So these days with COVID we’re not going much of anywhere – though things do look like they’re starting to open up – but these travel-friendly snacks can double for on-the-go or desk drawer, whether you’re working from home or heading into the office. If for example, you’re the kind of writer who prefers camaraderie and spending time with your fellow editors then you’ll be happy to know this list includes treats you can toss into your purse or gym bag and travel with.
Best part? These travel-friendly snacks will survive long hours without perishing. 🙂 If Zooming your editors and co-workers is more your thing then you’ll also find a few favorites on this list to make your work from home days a little healthier. And your waistline will thank you later when those mid-morning or afternoon pangs hit and you reach for one of these fit snacks instead of a sugar-laden cookie or bag of chips. Now, on to the snacks:
*Writer’s Note: I’ve included a few links to favorite products that I love and enjoy. I’m not affiliated with them in anyway (aside from being an avid snacker) and won’t make any profit or proceeds if you choose to make a purchase.
1. Purely Elizabeth Granola
When I discovered the delicious goodness that is Purely Elizabeth I was sitting at a desk in California wondering what possessed me to teach middle school after experiencing my own trauma-induced middle school experience in NYC. Precisely during this time, a chic snack bag beckoned to me from my campus director’s desk. Curiosity, in this case, didn’t kill the cat and instead blessed me with one of my favorite travel-friendly snacks.
This better-for-you granola comes in flavors like Vanilla Almond Butter, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Pumpkin Cinnamon. Their entire line is gluten-free, sweetened with coconut sugar, and made with ancient grains like oats, amaranth, and quinoa or grain-free [seeds, nuts, and nut butter].
The sugar content in Purely Elizabeth’s granola produces less blood sugar spikes than the regular store-bought variety and tastes way better too in a bowl of Greek Yogurt or milk of choice [it even pairs well with alt. milks like unsweetened soy]. If you’re on the go and need to pack your snacks then grab a baggie and mix this with some mixed nuts for a healthy and satisfying treat.
2. Paleo Bars
Because of my obsession with eating foods only sweetened with honey or maple syrup, a friend gifted these to me as a Costco find. Made with good-for-you ingredients like chia seeds, honey, and almonds, they’re rich in flavor and make for a great option when all you need is something quick and filling.
For those of you who can recall the days of eagerly tearing into one (or two) of Quaker’s Chewy Granola Bars, you can think of these Paleo Bars as the healthy “adult” version because the delectable softness of the oats blended with shreds of coconut gives it a similar texture–which is the true star of these bars!
While they sadly only come in one flavor, they do pair well with a cup of milk, some carrot sticks, or doubled-up. If you do choose to go the alternative route and double-up (hey, I don’t blame you!) then do know these bars pack a whopping 230 calories per 38g including 19g of fat, 4g of fiber, 9g of sugar (most likely from the honey) and 6g protein. Plan accordingly.
3. Piece of fruit with a packet of nut butter
Ah, fruit. Who can deny the delicious morsels of candy that come from nature themselves? Fruit is God’s given gift to mankind. Whether you like citrus or sweet, tart or juicy, there’s a fruit for you and your taste bud – you just have to find it. There’s nothing better than opening a jar of nut butter (homemade, preferably, if that’s your jam) and running a smooth peanut butter knife (yes, they actually exist) through the top of the jar and spreading it onto a nice slice of fruit.
Nut butters go well with all kinds of fruit too and make for uber travel-friendly snacks. You could try the traditional “PB&J” combo – peanut butter and berries – or banana peanut butter. Here are a few flavor combinations to get your palate going:
- Pair peanut butter with an apple, banana, berries (strawberries or raspberries), pear
- Pair almond butter with an apple, banana, blueberries, figs, peaches
- Pair hazelnut butter with strawberries or raspberries, apples, or bananas
- Pair sunflower seed butter with apples, berries (all kinds!), pears
As you can see this snack provides a lot of different options for fruit choices AND nut butter varieties. Go to town on this one and enjoy the flavors we’ve been generously blessed with!
