I’d like to switch my diet to a healthier one, but am running into a problem. Many of the articles and suggested menus with recipes and snacks include NUTS in most of the breakfasts and almost all of the snack options for protein. I’m allergic to nuts, so it’s discouraging that it’s so difficult to find options that I can actually eat. Do you have any suggestions for protein-rich snacks that aren’t nuts? – Blair B.
Absolutely! Snack proteins can be the same as your entrée choice, just smaller. You can always take your favorite meal and keep a half serving for a leftover snack. If reheated mini meals aren’t for you, consider portable options that don’t require a microwave. Plant options include soynuts, edamame, sunflower seeds, pepitas, bean salad and hummus. Animal-based snack options include hard-cooked eggs, jerky, yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese and canned tuna.
To keep it simple choose a protein and combine it with a serving of fruit, starch or vegetable for a satisfying snack. Classics include: cheese + apple; hummus + carrots; and tuna + crackers. Or try combining more than one side in smaller amounts. Examples: 1) top Greek yogurt with berries and a nut-free granola that you’ve added hemp or chia seeds to; 2) scoop up bean salsa and guacamole with baked pita chips; 3) for trail mix, combine soynuts and pepitas with dried cranberries, circle or square-shaped cereal and shredded coconut.
You can swap in soy ‘nut’ butter or sunflower seed butter in any recipe calling for almond or peanut butter. Either tastes great spread on a small wheat tortilla and wrapped around a banana. Try stuffing a handful of dates with some…Hand wipes or napkin required.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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