Help me find my optimum midnight snacks!
March 28, 2012 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Help! I need suggestions for smallish, easy snacks that are high in protein, calories, and fiber, while not too high in fat or sodium.

I am having a boring constellation of stomach issues now complicated by a medication that makes me ravenously hungry in the middle of the night. But the stomach issues mean that I can't eat much without getting horribly nauseated (at best).

So does anyone have any advice for smallish, easy snacks meeting the criteria I cited above? I am trying to get the biggest protein, calorie, and fiber bang for my buck every time I eat, without having too much fat (triggers the stomach issues) or sodium (blood pressure, etc.).

Right now my go-tos are nuts, edamame, and whole-grain tortilla chips with hummus. Cheese isn't really an option for me at night (though it's a favorite snack during the day), and some of my other favorites like salami are too spicy to be a great choice for my midnight digestive system. I would love some more options to add to my rotation.
posted by Sidhedevil to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 97 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hard boiled eggs work great for this, as does beef jerky which can be homemade to have a low salt content. Or, try another meat jerky.
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:32 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I love roasted chickpeas. Take a can of chick peas, toss with olive oil, salt/pepper, whatever other spices, stick them in the oven ~400F and shake every 20 minutes or so until crispy.
posted by fromageball at 2:43 PM on March 28, 2012 [11 favorites]

Best answer: granola with yogurt? Or just yogurt?

Peanut butter and crackers or celery.

Sardines on crackers.
posted by ambrosia at 2:55 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: Cocktail shrimp, although it is not particularly high in calories, is delicious and a good source of protein and very low in fat. It is sold ready-to-eat in many grocery stores. Or you could easily cook your own shrimp (I love the frozen bags from Costco).
posted by halogen at 3:03 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: i don't know if this counts as easy, but what I do for a high protein snack is make muffins using quinoa or amaranth flour and include nuts in the recipe, pepitas are great for this.

My other go to for this is just plain raw nuts, I like almonds. For some reason the raw nuts are filling in a way that roasted ones aren't.

Although yeah, with stomach sensitivity, yogurt seems like a sensible thing- you can go greek or kefir. Or how about smoothies, you can include the yogurt- or protein blends like amazing grass which is hemp based protein- mix with fruit or whatever you like.
posted by abirdinthehand at 3:03 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Could you make a batch of tuna salad, maybe using lowfat mayo or greek yogurt instead of mayo, and leave it in the fridge so it's waiting for you at midnight snack time? Up the fiber and flavor with minced red pepper and celery? I like pickles in there too but that might be too much sodium.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:07 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: You could roast/steam some chicken breasts, cut in strips, and have them with tzatziki dip.

Flax crackers.

Parmesan crisps.

Your requirements, except for the salt, are pretty close to those for the South Beach Diet, so I'm going to point you to Kalyn's Kitchen.
posted by Runes at 3:20 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have this recipe for something my kids call "Craptastic Bars" that you can easily customize.

Also, I tend to use drinks called "Muscle Milk" because they are high protein, low sugar, and the banana and chocolate flavors are actually quite enjoyable. (As opposed to teh strawberry which is blech-worthy) The premixed drinks can be kind of spendy unless you find them on sale. But since I use these to allow me to drive past fast-food drive thoughs they actually save me money overall.
posted by cross_impact at 3:28 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: Have you tried larabars before? I don't like a lot of protein bars, but I love these. Larabar Apple Pie is my favorite.
posted by belau at 3:41 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: You could dip chicken in hummus also, for a super protein hit.

Seconding boiled eggs.

How's your relationship with beans? There are all kinds of bean salads that get tastier with a bit of time in the fridge. You can adjust the amount of oil so that it's minimal. If you like hummus you can make other bean dips as well as thicker bean soups.

Low fat yogurt with ground flax seeds?
posted by bilabial at 3:52 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: I like to poach chicken for snacking - the poaching gives you as moist a start as possible so that a day or two in the fridge doesn't turn it into leather. (I also prefer b/s thighs to breasts.)

Avocado would be nice to go with it - the fat will help you feel satiated.

