Although there are lots of prepared snacks available everywhere – from grocery stores to vending machines – most of them are filled with preservatives and chemicals. I mean, what is that gobbly-gook on the ingredient list? Do you want to eat that?
Another problem is the sheer age of the food once it reaches you. First the processing, then the truck ride to a warehouse, then another truck ride to a store, then some time in the storage area, then onto the shelf to sit and wait for you. That’s some pretty old food you’re snacking on!
Now, if you make it yourself, other the question of the age of the ingredients, you know exactly how fresh it is. To make it even better, there are no preservatives and chemicals with long names in your food.
I’ve provided both sweet and salty/savory options to satisfy everyone. Don’t feel limited to these recipes, though – make your favorite cookie recipe and pack it, or make a batch of fresh salsa to have with tortilla chips. The fruit is always a great choice – easy to pack and eat whenever you feel like it.
Road Trip Recipe: Banana-Chocolate Granola-Mix
2 cups granola cereal – preferably from somewhere that sells in bulk and has high turnover (not old)
3/4 cup dried banana slices
½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ teaspoon salt
Put granola cereal in a bowl and break up any large chunks with a spoon. Nothing should be larger than bite-size.
Add banana slices, walnuts, chocolate chips and salt. Mix together thoroughly. Put in sandwich baggies for single servings.
Road Trip Recipe: Onion-Scallion Dip
Serve this with baby carrots, grape tomatoes or other easy crudités. Alternately, serve with all-natural potato chips – ruffled ones are the best with this dip.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cup diced onions
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (whites and greens)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Using a large frying pan, sauté onions in oil over medium heat until caramelized – about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mix all other ingredients including scallions in a large bowl. Add cooled onions and mix again. Refrigerate overnight to enhance flavors. Put in small individual containers or one large container depending on how you will be serving it from your cooler.
Road Trip Recipe: Insanely Chocolate Cookies
Craving chocolate? This rich cookie is just the ticket! Add chocolate chips if you’re really obsessed with chocolate – it will put this cookie over the top.
Makes about 3 dozen
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces high-quality milk chocolate – coarsely chopped
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt chopped chocolate in the top part of a double boiler or in a metal bowl set in a pan of simmering water. Stir chocolate until completely melted.
Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl of chocolate and mix with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined. Reducing the speed to low, add flour gradually until combined thoroughly.
Using a spoon, scoop balls of the batter onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 12 minutes. Cool on racks.
These cookies will last 4 days in an airtight container, longer if kept in your cooler.
Road Trip Recipe: Cheddar-Gruyere Straws
I’m a cheese addict and these really do the trick. These travel very well – making them perfect for your road trip.
Makes about 10 dozen
1 ½ cups butter, softened
3/4 lb extra sharp cheddar cheese
¼ lb Gruyere cheese
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shred Cheddar and Gruyere cheeses. Beat butter, cheeses, salt, pepper and paprika in a mixer at medium speed until combined. Lower speed of mixer and add flour gradually until combined.
Gently roll handfuls of the mixture on countertop into long ropes that are 3/4 inch thick. Cut ropes into 2-inch pieces and place on cookie sheets, spacing about 1” apart.
Bake for 12 minutes and cool on racks. These last up to a week in an airtight container.