Gochujang Snack Mix puts an elevated, spicy twist on the classic with nutrient-dense ingredients like whole grain cereal and nuts. It makes a great healthy travel snack!
Travel snacks. We all have our favorites!
I’m not opposed to airport food and my local airport actually has some really solid options (let’s be honest, it’s the only reason I get there early). But I do like having options, and not spending my entire food budget before the trip even starts. For these reasons I always pack a few things, even if just to pair with purchased items later.
You never know when a flight will be delayed or cancelled and when it comes to road trips, there could be large stretches without great food options. Having something to tide you over to your next meal could be more clutch than you think. And besides being overpriced, a lot of the snacks available later are less than interesting.
Here’s everything you need to know about packing snacks that are equally delicious and satisfying.
Tips for Packing Healthy Travel Snacks
Tip #1: Protein + Fiber
Pack items that have a solid dose of lean protein and fiber because these are generally a little bit harder to come by when traveling. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, which is why it keeps you going longer than a meal that’s purely carbohydrate. If you can pair it with fiber (which slowly moves through your digestive tract) it’s a real winner!
Tip #2: Hydrate the Smart Way
Stop paying an arm a leg for bottled water. Instead pack an empty re-usable water bottle that you can fill once you get through security. I have this one (affiliate) and love it because I can store it in my backpack without worrying about a leak, plus it keeps liquids cold for a long time.
Tip #3: Pack a Variety
Bring a variety of options to suit whatever mood you’re in. Sweet, salty, savory, crunchy. You’ll be prepared for anything! In other words, don’t just pack carrot sticks and nuts because you think you should. To save money, hit up the grocery store in advance. Most convenience items will be 3-4x more expensive in an airport.
Favorite Healthy Travel Snacks
Here are a few of my go-to choices for snacks. They all travel well, cover a variety of flavors and don’t put off any weird odors.
- bars for something convenient, portable and filling. My favorites are Zing Bars and Larabars because they taste good and are relatively low in sugar. They’re also made with nourishing ingredients like nuts, seeds and dried fruit (as opposed to protein powders and artificial sweeteners, which I really dislike).
- nut butter — especially the RX Bar packets that have added egg whites for more protein along with fun flavors. These are great for adding to coffee shop oatmeal or eating with fruit for a snack.
- trail mix — a mix of dried fruit, nuts and dark chocolate (great way to satisfy a craving for something sweet without a full-on sugar bomb)
- salmon jerky for a salty/savory option. I love this EPIC brand because they have a bunch of interesting flavors (like venison sea salt and turkey cranberry) but the salmon is my favorite.
- ginger chews. I especially love these by The Ginger People for something to keep my mouth busy that also tastes great.
- tea bags. Just find a cup of hot water you’re all set. One of my favorites is this TAZO green ginger.
- a really good apple because it’s sturdy, holds up well and isn’t a mess to eat. Less exciting, but a total staple.
Gochujang Snack Mix
Now for the recipe.
I wanted to put my own twist on the popular cheese snack mix that’s often handed out on planes (you know the one) and thought I would spice things up a bit with a Gochujang Snack Mix.
I love Korean flavors so for this recipe I leaned on gochujang, sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic. Gochujang is one of my favorite condiments of the moment. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a fermented chile paste that has a mix of sweet, savory and spicy. You should be able to find it at most grocery stores, but if not, you can definitely order online. This is the one I have currently and I really like it.
If you want to learn more about Korean cooking and flavors, this podcast episode was awesome — they talked a lot about the staple ingredients and flavor profiles in Korean cooking!
This is as easy as mixing the paste into some melted butter along with a few other key ingredients to create a super flavorful liquid component, then tossing it with the dry ingredients before baking to get a nice caramelization.
The end result has a nice kick, but it shouldn’t be too hot for those of you who are spice averse. Between the crunchiness from the nuts, the salt crystals from the pretzels and the crispiness from the cereal, this really has everything covered texture-wise. I hope you love it!
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Gochujang Snack Mix
Gochujang Snack Mix puts an elevated, spicy twist on the classic with nutrient-dense ingredients like whole grain cereal and nuts.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes (including time to cool)
- Yield: 8 cups 1x
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Korean
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 2 cups cheddar square crackers (I used Simple Mills)
- 2 cups wheat square cereal
- 2 cups salted pretzel twists
- 1 cup whole raw unsalted almonds
- 1 cup whole raw unsalted cashews
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 heaping Tbsp gochujang
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Combine all dry ingredients (crackers through cashews) in a large dish or bowl.
- Melt the butter in a liquid measuring cup, then add chile paste, garlic powder, soy sauce and sesame oil and stir with a fork until well combined.
- Pour the liquid over the snack mix and toss well to completely coat (it takes a minute or two). Transfer to a lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
- Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Cool completely before transferring to an airtight dish or freezer bag.
- The equipment section above provides affiliate links to tools/appliances I use often in my kitchen and love!
- This mix will keep for up to a week when stored in an airtight container. Freeze it for up to three months.
- If you like heat, increase the amount of gochujang to 1.5-2 Tbsp.
- Can’t find gochujang in your grocery store? Order online here! (affiliate).
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 209 calories
- Fat: 14 grams
- Carbohydrates: 20 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 5 grams
Keywords: healthy snacks, gochujang, homemade snack mix, homemade chex mix
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