Try these protein-packed snacks that are totally nut-free

Try these protein-packed snacks that are totally nut-free

If you’re allergic to nuts, you’re all too familiar with the struggle of finding protein-rich snacks to munch on between meals that’re nut-free.

“[Protein] provides us with amino acids, and [provides] our body and our muscles with nourishment,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D. and wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. “From a snacking perspective though, protein helps to fill you up,” she says.

So what should nut allergy-conscious people turn to come snack time? Here are some expert-approved, protein-packed snacks that won’t have you breaking out in hives.

Sunflower/Pumpkin Seeds

Brooke Alpert, R.D., founder of nutrition consulting company B Nutritious, recommends sunflower or pumpkin seeds as a nut-free alternative. “[Seeds] are a great heart-healthy, brain-healthy, everything-healthy snack that also has protein,” she says.

You can also consider sunflower butter as peanut butter substitute, Kirkpatrick says.

“You can take [sunflower butter] and really open up your world of adding in protein,” she says.


Alex Caspero, R.D., founder of the healthy recipe resource Delish Knowledge, says she’s a huge fan of edamame as a snack.

Just one cup of edamame racks up 17 grams of protein for less than 200 calories.

“I will often recommend my clients keep a package of frozen edamame in the shell in the freezer at work,” Caspero says. “Yes, it’s high in protein, but it’s also fairly high in fiber. When I think about being satisfied and full, protein is important but so is fiber.”

Related: Need a protein punch? Try yellow peas


Kristin Reisinger, R.D., founder of New Jersey fitness and nutrition studio IronPlate Studios, is a big fan of lentils. Her go-to recipe? Crispy lentil energy bites.

She mixes cooked lentils with additions like shredded coconut, sea salt, or a bit of honey. Then, they’re rolled into balls and baked at 375 F for about 15 minutes. “Beans, when combined with other types of food, can give you a complete amino acid profile and they are super-rich in protein,” she says.

Photo Credit: 5PH/; pro ust/

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