It’s 2 hours after lunch and you notice the gremlins in your tummy. You had a green salad for lunch because you’re trying to lose a couple of kilos. Your concentration is fading. You’re craving something sweet. Sound familiar? You know you need a high protein snack that’s high in fibre to balance your blood sugar and keep you happy till dinner. But what are the best options?
As a dietitian, I’m constantly educating and encouraging people to eat enough protein. As a plant-based dietitian, it’s no surprise that I’ve got a few high protein vegan snacks up my sleeve to share.
My top 10 high protein vegan snacks
Plant-based snacks can be high in sugar and often don’t have much protein. Eating high GI convenience foods on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar crashes that can lead to overeating later, which we want to avoid.
To help get the creative juices flowing, here are some of my favourite high protein vegan snack ideas.
1. Soy yogurt with berries
3/4 cup (or 200g) of plain soy yogurt provides about 10g protein for only 145kcals + 1/2 cup of berries (will give you 3g of fibre for 50kcals). I make my own soy yogurt from Vitasoy Protein Plus, but you can also purchase ready made soy yogurt from the supermarket.
1/2 cup of cooked edamame provides 11g protein for just 130kcals. A pinch of salt, nutritional yeast, or some chilli or dried herbs is all you need to make them a tasty snack. You can buy edamame frozen at most supermarkets.
There are some dried edamame snacks on the market, but these may be high in sodium or MSG. They may also be cooked or fried in oil which adds a lot of extra calories. Try roasting your own if you like a crunchy snack.
3. Plant-based protein bars
The market is full of plant-based protein bars, but be aware that many of them are not actually high in protein, they are high in energy which is different. Look for a bar with at least 10g protein, I’ve seen a few with as much as 20g, and less than 200kcals. Some good ones are
4. Homemade protein shake
A scoop of plant-based protein should provide between 20 and 25g of protein per serve. Adding 1/2 cup of soy milk to gives another 5g, if you add water to make the rest of the volume it’s under 200kcals for up to 30g protein.
Try blending a few strawberries or blueberries in for extra flavour, vitamin C and fibre.
Some of my favourite plant-based protein powders
- Vegan Lady or Man Shake
- BSC Vegan Protein
- White Wolf Vegan
- Muscle Nation Plant Based
5. High protein toast w. various toppings
There are a few excellent high protein breads on the market now; and while quite expensive, they’re fantastic. They’re great for sandwiches because they’re soft and fresh tasting. They’re also great for toast because of the thicker slices. My favourite brand is Herman Brot, but Coles and Aldi have their own brands which are excellent too. Helga’s also do a high protein low carb bread that is on par with Coles brand nutritionally.
You can get 1 slice of high protein bread with 1 tbsp of peanut butter for just on 200kcals and 16.5g protein. You could also have 1 slice with a snack sized can of blackbeans or baked beans for about the same.
Or, you could go for 2 slices of bread with a very low calorie topping (such as tomato or Vegemite) for about 200kcals and 22-26g protein.
My top 5 high protein bread suggestions
- Herman Brot High protein
- ALDI Baker’s Life 85% Lower Carb High Protein
- Coles 85% lower carb high protein bread
- Burgen Lower Carb High Protein Sunflower & Linseed Bread Loaf 660g
- Woolworths Macro Lower Carb Linseed & Sunflower Bread Rolls 320g
6. Roasted tofu w. avocado or tomato on wholegrain crackers
Provided the crackers are wholegrain and not seed-based, you can get 2 crackers, 70g of flavoured tofu, and either a thin spread of avocado or sliced tomato for less than 180cals. This recipe provides about 12g of protein and more than 5g of fibre.
7. Glass of soy milk and 10 almonds
There are some great low sugar soymilks available in most supermarkets now. My favourite is Vitasoy Protein Plus and it offers 10.5g protein per serve. However, most good quality soy milk will have least 8g protein, so by adding 10 almonds to munch on you’ll get about 10-11g protein and only about 180kcals.
8. Green pea dip with wholegrain crackers
Green peas are cheap, nutritious and highly underrated in my opinion. There are some great recipes for pea dips, but this one is particular good because it’s so simple. You could make a batch and take it to work to share. With 1 x wholegrain Ryvita and 1/2 cup of pea puree with tahini, you’d get 10g protein for about 185kcals.
9. Home made protein muffins
There are some great recipes that use plant based protein powders to replace some of the flour in baking. They use simple ingredients and most have under 200kcals. One of my favourites is this one which has 10g protein, 153kcals and only 8g sugar.
10. Roasted fava beans
These delicious roasted fava beans are an awesome, portion controlled snack that on their own provide 6.5g protein per serve. Two small single serve packets would give you 13g protein and 200kcals.
You can also roast your own fava (aka “broad”) beans at home, and add your favourite herbs and spices. You can also DIY and roast your own canned broad beans.
If you find you need to snack, choosing high protein options will help you reach your protein and nutrient needs and will help keep your appetite and blood sugar under control.
As always, check with your doctor before changing your diet, and seek advice from an Accredited Practicing Dietitian who has experience supporting people on plant based diets.