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Deliciously Organic: Traveling, "Cracker Jacks" and a Give Away

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Traveling, "Cracker Jacks" and a Give Away


The kids are roaming free around the neighborhood, the blue jeans and jackets are quietly tucked away in the closet, and the ice cream maker hums its happy tune. Ahhh . . . it must be summer. In a few weeks, we're embarking on a month-long road trip to several different states. I can't wait to catch up with old friends, stop at roadside stands for ripe, fleshy peaches, and sit on the beach with my toes in the sand. One issue I experience when we travel is "How do I eat a wholesome organic diet?" I'm not at all opposed to indulging, but I simply cannot do it for an entire month or I'll start carrying extra pounds and feel terrible. Over the last few years, I've come up with some helpful techniques for keeping my family eating heathfully on vacation.



The first thing I always do is pack our meals for the car, instead of stopping at a resaurant for lunch while on the road.  I usually pack sandwiches, fruit, washed and cut vegetables, something sweet like my wholesome cracker jacks, and lots of water. I try to book reservations at a hotel with a small kitchen so I can cook breakfast for the family.  I scope out the nearest organic grocer and buy food as soon as we arrive. It's been an adventure doing this - I've found some really great stores!

Travel food kit:

Jars of dehydrated nuts
Sunflower seeds
Kombucha
Granola (can double as cereal)
Granola Bars
Organic fruit leather (kids love these)
Bottles of water
Larabars (these come in all different flavors, here is a recipe for homemade larabars)
Cans of wild salmon or tuna
Hard boiled eggs
Dried Fruit
Whole Grain Crackers
Beef Jerky


One item I can't live without is my Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles.  These water bottles are made purely of stainless steel (no inner lining) and are leach and toxin-free.  They're also dishwasher safe.  Over the last year, I bought small ones for my kids and a few larger ones for my husband and I and we use them constantly.  Another great thing about them - if you leave them in a hot car, the water won't taste like plastic!  I'm giving a 40-ounce bottle away to one lucky reader.  All you need to do is leave a comment between today June 7th and Thursday June 10th.  I'll draw a number at random and announce the winner on Friday. Good luck!


Homemade "Cracker Jacks"
Sweet popcorn is a great snack to have in the car on long trips because it will satisfy your sweet tooth without all of the added preservatives and fillers.  I used almonds in this recipe but you can exchange them for the traditional peanuts. If you'd prefer to dehyrate the mixture instead of bake it, you can leave it in the oven at 170°F for about 4-5 hours or until mostly dry (it will fully dry and harden after it cools).
Makes about 16 cups

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup organic whole cane sugar or Sucanat
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 cups popped corn (I usually pop mine in coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 250°F. Stir together butter, whole cane sugar, maple syrup and almonds in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat.  Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and add the baking soda and vanilla.  Pour over popped corn and stir until popcorn is evenly coated.   Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour.  Cool completely before serving. 

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42 Comments:

Anonymous Kristin Conroy said...

What a great idea Carrie! Definitely going to try this. Also appreciate the traveling food list. So important to be be armed with healthful food, instead of hoping to finding things at fast food places and convenience stores...almost impossible, and not nearly as tasty as homemade treats!

June 7, 2010 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger af said...

i have a small sig on my desk at work and love that if i leave water overnight it never tastes like anything but....water the next day!

June 7, 2010 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Vossler said...

Traveling is the hardest time to "be good" food-wise, at least for me, so thanks for the tips!

Also, I LOVE klean kanteens! They actually have bottles for toddlers to sip from--amazing!

June 7, 2010 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger lauramil said...

I always carry a water bottle around with me. I finally stopped using plastic and bought a steel one, only now the top is stripping away and it leaks...

June 7, 2010 at 8:23 AM  
Anonymous allison [a for aubergine] said...

i haven't had cracker jacks in a long long time. these looks amazing and so easy to make. thanks carrie!!

June 7, 2010 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Stacy (Little Blue Hen) said...

We always take fresh fruit, too!

Love Klean Kanteens, I just got one myself.

June 7, 2010 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Looks like a great recipe! I can't wait to try it.

June 7, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Fun!! Love the wholesome cracker jacks idea and a giveaway - what's not to love?!
Thanks!
Julie Davis
jewels0330@gmail.com

June 7, 2010 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Cecilia said...

Those cracker jacks look great. And the Kleen Kanteen giveaway is awesome. Thanks! (smeelia@gmail.com)

June 7, 2010 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Thanks for the travel food list - great ideas! With two young kids, I'm finding that pleasant travel experiences absolutely require advance planning in the food department. Nothing says "bad vacation" like cranky, over-sugared kids and bloated, sluggish parents! Luckily my kids are still young enough that they don't demand to be taken to the drive-through each time we get in the car.

June 7, 2010 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Feeba said...

Just took my first camping trip since going gluten-free. It was really hard! Your larabar recipe was a treat for me when everyone else was eating cookies.

June 7, 2010 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Love the recipe and the addition of the almonds. I bet that tastes amazing and not too overly sweet like what you can usually find at the store! Hummus is an excellent travel friendly dip too. Easy to make at home and stores well. I love it on a sandwich or as a dip with veggies!

