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Nature’s Perfect Muscle Snack

Hard-boiled eggs are nature’s perfect muscle-building snack. Here’s how to make ones that don’t suck.

You better believe there’s a right way and a wrong way to hardboil an egg. I’m reminded of the wrong way every time I eat one that I didn’t make.

Rubbery outside. Bluish-gray inside. Absolutely disgusting.

Which is a shame because as far as I’m concerned, eggs are nature’s perfect food.

Loaded with protein, high-quality fat, and nutrients with extra-long names (try phosphatidlycholine), hardboiled eggs are the perfect muscle-building snack when you’re feeling lazy. Have two or three with some baby carrots, salami, berries, and raw nuts and you’ve got yourself a decent meal.

But why do most hardboiled eggs suck? Two reasons.

First, most guys use sub-par eggs from sad little chickens. (I’m guessing about the sad part.) That’s why you should leave the fluorescent white 99-cents-per-dozen eggs alone.

A dozen high-quality eggs should cost between four and six bucks, which, if you shop with my girlfriend, will result in an eye-roll that means, “I can’t believe you’re actually gonna spend 6 dollars on eggs.” (Believe it, babe.)

Personally, I look for free-range, pasture-raised eggs. Bonus points if there’s a smiling chicken on the front of the package.

Second, most guys boil their eggs for way too long, leading to rubbery outsides and gray insides.

You want your eggs to be soft yet firm with a nice yellowish-orange yolk.

The perfect hard-boiled egg.

Seriously, don’t burn yourself.

Your Turn

Hardboiled eggs are one of our favorite muscle-building snacks, hands down. What are yours? Got anything that take a few minutes to throw together and tastes awesome? Let us know below. We’ll randomly pick one comment to win a free copy of our
Gourmet Nutrition cookbook.


53 Responses to Nature’s Perfect Muscle Snack

  1. David says:

    1/2 cup Cottage cheese
    1/4 cup raisins
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    mix together
    ba da bing, ba da bang!

  2. Chad F says:

    Apple slices dipped in all natural peanut butter is awesome.

  3. gabu32 says:

    Hardboiled egg yolks rules!

  4. Mark Shields says:

    Personally I find if you put all eggs into water, cover and put on high. Bring to boil. Once boiling, turn off heat, keep lid on and let sit for 10 mins. Perfect ;) and no burning.

    I posted this on the forums, but I’ll post it here, as it packs a whollop of good fats, enzymes, fiber, omega-3’s, and some protein.

    I’ll even rename them Brawny Balls (hmmm)
    depending upon size and ingredients used can be 150-200 calories per one

    ½ cup raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds

    ¼ cup coconut, unsweetened (not needed however)

    2 tbsp. honey (this is the amount in original recipe – I usually don’t use any if cutting down on carbs)

    ½ cup nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut, etc.) (usually use peanut)

    dash of sea salt, if desired

    ¼ c flax seeds

    ½ cup dried cranberries, apricots, etc. (I usually use ¼ cup)

    1 scoop chocolate protein powder

    I also typically add some walnuts (1/4 c or so)

    In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients, except the honey, nut butter, and salt. Pulse until well blended.

    Add honey, nut butter, and salt. Blend until mixture forms a ball.
    Shape into bite size or golf ball size and roll in sesame seeds if

    • Nate Green says:

      Man, I’m not sure what it is but I’ve tried a handful of different methods and I still prefer the “gently lower the eggs into boiling water” maneuver. It just leads to better-tasting eggs in my opinion.  

      Then again, whatever works is whatever works. :)

  5. James Robinson says:

    Two problems: It’s been a long time since anyone has accused me of being a genius, you need to warn me about burning myself earlier! i.e. Don’t burn yourself in Step 3 (then remake Step 2 as Step 3) and don’t put the salt in the water until it’s boiling if you have stainless steel pans (you’ll regret the look of the bottom of the pan if you do…)
    Love GN/PN and S2B!

  6. Cem Mangir says:

    “Elvis Bagel”

    Perfect snack after a longer, more intense workout, and/or if you need to make up a calorie deficit for the day (approximately 550-700 calories, depending on the bagel, and amount/type of PB, and the amount of banana used – can halve the sandwich and save the other half for later, depending on your calorie needs)

    What you’ll need:
    1 sprouted wheat bagel (these have 9-13g protein/bagel, but you can substitute whatever kind floats your boat)
    2 tbsp peanut butter
    1 banana (medium to large)

    Step 1: Slice the bagel in half (watch your fingers!)
    Step 2: Get a large spoon, dunk it into a jar of your favorite PB, and spread liberally on both halves of the bagel
    Step 3: Slice the banana (make sure you peel it first, genius) into 1/2 to 1-inch slices
    Step 4: Put the slices of banana on one half of the bagel, complete the bagel sandwich
    Step 5: Enjoy!

