By April Guilbault
Spring Break time and soon-to-be summer travel is upon us! We made it through the winter! Whether you are traveling near or far or even just enjoying some interesting day trips, it’s good to have some healthy snacks at the ready. Anyone who has traveled for more than thirty miles with a child knows that. Reusable water bottles packed-check. Good snacks-check. Happy travelers-check, check, check!
There are several criteria for good snacks: 1. They must be healthy and preferably organic. Do not succumb to overpriced, nutritional voids while traveling! 2. They must be convenient and easily packed, hopefully in reusable packaging. 3. They must be interesting enough to make you resist those aforementioned overpriced, nutritional voids.
Packing healthy snacks does usually require a little effort and planning, but the end result will be that you will feel better when you are traveling…satiated, full of energy and nourished. You can’t control the lines at the airport security or the traffic or weather, but you can control what you munch along the way. Good to have at least one thing covered!
Make your travels eco-friendly, too, by packing them in reusable tins and bags. Lunchbots (available at Whole Foods, $19.99) divided tins are easy to slip into a purse or bag, Green Sprouts On Safari Bento Box (Whole Foods, $6.99) is BPA-free plastic and good for little hands or try a reusable sandwich or snack bag (www.lunchskins.com)!
Prepare and plot in advance…here’s to happy traveler snacking!
-Baked kale chips (here’s the recipe to make your own)
-Roasted Chickpeas (recipe to follow)
-Cut-up carrots, celery, radishes (with small reusable containers of dip). No-bruise veggies!
-Roasted pumpkin seeds
-Apples, clementines or bananas (sturdy fruits in their own wrappers)
-No-Bake Energy Bites (recipe to follow)
-Homemade trail mix-create your own blend…whole wheat pretzels, dried coconut, organic chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, dried fruit…the possibilities are truly endless and everyone will be happy with their snack.
-Air-popped popcorn-sprinkle with a variety of spices to suit your taste
-Dark organic, Fair Trade chocolate
-Mini zucchini or pumpkin muffins
-Whole wheat pretzel sticks with peanut butter
-Pistachios. Good blast of energy and shelling kills time at airports.
Roasted Chickpeas, courtesy of www.chow.com
- 2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed and THOROUGHLY dried. Drying them is the key to crunchiness.(about 3 cups) Or cook your own beans; here’s our recipe.
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes. The longer, the crunchier! Also suggested: bake for 30 minutes, cool for 10 minutes and then bake some more until desired crunch is achieved.
No-Bake Energy Bites, courtesy of www.gimmesomeoven.com
- 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (old-fashioned, not quick-cook)
- 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
- 1/2 cup organic, Fair Trade chocolate chips (optional)
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls about 1″ in diameter. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Makes about 20-25 balls.
Any nut butter (almond, sunflower seed, etc.) for the peanut butter.
Wheat germ in place of the flaxseed
Chopped dried fruit or berries for the chocolate chips
*Not recommended: Substituting agave nectar for the honey, as the honey’s thickness helps hold things together
Don’t forget to pack a reusable stainless steel thermos for each traveler so you don’t have to buy bottled water.
April Guilbault is a graphic artist and illustrator turned freelance writer and blogger. After studying Communication Design at Syracuse University, she went on to work at NBC in Chicago and New York as a graphic designer on such shows as NBC Nightly News and The Rosie O’Donnell Show, which earned her several Emmy awards. These days she focuses on a new-to-her variety of creativity…words and writing. Her blog www.DailyFrosting.com is a daily pursuit covering all aspects of enhancing one’s life, namely focusing on the little things that make it worthwhile. Humor, recipes and observances rule the day. She is currently also a contributing writer to the FC Beat magazine, The Cupboard Magazine and www.CTbites.com