The Best Snacks for Quick Protein

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Because you don’t always have time to grill a steak.

Protein is a vital component of your bodily structure. It’s necessary to rebuild your muscles bigger and better after an intense workout, and it goes a long way in keeping you satiated throughout the day, reducing the desire for snacking. The problem is that the foods that are richest in protein are usually things like meat, and most meats require some kind of preparation (and may be loaded with saturated fat, but that’s another concern). Whether you’re cooking illiterate or just don’t have the time, if you need a quick, no-work source of protein, there are plenty of options, most of them vegan to boot!

When it comes to easy protein, the handheld snacks are your best friends. I’m talking things like nuts, beans, and seeds; a can of chickpeas, for instance, just needs a quick rinse, and you can eat ’em with a spoon. Nuts like almonds make a great filling snack, and even come in lots of tasty flavors, though make sure to read the nutrition facts on the bag so you’re not eating a bunch of wacky chemicals. Byproducts of nuts, beans, and seeds such as nut butter and plant milk also make great snacks. Plant milk doesn’t even need a can opener, you can just drink it from a glass.

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Soy foods like soybeans and tofu are also a great choice. Shelled edamame are great either dried or wet, and go great in salads. Even tofu, which is traditionally a prepared thing, can be enjoyed raw, though it is best added to a wrap or salad.

If all else fails, there’s always protein powder. Mix it up with some clean water, and you get a tasty smoothie. Again, though, remember to read the nutrition facts to ensure you’re getting all-natural, clean-burning protein.