15 High Protein Vegan Snacks
A common misconception about eating a plant based or vegan diet is that you can’t get enough protein. That is just not the case! The average person only needs .36 grams per pound or .8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Some quick math shows that the average inactive male will only need approximately only 56 grams per day, and only 46 grams for the average sedentary woman. However, as your athletic activity increases, so do your protein requirements. Serious athletes may need as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. When protein consumption goals are put into perspective in this way, it’s clear just how easy it is to obtain enough protein on a plant based vegan diet, no matter what your activity level or health goals.
Why do we need protein?
Your body uses protein to repair and maintain cells, including muscle, and once fat stores are depleted, your body will also use protein as an energy source. Higher protein vegan diets have many benefits including more fiber (animal protein contains none), lower risk of cardiovascular disease and some types of cancers, and higher protein helps with weight management. Animal proteins come “pre-packaged” with health inhibiting compounds like cholesterol and saturated fat, whereas plant-based protein does not contain cholesterol and saturated fats. The only plant-based sources of saturated fat are coconut, coconut oil and palm oil, which contain little to no protein, depending on the form, so they are not valid in discussion of a high protein vegan diet.
The following gives 15 high protein vegan snack ideas. Ten of these snacks are packaged items that can be found in most grocery stores, and five ideas come from higher protein whole food sources, either eaten alone or made into easy snacks.
Whole Food Plant Protein
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Protein: 4 grams per 1/4 cup
Whether you roast your own and add spices or grab a bag at the store, pumpkin seeds (or any other seed) are a quick and convenient snack that can easily be enjoyed on the go.
- Sprouted Nut Butter Toast
Protein: 13 grams
Whether you choose peanut butter, almond butter, or even more “exotic” nut butters like cashew or pecan, you’ll get about the same amount of protein per 2 tablespoon serving (8 grams). Choosing almond butter has the added benefit of calcium. Sprinkling seeds like chia, hemp, or flax atop your toast adds even more protein (about 2 grams per ½ tablespoon), as well as omega fatty acids. Making it a sandwich by adding another slice of sprouted bread adds about 5 grams per slice, depending on brand, and fruit can add another gram or so of protein and extra nutrition like vitamin c, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. A sandwich with peanut butter, 3 seed blend, and a small banana has about 21 grams of protein.
- Raw Cookie Dough
Protein: 14 grams per ½ cup serving
Raw cookie dough is simple to make using a food processor, blender, or stick blender. Drain a can of chickpeas and add the beans to your blender with about 1 tbsp of maple syrup, ½ tsp of vanilla extract, 2 medjool dates, and 2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk to get things going. You can even add a tablespoon of nut butter if you choose (adding even more protein than listed!) Stir in your favorite vegan chocolate chips and eat with a big spoon! This makes 2 servings, so if you eat the entire thing, you get over 25 grams of protein!
Protein: 11 grams per ½ cup serving made with soy milk
Oats are a true powerhouse of vegan protein and fiber and are known for their ability to help lower cholesterol. Mixing your oatmeal with soy milk instead of water adds extra protein, as do toppings like nut butter, chia, hemp or flax seeds, and fruit. For another punch of protein, add a scoop of your favorite vegan protein powder!
- Mixed Nuts
Protein: 7 grams per ¼ cup serving
Again, this is a quick go-to protein packed snack that you can mix yourself based on your preferences or allergies or grab a container of mixed nuts at the store.
Prepackaged Plant Protein
- Misfits Protein Bar
Protein: 15 grams per bar
Protein bars are great for on-the-go protein and quick calories. Misfits is new on the protein bar scene but does not disappoint. Each bar contains no added sugar, is coated with luxurious white or dark chocolate, and filled with something tasty. Misfits currently come in 10 flavors – Chocolate Caramel, Dark Chocolate Brownie, White Chocolate Salted Peanut, Chocolate Peanut, Chocolate Hazelnut, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Speculoos, Dark Chocolate Gingerbread, White Chocolate Cookies and Cream, and Chocolate Banoffee.
- Second Nature Wholesome Medley Trail Mix
Protein: 4 grams per 1 oz (3 tbsp), or 5 grams per individual package
Again, this is an excellent grab and go option. This trail mix comes in individual packets or a large bag, and I’ve found it at gas stations as well as grocery stores. It does have some added sugar, but it is a much healthier and more protein packed option than some of the other things you’d find at a gas station like chips and candy bars.
- Louisville Vegan Jerky
Protein: 5-7 grams per 1 oz. serving
Yet another grab and go protein packed snack, Louisville Vegan Jerky, once a fringe vegan favorite, is finding its way into mainstream stores. Depending on your flavor choice, protein content will vary between 5-7 grams, or 15-21 grams per bag. Flavors include Perfect Pepperoni, Smoky Carolina BBQ, Maple Bacon, Buffalo Dill, as well as other small batch, limited edition flavors like Sesame Gochujang, that can be found on their website.
- Go Go Squeeze Pudding
Protein: 5 grams per pouch
These little almond milk based pudding pouches have 5 grams per tiny pouch. Whether you are a chocolate or vanilla person (or neither!), they have you covered, with 4 flavors – chocolate, vanilla, cocoa hazelnut, and banana.
- Evolve Protein Shake
Protein: 20 grams per shake
These already mixed shakes come in tetra pack containers that are great for travel, as well as wonderful to keep in a gym bag for a quick post workout shake if you’re on the go and can’t go home to mix up your shake with powder. These shakes come in four flavors – double chocolate, vanilla, berry medley, and café mocha.
- Clif Bar Minis
Protein: 4-5 grams per bar
These adorable little bars pack a protein punch, that can easily be multiplied if you eat more than one, which is easily achieved considering the small size. The peanut butter flavor is the only flavor with 5 grams of protein per bar, but with only 1 gram less per bar, the other, just as delicious, flavors are still excellent grab and go protein.
Protein: 3-6 grams per bar
Another small in stature, but large in vegan protein whole foods based bar. Larabars come in over 30 flavors, so you are bound to find something tasty. The peanut based bars are the more protein heavy bars, but every flavor contains at least 3 grams of protein, and is small enough to enjoy a second bar.
- Biena Chickpea Snacks
Protein: 5-6 grams per 1 ounce serving (about 50 chickpeas)
These crunchy little gems can be found everywhere in the following vegan friendly flavors: Habanero, Barbeque, Salt and Pepper, Rockin Ranch, and Lil Bit of Everything. Excellent for car snacking on the go, or munching on the couch watching Netflix.
- Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookies
Protein: 16 grams per cookie
Lenny & Larry’s have been the benchmark for plant-based vegan protein cookies for some time. Though they have quite a bit of added sugar, they can be found pretty much everywhere, and are a nice little protein treat. No matter what you like, there’s a cookie for you: Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, White Chocolate Macadamia, Chocolate Donut, Lemon Poppyseed, Apple Pie, Salted Caramel, Choc-o-Mint, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter, and Birthday Cake, and Seasonal Flavors include Peppermint Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice.
- Silk Non-Dairy Yogurt – Almond Milk & Soy Milk
Protein: 5 grams per cup (almond milk) 6 grams per cup (soy milk)
There is an abundance of non-dairy yogurt, most with a lot of added sugar, but all creamy and tasty, and much healthier than their dairy counterparts. The list of Silk’s soy and almond milk flavors is quite long, but includes the standard vanilla, chocolate, peach, strawberry, strawberry banana, and more!
Getting all the protein your body requires on a vegan or plant-based diet is not only easy, but tasty as well. Reaching for one of these 15 high protein vegan snacks will help you easily hit your daily protein goal.