Your snack ideas, please!
July 17, 2014 5:08 PM   Subscribe

With the help of a dietitian, I've been doing quite well in my effort to eat healthier and lose some weight. However, I need some more snack ideas before I get too bored of what I've got!

One of the things the dietitian asked me to try, and that has worked very well, is keeping a box of snacks at work. I sometimes bring some stuff from home, but having things handy at work has made me choose much healthier options when I snack. Often what I have in the box is the basis of the snack, and I'll bring in something small from home, too, like fruit or cheese or yogurt.

The only other "rule" I have is that the snacks combine either fruit or vegetables or whole grains with some form of protein.

Some examples that I have:

- Berries and yogurt (obviously I don't keep this in a box in my desk)
- Raw vegetables and hummus and some cheese (ditto)
- Homemade trail mix (dried fruit with nuts and seeds)
- Whole grain Ryvita crackers with Laughing Cow cheese
- Whole grain crackers with cheese
- Banana and natural peanut butter
- Slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter
- Apple with cheese

I'm looking for a little more variety, though. I've found a number of suggestions involving, for example, a boiled egg, but that's a no go for me--I cannot stand hard or soft-boiled eggs. I've also never been able to get into cottage cheese. Meat is fine. Cheap is good, too.

What other tasty snacks can I have that combine fruit/veg/whole grains with protein, are portable, and I can have on hand at work?
posted by synecdoche to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Dried salmon jerky from Trader Joe's. This eventually hurts my jaws from the rough chewing, but the rough chewing also helps me to not eat so much.
posted by RaRa-SpaceRobot at 5:24 PM on July 17, 2014

Avocado + ryvita + hot sauce.

Sugar snap peas (I pair it up with either nuts or cheese)

Greek yogurt (plain) + walnuts + banana + cinnamon (I sometimes add oatmeal flakes and call it breakfast)
posted by Milau at 5:31 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ants on a log (celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter and raisins, super good)
Walnut and red pepper spread similar to this one on baguette slices or crackers or with rice chips (Trader Joe's has rice chips with brown rice as the first ingredient).
Bean dips and spreads are great and go far beyond hummus. Very easy to make and experiment if you have a mini food processor. Trader Joe's has a black bean dip that is supposedly good too, though I've not tried it.
Make your own baked tortilla chips and pita chips by buying them whole, cutting them up and baking them yourself. I tend to dislike baked chips premade but it's much better if you make it yourself.
Roasted crunchy chick peas.
posted by Blitz at 5:34 PM on July 17, 2014

Some of these require advanced prep, but here are a few ideas:

Greek yogurt+granola
Celery stalks with peanut or almond butter on them
Tortilla Roll Ups
Fresh Spring Rolls
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:41 PM on July 17, 2014

Edemame in the pod (don't eat the pod, eat the bean from the pod, slows you down and you can suck all the salt off if you salt them first).
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 5:54 PM on July 17, 2014

Roasted chickpeas. You can get them at Whole Foods in 3 flavors -- wasabi, curry spices, and falafel. Chickpeas have loads of protein.
posted by janey47 at 6:04 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Avocado and sardines (brisling, in oil) with s&p and a shake of hot sauce. You can put this on crispbread or something, but you could also just eat it with a spoon.

Almonds and cheddar (the really sharp stuff) is good.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:14 PM on July 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Do you have a microwave at work, and do you like scrambled(ish) eggs? I also don't super-love hardboiled eggs, so: to make scrambled eggs in a mug, take a mug. Take an egg, or two; in a standard coffee mug, two works okay. Break the eggs into the mug, and pour in like...two tablespoons of water. It doesn't have to be exact - this is an art, not a science. Take your fork of choice and whisk them until homogenous, and then put them in the microwave at its default level for a minute.

Microwaves vary, so I recommend standing there to watch. After a minute, take it out; you'll see a sort of cooked egg island in a small lake of uncooked egg. Take your fork and break up the island a bit. Put the mug back in for a minute; just after the egg starts to rise over the top, it's done. Dump the egg onto a plate. Typically, there's no residue in the mug, through some sort of egg/microwave magic.

Also: oatmeal with a bit of peanut butter (I like to add some strawberry jam.) Yogurt mixed with cucumber, dill, and a little bit of lemon juice. Cucumber, tomato, and olive or feta, all chopped up together. All manner of bean-based salads. Tabbouleh. Meatballs or kibbeh, dipped in yogurt.
posted by punchtothehead at 6:30 PM on July 17, 2014

How about protein powder? Some are really tasty and there are different types to meet many preferences. You could keep a plastic cup with pre-measured protein powder, add cold water and ice, replace the lid, shake shake shake, then drink. This is not as good as a blender but some protein powders mix really well with this method.

