed pick-me-up.
06. KIND Bar
I’m not a huge supporters of prepackaged bars, but I make an exception for KIND bars. Their classic varieties are a great source of protein thanks to their all-nut base (with around 5 grams per bar), but for an even higher dose of the good stuff, try KIND Plus varieties.
07. Mini Bean-and-Cheese Quesadilla
It might take an extra minute to prep, but combining these two high-protein treats is totally worth it. Fold 1/2 cup black beans, 1 tablespoon salsa, and 1 slice cheddar cheese in a small flour tortilla. Cook in a dry nonstick pan until the cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned. Then wrap it in foil and stick in a plastic baggie for easy transport.
08. Deli Rollup
Top 2 slices of deli meat (turkey, chicken, or roast beef work great) with 1 slice of cheese and a shake of pepper. Add a slice of tomato or some lettuce for extra veggie points!
09. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Inexpensive and loaded with nutrients, eggs are one of the best ways to get a healthy dose of protein. Try hard boiling and pre-peeling a dozen at the start of the week and throw one in a small Tupperware container each day for an easy on-the-go snack. (Feeling extra famished? Slice the egg and place it on a piece of whole-wheat bread.)
10. Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix
Mixed nuts provide an easy way to get a delicious dose of protein in a convenient, shelf-stable package. Try a mixed bunch for variety and a combo with dried fruit for some added sweetness. The best bang for your protein buck? Almonds and pistachios. They’re higher in protein than their nutty peers.
11. Beef or Turkey Jerky
Be careful to avoid sodium- and sugar-filled brands, but low-sodium, natural, or lightly-flavored options are a great source of protein. A one-ounce serving (the size of most single-serve packs) contains about 9 grams of protein! This chewy snack is also super portable and keeps fresh for months when packed properly.
12. Chocolate Milk
No, I’m not going back to preschool. But chocolate milk is actually a great source of high-quality protein (especially post-workout). Try keeping a single-serving, shelf-stable box in your gym bag or backpack for snack attack emergencies—just try to find one that’s also low in sugar!
13. Grape-and-Cheese Sticks
Dice a half-inch thick slice of cheddar cheese into squares (you should end up with about 6 small pieces) and rinse 6 grapes. On 6 toothpicks, stack the grape and cheese, and enjoy! Just 1 ounce of sharp cheddar offers 8 grams of protein, and the contrast with sweet grapes is super sophisticated (and delicious).
14. Protein Bar
This one might sound obvious, but hear me out: It’s all about finding the right bar. That means one that isn’t weighed down with not so good extras like sugar and unpronounceable ingredients (some options can even be as bad as candy bars!). Do some research to figure which type is right for you: There are high-protein and low-carb bars; meal replacement and energy bars; etc.
Here are 10 great sources of lean protein:
3. Skinless, white-meat poultry
4. Lean beef (including tenderloin, sirloin, eye of round)
5. Skim or low-fat milk
6. Skim or low-fat yogurt
7. Fat-free or low-fat cheese
9. Lean pork (tenderloin)