Heading on a road-trip soon and need some decent snacks for the journey? Check out these interesting ideas for the ultimate snack-fest on the go!
The healthy snack
If you tend to be a bit of a boredom-eater on trips, then fruit and veggies are where it’s at. You can fill up sandwich bags with cauliflower florets, sticks of carrot, cucumber, celery, whatever you fancy munching on to pass the miles away. We recommend sticking with veggies that aren’t messy and avoid anything that bruises easily. We’d also skip any produce that could stain if you drop it (berries, cherry tomatoes, etc.)
Dippers are great for little ones and come in all kind of cute packaging. Try making these veggie-and-houmous jars, or guacamole snack jars. Easy to prepare the night before and sealed tight for the journey.
Bonus: The crunch of biting and chewing the carrot sticks will probably help keep you awake and alert
The juicy snack
When we’re on the road, we feel the F word: fatigue. While the United Kingdom is all the more accessible for its vast lengths of motorway, staying focused on the road for hours on end can be challenging. Is it worth the trip? Absolutely! Especially if you’re snacking healthy and keeping yourself alert enough to enjoy it all. There are other drinks than coffee and red bull to keep you alert and hydrated.
Try these in your power smoothie
- Nuts and nut butters. Nuts are little powerhouses of energy and a little bit goes a long way. They are high in calories because they are packed with protein and healthy fats. In addition to these nutritional sources of calories, nuts are also rich in micronutrients your body needs to utilise its energy sources. These include magnesium, and if you throw a couple Brazil nuts in the blender, selenium as well. You can overdo it on this mineral, so stick to only a few Brazil nuts per drink. Nut butters give you the same nutrients and a creamy texture but look for organic and all natural butters only.
- Bananas. The classic smoothie base is a great food for energy. Bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins, both of which are needed for energy. They are also good at stabilising your blood sugar levels to keep your energy steady throughout the day.
- Coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is a superfood for many reasons, including its ability to give you an energy boost. Like all oils, coconut oil is made up of fatty acids. Unlike most other oils that we use in food, coconut oil is made up mostly of medium chain fatty acids. These are smaller molecules that your body can use quickly and easily for immediate energy. While other fatty foods might make you feel sluggish, coconut oil gives you quick energy.
- Citrus fruits. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, which supports your immune system. A healthy, functioning immune system is critical to having enough energy. When it isn’t working right, you feel run down. Citrus fruits are also a good source of natural sugar that can give you a quick pick-me-up.
- Leafy greens. The darker the green, the better, but any leafy green will give you a burst of vitamins A, C, K as well as the B complex. Iron, folic acid, and fibre are also found in your greens. All of these nutrients work together to give you lasting energy.
- Greek yoghurt. Richer in protein than other types of yoghurt, Greek yoghurt gives you sustained energy. A good source of protein is essential if you want to feel energetic throughout the day. Without it, you will feel drained. As a bonus, yoghurt has plenty of probiotics, which support your immune system.
The comfort snack
If you can’t make it more than a few hours without something sweet, dessert bars are the perfect, devilishly good, road-food. Anything tray-baked or dry like brownies, cookies, blondies, etc. This Rocky Road recipe is a perfect treat suitable for all ages! It’s chocolate cookie dough (oh yeah! Bring on the chocolate!) with dry roasted almonds (crunch + salt) and sweet and gooey marshmallow creme. The trick is not to have anything runny and keep the oozy, sticky good stuff inside by coating the outside with dry ingredients.
Whether you fancy something chocolatey or fruity, take a look at these comforting bakes.
Raspberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars
Mom’s Homemade Oreos
The kid-friendly snack
Have you ever tried to eat a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and pickles? It’s hard enough to do when you can eat over a plate on a stable table – trying to eat it in a car means ending up holding two pieces of bread with a lap full of pickles and tomatoes. Now imagine you’re a kid with a short attention span and small hands, not easy. Pack them something easy to pop in their mouths without any help from mum and dad.
