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 upjust 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 favorite fruit. Why not try some superfoods? Bananas, mixedberries, and melon are some Greatist favorites!
2. 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. 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 favorite in the Greatist 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 Pistachios are high up there in protein while comparably lower in saturated fat than their nutty peers.
4. Pumpkin Seeds: Those orange gourds aren’t 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 snack!
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 Rollup: Top 2 slices of low-sodium deli meat (turkey, chicken, or roast beef work great!) with 1 slice of lowfat cheese and a shake of pepper. Add a slice of tomato or some lettuce for extra veggie points!
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 nonstick pan until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned. Wrap in foil and stick in a plastic baggie for easy transport.
9. Shake It Up:The combinations are endless with protein shakes. And one scoop can go a long way! Our favorites? 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 prepackaged 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 favorite 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 soybean-based protein bomb isn’t just for stir-fry and Asian takeout menus! When sliced into sticks and baked, firm (and smoked!) tofu can make a great snack food, especially if it’s served with a side of homemade tomato or teriyaki dipping sauce — just don’t overdo it!
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 favorite 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.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),
17. Portable Cheese Platter: Everyone wants to feel classy every once in a while, right? Make yourself a mini cheese plate with a reduced-fat cheese stick (or 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 fiber points!) with 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter and half a banana, sliced. Sprinkle with cinnamon for some extra healthy benefits!
19. Silver Dollar Protein Pancakes: Props to Greatist contributor Laura Skladzinski for this killer recipe. Mix 4 egg whites, ½ cup of rolled oats, ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese, ⅛ teaspoon of baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Cook on a preheated griddle (medium low heat) until mixtures bubbles, flip and cook for another 60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or sliced banana.
20. Chocolate Milk: No, we’re not going back to preschool. Low-fat 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 purse) for snack attack emergencies — just try to find one that’s also low in sugar! (I’m a huge fan of Horizon Dairy’s single-serve, low-fat chocolate milk boxes.)
For 11 more high-protein snacks and the full list, go to Greatist.com.