Travel Snacks & Almond Butter Bites

Of the many possible fears related to traveling, I have only one. Fear of flying? Nope, I’m often asleep before takeoff. Fear of getting lost? Nah, smartphone apps make that a near impossibility. Fear of forgetting something at home? No, I pretty much have packing down to a science. But being hungry or not being able to find a healthy snack? Panic inducing!

Perhaps it has something to do with never growing out of the childlike quality that translates hunger into crankiness, but I don’t want to waste a bit of my trip or overlook any of the simple pleasures of traveling because my stomach is growling! My solution? Pack snacks and lots of them.

photo 1-13

I prefer individually wrapped snacks that I can throw in my day pack and are easy to eat on the run. (Though there was the time I visited the Inquiring Chef and her husband and carted travel-sized packets of hummus all over Bangkok and Hong Kong.) Tomorrow, I’m departing for a trip to Cuba and won’t be leaving the U.S. without the protein-packed and Paleo-friendly snacks you see pictured above.

Whether you’re traveling near or far, these Almond Butter Bites take minutes to make and provide wholesome protein and sweetness better than anything you’ll find at the airport. Are snacks on your packing list? Leave your favorite portable travel treat in the comments!

photo 2-15

Click Here to Print This Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted coconut
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dates, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing until well-combined.
  • Using a cookie scoop, take a small portion in your hands and gently roll it into a ball. Drop onto a parchment paper-lined cooking sheet.
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Store refrigerated in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks or in freezer.

photo 3-4

This recipe was adapted from the Cilantropist and yields 12 bites.

Travel Recovery & Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti

With great excitement and enthusiasm, I started a new job last month. While my new position will afford me opportunities to explore more of the world (and share it with you!), behind me are the days of frenetic travel — like the time I flew 8 times in 2 weeks. This change has me thinking a lot about travel recovery and tips that ease the transition from being away to being home and vice versa.

IMG_1067

Chicago, Illinois

1. Nap!
Let’s start with my most controversial tip. Many people will tell you to stay awake until it’s bedtime in the time zone you’re in, but I think that’s a great way to spend your early time home or away being cranky and irritable. I recommend finding a cozy place to take a short nap, which will leave you refreshed and with more energy to enjoy the hours before bedtime. (Note: A nap is not “a sleep”! Don’t get in your pajamas, snuggle up in bed, or let yourself sleep for more than an hour — unless you want to wake up in a foggy state of confusion.)

IMG_0228

Cape May, New Jersey

2. Head Outside
Sunlight naturally resets your internal clock. Find a sunny bench, eat lunch outdoors, breathe deeply, go for a walk. (The perfect segue to #3…)

IMG_4752

Santa Monica, California

3. Get Moving!
Exercise prevents some of the aches and pains associated with traveling and sitting for prolonged periods of time in a car, train, or plane. Going for a walk or run is one of my favorite ways to get acclimated to the place I’m visiting; returning to the gym is one of my favorite ways to get back in the routine of being home.

IMG_2038

Lemonade, Beverly Hills, California

4. Eat Well
Confession: When I’m home, I follow a Paleo diet about 90% of the time, but when I’m away that percentage drops…significantly. Indulging in Chicago Chef Week , Mike’s pastries in Boston, a Sprinkles Sundae or Bottega Louie macaron in Los Angeles (need I go on?)

IMG_1476 IMG_2040

are some of life’s pleasures, but they sap your energy and expand your waistline if you don’t counterbalance or replace them with fresh, whole foods when you’re away and home, respectively! Drink lots of water, eat things you can imagine getting yourself from nature, and try to limit processed foods to those that have 5 ingredients or fewer.

5. Make Plans…
…to catch up with friends, to get out and do something fun, to cook a healthy meal, etc. Traveling excessively for work or ending a vacation can induce the travel blues, but having plans when you arrive or return home gives you something to look forward to until you find yourself back in a destination that makes your heart happy.

Whether I’m home or away, I love to find time to relax with friends over a cup or coffee or tea. Add these Lemon Poppy Seed Biscotti that are 100% Paleo*, and I’m well on the road to travel recovery! (*Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, sugar free, but definitely NOT taste free!!)

IMG_0430

Click Here to Print This Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a food processor, combine almond flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda.
  • Pulse in honey, vanilla, and lemon zest.
  • Transfer to bowl of a stand mixer. Add poppy seeds and mix on medium speed until dough forms a ball.

Image-164

  • Form two rectangular logs on baking sheets.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Cool on baking sheet.
  • Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  • With a large, sharp knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/2 inch wide slices.
  • Return the slices to the lined cookie sheet, arranging them cut side down.
  • Bake until the biscotti are dried to your taste (5 minutes for moist and chewy, 10 minutes for dry and crunchy).

Image-163

  • Cool completely.

This recipe was adapted from Elana’s Pantry Lemon Almond Biscotti.

Airport Security Tips & 15 Minute Peanut Butter Cookies

120320085442-precheck-airport-security-business-traveller-story-top(Source: cnn.com)

Of all the things to pack for traveling, patience may be the most important. I’ve grown accustomed to flight delays, traffic jams, long waits at restaurants, and conversations in broken English that take extra time. I anticipate things that may go wrong, never rent a car without GPS, and rarely check my luggage. But if I’m going to lose my patience, it always happens in the same place: the airport security line. Because when you fly as often as I do, it’s easy to see the small things people could do to make the lines move much faster.

1. Plan ahead. Before you even get to the airport, there are things you can do to ensure a speedier trip through airport security:

  • If you’re planning to wear a belt to the airport, don’t! Leave it in your carry-on and put it on after you get through security, which will save the time of taking it off (or forgetting to) before you go through the scanner.
  • Review the TSA list of prohibited items and leave anything in violation at home. Believe it or not, the people screening are professionals and they will find your knife, matches, and hairspray, but not without scanning your bags multiple times and delaying the line.
  • Ensure that your liquids meet TSA restrictions, and keep the quart-sized bag in a place you can quickly access from your carry-on.

t1larg.tsa.cnn

(Source: cnn.com)

2. Prepare. You’ll inevitably have time in line. Do something with it!

  • If your laptop isn’t in a sleeve, remove it from your carry-on, along with your quart-sized bag of toiletries.
  • Take off your jacket, coat, sweatshirt, or cardigan.
  • Wearing shoes that don’t slip on and off? Unlace or unzip them in anticipation of removing them .
  • Check to be sure your pockets are empty.

airport-security1 (Source: tripknowledgy.com)

3. Strategize.

  • Determine how many bins you’ll need and what you’ll put in them (see #2) before approaching the scanner.
  • Put your shoes on the belt first, so you can slip them on while you’re waiting for your other belongings to come through.
  • Put your bins on the belt last, so you can grab them and…

460x

(Source: bigstory.ap.com)

4. Keep moving!

  • Grab your things and go. All airports have benches, chairs, and tables just beyond the security screening area that you can use to lace up your shoes, put on your belt, put your laptop back in your bag, etc. Doing these things in the screening area causes a backlog of passengers waiting to get through and frustrates frequent fliers.

And, just like getting through airport security doesn’t need to take a long time, neither does baking! These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies use only 5 ingredients and 1 bowl, and can be made in 15 minutes start to finish, including baking time!

Image-119

So enjoy the cookies, but please, don’t be a turtle in the airport security line.

IMG_0150

Click Here to View and Print this Recipe.

%d bloggers like this: