By Bridgette Leeson, Guest Contributor
Choose your own adventure and keep your snacks interesting, not to mention, satisfying, by mixing-and-matching different combinations every week. Ensure you pack protein in your snacks to help you feel fuller, longer. Trust me when I say the options are endless – from varying nuts and dried fruit to trying new smoothie combinations, there really is no end to the possibilities. Here are my top five protein packed snacks to keep you feeling satiated and energized all day long.
Smoothies are my go-to for on the go nutrient dense snacks. They travel well and there’s no end to the flavor combinations. You don’t have to sacrifice your clean diet in the name of convenience or sacrifice time in the name of your clean diet. I like to prep by smoothies ahead of time, freeze, and then grab and go on my way out the door. By the time I’ve arrived at my destination, my smoothie has thawed and is ready to enjoy.
How do you get the most protein from your smoothie? Aside from classic add-ins like plant-based protein powders and nut butter, try adding more greens. Add two cups of spinach to your smoothie and add 10g of protein to your day. Love hemp seeds? Me too. Hemp, a complete plant-based protein source, has 11g of protein in 1/4 cup.
2. Trail Mix
Nuts and dried fruit, with their blend of protein, fiber and healthy fats, are the snack trifecta, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the same combinations. Try 10 almonds or 20 pistachios combined with 1/8 cup dried fruit such as golden berries and goji berries, sprinkle on hemp or pumpkin seed, and you’ll have a satisfying snack with approximately 5g of protein. Tired of almonds? Try walnuts or Brazil nuts instead.
I love chickpeas because they come with more than just 15g of protein per cup (for cooked chickpeas). They’re also a source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Hummus can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes and can be used in a multitude of ways. I like to serve hummus with sliced-up vegetables such as peppers, carrots, cucumber and celery. For the most portable snack you’ve had all week, I recommend dropping some hummus into a Mason jar, then sticking assorted chopped vegetables into the hummus, closing the lid and hitting the road. When hunger strikes, all you have to do it pull out a pre-dipped vegetable stick and enjoy.
4. Homemade Protein Bites
Protein bites mean you never have to go without good nutrition. You can make a batch in less than 15 minutes, freeze, and then grab a few to enjoy as a snack. My favorite add-ins for protein bites are sprouted pumpkin seeds with 10g and chia seeds with 7g of protein per 1/4 cup, respectively. Chia seeds are also a good source of antioxidant vitamin C and fiber.
A popular lunch box food, sandwiches are portable, filling and easy. While not all sandwiches are created equal, you can make high protein, nutrient-dense sandwiches as easy as one, two, three.
One – pick your bread. I love sprouted grain whole bread for protein and fiber.
Two – pick your protein. There’s nothing wrong with good old fashioned PB & J; for that I recommend sugar-free natural peanut butter for 8g protein in only 2 tbsp.
Three – pick your second topping. A sandwich isn’t complete without a second topping. I recommend homemade jam or marmalade.