Late summer days are all about relaxing with friends in the park—preferably with a snack in hand, possibly with a stealthy solo cup of something more adult in the other. While being the keeper of the food gives you more power, it also usually means you’re in charge of lugging around the bulky cooler. No more of that madness. Save the heavy lifting for the gym (if you’re into that). These seven treats require nothing but a slightly larger tote bag… and let’s be real, you probably already have eight of those.
One of the simplest snacks to assemble stars the crispy queen of the cereal world, Chex. Instead of butter, this recipe calls for rich yet mild-flavored coconut oil. We would say it’s poor form to hide this mix in your bag while the rest of your friends munch on the packaged version, but we’re not in the habit of telling people what to do.
Veggie chips are hands-down the best. But you know you’re just going to dig through the mixed bag to eat all the sweet potato ones before someone else can get to them. Why bother with that struggle when you can bake—and season—your own? We can’t find a reason. Pull them out mid-hike… or mid-walk to the rooftop bar.
Don’t be intimidated by “raw” dessert—for the most part, it’s a fancier way to say “no-bake.” And isn’t that all you want to hear in the summer? This nutty, chewy, and just-a-little-bit-sweet batch of cookies are the best way to satisfy a chocolate craving on a summer picnic. The best part? No meltdown, even after a few hours in the sun. Store in the freezer, then pop them in your bag before heading out.
Raise your hand if you’re one of those people who eats snacks by the massive handful. If you know what we’re talking about, you’re probably already a fan of crunchy chickpeas. The salty snack is way better for you than chips (and TBH, we think they’re more flavorful too.) But here’s a tip: Don’t waste your money on a packaged version. Bake these bad boys yourself; all it takes are some spices.
You’ve been invited to an afternoon picnic and really don’t feel like buying more chips. You’re in luck! Grab the package of pita bread that’s been in the freezer forever, let them defrost, slice them into triangles, and bake. Pick up some hummus on your way to the park, and you’re good to go.
For a dessert you can eat on the go—and at room temperature—get your hands on one (or five) of these fruity bars. A smear of strawberry-chia jam sitting over a crumbly banana, maple, and oat base is the ideal treat after an afternoon at the beach.
Popcorn is so not just for the movies. Pop away (in the microwave, air popper, or on the stove), then cover the fluffy snack with a vegan ranch seasoning. Other winning flavors: spicy taco seasoning, cinnamon and sugar, or za’atar and chile powder. Pack your corn in a zip-top bag and you’re ready for summer adventuring.