My husband and I just got back from a road trip to visit his family in North Carolina. This roughly 1900 mile, 30-hours of car time round trip necessitated some serious snacking - especially since it's hard enough getting my husband to stop for a 5 minute pee break, let alone a 30minute meal break. Thus, good quality snacks were defiantly high on my list! (In case you were wondering, we did the trip over two days each way, stopping in at the Jersey shore to visit my cousins and college roommate in between). So many of the snacks on the grocery store and convenience store shelves are just JUNK - full of added sugar, refined carbs that quickly turn into sugar, overly processed, full of food additives, not enough protein or fiber... Yuck!
I wanted to share some of my favorite healthy snacks with you in case you had a long road trip of your own or for any other snacking needs for that matter! All these snacks are staples in my household. Besides sometimes it's just ain't practical to bring a cooler of cut up veggies and hummus (although if you can, that's also a great snack).
What: Just Beets
Where to get: Trader Joes
Just Beets are literally JUST BEETS that have been dehydrated! Honestly you couldn't get any cleaner than this and this snack made it super easy to get some veggies and fiber on the road. Plus this crunchy snack is just plain delicious and a great substitute for chips. The whole 1.3oz bag (and believe me you will eat the whole bag) was only 140 calories, but contain 7g of fiber and 4g of protein!
What: Biena Chickpea Snacks - Sea Salt
Where to get: Most major grocery stores - Stop and Shop
Ingredients: Chickpeas, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt
This is another favorite. Super crunchy, but also very satiating with 6g of protein and 6g of fiber per 1/4 cup! Each serving has 130 calories. Way better than potato chips and much better for you.
What: Krave Jerky
Where to get: Hannaford Supermarket and some convenience stores
Ingredients: Beef, Cane Sugar, Gluten Free Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Salt, Alcohol), Honey, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: Sea Salt, Granulated Garlic, Onion Powder, Paprika, Spices. CONTAINS SOY.
This is by far the best jerky that I've ever had! Although it's not made from grass-fed beef (which is a real bummer), it is made with all-natural ingredients with no artificial ingredients, no added MSG or nitrates, and minimal processing. Plus it's gluten free! Did I also mention it is a good source of lean protein? Although I am not crazy about the soy and that it's not grass-fed beef, this is one of the better jerky's that is more easily found in common grocery stores and convenience store isles.
What: Grass Fed Beef Jerky
Where to get: Amazon or http://nakedcowjerky.com
Ingredients: Grass fed beef, Honey, Sea Salt, Paprika, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Beet Powder, Celery Powder
Although not quite as good as the Krave, Naked Cow makes a really clean and healthy grass-fed beef jerky. Naked Cow jerky is made from grass fed cows and real spices, none of that "udder" stuff - as their website states. What makes Naked Cow different than other jerky?
- Leaner beef for a better texture and quality jerky
- 2-5 times more in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and beta-carotene
- Higher levels of conjugated lenoleic acid (CLA), a potent antioxidant
- Higher in "good" unsaturated fats
- 100% Natural Grass Fed Beef Jerky - High Quality, Lean, Gluten Free, GMO Free - Minimally Processed
- 24g of Protein, Low Fat Snack with NO Added Sugars, MSG, Nitrites, Soy, or Artificial Ingredients
What: Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets
Where to find: Most major grocery stores - Stop and Shop
Ingredients: Broccoli, palm oil and salt.
Tasty? Check! Crunchy? Check! Healthy? Check! I was pleasantly surprised on how good these are! Very light, airy, and super crunchy to help satisfy any chip cravings healthfully. Not that I condone eating in front of a movie (I don't), but these would be a good popcorn substitute. For the sodium conscious, the entire bag only has 55mg of sodium (hint: usual recommendation is between 2,000-3,000mg so really not a lot!). Plus the broccoli retains its nutrients, packing in a pretty decent amount of vitamin C, along with some vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Of course there is no comparison with raw broccoli for the health benefits, but these are a lot easier to pack.
What: Primal Kitchen Dark Chocolate Almond Bar
Where to get: Thrive Market
Ingredients: Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, Grass Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen, Pre-Biotic Fiber (From Cassava Root), Coconut Flakes, Honey, Natural Flavors, Water, Coconut Oil, Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Powder, Cocoa Nibs, Himalayan Pink Salt, Monk Fruit Extract, Tocopherols, Hazelnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Cashews
These are by far my favorite bars I've found on the market. Most bars I find are really candy bars under the guise of a healthy wrapper. Theres bars are gluten, grain, dairy, soy, and GMO free! Plus their real selling point is that they only have 3 grams of sugar (from honey), 15 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber! The protein comes from the grass-fed collagen from cattle pasture-raised in Brazil, nuts and seeds. For all you bone broth fans, one bar as more collagen than a cup of bone broth! I love these bars as they taste great; however, I found that the chocolate almond bar was a little hard and chewy at first. Although I did grow to like the new texture, the other cashew or macadamia nut bars are a lot softer in texture and may be more appealing.
What: Seasoned Kale Chips Dressed with Cashew Butter & Tahini
Where to get: Trader Joes
Ingredients: Kale, Cashews, Tahini (ground sesame seeds), Carrot Powder, Onion Powder, Cane Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Mustard Powder, Salt, Garlic Powder
Why do I love the Trader Joes Brand? It because there are NO artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, NO genetically modified ingredients, NO MSG, and NO added Trans Fats. Kale Chips are a good source of vitamin A, C, calcium and iron. You can make them yourself (click here), but this can be time consuming. Trader Joes does it all for you.
What: Freeze Dried Strawberries
Where to get: Trader Joes
Ingredients: Freeze Dried Strawberries
I'm putting this one last because I have mixed feelings about freeze dried fruit. Hands down fresh fruit is better for you than either freeze dried or dried fruit because of the added water content that prevents overeating. However, fresh fruit isn't always practical so some freeze dried fruit can be a nice treat.
My recommendation is to forget the dried fruit which is laden with added sugar and shrunken down so that it is easily to consume way over typical portion sizes. On the contrary, freeze dried fruit is light, airy, and crunchy with just the natural fruit sugar. Either case, all types of fruit, especially dried fruit, should be limited because it can raise blood sugar quite a bit if not eaten in moderation. When possible, go for the lower sugar varieties such as berries or kiwi.