Homemade Snacks for Summer Road Trips

July 17, 2017

Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Elizabeth Leader Smith and Whole Foods Market.

When I was a child, my family frequently made long road trips to visit family members peppered around the Midwest. The novelty of pit stops at roadside convenience stores lost its luster early on. Instead my family hungered for wholesome foods we could feel good about eating while sitting in the car for long stretches.

By planning ahead, my mom was able to pack with the car with healthful snacks (often homemade) to get us through that stretch from Cleveland to South Bend or Chicago to Green Bay. Today I do the same thing making some and buying others. When I have time to prep ahead, I'll make easy and affordable snacks like Popcorn Trail Mix and other recipes for the road like these:

Popcorn trail mix

Popcorn Trail Mix

Satisfying and affordable popcorn adds volume to stretch roasted nuts and dried fruit for happy snacking that all ages will enjoy.

No-bake thumbprint cookies

No-Bake Thumbprint Cookies
These vegan sweets feature almond butter, rolled oats and pitted dates. Bonus: no oven needed!

Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins

Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins
Satisfying muffins that feature apples, raisins, carrots, coconut and walnuts? Yes, please. Try the gluten-free version.

Apple Sandwiches with Granola and Peanut Butter

Apple Sandwiches with Granola and Peanut Butter
Here’s one the kids can help make! Swap out peanut butter for your favorite nut or seed butter.

Oat-Date Bars  

Oat-Date Bars
This dairy-free and low-sodium snack can be made ahead and frozen until ready to eat.

  Oatmeal, Coconut and Sunflower Seed Cookies

Oatmeal, Coconut and Sunflower Seed Cookies
Chewy oats, rich coconut and crunchy sunflower seeds come together for this tasty treat.

Oat-Date Bars

Cocoa-Almond Baked Breakfast Quinoa
Take a gluten-free breakfast to go! Simply bake ahead, wrap individual squares and freeze for later. 

Hungry for more inspiration? Check out this video for baked apple slices and our road trip recipe collection.

Get the recipe: Baked Apple Chips

Packing Tips

Packing a cooler opens up the opportunity for cold drinks, cheese, cut fruit and veggies, plus small sandwiches and salads that require refrigeration. I’ve found that dividing up trail mix or popcorn into individual serving before we leave home helps to cut down on mindless overeating. Finally, don’t forget the spoons, forks, napkins and handwipes! Some ideas include:

  • Individual serving sizes of organic or Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt
  • Diced or sliced carrots, cucumbers, celery, radish and bell peppers with a dip such as this Simply Delicious Homemade Hummus
  • Whole grain corn chips and small containers of bean dip, salsa or pico de gallo
  • Grain salads such as this Minty Cucumber-Quinoa Salad