Easy Road Trip Snacks
Healthy and Delicious
Keeping it Cold
To keep our road trip snacks cold on our first few road trips, I used a small, cheap ice chest from Walmart. I filled it with drinks, and cut up fruits and vegetables, and it always worked great for the first day or two. Then, the ice would be all melted, and there would be uneaten produce swimming around in the melted ice, all turned to mush.
Frozen water bottles work great, but only for a few days, unless you are staying in motels with mini fridges in the room to freeze more water bottles after they melt. On the next few road trips, I said "forget it," and didn't try to keep anything cold.
Now I am thinking about trying one of those nifty 12 volt coolers you can use in your car to keep your road trip snacks in, plugged into your cigarette lighter, a little mini fridge. There are some small ones under a hundred dollars that seem worth checking out. I will do a review after I try one out.
Tried and True Road Trip Snacks
I know we will want to eat junk from the gas station convenience stores, and local delights which involve substantial quantities of fat and sugar, so I bring healthy road trip snacks to eat in the car to help balance that out, and I stock up before I get too tired to care. Here are some items I usually bring that work well.
fresh fruit (apples are not too messy)
tuna in sealed bag packaging
Here are some recipes for a few of the things on our Tried and True Road Trip Snacks list that can get a little pricey if you buy them at the store.
Enter “Chickpea Crunchies” into a search engine, and quite a few recipes will come up. My son and I have made these many times. You can be creative with these and season them with whatever you like. Here is the basic recipe.
1-2 cans of chickpeas, or as many chickpeas as you can fit on the cookie sheets you have available. The chickpeas need to be laid out in a single layer. They are tasty and will disappear fast, so make as much as you can.
Oil or nonstick spray. Most people use olive oil. I have used that, and sometimes peanut or coconut oil.
Salt, seasoning salt, soy sauce, or teriyaki sauce. When we use salt, I like to use sea salt, or Himalayan salt.
Dried crushed herbs, red pepper flakes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse chickpeas, and spread out on cookie sheets. Drizzle with oil, or spray with nonstick spray. Then, drizzle with soy or teriyaki sauce, or salt to taste. Add seasoning and/or pepper as desired. Bake uncovered for about an hour, shaking every ten minutes or so, until they are as crispy as you like.
Two cups pureed fruit.
Sweetener such as honey, sugar, or artificial sweetener.
Seasonings such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or coconut or vanilla extract.
Teaspoon of lemon juice.
Preheat your over to 150 degrees, or just as low as you can. After pureeing fruit in blender an adding sweetener, lemon juice, and seasonings to taste, Lay saran wrap on a 11 by 17 baking pan or a cookie sheet and spread the puree out about a quarter of an inch thick. Bake in the oven for several hours with the door slightly ajar, until it feels firm and tacky. Then, let it cool and roll it up.
I had a food dehydrator at one time, and this recipe worked well. By the way, plain, thinly sliced watermelon dehydrated becomes chewy, sweet, and more delicious than candy.
If you are one to use caffeine to stay awake, I recommend getting a thermos and keeping it full of coffee in case you can't find any on the road. I also keep a couple of “emergency” energy drinks in the car. I don't like to drink those all the time, but I do find them helpful on a road trip, when I have to stay awake during a long drive and coffee is not available. My favorite is Rock Star sugar free Berry flavor.
Healthy Fast Food
We go to
In and Out
a lot, when we want fast food. I once took a health class for kids, in college, and a nutritionist came to guest lecture the class. He told us if you are going to eat fast food, go to In and Out, because it's fresh, real food that they prepare daily and is not as processed and full of chemicals as are other fast food places. We also like
El Pollo Loco
because it is real food, and
for the same reason. Chipotle has locations nationwide, but In and Out and El Pollo Loco can only be found in the west, unfortunately.
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