This one is an extension of #3 and I say this only because Lärabars are jam-packed with fruits and nuts. The Cherry Pie flavor, for example, has just 3 ingredients! Dates, almonds, and unsweetened cherries. All of the bars are made with less than 9 ingredients and include both timeless and seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread, and Snickerdoodle. Pair this treat with a homemade “protein” shake made from Greek Yogurt or milk of your choice to boost the macronutrient profile.
5. Baby carrots (or tomatoes) and hummus
If you’re really jonesing for something savory that won’t pack on the calories then veggies, like carrots, or a veggie-like fruit such as tomatoes paired with hummus and a little drizzle of EVOO might just be your thing. Hummus can be paired with so many different combinations of veggies: broccoli, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers.
Supermarkets occasionally carry packets of hummus for those of us on the hunt for travel-friendly snack options though after approximately an hour or so hummus will have to be refrigerated, which is just one thing to be mindful of.
If you’re more adventurous and prefer a softer snack then Roti pre-made and stored in the refrigerator also go well with a slab of hummus. Just warm the flatbread up a bit, dress it with hummus, drizzle some olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and you’ll have a snack that carries you right from earth all the way up to the high heavens (figuratively of course).
6. Applesauce and trail mix
Okay so if this list could be synthesized into two words it’d be this: fruit & nuts. That’s exactly what makes applesauce and trail mix one of the most perfect travel-friendly snacks. These days, you can even find applesauce in cute little squeeze pouches which is great because back in my day (the days of Lisa Frank and light-up sneakers) your only resolve was to carry a spoon with you everywhere or find one at a local bodega if applesauce was your snack of choice.
Oftentimes, I’d forego the applesauce because who wants to carry around a little metal spoon in their backpack? And then once you used it you either had to clean it or throw it in your bag with applesauce bits on it, and that second part wasn’t my style but anyway, I digress. The point is these days applesauce is an easy, peasy option to put into a lunch sack (or box, whatever) especially since it’s light on the stomach and healthy for you!
With some trail mix on the side, you get all the most important nutrients: carbs, protein, and fat. And if you have a sweet tooth, you can mix dried fruit into your trail mix for some natural sugars. Talk about wins all around! Just make sure to go for the unsweetened variety if the rest of your cart is high in grains, like bread or pasta, which also convert into sugar in the blood system.
7. Whole-grain crackers with cheese
Whenever we’d have family over or visitors from out of town, my mom would pull the metal tray from the wooden china cabinet, decorate it with little white napkins and top it with those round Ritz crackers and slices of cheese. While fresh mozz. is ideal it’s not exactly travel-friendly, though its little sibling part-skim low-fat string cheese is — in fact, I’m pretty sure it was purposefully designed for traveling! (Or putting smiles on kids’ faces, one of the two).
Flavor-wise, crackers also pair well with a hard cheese like manchego or cheddar which will also be more forgiving if placed in a sack for a few hours (note: only leave dairy out for up to 2 hours. Anything more and it should go into a fridge). Now, the big question is what kind of crackers to get? Whole-grain is the way to go here — a few personal favorites are Milton’s Baked Crackers, Wasa, Triscuit, Trader Joe’s Gluten-free Norwegian Crispbread, and Ak-mak Sesame Crackers.
Aim to find one low on sugar. The reason is that our foods are packed with sugar, so if you regularly buy packaged or boxed foods then you could be consuming more sugar than you realize. To be mindful of this, read the ingredients list and choose options that include whole ingredients instead of anything with sugar, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, etc.
8. Organic Brown Rice Cakes (Lightly Salted)
So I recently rediscovered these tasty little morsels from Lundberg Family Farms during a recent Instacart order. What I love is that they’re crunchy and pair well with peanut butter, avocado, hummus, or any other topping of choice. Brown rice is touted as the “rice of choice” right next to Jasmine rice because it’s higher in fiber than white rice. Bodybuilders pretty much live on these because they’re low in calories, filling, and can travel anywhere.
So there you have it: 8 travel-friendly snacks you can keep with you whether you write from home or on the go. Was your favorite on the list? Share with me in the comments what snacks you love or would add to this list! I’m always on the hunt for new treats.