When that 3pm energy lull hits, and you reach for that sugary, carbohydrate-loaded treat, that boost you get will only be temporary. Your blood sugar will spike, then crash, and you'll be left feeling worse than you were before! But, if you had reached for a snack loaded with protein, you'd feel strong, energized, and ready to take on whatever else lies ahead in your day!
Protein is digested more slowly which prevents those spikes and crashes so commonly associated with eating sugar. If you've been working out on the regular, protein is essential for helping you repair and build your muscles. And if those points weren't enough, protein helps fill you up and keep you satisfied long after you've eaten, preventing you from guilt-inducing binge sessions!
If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of high-protein snacks is hard-boiled eggs, we've got some surprises for you! Hard-boiled eggs ARE a great snack option but they can get mighty boring if they are your only go to. There are lots of options out there! Here are 10 protein packed snacks you can take on the go:
1. Nut Butter Boats
Nut butters are great sources of protein! Slice up a few celery sticks and divide 2 tbsps of natural almond butter between them. Top with some raisins or raw almonds. If celery isn't your thing, cut up some apple slices instead. This tasty little snack comes in with 8.3 grams of protein!
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Forget Halloween and pumpkin carving for a second! Good for more than just porch decoration, the inside of a pumpkin contains seeds that provide a wonderful, healthy snack. Loaded with fiber and zinc, roasted pumpkin seeds give you with a perfect energy boost. Take 2/3 cup of pumpkin seeds, rinse them and coat them in 1 tsp of curry powder and a pinch of salt. Roast them at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. This snack has about 8 grams of protein!
3. Chunky Monkey Shake
If you don't want to get caught up in buying protein powders, you still have options. This particular shake also provides you with a nice dose of healthy fats to go with the protein. Check it out: Place one medium banana, one tbsp of peanut butter, 1 cup of low-fat chocolate milk, and 1 cup of ice in a blender and blend until smooth. This beverage contains 15 grams of protein!
4. Mini Bean-and-Cheese Quesadilla
This snack takes a little extra prep time but it is totally worth it. Aside from giving you lots of protein, this mini quesadilla is full of fiber and calcium. Cook in a non-stick pan until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is slightly brown. Wrap it up in aluminum foil, slip it in a plastic baggie and you're out the door! Use 1/2 cup of black beans, 1 tbsp of salsa, 1 slice of cheddar cheese and 1 small whole wheat tortilla. This snack gives you a whopping 17.9 grams of protein!
5. Edamame PoppersBuy these little bean pods fresh and steam them, or you can buy the pre-cooked frozen variety (defrost in the microwave) for a fast, simple snack. 1 cup of edamame pods, sprinkled with sea salt is 15 grams of protein!
6. Hummus Dippers
Instead of filling your travel mug with coffee for your morning commute, why not fill it with something that will help get you through the afternoon? Put 1/3 cup hummus in the bottom of the mug, then stand up a handful of vegetable sticks -- like celery, carrots and snow peas, screw on the top and go. When was the last time your coffee mug contained 6.7 grams of protein?
7. Trail Mix
Nuts are great for giving you a hit of protein and healthy fat. Try combining some with a little dried fruit and you've got a perfect snack you can stash in your desk drawer! Combine one tbsp each of almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips. This combo and quantity gives you 6.5 grams of protein!
8. Tuna and Crackers
So simple! Tuna gives you protein along with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. A single 3 ounce serving of wild albacore tuna with 11 Wheat Thin crackers gives you 12 grams of protein!
9. Roasted Chickpeas
Break out of the hummus rut! Roast chickpeas in a handful of seasoning and you've got a perfect snack to beat your hunger. Roast 3/4 cup of chickpeas for 20-30 minutes at 450 degrees with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper. This snack has 9 grams of protein.
10. No-Bake Protein Bites
This snack only contains 4 ingredients and tastes more like dessert than a healthy protein bite. You can't go wrong. Combine 1 1/2 tbsp of nut butter, 3 tbsp oats, 1/2 tbsp honey, 1/2 tbsp dark chocolate chips, roll this mixture into balls and you're ready. This scrumptious snack packs 8 grams of protein.