We do a lot of day trips in our family. We used to when I was a kid too. Back then our car snacks included two pieces of cold toast with butter and vegemite, and actually, that was it now I think of it.
Nowadays, I rely on good quality, nourishing snacks not just for me, but for my little one. She is the first to lose her bananas if her blood sugar gets too low, and so as sanity preservation I always have snacks for when we are on the go. Car snacks are great because everyone is already sitting down and looking for a little distraction – unless you are driving of course! Car snacks are bad because they can make a fabulously horrible mess that, let’s face it, you’re probably not going to clean up straight away, and so can end up being more trouble than not.
I like to focus on things that don’t have massive mess-making potential to eat in the car, but are still interesting and tasty to eat, and healthy. This way everyone is quiet and happy, and getting some lovely nutrients at the same time – hooray!
This last weekend we took a day trip to the beach and needless to say we needed a variety of car snacks. Here are some of my favourites, for big and small people alike.
Trail mix – a classic. A mix of any nuts, seeds, toasted coconut flakes, etc. I’m a big fan of this popcorn mix, or the lemon vanilla granola I posted on Facebook and Instagram recently which I just eat as a snack.
Homemade muesli bars, slices, biscuits or these raw chocolate balls.
Hard boiled egg (pre-peeled).
Roasted chickpeas – I love a little sprinkle of smoked paprika before baking.
Fruit is a great idea – but keep away from things like peaches, mango, orange or major sticky situations for obvious reasons. You can’t beat an apple or a banana, or sometimes chopped fruit in a container is fun. Roomy boots like this double as a great picnic area!
My daughter has discovered a new appreciation for strawberries, so we used some of our abundant supply to make Strawberry Lemonade Strips, or fruit leather as you may know it. These are so simple to make, all you need is a little time. I loved them so much I had to make some blueberry ones with mint and lime – SO GOOD!
Strawberry Lemonade Strips
I like to make them super tangy, to give a real lemonade fizz aftertaste, but depending on your taste you may like to add slightly less lemon.
440-450g strawberries (around 3 cups)
2 tsp lemon zest
3-4 tbs maple syrup or honey, depending on the sweetness of your strawberries
1 tbs lemon juice
Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and pour the mix onto the paper. Spread out into an even layer across the paper. The thickness is important. You want it thin, but not too thin or it will burn at the edges when cooking. Aim for around 3-4mm thickness.
Place into the oven at the lowest temperature – for me that was 100C / 210F, the lower the better. If you have a dehydrator, this is a great recipe for it.
Cook your berries for 1.5 – 2.5 hours. You will know when it is ready as you can touch the mixture and it doesn’t make a hole, and stays in place when gently poked, rather than coming away on your finger. Be careful not to overcook here.
Allow to cool completely, and cut into strips with scissors whilst the baking paper is still attached. Either peel or leave the paper attached and then roll into shape.
Blueberry Mint Strips
3 cups blueberries
2 tsp lime zest
4 tsp lime juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
A handful of mint leaves
Use the same directions as above.
Note: an apple or raw carrot is the perfect chaser to help to clean any chewy bits from teeth. I hope you enjoy – and I’d love to know your fave car snacks for keeping everyone entertained! x