Healthy Travel Snacks to Get You Through Your Adventures

by Carlye Cunniff
( December 4th, 2015 )

Healthy Travel Snacks

I’m not usually one for health tips – anyone who reads this blog on the reg knows that. I believe non-fat anything is disgraceful, I am eating or am thinking about eating about 80% of the time, and believe that wine + popcorn is a suitable dinner. This is a blog about traveling and eating after all, I wouldn’t want to give the impression that we shouldn’t enjoy it!

That being said, eating while traveling can be a bit more of a challenge for me. I mean, it’s hard to find healthy travel snacks while on board a plane, and stopping a rushed road-trip for a bite of local fare is sometimes frowned upon. Couple the extra travel with with rich holiday foods, a healthy dose of homemade holiday fudge, and of course, cocktails, and you have a recipe for disaster (read: adult holiday meltdowns).

In order to keep sane, I pack these healthy travel snacks before a trip. The trick is to pack things you’re excited about eating that will also satisfy you on a (sometimes unpleasant) long journey. This means a variety of sweet and savory, lots of protein to fill you up, and enough water to make up for all that dehydrating time in the air.

Green Tea. I’m a drinker of green tea all the time, but during holiday travel I make a conscious effort to choose it over sugary coffee drinks or ahem, eggnog lattes. It’s full of antioxidants, doesn’t add unnecessary calories, and works as a warming treat for those blustery cold mornings. I pack a little baggie full of teabags, and add water once the service cart comes around. And, while it might not quite qualify as a snack, it is healthy and can travel.

Breakfast. If I have a day of travel ahead of me, I try and make a point to have a healthy breakfast at home. It may be the last homemade meal I’ll have in a while, so I want to pack in all the nutrients I can.  I stick to veggie and fruit loaded options in case I don’t have a chance to eat something healthy again. My favorite is a beet and cranberry smoothie, blended with spinach and orange juice for a seasonal twist. Also high on my list? Steel cut oats with toasted kale, Parmesan cheese and a fried egg.

Healthy Travel Snacks

Sea Salt and Vanilla Toasted Nuts. I make a big batch of these toasted nuts a few days before a big trip, and snack on them almost constantly. They make a perfect healthy travel snack because of the perfect blend of savory and sweet.  This snack feels a little indulgent, but also serves to fill you up. If you wanted something with a little more kick, try roasting them with red chili flakes and pepper.

Healthy Travel Snacks

Dark Chocolate. Everybody needs a little chocolate when they travel – it warms the soul. In an attempt to avoid the sugar-loaded hot chocolate tempting me at the airport, I pick out a special bar of the stuff to bring with me to savor on the plane.

Apple Slices. These are one of the easier fruits to pack, and no one can deny the wonderful luxury of already sliced apples! Give them a squeeze of lemon juice if the brown color bothers you. Another plush? They freshen your breath!

Carrot Sticks with Peanut Butter. Another super – easy, welcome snack for the plane. Never tried carrots and peanut butter before? Sounds like you never went to summer camp. If you want to get really crafty, cut the carrots into coin-shaped rounds, add the peanut butter and make a little sandwich. Voila, perfect healthy travel snack!

Walnut Millet Muffins. Really any muffin would do, but I am particularly fond of millet muffins when I’m traveling. They are easy to eat (as in, they won’t make a huge mess) and are so much better for you than the ones you’ll find at the airport.

Healthy Travel Snacks

Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast. I’m a big fan of regular old popcorn (see above wine + popcorn = dinner comment) but for special occasions, like plane rides, I like nootch popcorn. Oddly enough, I’ve been calling this extra-special-secret popcorn nootch forever, but recently found a recipe for it, and the blogger calls it nootch as well. Must mean we should be friends! Nootch is short for nutritional yeast. Which sounds nasty, I’m aware. It is not nasty though, it’s amazing. It’s kind of cheesy and savory, and full of, well, nutrients. Basically, you make a batch of popcorn on the stove top, then add a tablespoon or two (or three!) of nutritional yeast (which you can buy at a health food store, or a well-stocked bulk section). I’ve included a recipe from Gimme Some Oven, in case you’d like more details.

Water bottle. I know, I know, this is not a food. But it’s kind of a food, right? Food or not, I’m including it anyway, it’s that important. I always bring a big, empty water bottle through security when I fly. If I can’t find a drinking fountain, I politely ask a vendor to fill it up for me before I board the plane – nothing beats fresh (non-airplane) water once you hit cruising altitude.

Have more ideas? Let us know in the comments below!

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Easy Holiday Party Snacks

by Carlye Cunniff
( December 1st, 2015 )

Easy Holiday Party Snacks

Last week, I gathered up a list of the best Christmas Party Cocktails. Cocktails are important, but I missed an important point. The food. Food makes the holidays go ‘round. Am I right?

This week, while preparing for a holiday party of my own, I’ve cultivated a list of the best easy holiday party snacks. They are simple enough to throw together in the throes of a holiday fete, even after you’ve had one too many servings of eggnog. So go ahead, have another cocktail, throw a party, and celebrate!

Orange Blossom Candied Cranberries. Count on Food52 to supply genius holiday snack ideas. These little babies only use three ingredients, and can serve as a centerpiece as well as edible art. Also helpful, making them means using up all those cranberries you didn’t get through at Thanksgiving. Score.

