Tag Archives: travel snacks

Snack Wisdom: Travel Foods

Gentle Readers, the irony of this post and timing is noted. Just this past week, while traveling, I almost ran out of snacks. While this may fall squarely in #firstworldproblems territory, I am notoriously cranky when hungry. I eat. I eat often. When I crash, it is hard and fast.

Snacktime Smackdown: Peanut M&M's vs Peanut Butter M&M's

Snacktime Smackdown: Peanut M&M’s vs Peanut Butter M&M’s

Thank goodness my friends know me, and one had just given me a piece of chocolate from Turin, which was still in my purse. The day was saved. TPCs Jr literally fell silent while I ate it, much like I had just seen a dementor and was receiving the cure from Honeyduke’s.

So how does one avoid such a crisis? First, don’t clean out your purse, and carry one. Barring that, here are some tips.

Snack Wisdom: Travel Foods

1. Hoard plane snacks. If they give you two packages, don’t eat them both unless you are starving. These snacks are small, unobtrusive, and right sized for emergencies. Spend them wisely.

Two packages of these Biscoff cookies are like gold in the travel bag.

Two packages of these Biscoff cookies are like gold in the travel bag.

2. Dry cereal. I can’t emphasize how useful this is. It works as breakfast for hungry Jrs on the go, and feels a little familiar in a strange situation. Pour it in zipper bags and go. What could be easier? I recommend any square cereal–they travel well and taste pretty good dry. Cheerios and round cereals are my second choice. Or create a nice blend.

Trader Joe's Chocolate Almond Granola plus Oatmeal Squares, a morning blend.

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Almond Granola plus Oatmeal Squares, a morning blend.

3. Granola bars. I’m currently completely obsessed with the Trader Joe’s Almond Bars, and we’ve blown through a container each time we have traveled. They also work well as a light breakfast, and they have both “fast” and “long” energy–you’ll feel full for a while, but you get an immediate sugar jolt, too.

Trader Joe's Five Seed Almond Bars, How I Love Thee.

Trader Joe’s Five Seed Almond Bars, How I Love Thee.

4. Parfait FTW. Though there are plenty of junky options, so many kiosks sell parfaits now. I like them because they are big enough to share, pack some nutritional punch, and they are portable. A great choice to take on the plane or take a break at the amusement park. Make them at home and you’ll have a comfort snack that’s familiar on a trip.

Mango and Blackberry Parfait (not quite a recipe, but lovely nonetheless)

Mango and Blackberry Parfait (not quite a recipe, but lovely nonetheless)

5. Peanut M & M’s. When the chips are down, this is my go-to snack. Chocolate and peanuts, it’s like a candy-coated version of the trail mix I typical carry with me. Widely available, shareable sizes, easy distribution. This is the snack that wins friends.

Don't leave home without Peanut M & M's.

Don’t leave home without Peanut M & M’s.

What are your snacks on the go? Post a comment here, or Tweet my way! All snack ideas welcome.

Send your chocolates, good ideas, and Pinkberry punch cards to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Sunday: Weekly Menus: Back to School Remote Edition

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Weekly Menus: Picnic Edition (with Bonus Car Food Thoughts)

Gentle Readers, the weekly menus are going seriously al fresco this week. Is there a better place to eat than beside a waterfall? No, I do not think so. With this in mind, I did minimal shopping this week, focusing on the car food.

Apple Snack Tray with Peanut Butter and Maple Butter

Apple Snack Tray with Peanut Butter and Maple Butter

Years ago I concluded that the worst possible use of time for The Practical Cooks Junior was to sit quietly in a restaurant during the few precious minutes we stopped on road trips. Stops are a time to move around, yell, stretch, and generally get out all kinks. Public dining in our time is not the same as the stops of ye olde England when such carrying on was undoubtedly more commonplace.

So it’s more sensible to eat in the car for us. I could care less if food gets everywhere, but I don’t want to amp everyone up to the point that sitting still is not possible (thus a limiting of fast food options). Solution: peanut butter banana sandwiches. Elvis, the original road warrior, knew what time it was. I make stacks of them, cut them into quarters, roll.

The Key Ingredient, Labeled for Clarity (Not my label, by the way)

The Key Ingredient, Labeled for Clarity (Not my label, by the way)

I pack my travel trail mix, which does contain chocolate, and I do break any number of personal shopping rules and pack Poptarts and cereal bars for AM drive time. However, I also bring fresh fruit, nuts, and jerky. Car rides can be boring, and eating can be entertaining. So we snack, sing, chat, and sleep (well, me not so much that part).

Trail Mix Melted and Reformed = Trail Bark (Yum)

Trail Mix Melted and Reformed = Trail Bark (Yum)

I’m raising a couple of road warriors, and they are truly remarkable. They can pack their own bags without missing a beat, and take each new adventure in stride. How many people can say that about their summer vacation partners?

The Road Warriors

The Road Warriors

So this week’s menus will look somewhat like this:

Sunday: Vegetarian Dinner Out! (More on this soon!)

Monday: Meat, cheese, fruit, baby carrots, lake

Tuesday: Sandwiches and granola bars, waterfall

Wednesday: Chinese Take-Out (our recovery food)

Thursday: Business Dinner for me, Pasta and Veg for Jrs.

Friday: Cold Fried Chicken (because)

Cold Fried Chicken: My Summer Picnic Fuel

Cold Fried Chicken: My Summer Picnic Fuel (from Crook’s Corner)

Saturday: Picnic + Concert!
For this I will probably go tomato sandwich with a side of pesto pasta or something in that vein. Or perhaps more quinoa because I currently cannot consume enough of the stuff.

Send your junk food, food confessions, and wacky food challenges to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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On Wednesday: How to Throw an Impromptu Cookout and Why You Should.

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