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View Full Version : Looking for suggestions for healthy snacks to bring to A-kon


MaggieTheCat
05-28-2010, 02:22 PM
My husband and I are going to A-kon next weekend. Woohoo! We are leaving early Friday morning and returning Sunday afternoon/evening. I'm sure we will go out to eat a few times while we are there, but we also want to pack some food to bring with us into the con.

I've been eating really healthy and losing weight recently, and I don't want to mess up by eating chips and chocolate bars all weekend! Our hotel room has a fridge, but we're not staying in the same hotel as the con, so we want to pack some stuff that doesn't need to be refrigerated. However, I also have some food allergies that make things difficult: I'm allergic to many raw fruits/veggies, including apples, pears, carrots, celery, and especially bananas (I'm allergic to bananas in any form.) I'm also allergic to most nuts, except cashews.

So, I'm looking for suggestions for snacks that are semi-healthy and high energy that will keep my husband and I fueled for the con. Stuff like trail mixes (that don't involve nuts except cashews...), sandwiches that are non-perishable (peanut butter would be great except I can't eat it; I'm considering making cashews butter, though), muffins, energy bars, etc. I have no problem cooking and baking so if anyone has any recipes for anything good, I'd love to see them. :)

Also, does anyone know how well/long grapes and hard boiled eggs hold up at room temperature?

lupo pazzesco
05-28-2010, 02:33 PM
Well, I WAS going to suggest fruits/veggies, but you've eliminated most of my suggestions! what about oranges, though? Or cherry tomatoes? I get a bunch of those little containers of grape or cherry tomatoes and carry them around with me in my bag wherever I go and snack on those. Same with grapes, and they hold up fairly well at room temp. (Though I prefer my grapes to be cold, so...). Not sure about hard boiled eggs, though. Sorry.

As for sandwich suggestions, if you have access to a wholesale food store, can you get packets of mayo? That, plus the little pouches of tuna = instant sandwich, no refrigeration required.

Um, I have a couple of recipes for homemade granola, but they all use almonds! I'll link a few, though because you might be able to sub cashews for some.

Chocolate chip walnut granola cookies (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=677310) but you can omit the walnuts, and sub the applesauce for something else. (I like to use canned pumpkin, though it's hard to find this time of year!)

Fruit & Oat granola bars (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=166284). Comes with pecans, but you can sub or omit.

That's all for now, I'll ETA this post later when I've had more time to go through my recipe cache. As of right now...maintenance is getting ready to wetvac out my kitchen.

Magpie
05-28-2010, 05:48 PM
There's a soy-based peanut butter like spread... Actually roasted soy beans are a great snack in and of themselves.

Sheldonrs
05-28-2010, 05:52 PM
Matt Damon. He seems pretty healthy. :devil:

blas
05-28-2010, 06:12 PM
Ewww...Matt Damon.

There's an easy way to avoid gaining weight....throwing up thinking of Matt Damon.

Hard boiled eggs hold up pretty well for a few days in the fridge here at my place, I always have them available, but I don't eat the yolks.

Apples are full of fiber and *good* carbs, if you just want to pack some whole apples and just slice them as you go along. Raspberries and blueberries are full of antioxidants.

As long as you bring some Wet Ones along as well, just buy a couple of tubes of Sunsweet Ones prunes. Those are excellent healthy snacks.

r2cagle
05-28-2010, 06:37 PM
Grapes will stay good at room temp of 78 degrees or lower for 2-3 days. But you'd probably do better to just get raisins.

So will some of the citrus fruits if they are not peeled, sliced, ahead of time.
Not so hard boiled eggs, need to keep them refridgerated.

The vegetables I'm thinking you could take and keep at room temp are whole string/pole beans, and sugar snap peas. Easily eaten raw.

What about pickles and crackers? Unfortunately most of the stuff that would be great for snacking, you end up being allergic to, so that makes it tougher. You'd probably have to make your own dried fruit and roasted nuts, which is what I recommend instead of buying prepackaged stuff.

As someone said earlier, if you can get those little packages of mayo, you can take dried beef, or tuna fish for sandwiches. If you knew if there was a microwave available, you could easily take ramen noodles, or some of the micro meals that don't need to be kept frozen.

AnaKhouri
05-28-2010, 07:28 PM
I always take granola bars and those little individual fruit cups. Maybe you could keep some yogurt in your room?

MaggieTheCat
05-28-2010, 08:38 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, guys. :) I like the idea of fruit cups, and also granola bars. I'm thinking of making some jerky next week too. I like tuna so I'll probably pick some of that up as well. And yes, it does suck to have food allergies, especially to raw fruits and veggies (I'm fine if those things are cooked, since apparently cooking them changes the chemical makeup of them so that my body doesn't trigger the allergic reaction.) I'm also allergic to soy, which I forgot to mention before, but thanks for the suggestion, Magpie. :)

BookstoreEscapee
05-28-2010, 08:56 PM
Do you have an insulated lunch bag? Get a couple reusable ice pack thingies, and you can keep stuff cold enough for a several hours.

