If you’re like me, you’re constantly on-the-go! Portable protein foods can seem like a challenge when you think of your traditional protein food options, however with a little planning you’ll be on the road to energizing power protein foods!
Think of high-fiber, high-protein carbohydrates, like nuts and seeds. Dark, leafy greens are also a good source of protein as well.
Why do we need protein, you might ask? Protein is essential for the following functions:
- Muscle and tissue repair
- Bacterial-fighting antibodies
- Electrolyte balance
- Nutrient metabolism, transport and storage
- Regulation of hormones
Nutrition Tip: Try not to overload on protein, because often these foods are high in fat and, sometimes, cholesterol. Balance is everything!
If you find yourself running low on protein fuel, here is a list of portable foods and ingredients that will give you that much needed boost:
- Almonds, peanuts, soy nuts
- Greek yogurt (or used in a smoothie!)
- Brown rice cakes
- Kale chips
- Peanut butter bars
- Hard-boiled egg
- Low-fat String Cheese
- Cottage cheese & fruit cups
- Hummus & baby carrots
- Low-fat milk box
- Spicy roasted chickpeas
Homemade Energy Bars
- 1 cup lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup dried blueberries
- 6 dried apricots, diced
- 3 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips
- 5 tablespoons brown rice syrup or light corn syrup
Prep Time: 15 mins | Ready In: 1 1/4 hours | Servings: 12 bars
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
- Combine peanuts, rice cereal, oats, pumpkin (or sunflower) seeds, blueberries, apricots and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Drizzle with syrup and gently stir until thoroughly combined. Spread in the prepared baking pan. Coat another piece of foil with cooking spray and place on the bar mixture, sprayed-side down. Place another pan on top and press firmly to compress the mixture. (Pressing before baking helps the bars hold together after baking.) Remove top pan and foil.
- Bake until just beginning to turn golden at the edges, 20 to 24 minutes (metal pan) or 30 to 35 minutes (glass pan). Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Carefully lift the baked square out of the pan by holding the edges of the foil and place on a cutting board, leaving the foil underneath. Cut in half, and then cut each half crosswise into 6 bars. Let cool completely before lifting the bars off the foil.
Make Ahead Tip: Store airtight between sheets of wax paper for up to 1 week. Or individually wrap in plastic and freeze.
Nutrition Information (per bar):
167 Calories | 9g Fat | 2g Sat | 4g Mono | 0mg Cholesterol | 19g Carbohydrates | 5g Protein | 2g Fiber | 28mg Sodium | 175mg Potassium
Recipe source: Eatingwell.com