Dietitian Erin Murnane shows us some delicious and simple high protein snack options, without a tin of protein powder in sight!
Looking for new snack ideas to help increase your protein intake? Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rocky and the likes, who relied on egg white smoothies and massive plates of meat night after night, we thankfully have access to hundreds of convenient and delicious high-protein snacks. Think sweet, salty and savoury snacks packed with protein, complex carbohydrates, tasty flavours and crunchy textures that won’t just fill you up but will keep you satisfied for hours.
10 off-the-shelf high-protein snacks
From milky drinks to roasted legumes and nut bars, here are my go-to high-protein supermarket snacks.
1. Up and Go® Protein
While it's technically a "breakfast drink", Up and Go is a super convenient high-protein snack for any time of the day with 17g protein.
2. Iced coffee or chocolate
If you love milky drinks, iced coffee and iced chocolate are great snacks and naturally high in quality protein if based on cows milk.
3. Protein bars or nut bars
While convenient, dedicated ‘high protein / post workout’ bars can be very expensive, and can contain low calorie sweeteners and fibre additives that cause bloating and diarrhoea. Consider simpler options like Carmens® or Sams Pantry® high protein bar, each with 10g of protein per serving.
4. Yoghurt pots
Enjoy a yoghurt cup or pouch on the go, or add oats and fruit berries for a more substantial snack. A great example is Chobani Fit®, with 15g protein per serve.
5. Cheese and crackers
Most supermarkets have pre-packaged cheese and crackers. They're a super convenient high-protein snack you can keep in the fridge at home or work. 40g of cheese provides 10g of protein, and whole grain crackers will bump up the protein a little further.
6. Beef jerky
Add beef jerky to your shopping basket if you love meat and want extra protein. This idea is good for variety, but maybe it’s not a ‘3 times a day’ kind of snack, due to higher salt content.
7. Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas and nuts
Roasted chickpeas and nuts are packed with protein and are a convenient and satisfying snack to keep in your purse, laptop bag or car. About 50g nuts will give you 10g quality protein (and lots of other great things for your gut).
Crunchy roasted chickpeas are a great source of protein
8. Tinned legumes, e.g. Edgell Snacktime®
Tasty snack-size tins of chickpeas and black beans could be a snack in their own right, or a great addition to a salad or rice bowl. They also have lots of great fibre for gut health. (Learn more about the importance of fibre here>)
9. Tuna and quinoa/pasta/rice ready meals
A great example here is Sirena® Brown Rice with Quinoa and Tuna, or Woolworths® Tuna and Quinoa ready to eat pots, with around 20g of protein per serve.
10. Higher protein ready-made soups
Pouches or ready to serve tins of soup can be a surprisingly high protein option, depending on the ingredients. Look for something with legumes / grains / meat or chicken up the top of the ingredients list, and check the nutrition information panel for grams of protein per serve e.g. La Zuppa® Microwave Soup Chicken Veg & Wholegrain.
10-minute high-protein snacks
When you have time to cook, these super quick, easy and flavour-packed recipes for high-protein snacks will elevate your post-workout routine or afternoon tea.
High protein smoothie: Did you know you can make regular milk into high protein milk by adding skim milk powder as a cheap and cheerful, quality protein source? Smoothie ingredients like linseeds, chia seeds, Greek yoghurt and nut butters can bump up the protein even further.
The simplest snack ever: hard boiled eggs! Two large boiled eggs provide around 12g of protein and make a travel-friendly high-protein snack, or addition to your lunch time salad or sandwich.
Rice and tuna balls: Combine cooked rice, a tin of tuna and mayonnaise in a bowl. Roll into small balls, cover with sesame seeds and store in the fridge.
Chia pudding: Mix 2 tbsp chia seeds, ½ cup milk, ½ cup yoghurt and 1 tbsp peanut butter in a small jar and leave in the fridge overnight.
Chia pots with your choice of topping - simple and delicious
Yoghurt bars: Mix honey or sweetener and berries into a cup of yogurt. Spread evenly across a lined baking tray and freeze. Once frozen, snap into shards and store in the freezer.
Peanut butter and banana wraps: Spread peanut butter and banana slices on a wrap, roll up and cut into small circles.
Cottage cheese dip: Add everything bagel seasoning and hot sauce to a tub of chive and onion cottage cheese. Mix together and serve with wedges of cucumber or corn chips.
Tempeh chips: Marinade small chunks of tempeh in peanut butter and soy sauce before cooking in an oven or air fryer until crunchy and golden.
Author: Erin is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor who helps women heal their relationship with food, find food freedom and accept their here-and-now bodies. In her spare time, she loves creating quick and easy recipes that are packed with flavour. Find out more at balanceandbite.com.au