I dislike tuna salad anymore but am a fiend for sardine salad these days (also with avocado).
posted by Lyn Never at 4:01 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Kashi Go Lean Cinnamon cereal is one of my favorite things. A one cup serving is 10g of protein and 9g of fiber. Fat will vary depending on what milk (or any milk) you choose. It's crunchy and hearty and just sweet enough to be yummy without being tooth-hurtingly blech. I will eat it dry by the handful as a snack, or with milk as a meal.
posted by Concolora at 5:02 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Apples with peanut butter
cottage cheese with whole grain crackers
yogurt with granola or fruit
turkey jerky
raw veggies with hummus
avocado or mango with whole grain tortilla chips
posted by Sal and Richard at 5:12 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: Forgot one of my favorites - Barbara's Original Puffins Cereal sprinkled with sliced almonds.
posted by Sal and Richard at 5:15 PM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you're not vetoing dairy entirely, just cheese, then what about some Greek yogurt? I'm eating a fat-free variety lately and loving it...I add some minced onions and a ton of garlic, which, come to think of it, probably are not what your stomach is really pining for, but it can be done without those! It's very creamy and satisfying, and I think runs about 23 g of protein per serving. (I've been getting fat-free because of concerns over how dairy fats might be bad for my blood pressure.)
posted by mittens at 5:22 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: +1 for the roasted chickpeas.

tiny bit of olive oil + red wine vinegar + dijon + two cans rinsed chickpeas + handful diced kalamatas + handful diced dried apricots (chickpea salad)

tiny bit olive oil + dijon + steamed green beans + can rinsed kidney beans + can rinsed canellini beans (three bean salad)

mashed sardines + mashed avocado + dijon on flax crackers

homemade turkey meatballs + teriyaki

Cottage cheese? I get the large curd/lowfat kind and you can make it either savory (tomato) or sweet (pineapple), eat it with flax crackers

greek yogurt + blueberries (this is a personal fave because you can just dip a spoonful out of the carton in the middle of the night and pop a few berries in your mouth! If you are worried about fat, I get a carton of full-fat and a carton of non-fat and mix the two evenly)

whole wheat toast + peanut butter + banana slices

Ezekiel 4:9 Cereal: put this on greek yogurt, mix in with steel cut oats.
posted by stellaluna at 5:28 PM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for the great answers--you're all best!

One of the added difficulty factors I forgot to mention was my wheat allergy (sadface) but if I can get it together to get good wheat-free granola I will be doing so. And the meat, eggs, pulses, yogurt, etc., are all fantastic suggestions.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:29 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: You can pre cut apples. Keep them from going brown with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Carrot sticks dip nicely in peanut (or almond or cashew) butter, but they're all pretty high in fat.

Apples and ham go well together, you could wrap an apple slice in a ham slice, repeat. Throw them into a Baggie together and eat as desired at midnight.

Is a tiny bit of cheese tolerable in the night time? You can pre make quesadillas with a leeeetle bit of shredded cheese - just enough to make it stick together. Reheat, or don't, as the hunger strikes you. I like black beans and sweet potatoes in mine.

Cold poached salmon? Low sodium Beef jerky?
posted by bilabial at 5:30 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: You can make cheap DIY no-bake protein bars at home -- you might have to find an alternative to the oats if they bother you, but anything dry and crunchy should work (same with the peanut butter -- if it's too fatty you could try the low-fat kind). Instead of making them in full-sized bar form you could make a whole bunch of little protein bombs, and just pop a couple whenever you're hungry.
posted by vorfeed at 7:03 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: Carrot cake protein bars with peanut butter? Not sure if the oats would bother you.
posted by quodlibet at 9:19 PM on March 28, 2012

Best answer: gluten free crackers or rice cakes with avocodo mashed on top + sea salt!

olives! Are these too fatty? Hmm...

One of my absolute favorite things is brussel sprouts, a little bit of olive oil, garlic and almonds. Make that the night before and heat a little bit in the microwave during the night!

yogurt or little chocolate pudding cups mixed up with berries

chocolate peanut butter (couple of spoonfuls fills me right up!)

fruit (banana, pear + strawberry is a good combo) salad - just chop them up and keep them together in the fridge. I melt some chocolate in. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth?

applesauce (HOMEMADE)

mashed sweet potatoes

Oh man I love snacks.
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 10:59 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

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