Friday 27 October 2023

22 Vegan Road Trip Snacks High in Nutrition, Low in Mess

best vegan road trip snacks
It doesn’t matter if it’s a 2-hour drive downstate or a 2-week cross-country road trip, having vegan-friendly snacks on hand is a must. Travel can take a toll on our bodies in weird ways. Bringing the right combination of healthy snacks is like nutritional insurance. For me, they help keep my immunity high while preventing me from resorting to less healthy snack alternatives. For longer trips, I will try to prepare are few of these low-mess snacks in advance. Combined with your essentials like plenty of water, a few pieces of fresh fruit, and the occasional coffee or tea, these are my go-to vegan road trip snacks.

#1. Chia Seed Pudding

If you can prep in advance, chia seed pudding is a super healthy and satiating road trip snack. It's made by soaking chia seeds in plant-based milk until they expand. It can be made thin and easy to drink or thick to enjoy with a spoon. I like to add honey, maple syrup, or a good-tasting protein powder for added flavour. Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, providing omega-3 fatty acids and a top-tier source of protein. High in fibre, chia seeds also support digestive health which can be especially helpful when on the road.

#2. Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans) can be roasted with seasonings and oil to make a crunchy delight that's high in protein and fibre, perfect for sustained energy and salt-lover satisfaction. This is my favourite recipe that offers a simple 3-ingredient baseline to work from. Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, manganese, and folate. Their fibre content aids digestion, while their protein content helps rebuild and repair tissues. The oil you choose–preferably olive oil or avocado oil–is also an important decision where quality matters.

#3. Kale Chips

If you're craving something crispy and salty, kale chips are your go-to. Simply toss kale leaves in a touch of olive oil and bake until they're delightfully crunchy. Feel free to experiment with seasonings like nutritional yeast or smoked paprika for a flavour punch. Or if you’re looking for an already-made product, Rhythm Superfoods makes bomb kale chips. Kale stands out as one of the most nutrient-dense foods around. Brimming with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron, it champions healthy skin and fortifies bone health. Give it a try and your body will start craving more of it.

#4. Fruit Leather

Imagine capturing the essence and sweetness of fruits in a portable, chewy snack. That's fruit leather and it’s pretty trendy right now. They're like nature's fruit roll-up candy and can be made with a myriad of fruit combinations. This recipe is an easy place to start that calls for 3 ingredients and no dehydrator needed. With the vitamins and minerals retained from fresh fruit, especially vitamin C and potassium, these treats support immune function and help maintain blood pressure. They’re also as mess-free as road trip snacks can get.

#5. Rice Cakes & Avocado or Nut Butter

For a crunchy base with a creamy topping, go for rice cakes paired with avocado or your favourite nut butter. It's like a blank canvas for flavours, be it savoury avocado with a sprinkle of salt or a nut butter drizzle with honey or maple syrup. I like to add nuts, banana (or other fruit), granola, or chocolate chips for extra substance. Avocados are snack-worthy by themselves, offering a comforting dose of monounsaturated fats, potassium, and fibre. Nut butters are a great alternative that provide more protein and breakfast food combinations. As for rice cakes, opt for organic brands like Lundberg over more conventional options like Quaker.

#6. Dark Chocolate (70%+)

A vegan road trip must-have for those sweet cravings, I like to indulge in a piece or two (or an entire bar) of dark chocolate. 70% cocoa or higher delivers that deep, rich, satiating flavour and less sugar. Anything from the brand Endangered Species in sea salt form is fantastic. Packed with flavonoids, dark chocolate can be a boon for your heart. Not to mention, the mood-enhancing properties and essential minerals like iron and magnesium make it a traveller's delight. I like to eat mine with a touch of nut butter for a delicious combination.

#7. Oat & Nut Energy Balls

Roll together the goodness of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits to get these energy-packed bites. They're not just delicious but act as mini energy boosters that you can pop anytime. Oats are celebrated for their soluble fibre that can lower cholesterol, while nuts offer heart-healthy fats and a gamut of essential minerals. It's a balanced energy dose in a tiny package! This no-bake recipe is one of my favourite when it comes to taste and texture (you can just replace the honey with maple syrup or some other plant-based substitute).

#8. Trail Mix

A classic melange of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, trail mix is the quintessential road trip snack. Customize your mix with your favourites, maybe throw in some dark chocolate chips for good measure. Nuts and seeds are Vitamin E, zinc, and selenium fortresses. Paired with dried fruits, you get a vitamin burst, especially vitamin C and potassium, ensuring balanced energy throughout your journey.

#9. Pumpkin Seeds

Sure, pumpkin seeds may be a Halloween tradition. But they come in many varieties and offer a tasty road trip snack for year-round travels. Roast them with your favourite seasoning for a crunchy snack loaded with health benefits. Notably rich in magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fats, pumpkin seeds are also a formidable source of plant-based protein. They're known to support prostate health and offer a satisfying crunch.

