Happy Thursday everyone!
This post is super relevant to me right now because I’m leaving for a road trip with my dad and brother on August 14th!! I have some posts scheduled for while we are gone, and I’ll also be posting a lot of updates on Instagram. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all posted ;)
Last summer when we went on a road trip down to Florida we bought a cooler that plugs into the outlet in your car and keeps your food cool while you’re driving. How cool is that! When we would stop at a hotel for the night, we’d switch the plug to fit a regular wall outlet, and our food would stay cold all night!
This opened the door to being able to bring sooo many different kinds of foods. I packed snacks like nobody’s business! I made muffins, granola, roasted chickpeas… packed hummus, carrots, yogurt, all kinds of fruit. It was really really awesome to have all of this food just readily available and to not have to resort to the “road food” that leaves you sluggish and craving fresh things.
I’m hoping that, with more healthy food experience under my belt ;) the snack menu for this year’s trip will be even better.
The only thing I’m worried about? Well, in my most recent Loving Lately post I mentioned that I started driving recently, and before I even got my license, I diligently deep-cleaned the car that I was going to be driving. It had really been beaten up from over ten years of cross-country road trips and all of the food that came with them. Digging up all those fossilized french fries was truly an archaeological study into our past eras of not-so-healthy eating ;D So for this trip, I’m going to try make sure that we stop at a rest stop and get out of the car before eating the crumbly snacks, and that we clean up any messes ASAP. Because I reaaally don’t want to have to deep clean the car AGAIN!
I wanted to put together a list of snacks that you can easily make or just buy and pack for a long car trip. Some of these will need a cooler, some won’t. If you’re interested in purchasing a cooler that can plug into your car, I believe this is the one that we have. I haven’t tried any others so I can’t compare, but it works pretty well! If you travel by car a lot, it’s definitely something to consider!
Chickpeas are one of those superhero foods that can do anything and their roasted version truly shows you the beauty and versatility of whole foods... They seriously taste like crackers!! How can beans become crackers? It’s amazing… All you need to do to make these addicting snacks is get some chickpeas, spice them, oil them, and roast them in the oven for a while. I love this recipe from This Grandma is Fun. They have 6 different flavors that you can try!
Sandwich bread and all the fixin’s
Just like the tortilla chips, it’s super important here that you’re choosing a good base for your sandwich. Replacing that gross white bread with a quality, whole grain loaf will make all the difference. And honestly, once you have been eating healthy for a while, the good stuff just tastes better! White bread has no taste and is SO boring.
I haven’t tried their bread because my grocery store doesn’t stock it, but I love Food for Life cereals, and they also make tons of different kinds of bread. This “7 Sprouted Grains Loaf” looks ah-mazing! And check out these ingredients:
"Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Rye, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Oats, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Sprouted Corn, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt."
It warms my health nutty heart :) You could also get some pita pockets, or tortilla wraps, whatever floats your boat.
Now for the fun part, toppings! Here are some ideas to assemble your own killer sandwich bar:
Protein: Sliced hard-boiled egg, tuna, tofu, hummus, homemade chicken/turkey, falafel
Cheese: Mozzarella and feta are my favorites
Greens: Spinach, arugula, sprouts
Other veggies: Sliced bell pepper, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato
Other: Avocado (this is a MUST), guacamole, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, miso
Chips and Dip
I think if he could choose, my brother’s snacks for this entire road trip would be tortilla chips, trail mix, and Bai drinks *shakes head disapprovingly*. If the guacamole and hummus is available, though, he’ll eat it! That’s why I’ll be making both.
Make sure you get a quality tortilla chip - I recommend Que Pasa chips, they’re super delicious, have very minimal ingredients, and I love that they come in a paper bag!
Eating on the go doesn’t get much easier than muffins! They’re a perfect size and they come with their own convenient little wrapper, and the flavor possibilities are basically endless. Homemade muffins are also a million times better than the ones that are included with those continental breakfast. Here are a few creative ideas:
Black Quinoa Corn Muffins / My New Roots (muffins don’t have to be sweet!)
When at home I store granola in glass jars, but when on the road it’s just a lot more convenient to use ziploc bags. As you eat the granola, the ziploc bag will adjust for size, creating more precious space in your cooler. You can also use something like this, which is a reusable cloth zippered bag. Keep in mind that it only works for dry things, though.
You can buy single serve plain yogurt cups and top them with your granola, or just eat it straight from the bag, no judgement :) A few ideas to get you started:
I love me some bananas and blueberries, but they are not ideal road trip snacks. Can you imagine the nightmare of dropping some blueberries on the car floor and accidentally stepping on them? Or opening your cooler to find that a banana has gone mushy and gotten everything around it sticky? *shudders*
Here are a few easier options: apples, oranges, clementines, pears, cubed cantaloupe or honeydew, cubed pineapple.
Chopped up veggies can be really great snacks! Try to choose ones that won’t spoil easily and can be eaten raw. Carrots are definitely a go-to, but snap peas, cucumbers, bell pepper (red, yellow, orange), celery, and radishes are great choices, too! Be sure to take it easy on these raw veggies though - they can be difficult to digest and you don’t need digestive problems while on the road! So chew slowly and listen to your body to know when it’s time to stop.
You might want to also cook up a big pan of roasted veggies and store them in a couple of containers. Definitely refrigerate this but this could be really yummy!
Water would be my main recommendation. It’s so easy to forget to stay hydrated when you’re traveling, so just keep a water bottle right by you in the cup holder!
Kombucha is also a nice option to have for when you want something sweet and bubbly, just remember that it needs to be refrigerated! Since this would take up valuable space in your cooler, you might want to just stop by a grocery store to pick up a bottle while on the road.
Do you have any upcoming trips? What do you bring to make sure you can stay healthy on the road?
Thank you so much for reading!