  7. Matt Pilsner says:

    I believe this is an Amish trick (I’m from Lancaster, PA), but I always poke a tiny hole in the eggs with an egg punch ( and I add a splash of vinegar to the water.  If you hate the idea of using vinegar, I’ve found that a teaspoon of baking soda works just as well.  The sole reason for this is to change the Ph of the water, which apparently reduces adhesion of the shell to the egg, and they become super easy to peel.  I also add ice into the cooling period, which supposedly helps shrink the egg just enough to help with peeling as well.  Other than that I follow the same recipe.

    • Nate Green says:

      Something interesting about peeling: Ever since I’ve switched to this method I never have trouble peeling the eggs. They shells come off ridiculously easy. Not sure if it’s the quality of the eggs, the boiling strategy or both.

      Want a fun way to “peel” them? Check out Tim Ferriss:

  8. Conor says:

    Cool tips Nate…think I’m going to try this later today.

  9. Tom says:

    5 tbsp otmeal
    1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts with chopped almonds
    1/4 dried fruit
    3 tbsp chocolate protein

    mix together and pour hot water and mix again

  10. Jeremy Partl says:

    I ordered a thing called the egg genie on amazon a while back. It is the best 20 dollars I have spent in a long time. Whether you like hard boiled, soft boiled, medium boiled, poached, it can do it. Plus, the ability to cook up to 7 eggs at a time is really versatile.

    I’ve got two snacks I’d like to share

    1) Trail Mix Cereal

    1/4 cup nuts
    2 T coconut oil

    Combine these and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes until coconut oil begins to harden nuts.

    Then pour 1/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk on top and enjoy like the breakfast cereal you ate as a kid. 

    For additional flavor you can add berries and or/protein powder.

    I like to combine this with hard boiled eggs, opening them up and eating the yolk on its own, then filling the egg whites with the cereal mixture and stuffing my face.

    2) Peanut butter and jelly “hummus”

    1 can garbanzo beans
    1/2 cup nut butter
    1 cup or more berries

    Combine in a food processor and mix. Eat with veggies, or for more protein, hardboiled eggs.

  11. Brandon Cook says:

    Hardboiled eggs are the best! I get my eggs from a farm down the road… they are free-range, grass fed, and potentially fertile (since there’s a rooster running around in the pen.) They run me about $4.50 a dozen, which I don’t think is bad at all considering they are about the best protein you can get.

    Also, I’m not a big “As seen on TV” type of guy… still I bought this thing called the EGG GENIE and it freakin’ rocks. I love that thing… makes perfect hardboiled, medium boiled or even soft boiled eggs. Google it…..

    • We had something like that when I was a kid. Actually it was probably the same product, just an older version. I think I’ll be hitting Walmart tomorrow to pick one up. It was a pretty good deal at the time.

  12. NickVukorepa says:

    I usually enjoy some devilled eggs, a handful of veggies, and some beef jerky when I’m   on the run and need some extra fuel to keep me going.

    This reminds me of the video Tim Ferriss did on peeling hard boiled eggs without actually peeling them. I feel that this would really supplement this post. – link to video

  13. C Isaac Hill says:

    Almonds and cheese all the way!

  14. Kristoone says:

    Cool! thanks for tips. Perfect snack has to be 1/2 pot of greek yoghurt, maunca honey and chopped nuts mmmm :)

  15. Michael Parker says:

    The secret to all good egg recipes if to use fresh eggs. As soon as they get old and the air sac gets bigger it becomes impossible to have a good quality egg.

    Cooking eggs in cold water and bringing to the boil does make eggs with a  nicer consistency but I find they are almost impossible to de-shell.

    I prefer Nates method of dropping into hot water, but 9 minutes seems insane, I normally do mine for 6, are you cooking ostrich eggs or something? :)

  16. Ryan Canty says:

    Great tips, Nate!

    A suggestion for what to put on them? besides salt and pepper, thai chili sauce is great! 

    I love the spice of the sauce on top of some perfectly done, hard boiled egss? *fiyah* :)

  17. Aaron says:

    Post workout oatmeal:

    1/3 cup oatmeal
    1/4 cup craisins
    palm full of pecans
    1 serving vanilla protein powder
    1/2 tsp cinnamon


  18. Mikedrew99 says:

    200g cottage cheese
    2 table spoon peanut butter
    1Scoop cassien choc pb protein powder
    1 teaspoon flax seed
    1 table spoon chis seeds
    1 handfull of almonds
    a bit of water to let it blend properly
    Blend it
    I never get tired of.this snack. I often have it before bed.

  19. Cody says:

    Every Sunday I get 12-18 eggs ready for the week….love it

  20. James says:

    Greek yogurt with some chopped nuts or granola!

  21. Hey Nate, cool post. I’m loving your new digs! I usually pour some white vinegar into the pot along with salt — I find it makes peeling the shells easier. 

  22. I’m a fan of my protein pudding, although there’s a hefty amount of whey to be consumed in a small time period. Still, it’s quick and awesome with walnuts, bananas, flax seed, and any other similar food. “All natural” to boot. 

    • roper says:

      I’ve gone to a 20 minute boil. Takes longer but I’ve had no problems with peeling. And these are from my chickens by the way…

  23. Kim Dull says:

    Eggs as a snack are amazing, I prefer the soft-boiled variety. Follow the same instructions as above, but only boil the eggs for 6 minutes. 

