Memorial weekend is almost here, and for many of us that means hitting the road! Whether you’re going to the beach, the mountains or grandma’s house, one thing is almost certain: you’ll want some snacks for the ride.
With a little planning ahead, you can provide yourself and your family healthy snacks that don’t break the bank. After all, you want to spend your money on fun activities, not junk food.
First and foremost, we like to keep things simple. That means packing some fruit like apples, oranges, bananas, or grapes. This is a little more difficult if you’re flying, but it’s possible as long as you’re not going out of the country. We like to slice apples, toss them with some lemon juice and store them in a baggie. (This will keep them from browning!) Add some grapes, cheese, crackers and peanut butter, and you’ve got it made!
We like to pack raw vegetables too. Make some hummus to bring along if you’re in the car. Add some pita chips and you won’t even need to stop for lunch. Or better yet, you can eat at a roadside park.
Trail mix is another good snack to pack. In fact, we like to make our own, to ensure that everything is as fresh as possible and to control exactly what’s in it. The first step toward making a healthier trail mix is to roast the nuts yourself. Once they’ve been roasted, they begin to deteriorate and fairly quickly go rancid, depending on how well and for how long they are stored. So, buy raw nuts and roast them as needed. Freshly roasted nuts are so delicious you won’t need any added oil or salt.
We roasted some raw hazelnuts, cashews and almonds, which require about the same time to cook. Pecans cook a little more quickly, so we left them out of this batch.
We spread the nuts on a small tray to roast in the toaster oven (but you can use a standard oven). We cooked them at 250°F until they were fragrant and golden, about 10 minutes. They’ll continue to cook somewhat after you remove them.
Once they cooled completely, we combined them with raw pecans and walnuts.
We happened to have some exotic mulberries and golden berries, so we tossed those in along with dried cranberries. For the final touch: dark chocolate chips. Yum!
Other great ideas for trail mix additions:
- coconut flakes
- chopped dried apples/apricots
- dried pineapple
- dried bananas
- pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- carob chips
As you can see, the combinations are limitless. Have fun and be creative!
It’s easy to pack healthful and tasty snacks for your trips this Memorial Day and summer. You’ll be very glad you did, especially if you have to wait in an airport security line for 3 hours!