Road trips aren’t known for healthy snack fare. Traditional chips, jerky, and cookies may be convenient and easy to eat while the road signs fly by, but for those of us who don’t want to sacrifice our health just to keep those wheels rolling, it’s a struggle to find foods that are both easy to eat and tasty.
Add an extra heaping dose of hassle to your hunger conundrum if you’re gluten-free or plant-based…or BOTH!
Luckily, increased demand for healthy snack foods is on the rise. Driven primarily by consumer demand for healthier, nutritionally dense on-the-go options, the global healthy snacks market valued at $78 billion in 2019, is projected to reach $108 billion by 2027.
Nutrition-minded road-trippers all over the US are already reaping the benefits of the call for more portable palate-pleasing snacks. And so can you.
Here are 5 must-have gluten-free vegetarian to satisfy all your taste buds on your next epic road trip.
Conveniently packaged in snack-sized pouches, Supernola offers you energizing nutrition and tasty satisfaction for your portable pleasure. The company is on a mission to make healthy snacking an easy choice, and has taken on the challenge of creating a snack food that does as much for your taste buds as it does for your health.
You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to flavor and even texture. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer chewy or crunchy, Supernola has you covered with their superfood clusters, conveniently packaged for individual consumption on the go.
Current flavors include Triple Berry Vanilla, Dragon Fruit Lemon Zest, Sweet Honey Goji, Pineapple Ginger Fusion, Dark Chocolate Nut Crunch, and my personal favorite, Banana Nut Crunch (sprinkle this on some vanilla yogurt when you get home from your road trip…omg….).
Supernola somehow managed to create a sweet and delicious snack that is not only certified organic, it’s gluten-free, paleo, and vegan. I don’t know how they did it, but I’m SOOOO glad they did.
Rule Breaker Cookies & Snacks
Growing up, one of my favorite road trip must-have snacks was cookies. Usually, it was oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies my grandma baked to keep us occupied, though I’m not sure how my mom concentrated on the road with us kids bouncing off the station wagon windows in the back seat.
As a gluten-free adult, I miss the cookies when I hit the road.
Luckily, Nancy Kalish has a sweet tooth too and decided we all deserve to eat cookies while we travel. She took her passion for health and experimented A LOT to come up with a moisty, chewy treat made without all the junk in your traditional cookies and cakes.
Rule Breaker cookies and cake snacks truly do break the rules. As soon as you bite into one of these delicious little treats you’ll swear you’ve been duped into eating dessert.
But no. It’s all in the beans.
After much experimentation, Nancy Kalish was able to come up with a formula for creating cookies and cakes that taste just like the real thing but are made with chickpeas. They’re also gluten and nut-free, as well as vegan.
I don’t know how she did it, but the variety of flavors is enough to keep any cookie fiend satisfied. Current options include a mix of bite-size mini and full-sized cookie options in Mint Chocolate Brownie, Birthday Cake, Deep Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chunk Blondie, and P’Nutter Chocolate Chip Blondie.
KEHO Savory Snack Bars
As much as I love a good sweet snack, life is all about balance. What’s been missing from the vegetarian snack stash has been something savory we can sink our teeth into. KEHO savory snack bars fill a void where the salty snack has long been falling short for the gluten-free plant-based bunch.
KEHO has answered our call with an array of savory snack bites that satisfy your need for something a little more sophisticated, even if you’re eating it on the go. Not only are they gluten-free and plant-based, it’s full of healthy fats and formulated to adhere to macros that support a keto style of diet.
They’re calling these snack bars “a mini-meal made with real whole ingredients” and currently come in flavors with clever and delicious names like Thai Me Over, Tex-Mex Moment, Pizza to Go, and Curry in a Hurry. If the personality built into these snacks didn’t entice me to eat these, the flavors would still draw me in. There’s something comforting about being able to pronounce and recognize the ingredients in something you’re eating.
The creators of KEHO have managed to distill the essence of a real sit-down meal into a convenient treat you can eat with one hand on the steering wheel and greatly reduced the chances you’ll show up at your destination with remnants of your last meal spilled down the front of your shirt.
Tia Lupita Chips
There are few snacks more convenient and satisfying as a bag of chips while you’re rolling down the highway. Unfortunately, even though many chip brands are naturally gluten-free, they still contain unhealthy ingredients many of us would rather avoid.
Tia Lupita to the rescue. These consummate creators of crunch get a gold medal for elevating the classic chip to gourmet status. Tia Lupita chips completely bypass the traditional corn base and instead build their flavor profile on a creative concoction that includes cassava flour, and cactus.
Yep, you heard that right.
These chips are made with cactus, which is apparently very sustainable, and as I can vouch, utterly delicious. Spice is the name of the game here, with flavors like Salsa Verde, Habanero, Hot Sauce, and Chipotle. But you can still get in on the action even if you’re not a fan of heat when you opt for classic Sea Salt.
One of my favorite things about these chips is that the flavor is baked right into the chip, not coated in a dusting of artificial color and god-knows-what-else on the outside like some certain varieties of fingertip staining chip brands who shall remain nameless. When your chip leaves your fingers, it takes all the flavor with it, leaving your hands clean and clear to return to the wheel.
Core & Rind Cashew Cheesy Sauce
Now, I know what you’re thinking: how did vegan nacho cheese sauce get on this list of convenient travel snacks? I can’t eat that while I drive.
Well my friend, sometimes you just need a little cheese with your chips. Core and Rind has answered the call so many of us plant-based freaks have been sounding for years—bring us the nacho cheese and hold the dairy!
And while I wouldn’t recommend attempting to prepare a bowl of nachos while behind the wheel, there’s no reason you can’t twist off the lid and carefully dip while still keeping your eyes on the road. Now that our beloved vegan cheese sauce has been packaged and made shelf-stable, we too can enjoy the cheesy goodness of nacho dip without the blender and pantry full of spices.
What’s truly astounding about these jars of magical cheese dip is the variety of flavors. I mean, how cleverly can you really disguise cashew? Quite, as it turns out. Check out the myriad of flavors for yourself, ranging from Sharp & Tangy to Bold & Spicy, and even Rich & Smoky.
Thanks to all these innovative and health-conscious companies, those of us who value our health no longer have to sacrifice flavor or nostalgia when we hit the road. I’m encouraged by how often I see new options available that check both the gluten-free and plant-based boxes, and look forward to seeing even more options come to market in the future. What are your favorites?