Protein is essential in the everyday diet and is found in various delicious and convenient food sources.
Protein is vital for maintaining muscle mass, which can help reduce body fat. It also helps the body rebuild damaged tissue, such as muscles and skin. In addition, protein is needed for cell growth and repair, bone health, hormone production, blood clotting, creating neurotransmitters (chemicals that send signals from one nerve cell to another) and fighting off viral infections.
Besides being a great way to get more protein into your diet without having to spend hours cooking or going out to eat at a restaurant, these high protein snacks are not just healthy, but they’re tasty too!
This article will offer a list of high protein snacks that are easy to make and can be eaten at any time of the day.
1. Greek Yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is a perfect snack for before, during or after a workout. The protein in it will help you build muscle and stay fuller for longer. It also contains calcium which can help with weight loss and the appearance of your skin.
2. High Protein Power Pudding
This recipe is a delicious and high-protein twist on the classic breakfast of oats.
3. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia pudding is a healthy treat that gives you energy for your day, thanks to its tasty combination of nutrient-dense ingredients like nutritious protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Preparing a meal for one doesn’t mean you’ll be eating the same thing every day. Mix 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup of chia seeds, two tablespoons of honey and about a cup plain Greek yoghurt with any fruit you have in the fridge, like blueberries, bananas or dates.
When you’re hungry, don’t always head for the fridge. Instead, check out these green bean pods, which provide plant-based protein and fibre from beans, with only 95 calories per serving.
5. Roasted Pepper and Aioli Flatbread
This flatbread is entirely vegan and includes 9 grams of protein per piece. It’s made from chickpea flour and tastes great with peppers, paprika & plant-based mayo, but you can also enjoy it on its own as a light snack.
You can find the recipe here.
6. Spinach and Goat Cheese Egg Muffins
Eggs are known for being a great source of protein, so having them when you need them is always handy. To speed up the process, and venture beyond the basic omelette or fried egg, try cooking eggs in muffin moulds; this will make it easy to take eggs on the go without worrying about feeling hungry after. You can add any leftovers (like peppers, spinach or goat cheese) for extra flavour!
Use this recipe for reference.
7. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Seeds are often overlooked but do contain a lot of protein, fibre and healthy fats that can leave you feeling full. You just need to add a bit of oil, spice and bake at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes for some more crunchy snacking. Who doesn’t like treats like these? Without a doubt, these maple and vanilla roasted pumpkin seeds will also be perfect for any large gatherings they might get gobbled up quickly.
8. Loaded Oats
Beyond being the quintessential breakfast food, oatmeal makes a great snack! You can make a heaping bowl of oats for a fibre-rich, high-protein snack which you cook with 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water. Toppings include apples, pears, berries, unsweetened coconut flakes or bananas with a teaspoon of chopped nuts, chia seeds or hemp seeds.
9. Black Bean Salsa
No tortillas? No problem! Feel free to change things up a little with this quick, simple vegan salsa. The combination of black beans, tomato, orange juice and tomato is the best way to marry simple ingredients for an impressive result. It will create an excellent snack with a great smell and taste that goes well with almost everything.
Artisanal jerky is gaining more of a following and with good reason. At its core, this treat is simply dried meat; hence it is packed with protein. Additionally, some jerky brands have stepped beyond the conventional to make exciting flavours such as bacon, teriyaki, chilli lime and garlic. If you only indulge in this snack on rare occasions, feel free to go with whichever type takes your fancy. But if you always have a bag of jerky handy in a pocket or purse, you should search for leaner, protein-rich meat, such as salmon, turkey or chicken.
11. Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are synonymous with protein snacks. Not only are they easy to make, but the ingredient combinations are virtually limitless. As a result, there is always room for creativity and variety. The primary source of protein in smoothies can be Greek yoghurt, nut butter of your choice or milk. Alternatively, and more commonly, you can opt to add protein powder.
Protein powders are widely available on the market, so sourcing them is easy. You can choose from products like GHOST- WHEY, Optimum Nutrition- 100% Gold Standard 100% Whey, Muscle Pharm COMBAT 100% WHEY or Dymatize- ISO 100, among others.
Finally, keep in mind that quantities count. Most dietitians concur that the ideal snack contains between 10 to 15 grams to keep you within optimum levels. Anything more is just too much for something you have between meals.
In addition, it is best to be mindful of the calories contained in whatever you ingest. If you have a set number of calories at each meal, consider the extra calories left over as your snack allowance. So, for example, suppose your daily limit is 2,000 calories. With 500 calories allocated to breakfast, lunch and dinner, respectively, you are left with a 500 calorie snack window. All you have to do at this point is be judicious in your distribution of the balance.
Protein is a potent nutrient and a powerful tool at the same time. You can wield your intake as a strategic weapon that helps you keep you on track both in fitness and nutrition. So don’t be afraid to reach for that protein snack you have been eyeing.