Bake Brie with Blackberry Compote.  The way to my heart is certainly through a slab of baked brie. Impress your holiday guests with the extra effort of a berry compote, this recipe provided by Brown Eyed Baker.  Also tasty? Crackers topped with brie and sour cherry sauce (yes, even the stuff from the deli section). A cranberry compote would be festive as well.

Easy Holiday Party Snacks

Grape Salsa on Goat Cheese Crostini. Crostini is always a crowd pleaser, but tomatoes are not particularly amazing in December (at least not in Seattle).  Instead, choose the unexpected, grapes combined with a little zest and creamy goat cheese. Thanks again Sprouted Kitchen.

Rosemary and Lemon White Bean Dip. Need to feed a crowd? Throwing together a unique dip is potentially the easiest solution out there, provided you have a food processor. Throw it all together, slice up a baguette, and get to eating. Serious Eats provided this easy recipe. I might be making my favorite, tomato basil white bean dip, to add a little color to the party.

Easy Holiday Party Snacks

Baked Rosemary Parmesan Chickpeas. I understand that the terms “baked chickpeas & party” don’t go together at first blush, but bear with me. My best friend got married this summer, and her mother wisely made some bags of seasoned and cheesed chickpeas to brake out during the post-wedding dance party. Let me tell you about those chickpeas: they did not stand a chance against the dance – exhausted wedding party. I’ll hazard a guess that they won’t last long when busted out at your holiday party either. A Beautiful Mess provides the recipe here.

2 – Ingredient Queso Dip.  Queso is a fairly new discovery for me. Seattleites don’t really have queso on everything like other parts of the county, but I’m starting to think maybe we should consider it. For my boyfriend, a meal is not complete without queso. I’m not suggesting we go that far, but I wouldn’t mind having some at a holiday party. Especially if there are chips. There have to be chips! This queso is literally a jar of salsa and a block of cream cheese expertly melted in the microwave. Plus, the genius blogger behind it calls her blog Gimme Some Oven, which is beyond hilarious.

Easy Holiday Party Snacks

Deep Fried Ravioli On A Stick. Yep. You read that right. There is an actual recipe that involves deep frying a delicious pillow of pasta, skewering it, and plunging it into various sauces. The plus side to the stick? You have a free hand to continue sampling other snacks… Just a Taste provides this recipe.

Photo Credits:

Brie fondant aux pommes et sirop d’érable.  Pier-Luc Bergeron. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Food Blog South Pre Party. Food Blog South. CC BY 2.0. 

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Christmas Party Cocktails

by Carlye Cunniff
( November 24th, 2015 )

Christmas Party Cocktails

It seems my calendar is filling up fast with Christmas parties. Different organizations I’m part of, office parties, cookie exchanges – you know the ones. With all these festivities, it’s easy to burn out on unique Christmas party cocktail ideas. I’m tempted to buy a keg for our upcoming Christmas party and call it a night, but am determined to remain festive. And what’s more festive than a cocktail at a Christmas party? Especially a themed cocktail. Behold, a list of Christmas party cocktails to fuel all your festivities this season.

Butterbeer. Harry Potter fans rejoice! You can experience the malty warmth of butterbeer in your own muggle life. Butterbeer is a perfect holiday treat – it’s warm and decadent. Also, it’s probably too sweet to have a lot of – perfect for a cookie exchange in lieu of hot chocolate. This recipe from Waiting on Martha uses non alcoholic butterscotch beer, but I plan on using the real stuff.

Butterbeer

Apple Cinnamon Old Fashioned. Old fashioned are a constant experiment in my house – we’re always trying to perfect our recipe. This Apple Cinnamon Old Fashioned from A Spicy Perspective is the ultimate signature cocktail, sure to have your party guests wondering just how you do it.

Spiked Eggnog. Eggnog is potentially my favorite holiday food. I can go through a gallon of the stuff in 2 days, easy. I realize the health implications of that kind of eggnog consumption, but partake anyway. You could, of course, just add rum or brandy to store – bought ‘nog, but making it from scratch is much more impressive. This easy blender eggnog recipe from Real Simple makes the homemade treat almost as easy as pouring a shot into the ready-made stuff.

Christmas Eggnog

Hot Spiced Cider. The only way to do hot spiced cider is in the slow cooker. Aside from easily creating a warm and delicious cocktail, cooking up the cider this ways makes your entire house smell like Christmas. Everyone will instantly believe in you as a host or hostess if your house smells like Christmas. Kitchen Treaty makes a perfect batch with just four ingredients. I recommend adding a little whip cream and caramel sauce, but, to each his own.

Orange Cranberry Gin and Tonic. A well-made gin and tonic is a thing of beauty, but feel free to color it up a bit at Christmas. A lighter cocktail than the milky and warm varieties you’ll find gracing holiday parties, this orange and cranberry gin and tonic from My Recipes will put you in a festive mood without weighing you down.

Photo Credits:

Holiday Cheer, John MorganCC by 2.0.

Butterbeer, John Ong, CC by 2.0.

Christmas Eggnog, Iris, CC by ND2.0

 

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