Every one of our patients has heard us say it. Protein rich meals keep you satisfied longer and help you lose weight easily and faster.
But aside from a steak, what foods are “protein dense”? This is especially important when it comes to the mid-afternoon snack when junk food such as chips are subtly whispering their seductive song to you.
Here are several snack ideas that are both protein rich and taste great.
1) Edamame: in the frozen section of the grocery store you can find bags of these delicious vegetable treats. Just pop them in the microwave for a few minutes and sprinkle with salt. You eat the beans on the inside of the pod which are so yummy that even your kids will be asking for seconds. Just don’t tell them the secret that they’re loaded with protein, fiber and vitamins.
2) Cheese Sticks: String cheese is the ultimately portable snack food. There are mozzarella and cheddar varieties, they come individually wrapped and everyone loves to pull them apart. Each stick has around 80 calories, 7-8g of protein and almost no carbs. Perfect for the midafternoon when you’re warding off the munchies
3) Cottage cheese: ½ cup of 2% cottage cheese has 15g of protein and less than 10g of carbs. But before you say you don’t like this protein dense gem, try spicing it up – literally. Add 1-2 packets of Splenda or Equal and some cinnamon. Throw in half a sliced apple or some berries as well to make it truly dessert like.
4) Teriyaki meatballs: 1 lb. 93% Lean Ground Beef 1/2 cup chopped green onions 2 tbsp. garlic powder ¼-1/3 cup teriyaki sauce 3 tsp. chopped ginger root or 2 tsp powder ginger spice
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form 8 larger balls (meal size) or 16 smaller balls (snack size). Place in a baking dish & bake 20-30 minutes. You may want to baste the balls with teriyaki sauce half-way through baking to help keep them moist.
5) Protein brownies: I found this recipe on www.mhpstrong.com 2 cups chocolate protein powder (I prefer casein, but whey will work as well) ¼ cup of Splenda (or to taste) 4 egg whites 3 cups water 3 tsp baking powder
Directions Mix everything together in a bowl then transfer mix to a glass baking dish sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray.
Bake on 350 for 45 min. Makes 10 brownies Nutrition Value per Brownie: 65 g Protein 5.4 g Carbs 2.7 g Fat
There are lots of variations of homemade protein brownie and protein bar recipes on the internet, many of which don’t even require baking! I encourage you to look some up for yourself and experiment to find what textures and flavors suit you best. You’ll be amazed at what you find.
So have some protein and avoid the need to turn to carbohydrate rich junk foods in the mid-afternoon.