Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Go Frugal with Snacks

The Greenest Dollar has yet another great post that I'd like to share with you. I'm all about snacks, and when they're healthy and frugal -- what more could you ask for?

Healthy, Frugal Travel Snacks


If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you know how it is when it comes to meal and snack options. Greasy fast food, chips, candy bars, soda…

After a few hours you’re bloated, dehydrated, and yearning for something healthy. Plus, all that convenience food really gets expensive after a while.

Eating well (and frugal) on the road takes some planning, and I learned that the hard way last time A and I took a long trip. We’re both vegetarians, and didn’t plan our food out in advance before we left.

We were hungry, to say the least. And it wasn’t pretty.

We’re leaving for vacation this week, and this time I resolved not to make the same mistake twice. So I decided to write a post about healthy travel foods while I researched options for our own trip.

Health Travel Snacks
I’m going to start out with some of the basics here…

  • Vegetable sticks, cherry tomatoes
  • Peanut butter and crackers
  • GORP (peanuts, raisons, dried fruit, Cheerios, almonds, chocolate chips, or whatever else you want to throw in there)
  • Granola
  • Fruit (apples, oranges, grapes, pears, and bananas travel well)
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Edmame
  • Popcorn
  • Pita chips
  • Pickles and olives
  • Hummus (goes great with celery, carrots, and pita chips)

A Note on Hard-Boiled Eggs...
I’m thinking about boiling us some eggs the night before we leave (super YUM with Tony Chachere cajun seasoning!). As far as I’m able to tell from researching online, hard boiled eggs are fine for a few hours out of the fridge. If left in the fridge, they’ll last a week.

I remember boiling and coloring eggs as a child; we’d leave them out for days sometimes, eating them as we went along, and I never got sick. But, I probably wouldn’t do that now! I’m sure they’ll be fine for a few hours in the car, though.

Out of the Box Ideas

Travel EnchiladasI

I found this intriguing idea at Road Trip America.

Take a whole grain tortilla and spread it with reduced fat cream cheese. Sprinkle the cream cheese with nuts and dried fruit (dried pineapple bits are a favorite), and then roll it up like an enchilada. These are surprisingly good!

Wow, I might have to try that one…

Cheese Crisps

This recipe came from a Facebook friend (thanks Heather!). She makes them all the time for her family when they’re traveling, and swears she’s can’t make them fast enough! Here’s her recipe:

Use several cups Shredded Cheese (hard type works better) (Sharp Cheddar &/or Parm)
Italian Seasoning or Mexican Seasoning or your favorite flavors to taste
Mix thoroughly. Next:

  • Line cookie sheet w/ parchement paper
  • Place 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp scoops of cheese mixture on cookie sheet
  • Bake @ 350 for approx 10 min. or til golden brown & bubbly

When the cheese cools it will crispy & delicious! Also, Lowfat cheese is less greasy; harder cheeses crisp better & don’t spread as much. You can also play around w/ the mixture to your liking!

Banana Split PB & J

Image courtesy of Cooking Light

Image courtesy of Cooking Light

I love peanut butter. I eat it everyday, and I’ll spread it on anything.

So you can imagine my sheer delight when I came across The Banana Split Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich in Cooking Light last December.

I have made this luscious sandwich several times now, and let me tell you: IT IS YUM.

I’m definitely making one for the trip, but obviously I won’t be able to grill it. Here’s the original recipe, from Cooking Light:


  • 2 (1-ounce) slices firm white sandwich bread, divided
  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon semisweet chocolate minichips
  • 1 large strawberry, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small banana, cut lengthwise into 3 slices (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple jam


Spread one side of each white bread slice with 1/2 teaspoon butter. Combine peanut butter and honey; spread over plain side of 1 bread slice. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; top evenly with strawberry slices and banana slices.

Spread pineapple jam over plain side of remaining bread slice. Carefully assemble sandwich.

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sandwich; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

What I’ll Do…

I’ll probably just end up toasting the bread, and leaving off the pineapple jam (which is what I usually do because to me, the pineapple makes it too sweet with everything else).

Strawberry Sandwich

I found this yummy looking sandwich over at Reader’s Digest. And boy, the picture makes it look really, really good, so give that link a click if you want to check it out. I’m drooling as we speak…

Here’s the recipe:


1⁄2 slice Mestemacher or other dense 3-grain bread (equal to 65 calories)
2 teaspoons farmer cheese
3 strawberries, sliced
1⁄2 teaspoon honey
Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Place the bread on a plate and spread with the farmer cheese. Top evenly with the strawberries and drizzle with the honey. Add black pepper, if desired. Cut in half and eat.

Any frugal, healthy snacks that you'd like to add? Let me know!

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