Don’t be tempted by convenience stores and vending machines when you travel. Pack some of these healthy snacks for when hunger hits on the road.
Fruit and Vegetable Kabobs
Fruit and vegetable kabobs pack well in a cooler, and they are easy to handle on a road trip. Choose fruits and vegetables that can be cut into ready-to-eat pieces that easily slide onto a wooden skewer. Apples, pears, melon, plums, strawberries, and pineapple are good fruit choices. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, celery, and bell peppers are good vegetable choices. A skewer with 2 medium strawberries, 2 pieces of bell pepper, 2 cauliflower florets, and 2 cherry tomatoes has about 25 calories.
You can save space in the car and reduce waste when food is your snack and your serving bowl. Peel a cucumber and cut it into pieces about 2 ½ inches long. Use a spoon to scoop out some of the center, but don’t scoop all the way through the bottom. You want to create a cup to hold a filling. Fill the cucumber cups with hummus, tuna salad, or bean salad for an easy travel snack. One cucumber cup with 2 teaspoons of store-bought hummus has about 24 calories.
Homemade Snack Mix
When you make snack mix yourself you control what goes into it, and you can divide it into proper portions for each traveler. For a single serving with 260 calories, combine 20 pretzels twists, 1 tablespoon of dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds, and 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips.
Roasting chickpeas turns them into a healthy snack that is easy to pack in your travel bag. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and drain 1 – 15 oz can of chickpeas. Dry off the chickpeas and put them in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and 2 teaspoons of your favorite seasonings. Try cumin and chili powder, dill and garlic powder, or curry powder. Toss to coat the chickpeas in the oil and seasonings, and then spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, and then allow them to cool. One-fourth cup of roasted chickpeas has 67 calories.
If you haven’t tried kale chips yet, you will be amazed how a dark, leafy green can be turned into a crispy snack. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the stems from one bunch (about 1 lb) of kale. Chop the leaves into bite-size pieces. Spread the kale in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add seasonings such as garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bake the kale for about 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to darken, and it is crispy. This will make 6 servings and each serving has about 33 calories.
Cold soups are a great solution when you need something filling, but lack the tools to heat up a meal. A soup such as gazpacho is full of vegetables, and is best served very cold. Gather 3 peeled and chopped tomatoes, 1 large peeled cucumber, 1 red bell pepper, ½ of an onion, 4 cups of tomato juice without salt, a ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. Divide the ingredients so you can puree them in batches. Add about ½ the ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and continue to puree the vegetables in batches until the soup is complete. Combine the purees together and refrigerate. This makes 6 servings with 65 calories each.
Snack wraps can easily be made at home, and they work well for both sweet and savory ingredients. You can leave them whole for a meal, or cut them into smaller pieces for snacking. For a sweet wrap that is low in added sugar, mash 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter with ½ of a ripe banana. Spread on a whole wheat tortilla, and roll up. A half of a wrap contains 148 calories.