Road trip snacks! Our favorite snacks to take in the car (or plane) that also reduce waste. Healthy, tasty, convenient, and practical.
Summer is almost upon us, which means the busier travel season is beginning for many households.
As parents and caregivers are well-aware, snacks are one of the top priorities when packing for the road – especially for kids.
After all, having snacks handy in the car can help minimize the number of stop requests you receive (at least, for food and drinks) and keep kids happy and satisfied.
Plus, road trips are a good opportunity to bring out some snacks that your kids may not be used to at home (but you know they will like).
For example, we like to throw some of our favorite “waste-reducing” snack concoctions into the vacation bag that work well for the road.
Curious about what we mean? Check out these 3 ideas for road trip snacks that also help save money and reduce waste at home.
1. Trail Mix
Head down the bagged or bulk snacks aisles at the store and you’re bound to find plenty of prepackaged trail mix options.
But to save yourself money, have total control over the ingredients, and help reduce waste, have you tried making road trip trail mix at home?
The formula for trail mix is simple: it’s whatever you want it to be.
We like to take this opportunity to use up half-eaten bags of snacks on the shelf that we’d rather not come home to after our trip.
For example, throw together ingredients like these that you might have on hand:
- Cereal, like rice chex, O’s, granola, or puffs
- Dried fruit, like blueberries, apricots, pineapple, raisins, cranberries, or apples
- Dark chocolate chips
- Nuts, like cashews, walnuts, or almonds
- Seeds, like sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Savory dried veggie snacks, like dried mushrooms, green beans, or lentil/pea snaps
Mix everything all up in a bowl, divide it into individual baggies or jars, and voila!
2. PBJ Balls
These will need to be refrigerated but are great for day-of snacks as you work your way through the backseat cooler.
PBJ Balls are a way to combine ingredients like beans with nut butter, seeds, oats, dried fruit, and even veggies like carrots.
These fun little handheld treats provide a nice mix of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and flavor for kids. Plus, they’re super versatile, so you can adjust ingredients as you like.
Plus, this is a great way to use up leftover rinsed canned beans, tahini, peanut, or almond butter, dried fruit, chocolate chips, or even baby carrots.
We have several variations of PBJ Balls on our site:
- The OG PBJ Ball
- Raspberry Tahini Chickpea Balls
- Carrot Cake Chickpea Balls
- Cookie Dough Oatmeal Balls with Raisins
- Blueberry Chickpea Cookie Dough Balls
- Cranberry Energy Balls
Simply blend everything together in a food processor, roll into balls, and refrigerate to allow them to set. Then, pack them in a sealed container in the cooler for the road.
3. Flavored Popcorn
Popcorn is a regular road trip snack for us (hello, big red bag from Costco) but sometimes it’s fun to flavor some at home first, too.
You don’t need a ton of each ingredient, either, making flavored popcorn an easy way to help use up certain things in your pantry – including a half-eaten bag of popcorn or leftover air-popped popcorn from last night.
Here are some example popcorn flavor combos:
- Melted dark chocolate and peanut butter
- Avocado oil, nutritional yeast, paprika, and turmeric
- Extra virgin olive oil and everything bagel seasoning
- Vegan butter, garlic powder, and salt
- Avocado oil and pizza seasoning
- Extra virgin olive oil melted with cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and almond butter
Road trip snacks can be whatever you want them to be! When you can find a way to combine nutrition with flavor and help reduce excess food waste when you travel, it’s a win-win.
Chime In: What are some of your family’s favorite road trip snacks that help use up leftovers? Share more ideas in the comments!
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