Plant-Based Summer Road Trip Snacks from The China Study Family Cookbook

Tis the season! For road trips, that is. If your family is packing up to head to the beach, the mountains, or anywhere in between this summer, you can stay healthy and plant-based on-the-go with these yummy, portable recipes from The China Study Family Cookbook.

Sweet Potato Hummus

Making hummus at home is easy and far less expensive than buying it in a store, and it allows you to season it exactly the way you prefer. Having hummus on hand means the family can have a quick snack or an easy sandwich any time of day.

Serves 6

4 cups sweet potato puree
1/4 cup tahini
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Corn Chips

I grew up loving Fritos almost as much as potato chips. But with the current obesity epidemic in the United States, finding tasty snacks not fried in fat is a must for kids—and for their parents, too.

Serves 4

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Sea salt (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Stack three tortillas on a flat surface and cut them into eight wedges. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Arrange all the tortilla wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet—you may need to do this in batches or use more than one baking sheet.
  3. Bake the chips until crispy, 15 to 20 minutes, checking them for crispness after 10 minutes and then every 3 or 4 minutes. Season with sea salt to taste.
  4. Let the chips cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

NOTE FOR THE COOK: The key to perfect corn chips is timing. They go from crisp to burned very quickly, so keep your eye on them toward the end of the baking time. These chips will also continue to crisp as they cool.

Oat and Apricot Bars

These fruit and grain bars are free of processed sugar and full of flavor. They make a great snack on the road when healthy options are hard to find, and they are also one of the least messy treats you can give the kids in the car.

Makes 9 bars

3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (optional)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
1 1/2 cups dried unsulfured apricots
1 cup water, or more as needed
Grated zest of 1/2 orange

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the oats, dates, applesauce, vanilla (if using), cinnamon, and sea salt (if using) in a food processor, and process until the mixture forms a cohesive ball. Remove the dough from the processor and press two-thirds of it into the bottom of a nonstick 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the apricots, water, and orange zest in a small saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until most of the water has evaporated and the apricots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the apricots and any remaining water to the food processor and puree until smooth and creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Spread the apricot puree over the cooled crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the apricot puree and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before cutting into 9 bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

RECIPE TIP: You can replace the apricots with dates for a different flavor. Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract instead of the orange zest.

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