Your bags are packed and the car is all gassed up. You’ve spent hours planning your route and curating the perfect playlist. Ahhh – to feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair as you head towards adventure. At last, you’re ready to set out on the open road. Well… you’re almost ready. We are forgetting one very important ingredient for a happy road trip, because as we all know, a road trip just isn’t a road trip without good snacks.
Typical road trip snacks (ie. chips and candy) can be found at any old convenience store but if you want to stay healthy on the road, a little planning and preparation will make your life a whole lot easier. Healthy food options are popping up in more and more places but they can still be hard to come by. To avoid becoming hangry (aka angry from extreme hunger), plan your healthy road trip snacks before you go! That way, you can feel good on the road and focus on your adventure.
This summer, Jay and I have spent a lot of time driving as we road trip from Toronto, ON to Tofino, BC (you can read more about our road trip adventures here). Since I am a selective eater (no gluten, no dairy) and try my best to minimize processed foods and sugars, finding food on the road isn’t always easy. That’s why I keep plenty of goodies stocked to keep me happy and full while we travel. The following is a list of my favorite healthy road trip snacks. Some require preparation beforehand and others are more the grab and go type. One thing is for sure, they are all healthy, easy and delicious – no cutlery required!
1. Trail Mix
I love a good trail mix because it’s a snack filled with healthy fats that will keep you full and satisfied. My favorite mixes have almonds, walnuts, deshelled sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. You can buy trail mixes premade or head to your local bulk foods store and create your own. For the healthiest options, try to focus on mixes that have raw, unsalted nuts, no added sugar and are peanut free.
2. Green Apples and Nut Butter
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Green apples are high in inulin, a fiber that is great for gut health. Try pre-slicing green apples before you go so you can dip them in your favorite nut butters, like cashew butter or almond butter. To keep the apple slices from browning, drizzle a touch of lemon juice over the apple slices. This will keep them looking and tasting great all day long.
3. Rice Crackers and Guacamole
My favorite gluten free crackers are rice crackers but if gluten isn’t a problem for you, ancient grain crackers can be great here as well. Check out this Fresh Zesty Guacamole Recipe for a fresh tasting dip that’s great on the road. Try storing the dip in air tight mason jars to avoid browning while you travel.
4. Air Popped Popcorn with Coconut Oil
For a delicious cost-effective treat, you can buy organic popcorn kernels and use your stove and a saucepan to make your own fresh popcorn. If you have an air pop popcorn maker, even better! Once the kernels are popped and cooled, try drizzling melted coconut oil over them and add a touch of sea salt for the perfect salty treat.
Larabars are a brand of energy bars that I absolutely love, mostly because they have simple ingredients and taste great. The bars are date based and come in a few different flavors. My personal favorites are cashew and coconut. A perfect healthy snack to satisfy any sweet tooth, these bars are pretty widely available which makes for an easy quick grab while you’re on the road. If your interested, you can find out more here.
6. Vegetable Sticks and Hummus
I could never get through a list of healthy road trip snacks without including fresh veggies. Pre-slice cucumbers, carrots, and broccoli for a great healthy, fresh tasting on the road snack. I love dipping the veggies in hummus. This chickpea based dip is packed full of protein and sure to satisfy your hunger. Make your own hummus or find it at your local supermarket.
7. Roasted Chickpeas
If you haven’t had enough chickpeas from the hummus, these salty little gems can be found at most bulk food stores. They have a perfect crunch and are great for a light, quick grab snack on the go. Check out The Good Bean or make your own for a healthy snack packed full of fibrous goodness.
8. Dried Apricots
Growing up, I was a pretty big fan of fuzzy peaches (yes, the candy). If you haven’t had dried apricots before, they taste like fuzzy peaches, only better. They are the perfect candy substitute when you are craving something sweet and chewy. The best part, they are dried fruit so they are filled with natural goodness, no added sugar necessary!
9. Fresh fruit
Of course, any self-proclaimed healthy eater can’t hit the road without a good supply of fresh fruit. I love oranges, cherries, peaches, pineapple, and any type of berry for easy snacking on the go. Depending on where you are headed, there may be fresh fruit stands lining the roads (in BC, peaches, cherries and blueberries are everywhere). Check before you go! Stopping at fruit stands gets you freshly picked goodies and lets you support local farmers. It’s a win-win!
10. Blueberry Muffins
If you really want to treat yourself when preparing your healthy road trip snacks, prebake these blueberry muffins (find the recipe here). They are gluten free, vegan (dairy and egg free), use coconut sugar and are completely delicious. I have taste tested this recipe on non-gluten free friends and it gets glowing reviews every time!
11. Dark Chocolate Almonds Bark
I love chocolate. When I started eating dairy free, I thought I would have to give it up (devastation sets in) but it turns out that most chocolates with greater than 70% cocoa content don’t contain any dairy (insert happy dance). If your feeling like a special treat, you can make your own dark chocolate almond bark. To do this, take a piece of wax paper and spread chopped almonds evenly over the wax paper. Next, melt 70% baker’s chocolate on your stovetop, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Once the dark chocolate is melted, pour this over the chopped almonds and let cool. Once your creation has finished cooling, you can enjoy your very own dairy free dark chocolate almond bark, easy as that.
12. Coconut Water
While this isn’t technically a snack, I couldn’t make a list of road trip goodies without including coconut water. This thirst quenching drink is full of electrolytes to keep you replenished and feeling good. Try Buddha Brands – I always have a can or two on hand.
So there you have it! A list of healthy road trip snack ideas to make/grab before your next adventure strikes. What are your favorite healthy road trip snacks? I would love to hear your ideas!