Don’t let that bag of potato chips ruin those healthy eating resolutions when you’re on the go. Here are five snacks to prepare in advance and stock in your luggage or carry-on. From toting along roasted chickpeas to a handful of granola, you can prevent healthy diet sabotages while traveling by being prepared.
Who knew beans could be turned into an addictive snack? To accomplish this, drain 2 cans of 15.5-ounce chickpeas, adding into a small bowl with a couple of tablespoons of canola oil, salt, pepper and whatever spices you have on hand—from chili powder to garam masala. Add chickpeas to a baking sheet, spreading out into an even layer. Roast in a 425 degree oven until crispy, around 30 to 40 minutes. Keep in an oven-tight container for a couple of days.
Sweet Potato “Chips”
A mandoline is your friend to turn raw sweet potatoes into thin slivers, perfect to bake as chips. And while these potato slices can be doused with a little olive oil and baked in a 400 degree oven until crisp (around 25 minutes), there’s an even easier way to make them: the microwave.
Add the sweet potato in one layer enclosed in a paper towel. Depending on your microwave’s wattage, the chips can cook anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Prepare to be amazed at the lack of effort involved in accomplishing such a delicious treat. To enjoy prime crunchiness, eat these within a couple of days after preparing.
Granola is not only one of the easiest recipes to master, it also can be customized depending on your taste. Into a bowl, add 2 cups of whole rolled oats. Toss with 1 cup of nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds, etc.) and 1 cup of dried fruit (apricot, coconut, apples). If desired, even throw in ½ cup of seeds such as pumpkin, flax or sunflower.
In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup of maple syrup or honey with 1/3 cup of canola or coconut oil. Combine into the dry ingredients and spread onto a baking sheet. Cook in a 250 degree oven, stirring every 20 minutes until granola is golden, about 1 ½ hours. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Package in a bag on its own or carry with yogurt.
Hummus and Veggies
While most hummus is made from puréed chickpeas, a twist can be done on the original by using other beans—white cannellini beans work especially well. To prepare, add 1 (15.5-ounce) can of drained beans to a blender or food processor along with salt, pepper, and any spices like sweet paprika for chickpea hummus or rosemary for white bean hummus.
Puree until smooth, pouring a little olive oil while puréeing until achieving a smooth consistency. Pour about 1 inch of dip into a plastic container and arrange with a variety of vegetable slices stuck into the hummus—cauliflower florets, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, etc.
Homemade fruit leather is a particularly enticing treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. Purée 1 pound of fresh fruit—like peaches, strawberries or plums— in a food processor with ¼ cup of honey. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper and spread the fruit into a very thin and even layer. Cook in a 200 degree oven until the fruit leather feels dry, 2 to 3 hours. Cover and let sit overnight; the next day, cut into strips and roll up. Keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
In a pinch and don’t have time to make one of these snacks? Bring along Ziploc bags of nuts, dried fruit, popcorn sprinkled with olive oil or seaweed snacks.