June 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger pinkcamellia said...

Those "cracker jacks" look soooo good. I think I will have to try your recipe. Thanks for the other travel food ideas; it is harder to eat well while traveling, but doable!

June 7, 2010 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger kristamk said...

Wow! Talk about organized traveling! I'm lucky I can pack enough snacks for a day trip, let alone think about finding them through a whole month-long trip! Great ideas!

June 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I love all of your ideas! I recently came across you blog and I am now hooked! Thank you so much for the great recipes and the advice on how to stay healthy and eat organically!

June 7, 2010 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous marla {family fresh cooking} said...

I love your travel list. I do the same, we prefer condos over hotel rooms when we travel. I always like to prepare meals, saves money and tastes better. Your Cracker Jacks look so awesome! xo

June 7, 2010 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I've never made this before and can't wait to try. We are planning a trip soon too so this is perfect! Love the idea to use coconut oil too!

June 7, 2010 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger mitchell said...

this looks yummy! i need some right at this very moment.

June 7, 2010 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Me and My Pink Mixer said...

Love this idea! It is hard to be healthy when traveling, but you have some great tips that I am going to try. Love your blog :)

June 8, 2010 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger The Simone Home said...

Thanks for a great snack recipe for the long car rides! I also loved the list. It is nice to have some good ideas for healthy travel friendly stuff. Love the blog and looking forward to the cook book!

June 8, 2010 at 5:28 AM  
Blogger Betsysmile said...

Yum! That looks delicious and do-able! My husband of 6 months was just saying that he likes kettle corn when made right. Haha, since we're so new at marriage, I can TRY this and see if we both like it. Who knows, maybe no preservatives= 'made right' ;-) I'm excited to try!

June 8, 2010 at 6:07 AM  
Blogger Mama said...

The road trip of my childhood - my grandfather's van and a cooler full of snacks my grandmother made. And when I was tired I had a little bed in the back for napping - with no seat belt. Oops. It was the 70's, I guess they didn't know any better.

June 8, 2010 at 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Kristine said...

Thank you for the tips for road trip lunches! And also the opportunity to win a kanteen!

June 8, 2010 at 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Vicky said...

Thank you for the travel food tips. They arrived just in time!

June 8, 2010 at 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the idea of Cracker Jacks whenever you want them!
Could I substitute molasses for maple?
And thanks for the link to the Klean Kanteen...going there and ordering Right Now!

June 8, 2010 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

You rock!

June 8, 2010 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Noelle said...

These cracker jacks look so delicious!! Nice recipe.

I like the giveaway too! :)

June 8, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger theknowlans said...

perfect timing for us, as we start vacation in just a few weeks! can't wait to try some of these recipes!

June 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

These cracker jacks look delish! I always have a hard time with traveling too and staying healthy. Sometimes it's just so much easier to do fast food, but so unhealthy!

June 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the travel tips. I'm traveling w/a 4 yr old, 2 yr old and a husband who eats good food at home and when he eats bad food is not in a good mood at all!!! Thanks for the help!

Brandy

June 8, 2010 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Trisha P. said...

Excellent snack list for traveling - it's always nice to get new ideas! Definitely have to plan ahead a bit - but it is so worth it.

June 8, 2010 at 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Plenty of people use vacation as a time to indulge and it's nice to see that you stick to your preferred method of eating, even when being gone for so long. I hope you blog about the stores you find along the way. I'd be curious to see what you come across in your travels.

June 9, 2010 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

thanks for the recipe, and the giveaway!

June 9, 2010 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Cables4fun said...

Thank you for the Cracker Jacks Recipe!! Who doesn't like Cracker Jacks and I am sure the homemade ones are even better than "Old Faithful". Thanks for sharing with us also!!

June 9, 2010 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger bookworm0709 said...

I will definitely going to try the Homemade Cracker Jacks. I love that stuff but am allergic to the peanuts in the store bought kind. Hope I wind the give away!

June 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger mallorca999 said...

I'm passing this on to our little organic co-op here in Alabama. Thanks for the great tips!

June 10, 2010 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous jim@ida.net said...

Great traveling ideas! Thanks they are just in time for summer!

June 10, 2010 at 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Your traveling list is wonderful, I will use your ideas' Thank you,

June 10, 2010 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Thanks for the list of what to bring. We're planning on taking a 6 week road rip next year. Your tips are really helpful!

June 10, 2010 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Jessica Falksen said...

I've been eyeing those water bottles for quite some time. Using old plastic ones just isn't cutting it. If I don't win this I will likely give in and buy my own. Here's to crossing my fingers!

June 11, 2010 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Betsysmile: If your going for a "kettle-corn" flavor I'd add 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the popcorn when you toss it with the melted sugar mixture. I haven't tried it, but I bet it'd taste close to the real thing. :)

June 16, 2010 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Mama Bear, JD said...

I just put our second batch in the oven. We are addicted! I find it really hard not to lick my hands while coating the popcorn. :)

June 17, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

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