[Photo Courtesy of Lucky Mojo]
It can be tough eating clean (i.e. eating whole, real foods versus overly processed junk) while on the road. Ideally, you bring your own homemade snacks (see Part 1 for ideas), but sometimes the gas station stop is all you’ve got. We recently took a trip out to Arizona to visit family and wanted some snacks for the road. Though gas stations are full of junk, you can find a handful of healthy snacks too.
Fresh Fruit: Many food marts have at least a small basket of fresh fruit like bananas and apples. While probably not organic, fruit always wins over donuts and microwaved burritos.
Dried Fruit: Raisins can be found at almost any station, and you can sometimes even find more deluxe dried fruit packs like I found, filled with yummy apples, pears, prunes, peaches and apricots. While you may not have many options, try to find dried fruit without added sugar and preservatives.
Nuts: Nuts come in many forms and they are definitely not all created equal. Some of the candied and flavored sorts have just as much sugar and chemicals as the candy and chips in the next aisle. I avoid those and go for dry roasted or lightly salted varieties without added preservatives and chemicals.
Cheese: I love the combo of cheese, nuts and fruit. Beware, though, so many “cheeses” are full of non-food additives and a few aren’t even real cheese at all. Read your labels and look for a short list of ingredients with simple terms. We found mozzerella cheese sticks with a decent list of ingredients where we stopped.
Popcorn: Like nuts, packaged popcorn can be dangerous. Read your labels! So many are full of sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup and strange chemical preservatives. I’ve been able to find the same brand of cheese flavored popcorn at two different gas stations with a short and acceptable ingredient list.
Granola: This is another tricky product and another one you’ve got to read the label! Granola has a connotation of being a “healthy” breakfast and snack option, when in reality most granola is really just full of added sweeteners and preservatives. I found small snack packs of Bear Naked which were really yummy.
Jerky: If you’re in need of a meaty, savory snack, jerky can be great. Again be mindful of the ingredients.
What are your go-to road trip snacks? Have you found any healthy treats on your travels in less than superb food marts?