What about things like string cheese or cheddar sticks and crackers (Triscuits are a good option). (I've been eating Triscuits, Vermont white cheddar and an apple for dinner lately. Yum.)

Amusement Gal
05-28-2010, 11:19 PM
I made this recently before when we went picnicking and didn't have a cooler. Whole-grain almond* butter and honey sandwiches. They're light, pack some big energy, and they're yummy. :D I also suggest the raisins; they can fill your fruit quota without spoiling, and fit in a convenient package. The golden ones taste best in my opinion. Or if you have no problem with figs, try those! I like how they're chewy and remind me of fig newtons. Y'know, without all that corn syrup and yucky stuff. ;)

*You can easily replace it with cashew butter; thought you were fine with almonds for a second. :p

r2cagle
05-28-2010, 11:40 PM
If you can travel with a cooler (via car/bus, etc)... you can freeze bottles of water and take stuff that needs to be kept cool... take along several gallon size ziploc bags and fill with ice cubes either from hotel or store and keep stuff cold with homemade icepacks. But you need to nestle everything around the ice, so you'd have to dump out the melted water and refill probably every day. You didn't say how you'd be traveling, but if this is an option, it kind of opens up what you can take, and precook ahead of time.

BookstoreEscapee
05-28-2010, 11:55 PM
Actually, frozen water bottles are a good idea...then when they melt you have something to drink! (Juice boxes are good for that, too.) :)

MaggieTheCat
05-29-2010, 01:20 PM
We're driving to Dallas, so yeah, we can take a cooler and stuff with us, and take one inside the con. We did think about bringing a cooler lunchbox with us to the con, although we wouldn't want one too terribly big since we're probably going to be buying stuff there and having to lug a lot of crap around. :p

Becks
05-29-2010, 04:00 PM
(I like to use canned pumpkin, though it's hard to find this time of year!)

Really? At the store I work at, it's a year round staple. It just doesn't get bought as often.

Evil Queen
05-29-2010, 09:02 PM
Whoohoo! Me too! But I'll be rolling in to Dallas late on Thursday and leaving Monday (since it's a 12 hour drive from here). I'm staying at the Hotel Indigo, it's a block from the Con Hotel (formerly the Adams Mark, now the Sheraton).

DataJager says Hard Boiled Eggs hold up well in his experience. He claims to have taken them with him when he's gone backpacking as a boyscout so I'm thinking of taking a dozen myself.

I go every year. So I have a list. :devil:

FOOD STUFFS
Rice
Ramen
Tomato Sauce (optional)
Canned Tuna
Canned Chicken
Oatmeal (instant)
String Cheese
Dried Fruit (I tend to bring banana chips, craisins, dried apples and dried pineapple)
Fruit Leather (or fruit roll ups if you want all that extra sugar. I just dehydrate a cup and a half of applesauce)
Crackers
Jerky (homemade to avoid the nitrates, preservatives and sugar)
Blueberry muffins (homemade)
English Muffins (for my breakfast, never expect the hotel to have breakfast because 1) you may not get up in time, 2) they may run out, 3) doing this avoids a HUGE crowd of people)
Mayo, mustard, salt and pepper (collected throughout the year from fast food joints as we purchase our burgers)
Jelly (in a small travel jar or squeeze container)
Teriyaki sauce (squeeze container)
Water (3 gallons or a flat of bottled)
Soda (1 case)
Tea bags
Powdered Gatorade

HARDWARE These are helpful to have:
Rice Cooker
Electric Kettle
Tupperware with lids (you can eat out of them like regular bowls)
Plasticware
Paring Knife
Can Opener
Ziploc Bags
Trash bags
Paper Towels

I won't list the other things (medical, Hygiene, Entertainment) unless you want me to but this is the basic food items we take every year.

The Addendum for this year is additional items we discovered while talking to other Con goers and will be adding to our Master List this year:

Instant Mashed Potatoes ("single serve" packets from Wally World are less than 50 cents each and the Betty Crocker brand only requires water)
Cashews (was on sale this year and I'll be using this to make trail mix with other dried fruits)
Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (goes great with Tuna)
Honey (I get honey packets from work, but you can bring a teddy bear bottle or a small squeeze bottle)
Hard Boiled Eggs (can be eaten straight or added to Tuna and mayo to beef up the sandwich. Personally, I use mayo, mustard, salt and pepper and make Egg Salad sandwiches)

A GOOD IDEA
Most coolers have hollow walls. Air is a good insulator but it's not a great one. Hit up your local hardware store or Wally World for a can or two of a marvelous foam called Great Stuff. Drill a couple holes into the outer sides of the cooler and fill with the foam. Living in south Georgia, we did this and discovered that Ice will last 5 days sitting in the cooler, outside during the hottest of days. This will save you time and spoilage in the long run.

