5 Spicy Road Trip Snacks That Are NOT a Hot Mess

When my friends’ band, So Pitted, hit the road for a West Coast tour this summer, I cooked up a care package for the car to battle the random case of caloric cravings. Because nobody should drive hangry.

I was shooting for snacks with some sass, but stuff that was portable and wouldn’t wilt or cause a mess in a hot car. Here’s what went into the care package, which turned out to be a huge hit. Of course, this lineup works well for any road trip.

The road trip care package includes trail mix, Thai peanut butter cookies and a hangover helper kit. Photo by Leslie Kelly

The road trip care package includes trail mix, Thai peanut butter cookies and a hangover helper kit. Photo by Leslie Kelly

1) Superstar Spicy Sweet Trail Mix

A combo of mostly good-for-you ingredients gets its fiery kick from Trader Joe’s Chili Spiced Mango (which you can buy online). The candy corn is a nice surprise (if you like candy corn, that is).

Hot mess factor: The chocolate chips got a little melt-y on the road, so don’t forget the wipes.

Photo by Leslie Kelly

Photo by Leslie Kelly

2) Thai Peanut Butter Cookies

These gluten-free goodies have just enough heat to make things interesting, but not so much pepper power that you’re going to break a sweat. They’re chewy and stay fresh for a few days in an air-tight container.

Hot mess factor: Minor; a few crumbs, but add the milk dunk in a moving vehicle at your own risk!

Made with Eliot's Adult Nut Butters from Portland, Oregon

Photo by Leslie Kelly

3) Pad Thai Popcorn

The best thing to happen to caramel corn in forever! Bravo and fist bumps to Chef John for boldly bringing sambal oelek chili paste and fish sauce to this salty-sweet party.

Hot mess factor: Not going to lie, this one’s a little sticky, but there’s no judgement if you wanna lick your fingers.

Pad Thai Popcorn

Photo via Chef John

4) Indian-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

Yes, there’s a spicy theme going down here, and this crunchy snack goes down by the handful. Unlike most salty snacks, these babies are packed with protein to keep you fueled up while logging those miles.

Hot mess factor: Some of the seasoning might end up sticking around on your hands, so you probably don’t want to grab these while your hands are on the wheel.

Roasted chickpeas. Photo by larkspur

Roasted chickpeas. Photo by larkspur

5) No-Bake Energy Bites

Let’s end this on a healthy note. This super-easy Energy Balls are so tasty they might pass as cookies, powered by rolled oats, peanut butter, and ground flax seeds.

Hot mess factor: So neat to eat, especially perfect to pop in your mouth in a one-and-done bite.

Photo by AR

Photo by AR

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