The Best Car Snacks!

For some reason, in my head, car rides equal car snacks.  The two just go together perfectly! Rarely will you ever catch me making a trip without making or baking a snack for the road before hand, even if the trip is only two hours long. It’s embarrassing.

Over time I have found some treats and recipes that work really great in the car, and others that don’t work nearly as well. So, I thought I would compile the good list and share it with you, my trusty viewers.

I will continue to update the list with every new and delicious car snack, so check back often, and happy travels!

– Sarah

From Top (Right to Left): 

  1. Holiday Trail Mix
  2. Chewy Chocolate Cherry Vegan Granola Bars
  3. Roasted Chickpeas
  4. Homemade Clif Bars
  5. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
  6. No-Bake Energy Bites*
  7. Homemade Wheat Thins
  8. Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars
  9. Baked Kale Chips
  10. Greek Yogurt Fruit Bites*
  11. Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Cups
  12. Homemade Chocolate Granola
  13. Pomegranate Seeds

Requires (*), or would benefit (**), from a cooler on long rides!

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Vegan Granola Bars

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I know I’ve told you this before, but one of my favorite things to make is snacks. I mean seriously, every one gets the munchies, so there’s nothing better than having a healthy, or at least partly wholesome, homemade snack in the house. I have made several granola bars in the past, but I just cannot get enough of them. It was time to introduce another granola bar recipe to the world.

I love the combination of cocoa and cherries in this recipe, however you could substitute any fruit in for the cherries, and you could do without the cocoa if you’re not a chocolate fan. (However if you’re not a chocolate fan, who are you?!) This recipe is permission to have fun in the kitchen. So go crazy! Eat the batter raw (you can do that when it’s Vegan!!), and feel free to munch.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup quick rolled oats + 1/3 cup
  • ½ cup – ¾ cup sugar (based on your preferred sweetness!)
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and lightly coat eight-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (not the butter kind if going vegan!).
  2. In a food processor, blend 1/3 cup of the quick rolled oats until finely ground (making oat flour).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1 2/3 cups oats, the oat flour, sugar, coconut flakes, flax seeds, cherries, sunflower seeds, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter, vanilla, and water. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Add the peanut butter to the mix and thoroughly blend together.
  6. Press the ingredients into the prepared pan, firmly and evenly.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are brown. If the pan seems undercooked or soft in the center, the bars will firm up while cooling!
  8. Allow for the bars to cool in the pan until room temperature. Once cool, use a serrated knife and cut the bars into squares.

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Notes and Tips!:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Summer for some means pool time, for others it means vacation time. For my family, summer has always meant lots of car time. Every year as a child my parents packed up our green mini van and my family would drive, often for several days, for a little family vacation, and a new adventure. I have fond memories of these drives- playing cards, getting ice cream in the late afternoon, and reading until I fell asleep.

One thing I clearly remember is my mother packing our own food. My mom always used to make trail mix, or bring apples and pretzels- things to keep my younger brother and I from begging for candy bars at each gas station. I guess that tradition rubbed off on me some, because every time I prepared for a car trip this summer, I found myself looking through recipes for car snacks. This delicious recipe is one of my new car time favorites. These granola bars are filling, healthy, won’t melt or fall apart on you, and are an excellent way to snack. I know pumpkin seems early for late summer, but the recipe looked so delicious I couldn’t resist myself! Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare an 8 inch square baking pan by spraying lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, spices, and salt- whisking until completely blended.
  3. In a separate medium sized bowl, combine the brown sugar with the wet ingredients- pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture, stirring until the moisture is evenly distributed throughout the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
  6. Press the batter into the prepared pan- using a spatula to evenly spread the mixture- and bake for 30- 35 minutes. The tops of the bars should be golden brown, and set in the middle.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into bars using a sharp knife.

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 10-12 granola bars
  • Don’t under cook these bars! The pumpkin can make them very moist, so cook them the full time for best results!
  • To make vegan: substitute vegan chocolate chips for the regular chocolate chips, and if desired try molasses instead of honey! I have not tried this substitution but imagine it would work well.
  • To make gluten free: use gluten-free, non-contaminated oats
  • Source: Two Peas & their Pod  

Homemade Clif® Bars

My wonderful boyfriend, and most loyal taste-tester, is highly allergic to nuts. His reactions are pretty severe, and really quite scary. Consequently, he is much more cautious with how he eats and I am much more intentional about how I cook. You may have noticed, but I only use recipes without nuts or that I can easily substitute other ingredients in their place!

One type of recipe that commonly requires nuts are granola bars. Apparently, nuts and granola bars seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly for most people. When my boyfriend went away to work at a camp for the past few weeks I wanted to send him with a healthy, filling snack, and had to work hard to find a nut-free granola bar. I stumbled upon this delicious recipe, and have been very pleased with it. I highly recommend it. It is full of wholesome ingredients, perfect for those with nut allergies, and a really healthy snack option that will help curb your hunger!

The use of a food processor is really helpful in this recipe, however a food processor is one luxury my little rented kitchen doesn’t have. The good news is in this situation a good strong blender will definitely be able to get the job done, you just may have to work at it a little longer. That’s all there is too it though! Blend, bake, eat, smile. Hope you like them!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3 large biscuit style shredded wheat cereal, or 1 cup un-frosted spoon-size shredded wheat
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips*

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare an 8×8 inch pan by spraying it lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a blender or food processor, lightly chop the raisins. They will be sticky, so rearrange with a knife or spoon as necessary.
  3. Add the shredded wheat, oats, cinnamon and salt to the food processor/blender and continue pulsing until the ingredients are completely mixed together and finely chopped.
  4. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, honey, vanilla and peanut butter together.
  5. Add the dry oat mixture to the liquid mixture and stir.
  6. One the wet and dry ingredients have been completely mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake 15-18 minutes until edges are slightly golden.
  8. Let cool completely in the pan, and then slice into squares.

Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 8 granola bars
  • The recipe calls for mini chocolate chips, however shaved chocolate pieces or regular sized chips will work just as well! It’s your preference! I used regular sized chocolate chips simply because it was what I had available.
  • Source: recipe adapted from California Raisin and Cookies & Cups