Green Kitchen: Healthy Road Trip Snacks

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Wiser-Living/green-kitchen-healthy-road-trip-snacks.aspx

I love my car. It has always gotten me everywhere I need to go, and doesn’t complain if I sing loudly and off key. But lately I’ve been hanging out in it a little more than I like. Between three weddings, family visits, and friends who keep moving out of state, this has become a summer of road trips.

Even if I can’t cut down on the amount of traveling I have to do, at least I can try to make the rest of my trip as green as possible—beginning with the snacks I bring with me.

Whenever I go on a road trip, I always bring a thermos of something to drink with me. Not only does this save me money by keeping me from spending $4 at Starbucks, but it also generates less waste and is healthier. My favorite beverage is iced tea because it not only tastes good, but gives me a little bit of caffeine for the long stretches through Kansas cornfields.

Instead of grabbing a bag of chips to throw in the passenger seat, I’ve decided to try something a little healthier—and greener. I’m making my own trail mix. It’s simple and you can customize this recipe to fit your own tastes.

granola mixx
Homemade trail mix is a healthy road trip snack. Photo by cuttlefish/ Courtesy Flickr.

Begin with organic granola. I like to use a plain variety so I can add my own extras later. Trader Joe’s has a variety of granola cereals that work well. For one serving, I usually start with about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of granola, but you can always add more.

Next, throw in a handful of your favorite type of nuts. Peanuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, and cashews all work well. Make sure they are unshelled, and either unsalted or only lightly salted.

Then add a handful of dried organic fruit. Raisins, dates, cherries, and cranberries work well and are fairly easy to find. My personal favorite are dried tart cherries, which have a nice tang to them without being overwhelmingly sweet.

Finally, if you have a sweet tooth like I do, you can add a small handful of chocolate chips to the mix. I prefer dark chocolate, but the mix works just as well with milk chocolate or even peanut butter chips. Simply mix everything together and you have the perfect snack food for on the go. 

Happy trails!