And before you ask; YES, you CAN cook pasta in a Rice Cooker. You just use a lot less water (2 and a half cups water per 1 cup of pasta) and remember to bring a small colander. Use the Rice Cooker as you normally would. You can also heat up canned pasta in the rice cooker using the same method. Just remember to take a small bottle of dish soap and a sponge with you to clean up.

I know this list looks epic, but this normally covers two people very well with some extras (we tend to travel with anywhere from 2-4 additional people).

r2cagle
05-31-2010, 05:36 PM
Was just grocery shopping Saturday and saw that they are now making tuna salad in those foil packets... no refridgeration needed! Little more expensive than just a plain can of tuna, but would be great for traveling.

MaggieTheCat
05-31-2010, 06:25 PM
Awesome EQ, we're staying at the Indigo too! I don't know our room number or anything yet, though. We're not gonna arrive till Friday afternoon, it's a much shorter drive for us...about 4 hours. Your list looks awesome, by the way, thanks for sharing! I also am making homemade fruit leather and jerky...in fact I have the fruit leather in the oven right now. Been there since last night....I think I made it too thick so it's taking a while to dry out.

If you wanna exchange contact info or something, PM me! :)

Evil Queen
05-31-2010, 07:09 PM
Graham crackers are nice to take too.

We have a dehydrator we use for our dried goodness. I'd love to meet up, let me send you a PM.

Since you found my previous list helpful, I might as well add on my other Master Lists since it is Convention Season.

Entertainment
Everyone needs something to do while in the car for the long trip, in a line or just late at night waiting for a panel to get over, friends to show up and meetings to take place. Below is a list of things to take with you to pass the time and other necessary items.

Cell Phones and Chargers
Camera with extra batteries
MP3 Player, headphones and charger
Laptop, powercord, cat-5 cable, wireless card
DS Lite and Charger with various games
Travel Book (this book holds hotel confirmations, directions, convention pass confirmation and any other notes you need)
CPAP Machine (DataJager needs this so you may not need it on your list)
Autograph Booklet and Sharpies
Notepad
Powerstrip
Battery Charger (for the rechargeable batteries)
Cardboard Tube (to roll posters in)
Flashlight
Travel sized Laundry Detergent

Hygiene
This is actually one of the most important lists you will ever use. SO PLEASE USE IT.

Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Shampoo and Conditioner (I pack a 2-in-1 so it's one less thing to worry about)
Brush and hairbands
Soap
Deodorant
Wet Wipes
toothpicks
Q-tips
Extra Towels (not White, the hotels always use White)
Pillows
Razor and shaving cream
Hand Sanitizer
Shower Cap
Breathmints

Medications
Trust me, after the Hygiene list you will thank $deity you have a painkiller when that headache creeps up on you because of all the extra noise you'll be exposing yourself to, or the new allergens. If you have a known medical issue, please report it to the Convention Medical Staff when you get to the con so that they can be prepared to assist you. They appreciate a warning.

Excedrin
Allergy pills
Contraceptives (birth control pills, condoms)
Saline (even if you don't wear contacts it's nice to have to rinse your eyes out with if you're suffering from eye allergies)
Emetrol
Pepto-Bismol
Vitamin B
Ginseng
Bandaides
Tums

Kogarashi
06-01-2010, 08:53 PM
I'll second EvilQueen's suggestion of dried fruit and fruit leathers. If the dehydrating doesn't change the chemical makeup enough, you can cook them first. If canned fruit doesn't trigger a reaction, it makes for great dried fruits. For fruit leathers, just cook the puree over the stove before dehydrating. It'll change the flavor somewhat, but should still taste good. You can add some lemon juice to try to get a "fresh" flavor back.

If you don't have a home dehydrator, you can use your oven. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap or a non-stick silicone baking mat. Spread your puree over it, making sure it's a bit thicker at the edges than in the middle (since the edges dry first). Set your oven to about 135 degrees, usually one of the lowest temperatures on it, and leave the oven door ajar so moisture doesn't get trapped inside.

Depending on the thickness of your puree, it can take upwards of 18 hours or more to become leather, but it's worth it. Just keep checking every so often after the first four hours. And don't worry about over-drying; crispy fruit chips are tasty too, and go great on ice cream.

If you used plastic wrap for your leather, you can just cut it into strips right on the plastic wrap and roll it up. If you used silicone mats, just cut strips of plastic wrap to match your strips of fruit leather and roll them up that way. Store them in an airtight container, and you're good to go.

I'll also recommend the cooler, since it'll help you keep things fresh longer, which opens up a whole bunch of possibilities. May I also recommend baked potato chips, and mini rice cakes (chip-sized)?

Evil Queen
06-01-2010, 09:45 PM
Rice cakes are great too. Lundburg brand Rice Cakes (http://www.lundberg.com/products/ricecakes.aspx) are Gluten free too.