If you spend any time on an airplane, you know how difficult it can be to stick to a healthy menu when you travel. While it’s great to find a restaurant close to your gate that has salads that are not tired, drenched in oily dressing or supplemented with processed, salty meat, the reality is that airports don’t cater to special diets. You will wind up carrying food that has to substitute for lunch or dinner.
When I travel, I take a small Ziploc of mixed nuts, an apple and homemade power bars. If I make the bars myself, I can determine the size and the ingredients. These are slightly sweet, filling and last without refrigeration. Diabetics should rinse the dried cherries
- 1 cup spelt flakes or rolled oats
- 1 cup shelled hemp hearts (Trader Joe’s has them)
- 1/2 cup dried, tart cherries, rinsed
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans (walnuts work, too)
- 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate, the darker the better
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or cashew butter
- scant 1/3 cup agave nectar
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325ºF (163ºC)
Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment or use a silicon pan.
Toast the nuts in a small shallow pan until they are fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. Pecans burn easily, so removed from heat and transfer into a bowl to cool.
Put all the dry ingredients and chocolate into a large bowl. Stir. Add the nuts, nut butter, and nectar and cherries. Stir to blend thoroughly. Mixture will be stiff.
Put mixture into pan. Using a piece of wax paper or parchment, press the mix into an even layer into the pan. This helps the bars intact.
Bake for 20 to 24 minutes until the top is golden at the edges. Take out, cool completely on rack. The chocolate holds the mix together, and it needs to be completely cool. Lift the mixture from the pan using the parchment. Place on a flat surface and cut into 16 equal pieces.
Each square: calories: 175, carbs: 18, fiber: 3 gr.
—Quinn McDonald travels with a controlled sweet tooth.