Ah, the summer vacation road trip - an American staple. I know we've got several on the books - which got me thinking - with studies showing that a higher number of families this summer are ditching flights in favor of hitting the open road themselves to save money, here are some super convenient, tasty lean and green sustainable snacks that kids and parents alike will love-that will also have you SAVING Green when you hit the open road. My criteria? They had to be eco friendly, healthy, tasty and fun. My "car picks" must withstand searing hot car temps for a day or two. And couldn't require fussy utensils or other tricky setup that seems impossibly difficult at 70 miles an hour.
For the Cooler
- Falafel balls dipped in organic Greek yogurt (you can also serve with whole wheat mini pita). These high protein treats are super healthy and fun-and likely available in your local market's refrigerator section.
- Cherry tomatoes. Summer's perfect Ready to Eat Food-they are in season, come in a container already and pack a day's worth of vitamin C). Go great with above falafel.
- Persian cucumbers at farmers markets - these small, finger sized cucumbers can be found at your local farmer's market - no peeling, no pits, no mess! Just wash and pop into cooler-and pass to the back seat with no fuss. Also go great with above falafel.
- Edamame. Soybeans are the only "complete proteins" of the bean family-meaning you get all the essential amino acids-they come in convenient portable containers in the refrigerator section of most supermarkets-or you can buy them frozen and boil and toss with a bit of sea salt before you pack them. Less mess than hummus!
- Watermelon or cantaloupe cubes- These summer wonders are some of the most economical fruits to buy in summertime-and simply scoop them with a spoon (or melon baller) into a portable container-summer's best seasonal picks that have a real high water content to help keep kids hydrated no messy pits to eat around (and drip in the car), and stand up to car travel better than berries. You can eat volume, refreshing, and rich in potassium, beta carotene, lycopene vitamin C.
For the Car
6. In Shell Pistachios: Did you know people eat about 1/2 as many nuts when they are in the shell than not? So this works for moms and dads looking to control portions, as well as kids who are bored. Take longer to open, keep them busy!
7. PB& J burritos. Use a whole wheat tortilla, and wrap 'em in wax paper-no mess, kid friendly, wax paper is more eco friendly than plastic and can stand up to high heat better than many other high protein fillings. Almond butter works great too!
8. Air popped popcorn - will give you crunch! A recent study found that popcorn (which is a whole grain) pack 5 x more antioxidants than crackers or tortilla chips. Plus you can eat VOLUME-3 heaping cups counts as a serving of whole grain-and help you stay lean while you munch for boredom for miles. Bonus points? Popping it yourself helps you save green.
9. Kid's Custom Trail Mix: my kids love building it themselves - they are more likely to eat it and even try new things: Line up a counter with little bowls of Dried Cherries or cranberries Sunflower seeds, almonds, pepitas or pumpkin seeds, even a few dark choc chips. Healthy, tasty and customized.
10. Sigg water bottle - beat the heat, save money and sip sustainably by filling your reusable water bottle before you hit the road. It will help keep your water cool longer in the heat won't give you that aluminum taste and protect you from BPA.
Got any other delicious snacks you crave on the road? I'd love to hear about them.