When it comes to road-trip snacking (or any sort of travel snacking, really), we gravitate toward convenience — which more often than we care to admit might mean a can or two of Pringles and a pack of sour gummies from a gas station.
But when we’re ambitious and planning ahead, homemade snacks and/or thoughtful purchased items will always make a good road trip better. (And it’s nice to have something to supplement your Wawa, Sheetz or Royal Farms pit stop.) Here’s a selection of recipes that are at the top of our list for upcoming trips, plus a list of other items you might consider for snacking.
Banana Breakfast Bars. These taste like a mash-up of banana bread and a chewy oat bar. They can be refrigerated for up to five days but hold up well at room temperature for a day’s worth of driving. (Just stash them in a refrigerator once you tuck in for the night.)
For a crunchier vibe, try Nutty Oat Bars; they taste like a bar cookie, but they’re made with fairly wholesome ingredients: rolled oats, whole-wheat flour, and lots of nuts and dried fruit.
Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Bars. Because why buy snack bars when you can make your own, precisely how you’d like? These are similar to Kind brand; mix things up by adding sesame seeds, cashews, pecans, dried fruit or spices (we’re thinking cardamom, cinnamon or ginger).
Zucchini Cheese Muffins. Because one can’t live on sweet snacks alone, try these savory summer-squash-flecked muffins on for size. If you are the type who packs salted butter in a travel-size container in your bag, this would be a good time to use it!
Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches. Soft buns filled with a mash of chickpeas, avocado, onion, pickles and spices are a satisfying snack. Assemble the sandwiches ahead of time or pack the filling and rolls separately; the chickpea mixture would also work spread on crackers or stuffed into halved pitas.
Other ideas and travel snacking tips:
- If you’ve got room for a cooler, bring one! If you don’t have one, well-placed ice packs and a blanket used as an insulator will at least keep your perishable snacks safe for several hours.
- If you’ve got food that won’t be edible upon your return (say, leftover roasted vegetables, beans or grains), take it with you! Grab a loaf of sliced bread or some tortillas and assemble a leftovers sandwich/wrap on the road. Packets of condiments are your friend.
- Cashew Caramel Corn, pictured above, is crispy, nutty and slightly addictive. It stores for up to a week.
- Dips are a natural, too: try carrot or artichoke hummus; Cauliflower and Apples With Thai Almond Butter Sauce; or the sauce from this Spicy Tahini Slaw.
- One of our favorite places to purchase snacks (and stretch our legs) is a grocery store along the road — especially if that store is one that you don’t have in your area. On a recent trip, for example, some cured salami and a quart of half-sour pickles from a NetCost Market deli was just the ticket.
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