Chocolate bars and packets of crisps are easy but how will they make your children feel afterwards? If it’s sleepy and full, great! If it’s bouncing off the walls and full of sugar then you’re not in for a quiet ride.
- Cheese and crackers: Try some cheese sticks or the smaller easy open wax encased snack-sized cheeses (Baby Bel). Bread sticks and whole grain crackers pair well with cheese and fruit.
- Cut up apple or pears: dip optional depending on how young your children are. No peeling necessary.
- Peanut butter (or almond butter) and jam sandwiches: choose dense bread that won’t get soggy. Sandwich the jam between the nut butter – spread the nut butter on both pieces of bread and put the jelly inside so it’s less likely to ooze out.
- Cereal and granola bars: they come in lots of flavours and textures – just read the label, especially the grams of protein to make sure they’re not eating a chocolate bar in disguise.
The ingenious snack
The idea is pretty simple for these travel-jars. They can be in plastic containers or mason jars – it’s entirely up to you. You can fill them with chilli con carne, guacamole, cheddar and tortilla chips. Or meatball sauce, spaghetti and mozzarella. It’s all about that balance of filling food plus tasty treats.
It’s always best to put your wet ingredients in the bottom and your leaves on the top.
The first layer needs to be the dressing, sauce or wet ingredient. It’ll sit at the bottom during transit and shouldn’t disturb the other food, making it soggy. When it’s time to eat, you simply tip the container upside down, give it a shake and voila!
For the second layer, enter crisp ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, asparagus, celery, peppers, carrots into the jar. This level is important to “protect” the other ingredients from getting soggy. Best are vegetables that you can imagine pickled in vinegar.
Layer 3. This level is for ingredients that should not necessarily swim in dressing, but it’s also not a drama if they do get wet. Some ideas would be mushrooms, zucchini, beans, lentils, peas, corn, broccoli and so on.
The next layer should have more delicate ingredients such as hard boiled eggs and cheese (feta, gouda, cheddar etc.) can be added now.
When you’ve got enough layers of enjoyable foods, top with your salad leaves or garnish and seal them tight. Ready to pack up and go, just don’t forget a fork!
The full-for-longer snack
- Anything in a pita: Pick your favourite protein food and some not too slippery vegetables and pile them into a pita. Make sure you just create a pocket and don’t cut all the way through. The pocket and the texture of the pita hold the interior ingredients in nicely.
- Try to pick something with some protein. Too much sugar will spike then crash your blood sugar making you cranky, drowsy, and hungry for more sweet and fatty food. Not good for driving or for the other passengers in the car. Quorn is high in protein, check out this Southern Fried Chicken Wrap Recipe.
- Protein Balls. There’s loads of good stuff in these protein balls. Tons of natural peanut butter, raw honey (or brown rice syrup for a vegan option), oats and coconut. And of course, some mini chocolate chips because… why not? All you do is dump the ingredients into a bowl and roll the mixture into balls. It’s not an especially sticky mixture so you’ll be able to eat them while driving without distraction.
- Eggs without the hassle. Hard boiled, peeled eggs can be used in sandwhiches or eaten plain to give you a fuller stomach for longer. They cause lower levels of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone that tells the brain to eat, and higher levels of PPY, a hormone that helps stomachs feel full. Proof why so many of us choose them for breakfast!
Instead of throwing everything all willy-nilly into a bag in the backseat, head to the pound shop and pick up an open tote to hold your non-refrigerated snacks. That way everything is easily accessible and easy to see. No digging through to the bottom of the bag to get the crackers you want. It’s never a bad idea to have a roll of kitchen roll, some baby wipes, some hand sanitiser, and utensils with you. Also, I recommend packing a few large, litre-size zip top bags and plastic carrier bags to work as trash bags. The ziplock bags are particularly good to hold any food that would stink up the car!