The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and the road is calling. Summer is finally here, and that means getting out of town! Whether you’re hitting every national monument within 100 miles, or just taking a quick day-trip to the beach with the fam, snacks are a non-negotiable.That doesn’t have to mean settling for processed junk at your next pit stop (as tempting as it is). Instead, plan ahead for the best snack game ever, and save money while you’re at it.
We put together a fantastic selection of 10 favorites that are healthier, tastier, and more unexpected than your average bag of potato chips. Read up, stock up, and hit the road.
If you’re getting an early start, these chewy morsels—which taste like little pieces of banana bread—go great with a cup of joe. Made from organic bananas, they’re gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, and vegan—and happen to be a great source of potassium and fiber, too.
When it comes to long car rides, a bag of crispy onion snacks is like a round of “20 Questions”—a necessary distraction for passing the time. However, while most are coated with cornmeal and deep-fried, Dang’s are made from antioxidant-rich whole onions, caramelized to perfection, and sprinkled with just the right amount of salt and pepper. What’s round, crispy, and going with you on your next vacation?
Looking for something even more distinctive to curb those captive cravings? Meet Shoyu Arare Rice Crackers—a combo of heirloom brown and black rice baked (not fried!) into low-fat, hearty whole grain snacks. Zesty spices and shoyu, a gluten-free soy sauce, add a savory finishing touch.
A lot of snacks feel like a total waste of calories: You’re scraping the bottom of a bag, but still hungry, and also a little sick to your stomach. Not with Mamma Chia. The fruit-infused protein-, fiber-, and omega-3-rich chia pouches keep you energized—and they’re the perfect complement to sing-along show tunes on the road.
The benefit of dried fruits from Mavuno Harvest is two-fold. First, they’re incredibly tasty, nutritious, and exotic in nature. Second, they help an entire community thrive! The brand works with farming cooperatives in sub-Saharan Africa to bring their native fruit to the masses, which in turn, gives local farmers a livelihood well past peak season.
Nud Spirulina Banana Crisps
There are only four ingredients in these nutritious crisps—all recognizable! Banana, sesame seeds, coconut oil, and spirulina come together for a delectable treat that’s alkalizing and high in vitamin A, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Word to the wise: get a few bags—you don’t want any backseat fights over the last piece!
Organic Gemini TigerNut
Bored with nut mixes and the like? Try these guys to really shake things up! Raw, organic, sun-dried TigerNuts, a type of tuber (not technically nuts!) also known as nookon or chufa, have a sweet and slightly nutty flavor—and also a ton of superfood nutrients: fiber, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins E and C.
Sea of Change Seaweed Snacks, Maple
If you never thought whole-leaf nori (seaweed) could taste like a vegan version of bacon, think again! Here it’s blended with coconut oil, pure maple syrup, and sesame, then lightly toasted for melt-in-your-mouth savory sweetness.
What road trip is complete without jerky? This vegetarian and vegan option hits your tongue with a blast of sweet heat will satisfy afternoon cravings.
Low blood sugar (see: hanger) can bring out the worst in people, especially those confined to small spaces. Keep everyone who’s along for the ride happy and energized with protein-packed hemp bites, which are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho