Healthy vegan gifts for the road
July 17, 2012 4:57 PM   Subscribe

I need ideas for reasonably healthy, vegan snacks for the road that I can give as a gift.

My co-worker and his family are moving. I want to give an edible going-away gift for their road trip. It should look nice when I present it as a gift, so things like peanut butter on celery are not quite what I'm looking for.

Other restrictions: vegan, fairly healthy, and not requiring refrigeration or reheating.

posted by Mila to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
You can do little jars of hearts of palm. They don't require refrigeration until you open them, so it would be good to get jars small enough to be eaten in one sitting.
posted by cairdeas at 5:05 PM on July 17, 2012

Baked/dehydrated veggie chips!! So so good!!
I've just discovered them and I don't think I will go back to any other chips anymore (potato, pita, etc)
posted by eisenl at 5:06 PM on July 17, 2012

Vegan "beef" jerky or something from here.
posted by Yellow at 5:11 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

homemade kale chips are my absolute favorite!
posted by ruhroh at 5:11 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by specialagentwebb at 5:17 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nuts are vegan, expensive (i.e. nice for gifts) and there are lots of nicely packaged ones. A box of mixed nuts, or macadamias or cashews, would probably be welcome.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:17 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Nuts are a great idea and if you want it to be personal you could make something like rosemary roasted cashews or another prepared nut recipe from the web. Tree nuts are healthy, although not exactly low cal.

You could also pickle something interesting like asparagus, fennel, peppers, peaches, etc. This would be healthy.
posted by ftm at 5:29 PM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: This is just assuming you want basically "road food" -- things that are easily packed and snacked on.

Roasted chickpeas can be good (I'd double or triple that recipe, though, for a family, and that's just an example of the spices you can use). Just put them in a pretty jar or cellophane bag.

Tofu jerky lasts without refrigeration, but it's a little time consuming (that recipe can also be varied according to taste -- the soy sauce and liquid smoke are the important parts in my opinion).

I also like making my own "trail" mixes out of various dried fruits and nuts I buy at Trader Joe's. I forget what the exact blend was, but I think it was a lot of dried cranberries, crystallized ginger, and pistachios. Wasabi peas are also great (depending on their tolerance for heat) as are Asian rice crackers -- I like the Kaki no tane type without peanuts (but check the ingredients!).

Food Fight may give you some ideas (you don't have to order from there -- most of that you can find in your local stores).

Me, honestly, though, if I was going on a road trip, I'd be delighted to be given a box of Clif Bars (I love the Coconut Chocolate Chip, but you can't go wrong with the Oatmeal Raisin). Clearly, not the prettiest of presents, but absolutely practical.

I'd probably just make a "basket" of things -- a mix of homemade and purchased -- and I'm sure they'd be absolutely delighted by any of this.
posted by darksong at 5:30 PM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

Homemade anything always ups the ante... you could make homemade crackers.
posted by vegartanipla at 5:30 PM on July 17, 2012

Best answer: These could be made vegan fairly easily and they're delicious!
posted by peppermind at 5:52 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I really like the dehydrated fruit from Sensible Foods. Comes in handy packs, and easy to gift a few or a box!
posted by eugenen at 6:02 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I really like Hail Merry flavored nuts and macaroons

the Whole Foods raw vegan section generally has some things like this and other snacks that make excellent gifts.
posted by melissam at 6:03 PM on July 17, 2012

If you want to throw in some of the more stereotypical road trip foods for a laugh, several of the Corn Nuts flavors are vegan.

This vegan jerky is delicious, too. Available at Whole Foods (in the checkout lanes at my store).
posted by something something at 6:34 PM on July 17, 2012

You could make (or get) some fruit leather. Fruit leather is delicious. Like fruit roll-ups for grownups.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:04 PM on July 17, 2012

I love dry roasted edamame mixed with wasabi peas as a healthy snack (aside from the sodium).
posted by rube goldberg at 8:22 PM on July 17, 2012

Sheets of dried seaweed. Yum.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 8:39 PM on July 17, 2012

If you do a basket of crackers and things, you could include some single serve packets of Justin's Nut Butters.

You could also do vegan sandwich fixins, like pita bread and an assortment of fillings to stuff them with. I like things like tabouleh, Mjeddrah, and garbanzo beans.

Here is a recipe for Crispy roasted garbanzo beans which would probably work equally well as a snack or sandwich filling.
posted by Michele in California at 9:00 PM on July 17, 2012

Present the gift in a little soft-sided travel cooler. They can reuse it along the way to keep beverages and small snacks cold. And some handwipes in individual packets or a small container. Super useful on the road.
posted by barnone at 6:38 AM on July 18, 2012

Response by poster: So many good suggestions here. I have recurring road-trip gifting needs, so this thread will be a great resource. If you're in the market for an insane variety of hard-to-find vegan meat substitutes, check yellow's link.

My co-worker just drove off with the homemade granola bars that peppermind suggested. I used dates, almonds, and coconut flakes with a base of almond butter, and as little sugar as I could get away with. They turned out amazing.
posted by Mila at 11:26 AM on July 18, 2012

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