words & images courtesy of aloha
Airport food. Only slightly better than airplane food, the phrase conjures images of mushy chicken, sad salads, and food court offerings you haven’t considered since the early 90s. You wander through the terminal, half-starved, until you stumble into some sort of a prepackaged situation. Chips? Sure. Cookies? Why not? You’re traveling! This is vacation! Live a little!
A few bites of inexplicably dry and soggy sandwich later and you realize that this is actually not what vacation tastes like. Even worse, someone had the gall to print the calories right there on the label. Nonetheless, you finish your meal and continue on to your destination slightly sick and rather guilty.
There is an obvious solution to all of this, of course: Bring your own food. It is easier than it sounds, but there is a method to successfully packing food for travel.
First, stick to small baggies or disposable containers that can be tucked into a variety of places—you might not have space for one big container of food, but you will find little pockets of space where you can easily slip a snack or two (If you have a carry on, shoes are perfect for storing wrapped snacks). Try to avoid prepackaged trail mix and snack bars since they tend to have extra calories and chemicals that you simply don’t need.
Second, avoid things that are saucy, soft, or complicated. Teriyaki sauce is not an option. Grapefruit and mangoes must be avoided and even bananas are suspect.
Third, think about things you can prepare at the airport or hotel. By bringing ingredients that only need some basic items to become a meal, you can greatly expand your selection while trimming down on luggage space.
Here is a list of our favorite whole foods to carry along on our trips:
We stick to hydrating vitamin-rich foods that don’t require utensils, excessive napkins, or refrigeration. Pack a combination of sweet and savory to get through all of your cravings in a day.
Bell pepper slices
Mary’s Gone Crackers, or other sturdy cracker
Peanut or other nut butter—two tablespoons in a plastic bag
Hummus—less than 100 ml in a plastic bag
Granola or dried cereal
Dried fruit—We love dried mangos, peaches, apples, cranberries, goji berries, and goldenberries. Just make sure to only pack a few tablespoons since these can be harsh on your stomach.
These take up virtually no space, can mask the taste of bad-tasting tap water, and make it easier to get in that extra H20 your body needs during travel.
Lemon, cucumber, or ginger slices, in bags
Favorite tea bags and matcha powder
ALOHA Daily Good Berry, Greens, or Chocolate to mix in with water
Meals to Go
Depending on how long your flight is, you will likely need something more substantial than a snack. Here are three recipes that have you covered for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Superfood Overnight Oats
You can easily make and bring five or six of these packets to last your entire trip. This combination is full of fiber, protein, and Omega 3’s and the ALOHA Daily Good Berry powder has two servings of fruit and vegetables. No matter how the rest of your day goes (Gelato for lunch? An entire baguette with extra fromage?), you can feel like you started off on a high note. This makes a hearty serving that is intended to fuel you all morning, so split it in half if you want something lighter.
Dry Mix to Prep Beforehand
1/2 cup oats
One tablespoon chia seeds
Two tablespoons dried cranberries
One to 1/2 packet ALOHA Daily Good Berry
Liquid to Add at the Airport or Hotel
One cup milk of choice (We used almond milk, but any will do)
Honey or maple syrup
Mix the dry ingredients into a baggie. If you are making it in the airport, add the liquid and toppings to your bag and let sit for 20 minutes (You can raid a coffee shop for cinnamon and honey). If you are in a hotel room, then let sit in the fridge overnight.
Quick and Easy Collard Wrap
We are obsessed with collard wraps because they are essentially salads-to-go and the leaves won’t get soggy or gross. Also, they are pretty and make the perfect mess-free lunch or dinner.
Collard leaf, washed and patted dry
1/4 cup hummus
1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 a bell pepper, sliced
1/4 an avocado sliced
salt, to taste
Place your leaf stem side down and cut off the thickest part of the stem. If the stem is really thick, then cut up into a V so that the leaf stays intact. Pile your ingredients into the center of the leaf, then fold the shorter, horizontal sides down first, and roll to keep everything contained. Do the same thing with a rectangle of tinfoil to keep everything in place.
No Bake Granola Bites
Turning your bars into bites cuts down on prep time and makes it easier to space your snacks out throughout the flight, especially if you tend to mindlessly graze when you are forced to sit still like we do.
3/4 cup pitted dates
1 cup chopped, roasted, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped, roasted, unsalted cashews
One and 1/2 cup rolled oats (If you want them to be gluten-free, then Bob's Red Mill has a great version)
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup salted, creamy nut butter (We chose almond)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup cranberries
3/4 packet ALOHA Daily Good Chocolate
Two teaspoons salt
Optional: Two teaspoons garam masala
Use a food processor or Vitamix to purée the dates. If you don't have either tool, chop the dates as finely as possible. If the dates aren't sticky and moist to start, soak them in water for ten minutes then drain before processing or chopping.
Optional: Toast the oats in an oven or toaster at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden. Alternatively, leave them raw. They are good either way, we promise.
Combine oats, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and dates. Warm the honey, coconut oil, and nut butter in a saucepan over low heat until they are mostly liquefied. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry. Add the cranberries, ALOHA Daily Good Chocolate, salt, and (optional) garam masala.
Be generous in your measurements. Adjust to taste.