#10. Vegan Jerky

Missing traditional jerky? Vegan jerky to the rescue! Made from soy, seitan, or even mushrooms, it's chewy, flavourful, and packed with protein. Depending on its base, vegan jerky can be an excellent source of amino acids and B vitamins. Perfect for refuelling those muscles after a long drive.

#11. PB&J

Good old peanut butter and jelly – a simple pairing that has stood the test of time. Slather some creamy or chunky peanut butter on whole-grain bread and top it with your favourite fruit spread. It's an ageless combo that never goes out of style. The PB&J is considered a complete protein in that it contains all essential amino acids. That combination of plant-based foods (mainly peanuts and wheat) for a quality protein that checks all the boxes while tasting delicious and satisfying.
best vegan snacks for road trips

#12. Granola

Clusters of baked goodness, granola is versatile and can be enjoyed straight from the bag or with some plant-based milk. Opt for brands or home-made versions with low sugar for maximum health benefits. Granola, when made right, combines fibre from oats, healthy fats from nuts, and essential minerals from seeds. It's crunchy, satiating, and keeps the energy up.

#13. Stuffed Dates

Nature's caramel candy, dates can be upgraded by stuffing them with almonds or a dollop of nut butter. Sweet and chewy meets crunchy or creamy – a match made in snacking heaven. Dates are a natural powerhouse, abundant in potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Combine them with nuts, and you have a protein-packed, naturally sweet delight.

#14. Sunflower Seeds

The salty deliciousness of roasted sunflower seeds can’t be underestimated. Grab a handful and you've got yourself a snack that's both highly-satisfying and nutrient-rich by itself. Sunflower seeds are especially high in vitamin E, supporting skin health. They also offer a healthy dose of plant-based protein and heart-friendly fats.

#15. Vegan Protein Shake

Quick, convenient, and customizable! Blend together plant-based protein powder with almond milk, and maybe throw in a banana or some berries for added flavour. These shakes can provide a complete amino acid profile, vital for muscle growth and repair. It's a quick protein fix that keeps you full and energized.

#16. Green Olives

For those who appreciate a tangy, briny flavour, green olives are a snack to consider. Plus, they come packed with health benefits. Loaded with vitamin E, iron, and copper, green olives are a heart-friendly snack due to their monounsaturated fats. They're a flavour-packed, guilt-free snack.

#17. Vegan Cheese and Apple

This is one of my favourite combinations while on the road. Bite into the crispiness of apples paired with the creamy texture of vegan cheese. It's a duo that hits all the right flavour notes and makes vegan eating a breeze. While vegan cheese offers protein and calcium, apples come in with dietary fibre and vitamin C. It's a balanced combo that's both delicious and nutritious.

#18. Beet Chips

Swap out those potato chips for beet chips. When roasted or dehydrated, beets transform into crunchy chips that are both sweet and earthy. Once again, Rhythm Superfoods delivers in making delicious and nutritious beet chips. Beets are notably rich in nitrates, supporting heart health. Plus, they're a good source of folate and manganese, ensuring you're snacking smart.

#19. Matcha Energy Balls

Combine oats, nuts, and the power of matcha for these vibrant green energy balls. They're a treat for the eyes and the taste buds. This recipe is out of this world amazing. Matcha is revered for its catechins – natural antioxidants that help boost liver function and offer calm alertness with its caffeine content, perfect for long drives.

#20. Guacamole & Chips or Veggies

Creamy avocado meets crunchy tortilla chips in this classic combo. Whether you buy pre-made or put together your own mix, it's filling, nutritious, and easy to make. Guacamole can be as simple as 2 or 3 ingredients. I will often mash avocado with salt, lime juice, and whatever I have on hand (onion, cilantro, tomato, etc.) and call that “guacamole.” Dip with fresh vegetables, tortilla chips, or crackers.

#21. Toasted Coconut Flakes

Take coconut to the next level by toasting its flakes to golden perfection. The process brings out a nutty flavour, making them incredibly moreish. Eat them straight from the bag or sprinkle them onto other snacks for an added tropical twist. Coconut flakes are a source of healthy medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), known to be quickly converted into energy by the body. Plus, they contain dietary fiber and key minerals like manganese, supporting both digestion and bone health.

#22. Chocolate Avocado Mousse

A dessert that's both indulgent and healthy? Enter chocolate avocado mousse. This creamy delight is made by blending ripe avocados with cocoa powder, a touch of sweetener, and a splash of plant-based milk. It's a luscious treat that'll make you forget it's also a health food. Avocado, as the main ingredient, is abundant in healthy fats, folate, and potassium. When paired with cocoa powder, you get the added benefits of flavonoids, antioxidants known to be heart-healthy. This mousse is not just a treat for the palate but also a boon for your well-being.

This post was contributed by Tyler Tafelsky, a food and sports blogger, professional off-road cyclist, and avid traveller. When not training, Tyler is the leader editor for sites like and and // Oh and P.S.: If you're interested in an app designed for vegans & wanna support the vegan movement and us, VeganVsTravel as well, use this link plz to download Abillion. When registering, please use our referral code: TRAVELLINGWEASELS. If you wanna know why we think this is a great app, read here.

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