May 31, 2018

7 Easy and Nutritious High-Protein Snacks

I've talked about it before - I am a snacker. I love to snack throughout the day and try to focus on healthy choices that are high in protein to help keep me full so I'm not reaching for another snack a little bit later. These 7 snacks are high in protein to help keep you feeling your best. I also focus on snacks with fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grains - other nutrients that our bodies need to feel awesome.

New research from Abbott and the Ohio State University shows that more than 1 in 3 adults ages 50 and older are not getting the recommended amount of protein in their diet. When adults missed the mark on their protein needs, many of them also were not getting enough greens, beans, seafood, plant proteins and dairy. These snacks are protein-rich, helping to meet daily protein recommendations.

Protein can help with weight management, retaining and building muscle mass and helping with overall health. I have worked with many patients with different needs and one of my main focuses as a long-term care dietitian is making sure that my patients meet their nutrient requirements to help with different needs they may have. Protein helps with metabolism, as well, and protein should be from high quality sources that are considered “complete proteins.” Some examples are meat, fish, dairy, tofu and quinoa. 

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Toast

I love spreading peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter on a piece of bread with some jelly for a quick snack. My kids love it too! Nut butters are rich in protein and healthy fats along with some fiber. I always try to stick with whole-grain bread for extra fiber and nutrients.

2. Ensure Max Protein

For a quick and convenient snack, I recommend the new Ensure Max Protein nutrition shakes from Abbott. These are great for adults on-the-go, as each drink has only 150 calories, 30 grams of high-quality protein, 1 gram of sugar and are rich in vitamins and minerals. 

I tried the Milk Chocolate flavor, which tastes like chocolate milk to me, and the CafĂ© Mocha, which has as much caffeine as one cup of coffee. They are great served cold or as is. Click here to get your own! 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus takes 5 minutes to make, is full of flavor and is healthier than store-bought hummus!

3. Hummus and veggies

Another quick high-protein snack is hummus and veggies. I love to whip up my own hummus but store bought is great, too. Slice up your favorite vegetables and serve. A helpful tip is to slice up your vegetables at the beginning of the week during meal prep, and they will be ready to go when it comes time for snacking. 

Banana Split Parfaits make the perfect nutritious 5 minute breakfast with Greek yogurt, fresh banana, strawberries, mini chocolate chips and cereal!

4. Yogurt Bowls

Greek yogurt is protein-rich and makes a great snack. Top with granola, cereal, nuts, fresh fruit, etc. for a totally customizable bowl ready in just a couple of minutes. Yogurt is calcium and vitamin D rich - both of which are essential nutrients. Nuts, whole-grain cereals and fruit provide fiber, vitamins and minerals!

Hidden Greens Chocolate Banana Smoothie is ready to drink in two minutes and is perfect for picky eaters who are not the biggest fan of greens!
5. Smoothie

I can never get enough of smoothies! They are so customizable because you can throw pretty much any kind of fruit in them, different kinds of vegetables, seeds, powders and more. I like making a chocolate banana smoothie with the Ensure Max Protein Milk Chocolate shake and a frozen banana, (but the Ensure Max Protein doesn’t need anything added to it, especially if you’re in a hurry.) Just these two ingredients are so delicious together and make a great protein and fiber-rich snack. Also try my Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Bowls and Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl

BBQ Roasted Chickpeas are a quick and delicious healthy snack or appetizer that tastes like your favorite salty, crunchy, tangy barbecue chips!

6. Roasted Chickpeas

Some of my most popular recipes on the blog are for roasted chickpeas so I know that you're loving these, too! They're super easy to make, and are rich in protein and fiber, and low in fat. Swap these for chips or other salty snacks. My favorite kinds are Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas, original Roasted Chickpeas and BBQ Roasted Chickpeas.

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites are easy to make with ingredients that you have on hand. They are rich in protein and make a perfect healthy snack.

7. Energy Bites

I love whipping up a quick batch of Energy Bites or homemade protein bars for snacks. I like that you can add whatever you have on hand. I pretty much always include nut butters, dried fruit, seeds or nuts, chia seeds or flax and more. The chia seeds and flax are a great way to add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet along with fiber and protein. Try my 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites.

Honorable Mentions- High Protein Snacks

-Nut butters
-Beef jerky

I partnered with Abbott for its Ensure Program. As part of this Program, I received compensation for my time. Abbott/Ensure believes that consumers and influencers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Abbott/Ensure policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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