We've all been there: After a crazy day of back-to-back clients you realize that you haven't eaten since breakfast and you're ravenous! The first inclination is to grab anything that's ready to shove in your mouth in that instant — and that's usually something unhealthy, like a bag of chips, candy or fast food.
But if you prepare in advance for those busy days (or even just the lazy ones) you can make sure that you have healthy and protein-rich snacks on hand that will keep you satisfied until mealtime.
Starbucks-Inspired Bento Box: We all love those perfectly portioned snack boxes from Starbucks, but buying those on the regular can get expensive. Instead, make your own: You can find disposable bento-style boxes at the grocery story, Target or Walmart. Fill up a few for the week with apple slices, a hardboiled egg, a piece of cheese and a tablespoon of peanut or other nut butter.
Breakfast Sandwiches: If you're still on the Starbucks kick, or even if you just like breakfast for, well, anytime of the day, this prepped breakfast sandwich is great for on the go. You can make the eggs a couple of different ways. Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper (as if you were making scrambled eggs) and pour into greased muffin tins or a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until set. Once you have your eggs, set up the rest assembly-line style: whole grain English muffins, your favorite cheese, and breakfast meat if you like (go for turkey or chicken breakfast sausage for a lower fat alternative). Stack them up, then wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap and put in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When the need arises, simply pop one out and warm in the microwave for a delicious breakfast anytime of the day.
Chocolate Fruit Dip: For a sweet treat that packs a protein punch, mix a ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt with 1.5 Tbsp. honey (or more if you like it sweeter), 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. Place in small containers and store in the fridge. When it's snack time, use it as a dip for your favorite fruit — berries, bananas, apples, anything you like!
Crispy Chickpeas: If you have an air fryer, this is the recipe you need it for! And before you say you don't like garbanzo beans, wait until you try them crispy and “fried.” Drain a can of chickpea, then mix them with 1 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil and your favorite seasoning blend. Try garlic powder, onion powder, salt and paprika; or for a bit of smokiness try cumin, chili powder and a dash of cayenne; or any of those delicious seasoning blends from Trader Joe's. Toss them in the air fryer at 390 degrees for 12-15 minutes (shake the basket halfway through) then store in an airtight container for snacking later.
Frozen Grapes: Clearly the easiest and arguable the most delicious of them all, simply take your favorite grapes — red, green, cotton candy — rinse and then freeze. When you get hungry start snacking! Pairs deliciously with a handful of nuts and a slice of cheese.