Sunday, August 30, 2015

15 Protein Packed Portable Healthy Snacks (or Lunch)

Protein packed is the key to a satisfying snack. If they are portable even better. Here are 15 protein-packed snacks I love. Many of these are very portable and perfect for tossing in your carry-on, purse or lunchbox. A healthy snack in your arsenal can help you fight the urge to hit the vending machine, pick at the break room goodies, or make an impulse choice at the pastry case.

15 Protein Packed and Portable Snacks

Protein Bars - Read labels, figure which type is right for you, there are high-protein and low-carb bars, high fiber bars, meal replacement and energy bars and they vary greatly in nutritional values. They are a convenient favorite of mine when traveling. I always have some in my carry-on bag.

Protein Bar Cookies - I take Quest Protein Bars cut into 8 pieces and baked them into little cookies that are great to tote along in a snack size baggie during the day or take with to coffee with friends. The latest batch I made were these apple pie protein bar cookies with a cinnamon almond pressed in.

Mini Protein Muffins - Another great one to stave off the bakery case are my yummy mini protein muffins. If you have tried any of my 5 minute protein cakes these are the same batter just poured into a 12 cup mini muffin tin and baked instead. Something fun to do is to make two different flavors, slice them in half, smear some SF jam or nut butter on the bottom half of the muffin and top with a muffin top of the other flavor.

Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese or Ricotta Cheese Parfaits - A dollop of yogurt, cottage cheese or ricotta layered with fruit like berries or apples that have been cooked down a bit (softened) and topped with protein granola or almonds. Place in a plastic cup with plastic wrap on top for a portable snack or breakfast. Don't forget a spoon.

Hard-Boiled Eggs - hard boil and peel a few on Sunday for snacks for the week. Toss an egg in a small container for an easy on-the-go snack or use them for lunch sliced on a salad or mashed with Greek yogurt, celery, seasonings and cucumber slice scoopers. If you have a little more time turn them into some my favorite deviled eggs.

Ants and Friends on a Log - celery sticks smeared with a tablespoon of any nut butter (almond, cashew, walnut) or cream cheese spread topped with a raisins for the traditional "Ants on a Log" or "Ants and Friends" with almonds, cranberries, cherries (look for low sugar or juice sweetened fruit.)

Cold-Cut Roll Ups - slices of deli meat (turkey, chicken, or roast beef work great) with a slice of cheese. Add a pickle spear, avocado slice, mild green chili, lettuce, cucumber spear. Eat roll-ups cold or warm and melty. Pictured is one of my favorite combos Turkey, Cheese, Avocado.

Cucumber "Sandwiches" - with cold cuts, cheese, or topped with spreads or salads using cucumbers as the bread/cracker.

Protein Shakes - many companies make travel protein packets or scoop your favorite powder in baggie and put it inside a shaker bottle, buy ready to drinks versions (RTDs), or at home blend into a frappe-style creation like the ones pictured. Find oodles of recipes on the blog and my Protein Shake Pinterest page. Be careful they may bring all the boys to the yard ;)

Nuts, Roasted Chickpeas or Bean Snacks  - sometimes you just want a salty crunchy snack. Almonds and pistachios are higher in protein than other nuts. Homemade roasted chickpeas or garbanzos or store bought bean snacks all great chip alternatives. Portion them out in snack sized baggies.

Beef or Turkey Jerky - look for the low-sodium ones. 1 oz. serving (the average size of most single-serve packs) = 9 grams of protein. Jerky is portable, required no refrigeration and takes a while to eat so it's a good snack in a movie or on a plane.

Ricotta Pancakes - I eat these for snack or breakfast. Hot or surprisingly yummy cold, smeared with almond butter or SF jam. Find oodles of Eggface pancake recipes here. The pancakes pictured below are my Cinnamon Churro Ricotta Pancakes.

Edamame Pods - the fun to eat bean pods you get at Japanese sushi restaurants (1 cup = about 17 grams of protein), steam them in a little microwave steamer (these rock) sprinkle with a little seasoning or salt and scrape the pods with your teeth to pop out the little green yummy beans inside.

Apple or Mango Dippers - sliced apple with dip or mango with dip. Greek yogurt dip or SF sweetened (sweetener of your choice) Ricotta Cheese with or without protein powder added.

Cheese Platter - we call these Tidbit Parties at my house. A few pieces of cheese, olives, cucumber slices, a few nuts, cool breeze, laughs and good conversation shared with loved ones = perfect night in my world. Make it portable, fill your bento box and take it to the beach or park.

Honored to be included in many post weight loss surgery bariatric patient guides and surgeon's office web sites as a recommended site for post weight loss surgery eating, recipes, menus, tips and ideas but each program has variations, as do individual patient's needs so refer to your plan and program guidelines and when in doubt print it out and bring with to your next appointment. Depending what stage of your weight loss journey some of these may be meals or snacks for you and obviously what is pictured is often for several people. Always consult your medical team for portion sizes.

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Celine said...

you are my hero!


Can you bake other brands of protein bars besides Quest bars?

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Aww thanks for the sweet compliment.


Other bars if they are like Quest Bars... Quests are pretty distinctive... dense, fiber I think most others would be a pool of goo... tasty goo but goo.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking that little steamer. It will be here Monday. I want fast cooked carrots. Some crave pumpkin this time of year but for me it's carrots.
Your blog continues to amaze.
Deb T.

Sheabeelynn said...

Have you tried the quest protein chips?

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Deb, Hope it works out perfectly for it.


Sheabeelyn, I haven't... If I remember correctly I looked at the nutritional info and there was something it them I attempt to avoid... rice flour maybe... and I heard they were not that tasty so I didn't buy them... any good?

Samoine Chapman said...

Everything looks so good. Do you have meals for someone who is only a month out?

Michelle "Shelly" said...

I have a pureed page Samoine lemme link you: hope this gives you a few ideas that work in your plan :)

Anonymous said...

I've tried the protein chips and don't care for them. They're kind of tasteless. I've found another kind of chip made of eggwhites called IPS. They have different flavors like white cheddar and cinnamon. My kids think they're bland but I think they taste awesome. They have 6g of protein.