7 dietitian-approved high protein snacks that helped me lose fat and gain muscle

·8 min read
A slice of protein banana bread, and Rachel Hosie in a mirror selfie.
Protein-boosted chocolate chunk banana bread is a go-to snack. Rachel Hosie

1. Protein-boosted chocolate chunk banana bread with peanut butter

Banana bread with peanut butter.
Banana bread with peanut butter. Rachel Hosie

Adding too much protein powder to baked goods can often make the texture rubbery, but if you add just the right amount, you still get a fluffy, moist cake that also keeps you full and helps you reach your fitness goals.

Ingredients:

  • 200g (2 1/4 cups) oats

  • 3 scoops vanilla protein

  • 4 tbsp powdered peanut butter

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 4 ripe bananas

  • 80ml (1/3 cup) oat milk (or other milk)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 50g (2.5 tbsp) honey

  • 100g (1/2 cup) sea salt almond dark chocolate, broken into chunks

  • Peanut butter for drizzling

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to about 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a cake tin (I use a round one but a loaf tin works too).

2. Grind the oats into a flour (I use a food processor), then mix in the protein powder, powdered peanut butter, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and flax. Pour into a large bowl.

3. Mix together the banana, milk, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and honey in the food processor (or mash the banana and mix it all by hand). Stir this wet mix into the dry mix until well combined.

4. Pour half the batter into the tin, followed by half the chocolate. Repeat. Bake for about 30 minutes (covering with foil if it starts to look too dark) until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out almost but not quite clean. Leave to cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before removing from the tin. Slice it up, and drizzle with peanut butter.

Dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine said: "A high protein twist on the classic banana bread. And if you don't have protein powder, you could always swap it for skimmed milk powder and a dash of vanilla extract."

2. Berry cottage cheese mousse

Berry cottage cheese mousse.
Berry cottage cheese mousse. Rachel Hosie

This mousse is just three ingredients so super simple to make. It's not decadent or indulgent like a classic mousse, but is very high-protein, low-calorie, and high-volume so a great choice if you're slightly struggling with your calorie deficit and just want to eat a lot of food. Half this recipe is about 180 calories and 20g protein.

Ingredients:

  • 200g (1 1/2 cups) frozen raspberries

  • 1 sachet (11.5g or 1 1/2 tbsp) sugar-free jelly powder

  • 300g (1 1/3 cups) fat-free cottage cheese

Method:

1. Pour the frozen berries into the bottom of a large dish.

2. Mix the jelly sachet with 100ml water. Add the cottage cheese and mix in a blender until you have a smooth mixture.

3. Pour it over the berries, cover, and place in the fridge to set.

Ludlam-Raine said: "This recipe is a healthy twist on sugar-laden mousses, and if you like it then great — it's a delicious, high-protein, tasty dessert to enjoy if you're keen to cut down on your added/free sugar intake."

3. Peanut butter yogurt dip with banana chunks

Yogurt with banana and peanut butter.
Yogurt with banana and peanut butter. Rachel Hosie

Fat-free Greek yogurt is a staple in my diet because it's high-protein, low-calorie, and delicious. In an ideal world, I'd eat vast quantities of peanut butter, but unfortunately it's very high-calorie and far lower in protein than most people think. So I like to whip peanut butter and Greek yogurt together until it's thick and creamy. Delicious with banana chunks, apple slices, or any other fruit.

Ingredients:

  • 150g (2/3 cup) Greek yogurt

  • 15g (1 tsp) peanut butter (powdered or normal)

  • 1 banana, apple, or other fruit

Method:

1. Spoon the yogurt into a bowl, add the peanut butter, and whip until creamy and well combined.

2. Chop your fruit and serve either on top of the peanut butter mix or on the side for dipping. Enjoy!

Ludlam-Raine said: "Nut butters are packed with healthy fats, in addition to vitamin E which is a fat-soluble antioxidant. They provide quite a lot of calories though gram for gram which is why mixing them with plain yogurt is ideal for people who like 'volume' to their snacks."

4. Zucchini and feta egg muffins

Egg muffins.
Egg muffins. Rachel Hosie

Essentially mini frittatas, these are great for breakfast or just as a snack when you want something savory. Using both whole eggs and egg whites provides lots of protein, and I change the add-ins each time — cooked ground turkey, red pepper, broccoli, and cheddar are all great additions.

