Quick and Easy High Protein Snacks
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
Snacking is necessary, let's face it! We try to walk around behaving as if we don't require snacks throughout the day, until that craving for sweets or salty snacks kicks in at home while we're sitting in front of the Television, or at the computer. Those of you that follow me regularly know that I am an advocate for snacking for a variety of reasons.
1. It keeps your blood sugars balanced throughout the day
2. Snacking on wholesome snacks helps prevent binge eating junk
3. It keeps you sane (not Hangry) etc.
Now that we've put that out there, we can address the next issue we face with snacking, how do we get foods that are high protein and tasty throughout the day without spending all day cooking? And why do we even WANT high protein snacks? A large reason why high-protein foods and diets high in protein have been popularized recently is due to a couple concepts, most notably, one called the Thermic Effect of Food. In essence, what you need to know about the thermic effect of food is that your body burns energy in the way of heat energy while consuming all foods. However, that rate at which it burns energy is much higher in proteins than even carbohydrates or fats. Therefore, your body TECHNICALLY burns more energy while eating a diet higher in protein than any other macronutrient. Furthermore, protein has a high thermic effect of food but foods high in protein (and fiber as well) are associated with increased feelings of satiety. This means that you will burn more calories due to a ramped up metabolic rate after ingesting foods high in protein, but you will feel more "full" after consuming such meals. Now to get to what you want to hear... How can I get these snacks/ small meals that will keep me full for longer? Below, I will include a couple of quick recipes and how-to's to show you how to make some of my favourite, quick, high-protein snacks/meals.
This High protein Tuna Melt is similar to the classic however I've taken the liberty of creating this version with less fat. Great from anyone from a sedentary individual as a more filling meal/snack to an on the go athlete's snack high in protein with some carbs.
Here's What you'll need:
- your bread of choice- (I chose "Chipmunk bread" because it's high in fibre and I enjoy the texture of the seeds)
- canned light tuna in water- either chunks or flakes is fine
- 1 medium sized Tomato- sliced
- 1/2 red onion- diced
- 2 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise (- you can use vegan mayo as well!)
- cheese, if desired
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (or juice from half of a lemon)
- 1 tbsp spicy mayo/ chipotle mayo (check out my homemade recipe if you prefer: https://www.edinsehovicnutrition.com/blog/crispy-sweet-potato-fries-and-chipotle-mayo-dip)
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat broiler/ preheat oven on "Broil" setting
2. In a medium- sized bowl, combine tuna, diced red onion, mayo, lemon juice, salt, spicy mayo/ chipotle mayo, and black pepper (if desired)
3. Spread about 1/4 cup of tuna mixture on each slice of bread, and top with slices of tomato and cheese (if desired)
4. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet, and broil for about 3-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and starting to turn a nice golden brown.
5. Serve Immediately for optimal texture/flavour!
Planning tip! You can refrigerate after step 2 for up to 3 days for quicker future assembly and snacking! ( I do this fairly often to ensure I have good quality snacking right when I'm feeling peckish!
~300Kcal -- 26g Carbs -- 10g Fat -- 30g Protein
Quick Banana Pancakes
This high protein versatile snack is very satiating and can keep you feeling full for hours. Whoever said you can't have dessert for a meal hasn't had one of these before! This is a a great way to stop the sweet cravings and get an extra 15+g of protein and at least one serving of fruits at either at the end or the start of your day.
Here's what you'll need:
- one medium sized banana
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- splash of vanilla extract (if desired)
- cooking spray/ 1 tsp coconut oil
- Desired Toppings (i.e. nut butters, yogurt, berries, nuts/seeds, etc)
1. In a medium bowl, mash banana with a fork until soft and relatively smooth
2. Crack two eggs into mixture and whisk together until bubbly/ fully combined
3. Add cinnamon, vanilla extract (if desired) and continue mixing
4. Preheat cooking spray/ coconut oil on frying pan. Place the mixture into the frying pan as either one or two pancakes at medium-high heat and cook for 2-3 min or until golden coloured on the bottom.
5. ** VERY CAREFULLY ** Flip your banana pancake (or two if you'd like to make two pancakes) and place your spreadable desired toppings (i.e. nut butters, hazelnut spreads, yogurt, etc.) on the cooked side. Cook for an additional 2 minutes and remove from heat. Add remaining toppings. For added sweetness you can add honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup.
Approximate Macros (without toppings):
~230 Kcal -- 23g Carbs --16.2g Protein -- 5g Fat
This was shown to me by a friend (https://www.instagram.com/jeremyethier/ , https://builtwithscience.com/ ) to help curve the sweet tooth, but also keep you full for MUCH longer. It requires a food processor/ bigger blender and a protein powder that is not a whey isolate. I just find it doesn't hold as well in terms of texture and its definitely not as filling. Casein (milk- based) protein works best, but Vega brand (vegan) protein works well also! For me, this has been a great introduction to my late night sweet craving, it keeps me full all night. Not only does it keep you full, but thanks to the digestibility of either the casein or the vegan protein, it allows for optimal muscle protein synthesis (MPS- or growth and repair of muscles) during a time of minimal feeding (i.e. when you're sleeping).
Here's what you'll need:
- 35-40g scoop of protein (casein or vega brand works well)
- 130-150g (1 cup) of frozen mixed berries
- a handful of ice
- 1 cup soda water (in my opinion, works better) but can also use almond milk instead just put a small amount in
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place all the wet ingredients into a large blender or food processor. Blend/ Mix until fully mixed.
2. Add protein powder, blend until thick and whipped.
3. Add rice puffs and any other desired toppings!
Approximate Macros with 1 cup Rice puffs:
~270 kcal -- 24g Carbs -- 26g Protein -- 7.5-8g Fat
I encourage you to try out these wonderful high protein snack ideas, especially if you're struggling with weight management, just looking for way to break your plateau of results or just want to mix up your daily routine!
Let me know how you enjoy them, and by all means some of the references from the above blog are listed below, enjoy looking through them if you're interested!
My Chipotle Mayo and Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
Jeremy Ethier's Social and Website