Having erratic working hours often means we skip lunch, replacing it with a number of high-calorie snacks. By the time we get home, we are hungry and impatient so we polish off the pack of potato crisps even before the dinner is ready.
It’s a familiar script for many working people. Sticking to your diet is particularly challenging in that situation. But is there a way to change it?
Yes! We can control our cravings by picking the right snacks. The ones low in calories and rich in protein to leave us feeling fuller for longer. We can even prepare them at home ready for the day ahead!
Is protein the answer?
Actually, yes it is. By eating high protein foods, we supply our diets with long-lasting energy and feel more satisfied between the meals. We are also less tempted to reach for the sugary snacks. So beat the cravings now and equip yourself with few healthy grubs!
Below you’ll find 10 quick protein snacks, easy to make at home and perfect on the go:
1. Luxury Trail Mix
Nuts are an excellent source of proteins. Combination of hard and soft textures is pure heaven, but don’t stop at the ready made varieties. Design your own! Mix almonds and pistachios – which are higher in protein than other nuts – add cranberries and dried cherries, topped with pumpkin seeds and optional coarse salt. Delicious!
2. Apple & Peanut Butter
Just thinking about it makes me hungry… That’s a simple yet filling combination which takes seconds to prepare. De-seed and slice medium sized apple and place it in a lunch bag. Take a spoonful of peanut butter and put it in a small plastic lidded food container. Pack together with a sliced apple and simply dip the apple in the peanut butter to taste pure perfection!
3. Hummus & Veggie Sticks
It’s a similar choice to the one above, yet this one is savory. Hummus, being based on chickpeas, is full of proteins and makes a perfect snack on the go. Find it in the local shop or make your own. Pair hummus with three of your favorite vegetables (carrot, cucumber, pepper etc.), cut them into thin sticks and store in the lunch bag. It’s a simple and practical snack, perfect to munch on even by the computer!
4. Savory Greek Yogurt
Alternative to a sweet variety – with granola & honey – this filling snack satisfies those preferring salty options. Greek yogurt has got significantly more protein than a regular one. Pick good quality creamy yogurt and mix it with fresh basil, chopped tomatoes and pine nuts for a Mediterranean flair. You can complement it further by adding a slice of grilled pita bread. So rewarding…
5. Roasted Chickpeas
If you are hooked on the potato chips and pretzels, this nutrient-packed alternative is your remedy. Salty and crispy in texture, roasted chickpeas will leave you satisfied and guilt free. All you need is a can of chickpeas and a seasoning of your choice – salt, pepper, cayenne, chili, cumin – and so on… Tossed in the olive oil this snack can be easily prepared in a pan or an oven. There is sweet alternative too – maple syrup & cinnamon blend.
6. Peanut Butter Dates
Packed with flavor and a satisfying combination of textures, this sweet snack is perfect for pregnant women and active people. High in protein and fiber, it’s also rich in calories. Still, just a handful of these peanut butter filled dates will keep you full for hours. Absolutely worth it…
7. Soy Milk Smoothie
Now, how about a drink? We can give it a protein make-over too. Swap sugary can for a revitalizing smoothie to shake up your lunch break. Easy to prepare, it will take you few seconds in the morning. Blend 1 cup of soy milk (full of vitamin D and iron) with a handful of fresh or frozen fruits, such as banana, blueberries or strawberries. Add nuts or almonds for a crunchy texture. Store it in a travel mug ready for your lunch. Pure loveliness…
8. No-Bake Oatmeal Cakes
This simple, protein-rich snack can be fixed in the morning before you leave home. Take a microwave-safe bowl and mix:
- ¼ cup oats
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. flour
- 1 egg white
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. raisins
Combine well and flatten the mixture in the bowl before microwaving it for 45 seconds. Transfer to a lunch box and reach for it whenever you need a sugary fix. So satisfying!
9. Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies
Fancy something more challenging? This cookie recipe will test your baking skills. Start by making simple chocolate chip cookie dough, while adding a protein powder in the process. This will beautifully enhance your formula, while giving you a filling boost during a day.
10. Zesty Black Bean Hummus
This unusual recipe is a mixture of cottage cheese, black beans and almond butter, finished with an orange zest. Against all odds it works beautifully, delivering creamy texture and interesting flavors. Although it’s called hummus, it doesn’t have a staple chickpeas ingredient, present in most hummus recipes. High in protein (at 16g in a ½ cup serving) this delicious dip will be a great filling companion to the sliced toast or veggie sticks.