  24. Cory says:

    I love eggs! We raise our own chickens, and give them organic chicken feed, along with piles of grass, which they come running for every time.

    This one takes a few minutes, but is worth it.

    First blend blend about 1/2 of oat meal, along with some chia or flax seeds if it is desired.
    Then add 3 eggs to the blender, along with a banana, and nut butter, which is just a homemade peanut butter with all different kinds of nuts, and olive and coconut oil.
    Blend everything about 30 seconds, and cook on the stove with coconut oil.  
    Do not overcook, it taste better a little fluffy.

  25. Sdannapfel says:

    Favourite muscle building snack has to be a potion of a previous bigger meal such as my home made organic meatballs – nothing like wolfing down those bad boys with some vege strips and relish mmm :) Cheers for the egg post Nate; the Tim Ferris peeling method is a bit if fun :)

  26. Paleothomas2011 says:

    I like a baby spinach salad with hard boiled eggs, avocado, and pink grapefruit. No dressing.

  27. Macmikefish says:

    Whey and oatmeal shake, very fast, very eazy

  28. Doctor Dan says:

    I like to make healthy versions of deviled eggs. After preparing and halfing the hard boiled eggs, I’ll remove the yolks and mix them with homemade guacamole or calorie-free alfredo. Adding just a couple tiny bits of bacon to the top of these deviled eggs is enough to take them to another level.

  29. Jjwu001 says:

    Gluten free german rye with nut butter and cottage cheese….a nightly ritual!  

  30. John says:

    1) Take a packet of boneless, skinless chicken breast. 
    2) Lay them out on a tray and sprinkle salt and some spices. 
    3) Flip them over and pour some salsa
    4) Broil in oven for 20 mins
    5) EAT

  31. Tøby Børup says:

    Here’s a, great, easy high-protein snack you can make.
    So, last night my body was telling me I really needed protein. I didn’t have time to go get a good quality burger, nor did I want to spend the money right then. When I got home, God inspired this one. I love it. I’m calling it,

    “Egg, cottage cheese, and stuff”:
    1: Fry an egg in pure olive oil and pepper it
    2: After flipping it, put a slice or two of tomato on it and salt it
    3: Put it on a bed of torn spinach on your plate (less messy going into your mouth than the whole leaves)
    4: Top it with cottage cheese
    5: Sprinkle with paprika or somethingYou can also find this on my page “Nutritious and Delicious.” 

  32. Pat Gendron says:

    Awesome taste great. Thanks scrawny to brawny!

  33. Skyler Hair says:

    1 cup Cottage Cheese
    1 cup Pineapple, chopped

    2 Almond Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
    2 cups Skim Milk


  34. Corey R Turnbull says:

    Buckwheat. I make it at night an have some as a side instead of rice or something, and keep some for breakfast when I eat it with a bit of cinnamon and milk. (With boils eggs separately of course.)

  35. Macknme92 says:

    Toasted whole wheat waffle
    1-2 tbsp organic almond butter
    1-2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

  36. david says:

    peanut butter spread on a whole wheat bagel, top with cottage cheese

  37. Mike says:

    Well you can’t beat low-fat cottage cheese with fresh pineapple.

  38. Jeff says:

    To help eliminate cracking of the eggs, allow the eggs to warm to room temperature before dropping them in the boiling water.

  39. SimonSorlin says:

    250 g quark-curd
    1 tbsp peanut butter
    1 tbsp chopped almonds
    2 tbsp raisins

    Mix the quark-curd with the peanut butter (add some water if it feels too thick)
    and sprinkle the almonds and the raisins on top.

    Done deal!

  40. kid-newport says:

    Steaming is still the easiest and “safest” i think (if all you have is a teaspoon!)
    just use that old steamer insert of a plate on a cup in a big pot. Once the steam is on – place 5-6 eggs for eggs-actly 10min (unless they are small eggs) and then dump in ice water for 15 min. Almost impossible to get “green” eggs for muscle breakfast. Impress your friends. Experiment with a minute more or less dep. on your elevation or egg size.

    • kidnewport says:

       dont forget to add 1 inch of water! – it also saves water without a full pot to boil!

  41. Meledrew says:

    Can o sardines. Heath section, wild caught, no sardiney taste…just meaty and protein-y!

  42. Kevo_d says:

    1 Bannana
    3/4 pint of unsweetedned soya milk
    2/3 table spoons of crunchy peanut butter
    Blend and enjoy :)

  43. Nate Green says:

    Thanks to everyone for commenting! The winner of the Gourmet Nutrition cookbook is Aaron and his post-workout oatmeal.  (Aaron, check your email.)

  44. Ray says:

    The easiest and best way to get a hard “boiled” egg is to BAKE it.  I learned this from Alton Brown and you can search youtube for his video on it.  In my oven (times will vary), I put cold eggs directly on racks then turn oven on to 325 and pull them out at 24 minute mark and dump in ice bath.  Easy, easy, easy process and peeling.

  45. Tim says:

    BBQ chicken breast! Not exactly quik, but it is packed with protein and super low in fat. Tastes awesome.