If your family is anything like mine, getting to the beach is an operation worthy of a mobilizing army. Apparel, umbrellas, chairs, towels, toys . . . all piled in a wagon or carried in tired arms. Food? Oh, yeah, that, too. Sometimes it feels like an afterthought.
I am all in favor of springing for those favorite beach treats — soft-serve ice cream, fudge, boardwalk fries, saltwater taffy — but because of budget and diet concerns, they’re best enjoyed in moderation. So what makes a good from-scratch beach snack? To me, it’s make-ahead, somewhat tolerant of the heat and not too heavy. Ideally, you can eat it with one hand while the other flips through a magazine or shades your eyes from the sun. Remember, there’s no need to make a ton. Choose one or two dishes or snacks, supplement with fresh fruit and lots of water, and you’ll be set for a morning or afternoon of sandy bliss. Here are six options from our archives to consider.
Plantain Wraps With Tangy Black Bean Spread, above. The fried plantains and black bean spread can both be made ahead, although you’ll want to put them together not long before you head out. The wraps are flavorful and satisfying enough to help you get through a few hours of lounging.
Party Mix. If it’s lighter snacks you’re after, this upgraded Chex Mix should be high on your list. It’s also perfect for advance prep. The recipe makes a lot, so feel free to halve it — or just figure on being able to eat your way through the batch with a few friends in a day or two. It’s that good.
Fruit and Nut Truffles. You can also bring these from home, as they’ll last almost a week in a storage container. Save your added sugar for those boardwalk treats — there’s none in this snack.
Granola Wedges. Skip the crinkly wrapped granola bars, and opt for a homemade version, which you can customize with your choice of dried fruit. They’ll keep almost two weeks.
Spiced Roasted Chickpeas. When you want a little more protein than you’d find in your standard crunchy snack, chickpeas to the rescue. Grab two cans (or 3 cups home-cooked) of the versatile legume, olive oil, salt and your choice of spice blend and get roasting. They’ll be good for about a week, too.
Turkey Sandwiches With Smoked Gouda, Pickled Red Onion and Cherries. You don’t necessarily have to do all the elements here, but if you do, it will for sure be one of the more interesting turkey sandwiches you’ve ever had. It’s not a bad idea to pack these in a cooler or on ice, especially if you won’t be eating them right away.
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