Ingredients:

  • 150g (2/3 cup) liquid egg whites

  • 2 whole eggs

  • 50g (1/3 cup) feta

  • 1 zucchini, chopped into small chunks

  • 2 scallions, sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

Method:

1. Heat some oil or cooking spray in a frying pan on a medium heat. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and grease or line a muffin tray.

2. Fry the zucchini, scallions, and garlic until softened. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and egg whites together with some seasoning.

3. Pour the eggs into the muffin tray, filling each hole about 2/3 of the way. Sprinkle in your zucchini mix followed by some feta and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and firm.

4. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tray and eating.

Ludlam-Raine said: "These sound like a delicious, savory, high protein snack or lunch addition that contribute to 1 of your 5 a day too (a little less than half a cup of fruit, veg, or salad is one portion). I love how versatile they are too as variety really is the spice of life and is fundamental to keeping your gut happy."

5. Chocolate oat cookies

Chocolate oat cookies.
Chocolate oat cookies. Rachel Hosie

These cookies are essentially baked oats, but in cookie form. So yes, great for breakfast. They're best eaten warm for that chocolate melt, but easier to remove from the paper once cooled, so I recommend warming them up after cooling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

  • 80g (1 cup) oats

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder

  • 25g (1 tbsp) peanut butter

  • 5g (2 tsp) cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • Pinch salt

  • 100ml (1/2 cup) almond milk (or other milk)

  • 25g (2.5 tbsp) dark chocolate chunks

Method:

1. Mix everything except the chocolate chunks together until thick, sticky, and well combined.

2. Dollop the mixture into 8 blobs on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Stick the chocolate chunks into the mixture.

3. Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 8 minutes — don't overbake or they'll be dry. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top. Leave to cool slightly.

Ludlam-Raine said: "These cookies sound like a delicious, high protein treat to enjoy on the go, or even at breakfast. They combine all of the major food groups in one: protein, carbs, healthy fats, and fiber, and sound tasty too. Add a handful of raisins for some extra fiber and nutrients."

6. Cottage cheese with cherries and honey

Cottage cheese with cherries and honey.
Cottage cheese with cherries and honey. Rachel Hosie

Cottage cheese is great in savory dishes, but I have a real sweet tooth so love it with a drizzle of honey and fruit for an afternoon snack. Cherries are great when they're in season, but I also like this as a dip for apple slices.

Ingredients:

  • 150g (2/3 cup) fat-free cottage cheese

  • Honey, to taste

  • Cherries, apple, or fruit of choice

Method:

1. Spoon your cottage cheese into a bowl, drizzle with honey, chop your fruit, and enjoy.

Ludlam-Raine said: "This sounds like a delicious, high protein snack that provides calcium for healthy bones and teeth, and would work well on a rice cake too if you like snacks that have extra crunch. Add a sprinkling of flaked almonds on top for some healthy fats."

7. Protein smoothie

Protein smoothie.
Protein smoothie. Rachel Hosie

I love making protein smoothies, and I change the flavors depending on what I'm craving. The base is always almond milk (but any milk works), a protein powder, and some frozen fruit. I also love adding nut butter when I want something more substantial. Frozen fruit makes the shakes really thick, but the trick is not adding too much liquid. Make sure you blend for long enough that it gets airy and smooth.

Smoothie combos to try:

  • 150ml (2/3 cup) almond milk, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 5g (2 tsp) cocoa powder, 100g (1/2 cup) frozen cherries

  • 150ml (2/3 cup) almond milk, 1 large frozen banana, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 20g (1 tbsp) peanut butter, sprinkle of cinnamon

  • 150ml (2/3 cup) almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 80g (1/2 cup) frozen strawberries, 100g (1/3 cup) Greek yogurt, 15g ( 1 2/3 tbsp) vanilla protein powder, drizzle of honey

Ludlam-Raine said: "I'm a big fan of smoothies and the addition of the fruit such as cherries will add not only antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals but fiber too. If people aren't keen on using a protein powder then make sure to use cow or soy milk which have a much higher protein content in comparison to nut milks. You could also add a handful of oats for an energy boosting smoothie."

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