Stock your car with these.
This article first appeared on TheKitchn.com.
Since there’s so much to think about when packing for a road trip, it’s easy to forget about bringing food for the drive. You’ll just figure it out once you get going on the road, right? That plan could be disastrous if you’re left with no options other than a subpar slice of rest-stop pizza. To beat the odds, I rely on a few foods that make me feel like I’m keeping things on the healthy side.
If I’m heading out on a road trip, whether it’s just for the day or for a long weekend, I try to carve out a little time beforehand to gather a few provisions to fuel me through the drive.
If it’s an extra-long trip, I’ll pack up a small cooler, but otherwise I tend to lean towards items that stay fresh for at least a couple of hours without too much fuss and are not only filled with enough protein and fiber to keep me satisfied, but also don’t weigh me down. That way I am fresh and ready for the destination, wherever it may be.
It’s so easy to get dehydrated on the road when you’re more focused on driving or clicking through that playlist. Plain water can get tiresome over time, so instead I pack herbal tea. I drop a couple of herbal, decaffeinated tea bags (If I don’t need the buzz, I skip the dehydrating caffeinated tea) into a reusable water bottle and fill it with cold water for a slow brew. Think of it as travel-friendly cold brew.
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Veggies and Dip
All that munching and crunching on raw, cut-up veggies keeps me alert when the trip starts to drag. I like to toss carrot sticks, celery sticks, and broccoli florets in a zip-top bag or airtight container, along with a small container of store-bought hummus or yogurt dip.
A Road Sandwich
For extra-long trips, I usually want something more substantial midway through the drive, so I make sure to pack a hearty sandwich. A crusty baguette holds up well and won’t get soggy. If you’re not packing a cooler, choose fillings that are fine at room temperature for a few hours, like fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and spicy arugula.
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The salted variety can be dehydrating, so I opt for the unsalted kind instead. Roasted almonds are super satisfying and also the perfect one-handed snack if you’re the driver.
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Single-Serve Nut Butter
Those little squeeze packs of peanut and almond butters are pretty brilliant. I pack up a handful with a banana or two, apple slices, celery sticks, or even crackers. They prove their worth when hanger hits.