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Get your road trip snack-a-thon sorted
You’re on the road and it hits. Not the boredom yawns or the need for a wee stop, but the seriously powerful force of a hunger attack. Lucky for you, a tasty pre-prepped snack is just a roadside (leg-stretching) stop-off away.
Plan and pre-pack
There are a smorgasbord of food choices you can access on a road trip – most of the big servos these days come with a side of fast food, however there are heaps of advantages to pre-packing your hunger busters before you go.
You’ll save coin and time and most importantly, you’ll eat better, especially if you pre-shop for healthier options -it’s actually not that hard if you’re prepared to do a bit of planning. If you’ve got the room, it’s also wise to pre-cool a portable esky or cooler bag with frozen ice bricks before you leave, which will keep your perishables and drinks A-OK throughout the trip.
If you’re a savoury person then you probably love your tater chips and hearty fat-laden burgers, however you can get just as much salty relief with a handful of nuts. Nutritionally, they’re better for you (full of protein, fibre and healthy fats), they taste great and they’ll also keep you full because they’re a low GI food.
Not convinced? Mix it up. Make your own health-nut trail mix … peanuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, hey, why not chuck in some pumpkin and sunflower seeds as well. STILL not convinced? Add a sugar hit with some dried fruit or dark choc chips. That should work.
Crack yourself up
Rice crackers are a tasty option (consider a whole-grain version) especially with a spread of good ol’ Vegemite, and popcorn’s also a good low-cal treat – if you add a sprinkle of garlic powder or a hint of Italian seasoning (think oregano and basil) it’ll also up the enjoyment factor.
Love your cheese? There are lots of low-fat varieties out there that taste pretty darn good and if you’re unfortunate enough to be lactose intolerant, consider a cheddar or Swiss variety. Pair with a bunch of fresh grapes for a gourmet snack on the run.
If you’re REALLY trying to healthy-things up, pack a zip-lock bag full of raw, prepped veges. Cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, celery sticks, snap peas and corn on the cob (is just as good cold) are easily nibbled upon, and taste even better dipped in a bit of hummus or peanut paste.
A hard-boiled egg or a baked potato (yep, it’s pre-prepared with a bit of grated, melted cheese) will also fill that gaping stomach hole and of course olives are a savoury-lover’s delight. There are also heaps of flavour combinations out there to choose from – pop a few in a sealable bag to avoid spills and munch away!
Slay the sangas
REALLY got a touch of the munchies? Then you’re going to need something a bit heartier. Wraps or simple sangas (on whole grain bread if you can) are good options – just make sure if your filling choices are meat, cheese or salads that they’ve been kept cool (remember that pre-cooled esky you packed?). It’s also a good idea to wrap fillings separately to avoid the sanga soggies.
Mix it up
If you’re road-tripping it to a chilly locale, load up an old-fashioned thermos with your favourite soup of choice. Minestrone, chicken noodle, pea and ham – they’re all great stomach fillers and will keep the insides toasty as well.
And who doesn’t love an occasional lip-smacking dose of fried chicken? Forget the takeaway version and make your own before you go – it’s even mighty fine eaten cold.
And for a decent dose of keep-you-full-for-longer protein, don’t forget everybody’s favourite all-purpose side – baked beans. Yep, the side effects may up the comedic factor, but it’s a great snack you can slug out of a takeaway coffee mug when you’re in transit.
Embrace your fruity side
Cherries, berries, grapes, mandarins, bananas – fruit is one of the best on-the-go snacks if you’ve got the urge for a bit of a sugar hit. Fruit’s finger-friendly, naturally snack-sized and the best thing is, there’s little waste.
Low-fat yoghurts are uber-satisfying, as are dried fruits like apricots, sultanas and cranberries, particularly when encased in an organic muesli bar, and for a quick breaky on the road, blend up a low-fat smoothie (with fruit, seeds and a hit of protein powder) before you go.
Bake it ‘til you make it
If you’re a baked goods fan, make up a batch of healthy muffins, banana bread or brownies (cacao powder is a healthy substitute for chocolate) before you leave. Add in some fresh fruit, nuts and seeds and you’ll be double whammy-ing the nutrition factor.
And for a super-indulgent treat, chuck a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans in the glove box. Nature’s own caffeine pills, right there.
And although you may be craving a super-flavoured, super-sized Slurpee to wash it all down with, we all know it will be packed full of refined sugar and preservatives with the added bonus of giving you a serious brain freeze if you gulp it down too quickly. Keep your digestive tract (and your sugar levels) happy by opting for fresh juices and good, old-fashioned H20.
Is your stomach full but your petrol tank empty? We’ve gotU. Just pay as you go … as you need it!