5 Recipes Ready for the Road and Other Travel Snack Ideas
Packing your own food is a healthy, wallet-friendly way to travel. When thinking about travel food, try to avoid items that could be squished and ruined. When traveling by plane, or if your car is so packed no cooler will fit, stick to snacks that don’t need to be kept cool.
A large variety of snacks and sandwiches are highly portable. Make sure you pick a sturdy bread for your sandwiches, particularly if you plan on using a mayonnaise or cream cheese spread. This way, it is less likely the bread will become saturated before you have a chance to eat it — another option is to use a bagel. Peanut butter and other nut butters do not have this problem and are perfect on sandwiches, bagels, and in wraps. If you don’t want it in full meal size, make peanut butter graham cracker sandwiches, which will have just a hint of sweetness too.
If you have access to a cooler, you can pack a container of hummus to eat with crackers or on cut up vegetables. The cooler could also hold cut up fruits, like strawberries or apple slices. Traveling with a whole apple is more difficult, unless you don’t mind the core hanging around until you have access to a trash can or are planning on consuming it right before making a pit stop. The same goes for bananas — and your fellow travelers may be less happy about hanging out with you and the smelly banana peel.
Always plan ahead so you have time to bake muffins, cut up vegetables, or prepare your sandwiches before you leave. With that in mind, here are five recipes to make and take on the road.
1. Sugar and Spice Nuts
Satisfying any sweet or savory cravings you’ll encounter during a long day of traveling are Food & Wine‘s spicy and sweet mixed nuts. Make them the night before you travel, packing the mix in a plastic bag or tupperware container. The recipe only uses cashews and almonds, but you could add pecans, peanuts, or any other type of nut you want.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chile powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 large egg white
- 2 cups raw cashews (9 ounces)
- 2 cups raw almonds (9 ounces)
Directions: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the salt, chile powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. In a large bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Add the cashews, almonds and spiced sugar and toss. Spread out the nuts on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring once, until browned. Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally.
2. Chocolate Chip Brownie Energy Bars
Traveling is tiring at times, so you’ll want to refuel with GI 365‘s chocolate chip brownie flavored energy bars. They’ll kick any chocolate craving to the curb and are relatively crumb-free.
- 3 cups walnuts, or 1½ cups walnuts, and 1½ cups almonds
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
Directions: Place the walnuts and cocoa powder in a food processor and process until combined but some bigger pieces remain. Cut the dates into quarters lengthwise, and then cut the strips in half crosswise.
Scatter the dates over the top of the walnut mixture, add the sea salt, vanilla, and pulse to combine. When the dates are combined, the energy bars will start to come together. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the bars come together as a slightly sticky dough.
Line a 7 x 11 pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper and press the dough in by hand. I used a small cutting board to press down over the top of the bars to create a smoother surface. Lift the bars out of the pan, this is easier with parchment paper. For plastic wrap, it’s easier to lift out of the pan with two people, that way you can hold all four corners as you lift it out. Cut the bars into the size you would like. They can be divided into 16 small bars for snacks or 8 bars for a bigger snack.
3. Turkey Wrap
Wraps are a portable, healthy, and filling option for traveling. They are easy to eat, and when — like Relish‘s — they don’t have dressing or heavy spreads, the wrap won’t become soggy while you travel.
- 4 ounces sliced deli turkey
- 2 (1-ounce) slices white Cheddar cheese
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 2 whole-wheat sandwich wraps
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Broccoli sprouts or romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
Directions: Place turkey, cheese and avocado slices on wraps. Sprinkle cranberries and sprouts/lettuce on top. Tightly roll up wraps. To serve, cut in half and arrange on plate.
4. Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
In its cooked form, oatmeal certainly is not a travel friendly food. That changes though when it is baked, like in this muffin-sized snack from Emily Bites. You can add raisins, dried cranberries, or cinnamon chips to the recipe if you desire.
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup skim milk
- ⅔ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup peeled chopped fresh apples
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly mist 12 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray. Combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg white, egg, applesauce, milk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until blended together. Fold in the chopped apples.
Spoon the oatmeal mixture evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake uncovered for 18 to 22 minutes or until oatmeal is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Hazelnut Mocha Trail Mix
When you’re light on space, but need a filling food, make and pack a trail mix for your travels. The possibilities are endless, and one energizing take on the snack is The Wannabe Chef‘s which uses chocolate covered coffee beans.
- ¾ cup hazelnuts
- ¾ cup roasted almonds
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chocolate covered coffee beans
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
Directions: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Store in tupperware or bag for travel purposes.
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