I’ve always felt some of life’s toughest questions often take place in the snack aisle of a gas station or roadside mini-mart: Cooler Ranch Doritos or Taco Doritos? Sour Patch Kids or Twizzlers? Where will this snack go straight toward, my butt or my thighs?
I usually just say “eh, whatever… I’ll work out later,” and proceed to purchase all the above road trip snacks in addition to a few bags of Combos and M&Ms for the heck of it. I’d say 99.9% of the time, though, I later regret such a binge and vow to bring along some healthier alternatives future highway treks. Sound familiar?
Yes, the Fritos will be singing you the mouthwatering song of their salty people the next time you make a pitstop during a behind-the-wheel journey. Ignore them you must, grasshopper, as you’ll be armed with lighter alternatives that may (or may not) be equally as satisfying as a Snickers. Check out these waistline-friendly sweet and savory road trip snacks you can easily make at home with ingredients you may already have in your pantry. (Bonus: They’re all vegetarian!)
SAVORY Healthy Road Trip Snacks
- Canned fat-free refried beans (2 tablespoons)
- Tortilla (10-inch)
- Reduced-fat Mexican-style cheddar (2 tablespoons)
- Cooked corn, cooled and drained (2 tablespoons)
- Mashed avocado (2 tablespoons)
- Fat-free sour cream (1 tablespoon)
- Salsa (2 tablespoons)
- Optional: Cilantro (1/2 tablespoon)
Spread refried beans on the tortilla. Sprinkle cheese and corn onto refried beans. Mix sour cream, salsa and avocado. Spread mixture on top. Roll tortilla and chill for at least two hours. Slice into one-inch pinwheels. Place toothpick through pinwheel to retain shape.
- Canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Olive oil spray
- Salt (1 teaspoon)
- Chili pepper powder (1 teaspoon)
- Cumin (1 teaspoon)
- Paprika (1 teaspoon)
- Coriander (1 teaspoon)
- Curry Powder (1 teaspoon)
- Garlic Powder (1 teaspoon)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare chickpeas and allow to dry completely. Arrange chickpeas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 30-35 minutes, shaking the pan at 10-minute intervals. Remove chickpeas from oven when golden brown and crunchy, and mist with olive oil spray. Combine chickpeas and spices in a medium bowl, tossing to coat.
- Hummus (2 tablespoons)
- Vegetable sticks (carrots, snow peas and/or celery)
Put hummus in the bottom of a Mason-style jar or empty peanut butter jar. Place a handful of vegetable sticks vertically in the hummus. Seal lid.
SWEET Healthy Road Trip Snacks
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
- Peanut butter (1 cup)
- Honey (3/4 cup)
- Old-Fashioned oatmeal (3 cups)
Combine peanut butter and honey in a saucepan. Heat on low until the ingredients reach the consistency of a thick liquid. Mix in old-fashioned oatmeal and stir. Press into a 9×9 pan. Cover and allow mixture to set overnight. Yields 12 bars.
- Honey-flavored Greek yogurt (2 cups)
- Fresh blueberries (1 pint)
Use a toothpick to dip, swirl and coat each blueberry with yogurt. Place yogurt-covered blueberries on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the freezer and allow to harden for at least an hour.
- Strawberries (3 cups)
- Sugar or other sweetener of your choice
Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap (not parchment paper). Clean strawberries and remove stems. Puree strawberries in a food processor until the fruit reaches the consistency of a smooth liquid. Add sugar (or sweetener of your choice) and sweeten to taste. Pour mixture on prepared cookie sheet to 1/8″ thickness. Bake for 6-8 hours or until center is no longer tacky. Allow to cool. Lift mixture from cookie sheet and flip contents over onto parchment paper. Remove plastic wrap. Cut into strips and roll using parchment paper.
If your ride happens to be an all-new 2015 Ford Explorer, you’re in luck: The available voice-activated navigation system can be taught to route you away from all McDonalds and Taco Bells in the event it senses you’re craving something too sumptuous. (Not entirely true of the 2015 Ford Explorer. But there’s an idea for you, Ford.) While you’re out on the roads of Lexington, Danville, Richmond, Mt. Sterling or Georgetown, stop by Glenn Ford Lincoln in Nicholasville to check out our unbelievable selection, lease specials and five-star service. Or just bring some of those pinwheels, that’s cool, too.