Whether it’s fueling up before hitting the gym or taking a mid-day snack break to avoid the 2 o’clock lull, high-protein snacks are the tastiest way to keep on going. Protein snacks are the perfect way to fill up just enough, and give us longer-lasting energy than the usual, carb-heavy options. Here are 31 of our favorite protein-packed snacks — one for every day of the month! We promise you won’t get sick of any of these choices.
1. Cottage-Style Fruit: Top ½ cup cottage cheese with ½ cup of your favourite fruit. Why not try some super foods?Bananas, mixed berries, and melon are some favourites!
2. Beef or Turkey Jerky: Be careful to avoid sodium- and sugar-filled brands, but low-sodium, natural, or lightly-flavoured options are a great super foods. And this chewy snack is super-portable and keeps fresh for months when packed properly. A one-ounce serving (the size of most single-serve packs) contains about 9 grams of protein!
3. Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix: This is a favourite for the office. Mixed nuts are 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 Pistachio are high up there in protein while comparably lower in saturated fat than their nutty peers.
4. Pumpkin Seeds: Those orange pumpkins are not just for Halloween. The pumpkin insides, scooped out to make room for spooky faces, can actually make a healthy little snack once they’re washed, dried, and nicely roasted! Just ½ cup of pumpkin seeds has about 14 grams of protein — the perfect pre-workout!
5. Hard-Boiled Egg: 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.)
6. Deli Roll up: Top 2 slices of low-sodium deli meat (turkey, chicken, or roast beef work great!) with 1 slice of low fat cheese and a shake of pepper. Add a slice of tomato or some lettuce for extra veggie points!
Photo by Caitlin Covington
7. Nut Butter Boat: Any vehicle for nut butter (almond, peanut, or cashew, perhaps?) is perfection in our book. Try loading a few celery sticks with 1 tablespoon of any nut butter topped with a few whole almonds or raisins (oh yeah, we went there). If you’re not a fan of celery, try scooping out the middle of an apple and fill it with a nut buttery surprise!
8. Mini Bean-and-Cheese Quesadilla: It might take an extra minute to prep, but combining these two high-protein treats is worth it! Fold ½ cup black beans, 1 tablespoon salsa, and 1 slice cheddar cheese in a small soft tortilla. Cook in a dry non-stick pan until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned. Wrap in foil and stick in a plastic bag for easy transport.
9. Shake It Up: The combinations are endless with protein shakes. And one scoop can go a long way! Our favourites? The “Protein Creamsicle” — 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 cup orange juice, and 1 cup ice blended until smooth — (thanks JCDFitness!), and the “Star-buffs Shake” — 1 cup iced coffee (with ice) and 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, blended — a caffeine-filled creation from Greatist’s fitness editor, Jordan Shakeshaft.
10. KIND Bar: We’re not huge supporters of pre-packaged bars, smoothies, and the like, but we make an exception for KIND bars. Their classic varieties are a great source of protein from the all-nut base (coming in at around 5 grams per bar), but for an even higher dose of the good stuff, try Kind Plus varieties with added protein. (An office favoUrite is Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein — one bar has 7 grams!)
11. Easy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie: Flash back to elementary school snack time with this sweet (but still healthy!) treat. In a microwave-safe bowl (or mug), mix ¼ cup oats, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour (of your choice), 1 egg white, ¼ 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!
12. Tofu Sticks: This soy-bean-based protein bomb isn’t just for stir-fry and Asian take-out menus! When sliced into sticks, firm (and smoked!) tofu can make a great snack food, especially if it’s served with a side of home-made tomato or teriyaki dipping sauce — just don’t overdo it!
Photo by Lisa Goulet
13. Chunky Monkey Shake: It’s time to get funky, monkey! Blend 1 medium banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, and 1 cup of low-fat chocolate milk with 1 cup of ice for a protein-packed pick-me-up.
14. Edamame Poppers: The only thing more fun than how much protein you can get from a serving of edamame is getting to eat these little beans out of their bright green pods! One cup of the pods offers about 17 grams of protein. Buy them fresh and steam for about 6 minutes, or use the pre-cooked frozen variety and briefly microwave to defrost (about 2 minutes) before chowing down.
15. Hummus Dippers: How’s this for an unconventional use of a travel coffee mug: Put 2 tablespoons of a favourite hummus in the bottom of the container. Stick a handful of vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, and snow peas are a great mix!) vertically in the hummus, screw on the top, and throw in a purse or gym bag for an easy, on-the-go, super-healthy snack.
16. Milk Smoothie: Cow’s milk does have nutritional benefits (calcium and vitamin A, to name a few). Try blending 1 cup of your favourite flavour of soy milk (vanilla and chocolate are favourites) with 1 cup of frozen blueberries or raspberries (for added fibre and antioxidants).
17. Portable Cheese Platter: Everyone wants to feel classy every once in a while, right? Make yourself a mini cheese plate with 2 slices of cheese, two whole-grain crackers, and a few roasted almonds.
18. Banana Nutter: Few pairings are more comforting than a classic peanut butter and banana combo. Top a rice cake (brown rice for extra fibre points!) with 2 tablespoons of your favourite nut butter and half a banana, sliced. Sprinkle with cinnamon for some extra healthy benefits!
Photo by Caitlin Covington