I love road trips! Except the packing. And making lists so that I don’t forget anything. But the actual road trip, that is what I love! Wide open spaces, farm land, good tunes on the radio (I prefer classic rock for road trips), and if possible, a good humored travel companion.
Of course, the best road trips are ones with good friends waiting at the destination. This weekend JB and I traveled back “home” to Kansas City to visit friends and family and to do a little race in Lawrence, Kansas. Not only are we excited to race on very familiar territory, but also to see all the friendly faces we have missed in the…oh, three months since we’ve been here last. I know, it’s not that long, but this is where we both grew up, where we both started our athletic journey. The roads and the courses will surely prove to be as hospitable as the people.
Because I’m not a fan of packing, JB takes the reins and is happy to do so. Organizing the race wheels, the bikes, race bags, and everything else. He is a lifesaver, that one! As much as I begrudge packing the bags and the car, I don’t mind packing the cooler! Go figure. I made sure to jam it full of easy to eat, healthy foods.
What you see above: Ice-cold watermelon; a big bag of lightly-salted mixed nuts; bananas, crunchy Gala apples; Blueberry Crisp Cliff Bars (JB’s favorite); Justin’s almond butter packets; chilled coconut water; and of course, individual serving packets of Everyday Hydration from Skratch (more electrolytes!).
I also added these:
Homemade fruit “Newtons”. Newtons are trademarked, so we’ll call them “fruited cake bites”, after the old commerical tag-line for the same product.
This is a new recipe for me, but totally appropriate road trip food. At first out of the oven, they had a slight crunch to them, like a “fruited cracker” rather than “cake”. But due to the summer humidity of the great Midwest, they softened but still held up well. Because they are healthy, they were less like “cake” and more like … an amazing cereal bar!
Regardless, they were delicious and were just what we needed for the 9 hour (turned 8 hour, WUT?!) drive to KC from Chicago.
Strawberry Fruited Cake Bites
Gather:For the cake: 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened 1/4 c. dark brown sugar 2 egg whites 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1 T. water 1 1/2 c. spelt flour (you can also use whole wheat) 1/4 c. ground flax seed (flax meal) 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. salt For the filling: 2 c. strawberries, chopped into large dice 2 1/2 T. sugar 1/4 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest 1 tsp. cornstarch 1 tsp. water
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg whites, vanilla, and water and mix on medium-high speed until well combined. Adjust the mixer to slow speed and add the flour, flax meal, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until dough forms. (The dough will be soft.)
Scrape the dough from the bowl and place it in the center a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the sides of the plastic wrap, form the dough into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or over night.
While the dough is chilling, make the filling.
In a small dish, mix the water and cornstarch until dissolved. Set aside.
Add the strawberries and sugar to a medium saucepan, set over medium-high heat. Stir the berries and sugar to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. At this time, add the lemon zest and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, then remove from heat and cool completely.
Once the dough has chilled, flour a work surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 11 x 15 inches. (Random, I know.) Take care to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface and that it is rolled to an even thickness. Cut the rectangle in half, vertically. Then cut each piece in half again (vertically), so that there are four strips about 3 x 11 inches long.
Place a couple of tablespoons of the cooled filling down the middle of each piece of dough. Fold each side of the dough over the filling, making sure that they overlap a bit and cover the filling completely. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of each strip of dough and then cut the strips into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces.
Place each piece, seam side down, on to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the cooke sheet in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until each bite is firm to the touch and slightly browned.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 24 fruited cake bites. (More or less, depending on the size of the bite.)
* This post was not sponsored by any of the products listed or pictured. I featured them because they are products I already love and believe in.