Sustainable Snack Swaps

Sustainable Snack Swaps

You can build a real appetite up while exploring nature, and let’s face it – that Sausage McMuffin you bought 3 hours ago is now gross.

While everybody loves a little junk food treat every now and then, there’s something a little off-putting about tearing open a big bag of sugar and artificial flavors while surrounded by Mother Nature. It feels kind of like swearing in front of your parents. If you’ve ever experienced the opposite, you’ll know what we mean. There’s nothing quite like trekking through forests and biting into lightly salted crisp slices of green mango or watching the sea glitter from the shore while sipping buko juice straight from the husk (with a reusable straw).

In our last post, we talked about #SustainableSwaps – packing swaps you can make to lessen unnecessary waste while traveling. Some of those swaps involved reusing old food packaging and bringing your own food containers. In this post we’d like to give you some ideas on what you can use those containers for.  

A little preparation goes a long way. Stocking up on healthy and wholesome ingredients is the first step. Your local supermarket should have most if not all of these staples available, but there’s no need to get them all in one go. Building up your pantry slowly makes you appreciate and get creative with the ingredients you do have as well as helps you save some money. All of these ingredients work well with in a million recipes, and some of them go well on their own (you’re old enough to figure out which is which).

Our favorite ingredients to keep on-hand:

  • Oatmeal: get it in different forms – rolled oats, quick cook, and instant – for use in different recipes.
  • Mixed nuts: did you know that peanuts aren’t real nuts? Get a good mix of almonds, walnuts, and pecans for good fats and great flavors.
  • Peanut butter: who cares if it’s not a real nut?
  • Chia/Flax seeds: macro- and micronutrients all packed into little dots!
  • Dried fruit: lightweight, long-lasting, and sweet.
  • Bananas: If it’s good enough to fuel athletes in training, it’s good enough for you!
  • Cacao powder: for adding a little bit of chocolate into anything.
  • Tea: keep a stash in your backpack for chilly nights.

What better way to keep you full and energized on your next adventure than with nature’s gifts themselves? Below are some quick and easy granola bar ideas you can put together yourself, pack nicely into your bag, and share with your friends the next time you travel. Remember – you don’t always need to follow recipes exactly as they appear. Use what you have and surprise yourself! Whatever you come up with won’t come in wasteful packaging, will stay fresh, and will fill you up with slow-burning energy to keep you going. Not like that McMuffin.


  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and pureed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup dried strawberries, finely chopped
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried apple
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup chocolate chips


  • Gently toast oats on a baking sheet until they become fragrant, between 3-5 minutes.
  • Mix ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.
  • Press well into a parchment lined baking dish.
  • Freeze for 15-20 minutes.
  • Cut.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Enjoy!

Put your new snack skills to the test on a Tribes and Treks Experience in Baler and/or Zambales or get some more snack ideas at the GK Enchanted Farm.

Romano Santos
Romano Santos

Romano is a project manager, content creator, and public speaker for MAD Travel. You may reach him through or on Instagram as @romanohimself

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