What’s more exciting than flying?! Alright, maybe flying isn’t exciting to everyone but it means you’re traveling…and we looooooove traveling! But what’s one of the first things to fall by the wayside whether you’re taking a vacation or just jetting off for a quick business trip? Usually your healthy diet. This diet typically starts at the airport because let’s face it, there aren’t many healthy options at most airports and if you wait until the onboard café to find some snacks your options are even more limited; not to mention expensive! It doesn’t have to be this way however, you can eat healthy, save money and keep your healthy lifestyle intact while flying…it just takes a little work. Here are 8 of our favorite ideas for healthy (and easy) airplane snacks:
Avocado Smash with Plantain Chips
Avocados are an awesome travel snack because they don’t require refrigeration, they provide healthy fats to your diet and they can be mashed up with just about anything. Bring along some crispy plantain chips and you have a great healthy snack for flying. It’s even gluten –free and paleo approved!
To make: Take 1 avocado, scoop into a bowl, add seasonings of choice: lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic, hot sauce, chives, lemon zest…options are endless. Then using a fork smash the avocado with the seasonings until desired consistency is achieved.
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Skip the chips and instead make this easy, addictively crunchy snack for your next trip. Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein so unlike chips or popcorn, this spicy snack will also fill you up. Spice combinations are endless so you can experiment and find a flavor combination that you crave.
To make: Drain a can of chickpeas, toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp ground cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne powder to taste. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a single layer for 30 minutes at 400° F, shaking tray half way through.
PB Power Balls
These tasty little peanut butter power balls are about as easy to make as it gets; they’re full of energy boosting oats and protein rich peanut butter to keep you satisfied through those long flights. They’ve also got a little kick of chocolate for those sweet cravings and best of all –no baking required!
To make: Combine 1 c. oats, 2/3 c. shredded coconut, ½. c peanut butter, ½. c mini choc chips, 1/3 c. honey, 1 tbsp. chia seeds and 1 tsp vanilla in a bowl and mix until combined. Roll into 1 ½ inch balls and refrigerate until firm.
Hummus and Veggie Wrap
Hummus is such a versatile spread and provides way better nutrition than any mayonnaise based dips and spreads with its high fibre and protein thanks to chickpeas and tahini. It’s a perfect option for flying because it can stand some time out of refrigeration and won’t make your sammies soggy. Pack a couple of these easy hummus veggie wraps for a healthy snack on the go.
To make: Take your favorite store bought hummus and spread a couple tablespoons onto a wrap (or a leaf of lettuce if you want to go all out on health factor) and add your favorite fresh veggies like grated carrot, tomato, cucumber, peppers, sprouts, radish, avocado, or anything else you like, roll it up, wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge until it’s travel time.
Our favorite Japanese appetizer can also be a great (and satisfying) travel snack on the go. Edamame beans are cheap, easy to cook, rich in carbs, protein and fibre…and best of all they travel well thanks to their natural ‘packaging’.
To make: steam some frozen (or fresh if you can find) edamame pods in their shells until tender, drain off excess water, then toss with 1 tsp sesame oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds. Just pack in a container for your flight and bring a little baggie for those shells.
Chocolate Crunch Bars
Candy bars and other sugar-filled, chocolaty treats are all too easy to come by at airports and on-board but they do nothing good for you. These chocolate crunch bars require a little work but are a great alternative with far less sugar, protein rich almonds, fibre filled dates and enough chocolate to satisfy any sweet craving!
To make: Bottom layer- Combine 8 medjool dates, 2 tbsp. shredded coconut, ½ c slivered almonds, 2 tbsp. cocoa powder and pulse in food processor until well mixed and sticky. Press into small square dish. Top layer- Melt ¼ c. coconut oil and ¼ c. chocolate chips until smooth and combined. Add 1 tbsp. maple syrup and 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, stir and pour over the date/nut base. Refrigerate until firm and then cut into squares and wrap in plastic for travel.
DIY Dried Fruit
Fresh fruit is great but doesn’t always travel so well. By the time you make it through airport security your banana is usually battered and beaten at best. The answer? Dried fruit! It’s easy to make your own dried fruit at home and it’s free of preservatives and added sugars (unlike some of the store bought stuff). It travels extremely well, fills you up with fibre and satisfies a sudden sweet craving.
To make: Select your favorite fruits that are ripe but not overripe (apples, banana, mango, peaches, pears and apricots all work well) remove seeds/cores and slice to about ¼ inch thickness. Place on non-stick baking sheets and place in 170°F oven to dry for anywhere between 4-8 hrs. Drying time all depends on thickness and moisture content of fruit. Once dried, pack in bags or add to granola for a healthy travel breakfast!
Quinoa Nut Clusters
It’s no secret that quinoa packs a healthy nutritional punch and it’s a welcome addition to any diet with its abundance of vitamins, minerals and protein. Combine it with nuts and cocoa in this easy to make snack and you have a winning combination that not only travels well, but is sure to make your neighbors jealous while they pick from sad airplane snacks.
To make: Mix ¼ c. melted coconut oil, ¼ c. maple syrup or honey, 2 tbsp. cocoa powder and 2 tsp coconut flakes in a bowl until combined, add in 1 ½ c. puffed quinoa and ½ c. chopped toasted nuts of your choice (almonds, peanuts, cashews all work well, or for nut-free add toasted pumpkin seeds) and combine. Spoon into muffin liners and refrigerate until set.
Ok, this last one isn’t in the homemade category but lets say you get scheduled for a last minute business flight and you have no time to do your usual healthy snack prep… don’t worry because FlyJoy has you covered! These delicious, nutritious bars make it easy to enjoy a healthy snack on the go, since they’re filled with wholesome ingredients like quinoa, oats, flaxseeds, chia seeds, dried fruits and nuts. Just pop a few of these bars into your carry-on and you won’t have to worry about temptations like airport fast-food and unhealthy in-flight snack options. Plus they come in seven fun flavors like Peanut Butter & Jelly and Cashew Cookie Dough. To get your hands on some, head to flyjoy.com.