On the road with fresh foods


Justin and Ben couldn’t be more different in terms of personality. GE engineer Justin Berger keeps a schedule, eats canned food and tends to eschew goat milk cheese. Celebrity chef Ben Sargent plays the ukulele and laments over Bibb lettuces. Put the two on a “Freshpedition” (complete with the new GE French Door Refrigerator hooked to a generator) and what commences is a 2,000 mile road trip to gather fresh ingredients for a homesick wildlife biologist in the field.

Thankfully, traveling healthfully doesn’t always require technology (or a ukulele). For most of us, a cooler packed for a road trip–along with a little advance preparation, a few stores and a restaurant or two–is all you need to feed your family healthfully when on the road. If it can be baked or prepared ahead of time and kept on ice, a surprising amount of foods can make even a long trip.

A few prepared we have traveled with successfully over thousands of miles include:

Coleslaw: This coleslaw recipe is sugar-free, keeps well in a cooler and adds the perfect amount of ‘fresh’ to a heavier main course, like meatballs.
Meatballs in Pizza sauce: Small and easy to wrangle, these small, zest pops of beef stay fresh and delicious, even when chilled and eaten cold.
Cheesecake: When traveling with a cheesecake, be sure to leave it in its springform ring for as long as possible to keep the cake from becoming damaged. We actually took one along for the ride when we surprised our camp counselor daughter for her Birthday.
Fresh-juiced vegetables: We like to juice veggies in the fridge that would go back otherwise. Sock it into a BPA-free container, chill, and you have a fast, fresh drink.
Fresh jerky: When you need a place to spread a dip or a spreadable cheese, or even on its own, there’s nothing quite like fresh beef jerky.
Pickles and Green Olives: Fun finger foods in a pinch, the jars keeps contents fresh without leaks.
Cheese Cubes and Pepperoni: Planned ahead, these are perfect in-between meal snacks. Be sure to combine cheeses like pepper jack, colby and sharp cheddar for variety, and serve with blister packs of sliced pepperoni for a little spicy kick.
Water: Sometimes hunger is really thirst in disguise. Stay hydrated.

Grocers: We like to visit stores along the route to supplement groceries. We grab things to re-stock diminished supplies, ice and to fill voids in the cooler when food items begin to disappear. It’s also a great way to grab fruit and yogurt, water, and other items that are best used right away and which might not fare well in a cooler with shifting items and melting ice.

Restaurants: Along the way, we also tend to stop off for at least one meal per day at a restaurant. We make sure to look for places that either serve breakfast all day (be sure to ask whether pancake batter is used in the eggs/omelets) or who don’t flinch when you order your burger without the bun.

Road-side Stands: Out and about during the harvest season? Be sure to stop along the road for some unplanned bounty in the form of fresh-grown produce by farmers. Farmers’ Markets are also generally in full-swing during the summer, too, so keep your eyes open; you might even plan your travel routes with these location and market times in mind.

Butcher Shops: We make some of our best discoveries at meat shops. Look for everything, from healthy, fresh beef sticks to beef jerky, to sliced cheeses and cold cuts. If you travel with charcoal for camp cooking, or a gas stove, some fine cuts of grass-fed beef might be in order for later.

Traveling healthfully can be delicious, fun and easy, especially when you have a plan in place. At the same time, don’t over think it, and don’t expect perfection. And, even when you’re starving and eyeing that two-year old peppermint under the emergency brake, your next food adventure might just be around that next bend.

Keep reading and learn how you can win a $100 Prepaid card for your own road trip or GE appliances to make staying home a little more fun, even when you’re not traveling on your own #freshpedition.

GE is continuing this same passion for fresh food with the Freshpedition Sweepstakes. This sweepstakes uses Pinterest, which means you can actually pin for a chance to win all new GE kitchen appliances.

But wait, there’s even more to win!

You can also enter each day of the sweepstakes for a chance to win a $100 VISA® Prepaid Card. Entering for this prize is fun as you’re asked to pin your favorite fresh foods or your own recipes. Also, these pins when hashtagged with your state (e.g. #GEfreshTX) become part of a “Best of Fresh” map featuring freshness from around the country. Explore the map here: http://www.freshpedition.com/sweepstakes/fresh-map.htm

For official rules and to enter visit here: http://www.freshpedition.com/sweepstakes/

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by GE via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of GE.

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  1. Freeze ice in blocks. They melt more slowly than the cubes. Do this at the start of your expedition and top off the cooler with cubes as needed. Also, many stores sell small bricks of dry ice during the summer. For water bottles, etc, if you have an extra cooler mix ice with salt in a separate cooler. The drinks can get nice and slushy in an ice+salt bath.

  2. We usually don’t like the taste of the water at campgrounds, so we fill a big orange cooler (like you see at games on the sidelines) with bags of ice. It melts, of course, along the way and we have nice tasting ice water for the whole trip! (Refilled as needed) I prepare foods as much as possible in baggies plainly marked with the recipes tucked away, then all I have to do when needed is throw in a few more ingredients and I have (fill in the blank!).

    I will save your ideas as well. Always looking for other interesting and easy LC camping foods, thank you!

    • I love your ideas, Nancy! I know when we camp, it’s much nicer not having to carry more ingredients than we need; and who doesn’t enjoy fresh, cool water?

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