Whole nuts - my favorites are unroasted including almonds, pecans, walnuts mixed with a smaller handful of dried fruit (mango, dried cherry) and maybe some seeds like pumpkin or sunflower. A few bags of these would provide varied mixing options. There are also various flavored options like soy sauce almonds or wasabi almonds. Macadamia nuts are really good too. Many people love cashews. Depending on your definition, these mixtures may count as a fruit/carb with protein. Throw in some coconut curls, yum.

Oh, and meat is fine? The options for various shelf stable jerky is ever-expanding. I saw tuna jerky recently at Whole Foods. Trader Joe's has jerky. Target has jerky - flavored variously. This can be mixed with your handy fruit or veg and meet your requirements.
posted by RoadScholar at 6:32 PM on July 17, 2014

Are you a peanut butter fan?

My wife makes me big batches of these peanut butter bars every month or so, and I take one to work every day. It's a hell of a lot of calories because it's straight peanut butter and protein powder, but holy jeez is it a lot of energy for me. This might meet your requirements as it's a bit of a healthy grains + protein sort of thing, given its use of rice protein and peanuts for protein.

(They're a make-at-home alternative to these bars, which are $2-3 at Sprouts or Whole Foods... this is much cheaper, and just as tasty and full of good protein and healthy fats.)

The outlay is a little expensive since you need to buy rice protein (a good $20 for a big container that will last a long time) and peanut butter, and maybe some puffed rice cereal and rice syrup (not that bad, usually $3-5 a jar). But once you have your ingredients these make for a hell of a snack for a few weeks at a time.

To make it we use Whole Foods 365 peanut butter, but Trader Joes' works well too... really any peanut butter where the ingredients are just peanuts and salt will do (or just peanuts, period).

I take one of these and a small tuna or turkey sandwich, and bring along my water bottle to fill up all day, and I am good at work all day long. I'll usually take a bite out of the bar every half hour or so during the morning, and then eat my sandwich around lunch.

Making them is really simple. My wife says she adds a few tablespoons of rice syrup to the mix just to help them hold together a little better and be a little less crumbly. Once they are frozen/cooled, then sliced, she wraps them in plastic wrap and puts them in the freezer.
posted by Old Man McKay at 6:45 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Avocado with salted sunflower seeds + a little bit of onion (maybe not if you want it to be portable) is really good.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 7:22 PM on July 17, 2014

Since Trader Joe's was mentioned I thought I would show some love for a chickpea/black bean salad they have. It's super expensive for what it is, but it might provide a bit of variety if you don't have time to fix it yourself or don't have a convenient Trader Joe's. If you want to make it yourself it is called Balela and there are lots of recipes for it on-line.

If you're trying to add more vegetables to your snacks I recommend using raw red bell pepper as your "chip" for a black bean dip, it's really quite tasty.

Lastly, it is also super easy to wrap prosciutto around cheese and melon (separately). You can also use other cured meats you enjoy.
posted by dawg-proud at 7:27 PM on July 17, 2014

Natural raw almonds. Good protein and fiber.
posted by AppleTurnover at 8:00 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you have a microwave -
- plain or fruit instant oatmeal with peanut butter and cocoa (and a packet or two of sweetener to taste)
- microwave popcorn with grated cheese sprinkled on top
posted by metahawk at 8:54 PM on July 17, 2014

-pumpkin seeds
-low carb/low calorie small whole wheat wrap with hummus and veggies you like rolled up in it
-Krave jerky (this brand is at my target and amazon; it doesn't taste as "processed" and isn't as chewy as most main brands of jerky
-sugar-free chocolate pudding or jello cups (if you can do artificial sweeteners)
-wasa crackers specifically (calorie counts vary by flavor a lot, so check the labels
-roasted Nori (seaweed) chips-Trader Joe's has many varieties

Happy Snacking!
posted by shortyJBot at 3:17 AM on July 18, 2014

Sugar snap peas or sliced red peppers and dip (try Treeline Cheese herb and garlic spread if you can find it near you - it's an admittedly expensive but delicious cashew spread that's really, really good on sugar snap peas).

If you want something pre-packaged, I like snyder's peanut butter pretzels (not whole grain, but maybe good as a "treat" snack).

You might try adding some original kashi cereal to your trail mix - I love eating it out of hand (that may not be normal though) and it's extra great with almonds, coconut flakes and some chocolate chips mixed in. It will also reduce the caloric density of your trail mix a bit.

Popcorn with nutritional yeast is a good one too. It doesn't have a ton of protein, but the yeast does offer some, along with tons of B vitamins.

Summer rolls, which have already been mentioned, are a great option. Especially with some sweet chili sauce for dipping. They're super easy to make and will hold overnight in the fridge.
posted by snaw at 8:13 AM on July 18, 2014

i've subscribed to the graze box for a few months now, and it is a good variety of fairly healthy (portioned!) snacks. i've been very happy with it.
posted by koroshiya at 4:32 PM on July 18, 2014

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