I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance 20 (!) years ago and I can confidently say the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with is breakfast/ snacks when travelling, especially to places where there is less awareness of food intolerances/ allergies. It’s not a hopeless situation – most hotels have your typical cooked breakfasts as well as a variety of fruits and yoghurt. But if you’re looking for bread, cereal, muesli or oats you’re likely to struggle. If you’ve travelled for a conference, tea breaks usually consist of deliciously baked goods and finger bites, most of them off limits to the gluten-intolerant person. So to make my life easier, I always pack a small travel ‘survival’ kit for breakfast and snacks. With my upcoming work trip, I thought I’d share what’s in my kit!
1/ Muesli/ Granola. My go-to breakfast at home is gluten-free oats but as this needs access to a microwave or stove for cooking purposes, I never pack this when travelling. Instead, I take my home-made gluten-free muesli. To make it, I roast gluten-free rolled oats (bought at Clicks or Dischem) and add a variety of mixed nuts, super seeds and raisins which I get from Square Mart.
Once I’ve mixed everything together, I divide the mixture into small zip-locked bags. On the day I want muesli, I just grab a bag and add milk, yoghurt, berries or honey when I get to the restaurant. As I make mine quite high in fibre and protein, I usually feel satisfied until lunch.
2/ Crackers/ Rice Cakes. These are easy to have as a pre- or post-run snack or just a general snack during the day. But they also work as a bread-replacement on the days I fancy egg, cheese or cold cuts, etc. from the breakfast table. My favourite brand is this one from Woolworths.
3/ Snack/ Granola Bars. These have saved me several times especially when the airline/ travel agent has forgotten my GF meal request! Aside from being emergency plane food, they are great to have as a snack or even breakfast. I find most commercial snack bars are too sweet for my liking and much prefer these homemade ones.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get round to making them for this trip so ended up buying these from Woolworths. As a side note, the berry oat bar has been life-saver on my long hiking adventures!
4/ Dried Fruits and Nuts. Always a win! For this trip, I also added some roasted cashew nuts from Tanzania. Hands down, Tanzania has the best cashew nuts I’ve ever tasted! It’s easy to get carried away with these so I ration them out nicely so I don’t overdo it.
5/ Cookies/ Biscuits. As a treat, I pack these locally-produced sorghum biscuits made by AfriBites. They are super delicious, nutritious and full of flavour. A great treat to have at the end of a long day. I bought these from Square Mart but you can order them directly here.
This Gluten-Free Travel/ Survival Kit has saved me a lot of frustration over the years especially when travelling for work where there is less flexibility. There are times I’ve had to use it quite a bit but also trips were I’ve hardly had to touch it. Luckily, there are always plenty of options for lunch and supper and I love exploring the culinary tastes and delights of different cultures.
A Word Of Caution: When travelling with food, always check the destination country’s border restrictions as bringing in some items may be prohibited.
Do you have any food intolerances? What have you struggled with when travelling? What else would you add to this kit? Would you be interested in a blog about some of foods I try out? Can you guess where I’m headed?