One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we’re all spending more time at home. On the plus side, this means we’re cooking more—which typically translates to healthier eating since restaurant meals tend to be high in salt, sugar, fat, and empty carbs. That said, it’s easy to fall into food ruts at home, where you habitually cook the same things day after day or reach for unhealthy fare in between Zoom meetings. The next time you need a snack to power you through the workday, try one of these quick, protein-packed bites.
1. No-Bake Protein Bars
These bars are easy to make and way tastier than any store-bought energy bar. Beware: If you have kids of any age, these won’t last long.
- 1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats, blended into a flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened/unflavoured vegan protein powder (I use ground flax seeds instead)
- 1/2 cup rice crisp cereal
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- Line an 8-inch square pan with a piece of parchment paper.
- Mix the oat flour, protein powder, cereal, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add in the nut/seed butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir well to combine. If the mixture is a bit dry, add a splash of non-dairy milk and mix again.
- Press into pan and roll out with a pastry roller until smooth. Pop into the freezer.
- Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a small pot over low heat. When half of the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth.
- Freeze the mixture in the pan for about five to 10 minutes, then slice into bars. Drizzle with melted chocolate and freeze again until set. Store in the freezer for a week or longer in an air-tight freezer bag or container.
Source: Angela Liddon at Oh She Glows
2. Hard-Boiled Egg
In France, hard-boiled eggs are a ubiquitous bar snack. High in protein (6 to 8 grams per egg) and a rich source of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, zinc, iron, and copper, eggs are the perfect pre-dinner snack because they don’t fill you up too much. Eggs also contain choline, which may contribute to mental clarity and help conquer fatigue.
How to Make the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg: Put eggs in a pot of cold water and as soon as the water reaches a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for 17 minutes. Remove eggs and put directly into a bowl of ice water. Wait two minutes for the cold water to cool the egg down, then peel. Eat with a little salt and pepper.
3. DIY Yogurt Bars
Plain yogurt is high in protein and low in sugar, while chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation and are good for heart and brain health. Chia seeds are also a good source of fiber, protein, and calcium.
- Parchment paper
- Plain or vanilla yogurt
- Strawberries or other fruit
- Chia seeds
- Chocolate sauce or cocoa powder (optional)
- Smear yogurt on parchment paper inside a sheet pan or baking dish. Make sure to smooth it out so it’s even.
- Sprinkle chia seeds evenly on top of the yogurt.
- Place sliced fruit on top of the chia seeds.
- Drizzle chocolate sauce sparingly (optional).
- Place in the freezer for two hours.
- After two hours, take your yogurt bar out, slice it into desired size, and enjoy!
Source: Olivia Jarvas on TikTok
4. Apples and Almond Butter
This easy snack is like what Mom used to serve you—but better. Ounce for ounce, almonds are higher in fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin, and niacin than any other tree nut. One serving of almond butter (two tablespoons) contains 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.
How To: Wash and slice your favorite kind of apple (I love Gala and Fuji), put on a plate, and place a dollop of almond butter on the side.