Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth nutrition, fitness and adventure courses, and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+..
Q: My kids, who don’t eat much sugar, are going on two different camp retreats this summer. I’m looking for nutritious and tasty, sugar-free travel foods that have a short list of ingredients. Are there any foods that fill all those bills? -Janet W., Erie, Pa.
A: Yes, fortunately, there are. Consumers are increasingly demanding foods based on simple, tasty, nutritious ingredients, so it’s actually getting much easier to find those kinds of products.
Try the following eight foods-they’re perfect for camping, flights, hikes, or wherever your summer adventures take you.
1. Go Raw Sprouted Watermelon Seeds
Many people think of spitting out or avoiding the seeds when they eat watermelon, but the seeds are a surprisingly nutritious part of the fruit, and sprouting the seeds improves their digestibility and activates the powerful nutrients inside. Sprouted watermelon seeds are an excellent source not only of magnesium and zinc, but also of protein-one ounce of sprouted watermelon supplies a whopping 10 grams! And the seeds are quite low in carbs, too. Seasoned with Celtic sea salt, Go Raw’s Sprouted Watermelon Seeds make a very tasty snack.
Ingredients: Sprouted organic watermelon seeds, Celtic sea salt.
2. Royal Hawaiian Sea Salt Macadamias
All nuts are easy-to-transport, nutrient-packed morsels that are great for trips, and macadamia nuts make an especially decadent-feeling on-the-go treat. They’re rich in monounsaturated fat, which can stabilize blood sugar levels. You can take a small amount in your bag, plop a few in your mouth when you need them, savor them slowly, and relish their mouthfeel and richness.
Ingredients: Macadamia nuts, sea salt, macadamia nut oil.
3. Thrive Tribe Toasted Onion Coconut Chips
Nix potato and corn chips that leave you wanting steady energy an hour after you eat them. Snack instead on Thrive Tribe Toasted Onion Coconut Chips. These savory, Paleo-friendly chips are nutrient-packed and rich in easy-to-digest, good fat from coconut.
Ingredients:Coconut chips, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt.
4. Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon
Skinless and boneless salmon is cooked just once to retain its nutritional potency and natural juices. The fish tastes great, and it’s sustainably caught. A 2-oz. serving contains an average of 340 mg of anti-inflammatory EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
Ingredients: Skinless, boneless wild pink salmon and sea salt.
5. Epic Provisions Venison Sea Salt + Pepper Bar
Unsweetened meat jerky promotes steady, long-term energy while traveling, but finding a jerky without sweeteners isn’t easy. Enter EPIC Provisions Venison Sea Salt + Pepper Bar, which is made from 100 percent grass-fed venison. The bar provides 12 grams of protein and only 2 grams of carbs. You can find the same venison jerky in smaller portions as EPIC Venison Snack Strips and Venison Bites.
Ingredients:Grass fed venison, lactic acid, sea salt, celery powder, cracked pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.
6. Jilz Original Gluten-Free Crackerz
For crackers with crunch and a great savory taste, try Jilz Original Gluten-Free Crackerz. Made from organic seeds, seed flours, almond flour, and tapioca flour, these handcrafted crackers-which were voted favorite gluten-free cracker on the market by The Los Angeles Times-provide nutrient-packed fuel that gives you far longer staying power than flour-based crackers.
Ingredients:Organic sesame seeds, organic tapioca flour, organic almond flour, organic sunflower seed flour, organic chia seeds, organic flax seeds, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, coarse ground peppercorns.
7. Julian Bakery Sunflower Butter Paleo Protein Bar
With four simple ingredients, Julian Bakery Sunflower Butter Paleo Protein Bar is a godsend for people who want a peanut-tasting-yet peanut-free-protein bar without whey or milk protein isolate, sugar, or sugar alcohols. This bar has only 150 calories, and it’s sweetened with monk fruit. It also contains organic prebiotic fiber from tapioca, which helps improve digestion and curb appetite.
Ingredients: Egg whites (from cage-free chickens), organic sunflower butter, organic prebiotic tapioca fiber, monk fruit.
8. Rx Protein Bar-Peanut Butter, Blueberry, or Apple Cinnamon
For a stabilizing mini-meal, give Rx Protein Bars a try. These bars have such simple basic ingredients, they’re actually listed on the front of the package: 3 egg whites, 6 almonds, 4 cashews, and 2 dates. While many flavors are available, the varieties with the fewest ingredients are Peanut Butter, Blueberry, and Apple Cinnamon.
Ingredients:Egg whites, almonds, cashews, dates. (The Peanut Butter bar also contains peanuts, while the Blueberry has blueberries and natural blueberry flavor, and the Apple Cinnamon has apples, natural apple flavor, and cinnamon.)