How to Revitalize the Family Road Trip Menu
If you’re planning a scenic road trip this fall, reevaluate your snacking repertoire to feature nutritious and sustainable provisions. The proper balance of nutrients, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates can help combat energy lulls, boost immunity, and increase the ability to concentrate throughout any journey.
If you don’t have time to prepare wholesome foods before traveling, three local proprietaries have created wholesome menus for a broad range of diets and palates. They are especially committed to non-GMO ingredients and seasonal produce from reputable farmers and organic purveyors. They're also accustomed to serving sustainable meals, snacks and beverages that are excellent alternatives to processed, unhealthy options often encountered while traveling.
PRESS FOOD AND JUICE
Esther Pica, owner of PRESS Food and Juice on Rhode Island Street in Buffalo, researches nutritional benefits of the ingredients she incorporates into her breakfast and lunch menu, cold-pressed juice line, cleansing tonics and smoothies. She sources her produce from trustworthy farms and adheres to a strict non-GMO policy. Over 90 percent of ingredients used in PRESS’s non-dairy, meat-free kitchen are organic.
Esther’s customers travel from as far as Toronto to enjoy her revitalizing juices and stock up on her unique snack foods. Pre-packaged snacks like sprouted teriyaki almonds, Disco Cashews, macaroons and crackers boast nutritious ingredients such as ground flax, carrots, sundried tomatoes, jalapenos, black sesame, sunflower seeds and sea salt. Her hearty toast crackers and onion crackers are especially flavorful—and stave off chip cravings.
If you prefer sweet snacks, Esther's raw carrot cake cups will satiate your sweet tooth. She also makes Cacao Crispies with buckwheat, chopped apples, sunflower seeds and dates. They’re great on their own, as cereal, or sprinkled over yogurt.
Try pairing healthy snacks from PRESS with pre-sliced avocados, tomatoes, nut butters, fruits, alkalized water, and tonics. Esther also blends travel-ready smoothies with house-made almond and cashew milk. The extensive smoothie menu features a rich variety of immunity-boosting, antioxidant-packed super foods. Esther has studied the benefits of consuming certain rainforest plants, and currently offers noni fruit, maqui berry powder that tastes similar to a tart cherry, and moringa leaf powder, thought to prevent inflammation.
ORGANIC 3 CAFE
Two years ago, Kyle and Joseph Orlando assumed ownership of Organic 3 Café, located inside Everything Elmwood on Main Street in Snyder, NY. Their establishment has welcomed an influx of families dining with young children, and they offer a special kids’ menu for the next generation of O3 customers. They’re also accustomed to preparing takeout orders for traveling patrons.
The Orlandos pay extra attention to labels and encourage parents to be wary of store-bought breads, deli meats, cereals, snack foods and juices. Both conventional and organic foods can be processed, refined, and high in sodium and sugar, which is why Kyle and Joseph prefer to roast their own turkey, shop at local farmers’ markets, bake their own breads and prepare soup recipes from scratch.
They begin an early morning trip with coffee accompanied by a slice of wholegrain toast topped with avocado and hardboiled eggs. Egg wraps with vegetables are also simple to prep the night before, and easy to eat on the road.
For parents traveling with children, they recommend packing a visually enticing cooler with colorful wraps encompassing lean proteins like roasted turkey or mayonnaise-free egg salad. Occupying kids with snacks also helps, including celery sticks with peanut butter, homemade granola, apples and fruit salad. For a small dessert, Organic 3 Café offers low-sugar miniature cookies. Teenagers who are adventurous eaters may want to try pre-made grain bowls using quinoa and legumes or Asian noodle salads, which can be portioned out in reusable containers.
THE JUICERY BY NATURE'S APOTHECARY
Elena Capozzi, who owns The Juicery by Nature’s Apothecary, will reopen her raw food and juice shop this fall inside Modern Nostalgia on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo. Elena has been serving non-dairy smoothies and vegan-friendly fare since she established her business over two years ago inside the Horsefeathers Market on Buffalo’s West Side. Capozzi tends to her own small farm and believes in supporting local farmers’ markets. She personally adheres to a dietary regime that is rich in plant-based proteins and specializes in creating recipes that are healthy for our hearts and environment.
Recently, she packed a vegan menu for a 10-hour road trip to Portland, Maine. Capozzi isn’t a coffee drinker so she commenced her trip with Kombucha tea. Smoothies also serve as energizing morning meal replacements, and Capozzi’s recipes include house-made almond milk, seasonal fruits, leafy greens, tahini, cardamom and other spices.
Capozzi suggests packing wraps and salads comprised of beans, lentils, tofu or tempeh. She replaces flour tortillas with collard greens and fills them with vegetables and lean proteins. Try using vegetable spreads instead of hummus or vegan pesto. One of Capozzi’s specialty recipes is a zucchini spread with pumpkin seeds.
If you don’t have time to plan a road trip menu, research your route to incorporate stops at co-ops, farmers’ markets, farm stands and healthy restaurants. A diet filled with proactive ingredients will prevent you from feeling physically and psychologically depleted after a long day of traveling. It will also improve your ability to focus on the road and elevate your mood so you can enjoy the beautiful fall scenery.