Two For the Road: Recipes for Road Trips

Quick, healthful snacks for your next adventure

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

Road trips can mean many things: the wind in your hair, awe-inspiring sights, tiny new towns. They can also mean lots of pit stops to stretch, visit the rest room -- and snack. Looming large on this landscape are convenience stores, notorious for stocking snacks high in fat, sugar, or salt. To stay on the diet track, we need to steer clear of these roadblocks and bring along our own tasty goodies instead.

One option is to make snacks at home to take on that road trip. I can just picture us now with granola bars baking in the oven while we are packing up the car -- NOT! What about taking a couple of minutes to pour a few ingredients into a gallon-size zip-lock bag, tossing them together, and hitting the road? Now that's more like it. This way we can choose the products that are reduced fat and higher in fiber to make our own snack mixes. Here are two quick picks to get you started -- a trail mix and a pretzel snack mix.

Totally Tasty Trail Mix

This trail mix has staying power. The dried fruit gives you some energy right away, and the walnuts and Grape-Nuts cereal give you some fat and fiber that will help satisfy your hunger and make sure your body gets some additional energy a little later on. Walnuts were chosen because they have the most omega-3's and one of the lowest amounts of omega-6s of all the nuts.

1 cup dried fruit medley (i.e. Fruit Bits or Harvest Medley, includes dried cranberries, apples and tart cherries)
1/2 cup English walnut halves (unsalted or lightly salted)
1 cup Grape-Nuts (or similar)
1/2 cup raisins or cinnamon-raisins (if the dried fruit medley doesn't include raisins)

  • TOSS: Add all of the ingredients to a gallon zip-lock bag, seal it well, and toss the ingredients together to blend.
  • GO: Take it with you on your roadtrip for a healthful, flavorful, high-fiber snack!

Makes 6 (1/2 cup) servings

Nutritional value per serving: 225 calories, 4.5 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 133 mg sodium (more if walnuts are salted). Calories from fat: 24 percent.

Pretzel Potpourri

This snack is like Chex Party mix without all the hype. There's a little of everything in this mixture: that irrepressible pretzel flavor, a taste of cheese, a boost of bran, and the crunchy savory surprise of a roasted soybean every now and then. Although dry roasted soybeans contain seven times the omega-6s compared to omega-3s, it still has a better omega profile than many other types of nuts (for example, pistachio nuts have 100 times more omega-6s than omega-3s, and peanuts have 6,000 times more omega-6s than omega-3s).

1 cup pretzel sticks
1 cup reduced fat Cheez-Its
1 cup Multi-Bran Chex cereal (or similar)
1/2 cup roasted soybeans (original or any other flavor)

  • TOSS: Add all of the ingredients to a half-gallon or gallon-size zip-lock bag, seal it well, and toss the ingredients together to blend.
  • GO: Take it with you on your road trip for a healthful, flavorful, high-fiber snack!

Makes 7 (1/2 cup) servings

Nutritional value per serving: 129 calories, 7 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, .8 g saturated fat, 0.5 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g fiber, 245 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 27 percent.

Originally published June 4, 2003.
Medically updated April 30, 2004.

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