I’ve been battling allergies this week, and extra doses of medicine have really drained my energy.

To compensate, I’ve been eating protein-packed snacks to boost my energy in the afternoon.

Sugar and caffeine can provide a quick burst of energy, but the crash that follows does little to help me stay focused at work, especially when I’m not feeling 100 percent.

Recent studies have shown that protein-rich foods help keep the brain alert. Protein-packed foods also help you feel full longer, a bonus in my book, especially when the protein comes in the form of these tasty treats below.

If you need an energy boost in the afternoon, give one of these snacks a try. And feel free to experiment with the spice blend on the chickpeas or the fruit and nut combinations in the trail mix.

Spiced chickpeas


  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F.
  2. Blot chickpeas dry and toss in a bowl with oil, cumin, marjoram, allspice and salt. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake, stirring once or twice, until browned and crunchy, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Let cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.

Cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Makes: 4 servings, about ¼ cup each

Nutrition per serving: 103 calories; 5 g fat (0 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 5 g fiber; 303 mg sodium; 2 mg potassium.

Fruit & nut trail mix


  • ½ ounce whole shelled (unpeeled) almonds
  • ¼ ounce unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • ¼ ounce dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pitted dates
  • 1½ teaspoons semi-sweet chocolate chips


Combine almonds, peanuts, cranberries, dates and chocolate chips in a small bowl and mix.

Makes: 2 servings

Nutrition per serving: 102 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 29 mg sodium; 69 mg potassium.

— Recipes adapted from Eating Well magazine

Contact M. Clare Haefner at chaefner@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7551.

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