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Tasty padkos nibbles for your next road trip

Planning a family road trip over the long weekend and not sure what to pack? Whether you’re the driver, passenger princess or strapped in the back, our cheap and cheerful padkos nibbles are here to keep everyone going!  

Travel Nibbles – Fuel-packed snacks   

Choc-coconut peanut clusters 

Makes 24

Turn up the crunch by swapping out the smooth peanut butter for a crunchy version.  


You’ll need 24 cupcake holders to fill two 12-hole muffin trays. Combine ½ tub (200g) smooth peanut butter and ¼ cup (60ml) sifted icing sugar and mix well. Set aside. Melt together 3 big slabs (150g each) dark chocolate and 1 Tbsp (15ml) canola oil in the microwave at 10-second intervals, gently stirring after each one. Tip in 2 cups (275g) salted peanuts and ½ cup (45g) desiccated coconut and mix well. Drop about 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the chocolate-peanut mixture into each cupcake holder, then drop a small blob, about half a teaspoon of peanut butter- icing sugar mixture into the centre of each peanut cluster. Top the peanut butter blob with more chocolate mixture to cover it. Allow the mixture to set at room temperature until firm.


Chocolate and caramel popcorn trail mix 

Makes about 8 cups (2L)

You can easily swap out M&Ms for smarties or even chocolate chips if you like.


7 cups (1.75L) popped popcorn 
½ box (175g) wheat cereal (we used Jungle Crunchalots Fillows cereal) 
1 cup corn flakes
1 packet (100g) walnuts or peanuts
1 packet (200g) M&M’s  

For the caramel

½ cup (125g) cubed butter 1 cup (220g) brown sugar 
1/3 cup (80ml) golden syrup
1 tsp (5ml) bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
1 tsp (5ml) fine salt  


  1. Combine the popcorn, cereal, corn flakes and nuts in a large bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the sugar, syrup and stir well to combine.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, while stirring.
  5. Reduce the heat and stir for another 5-8 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and whisk in bicarbonate of soda, vanilla and salt.
  7. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix to coat well.
  8. Arrange popcorn in a single layer onto greased and lined baking trays.
  9. Bake at 180°C for about 15-20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool before tossing through M&M’s.
  11. Store the trail mix in an airtight container.  


Biltong & ranch – spiced popcorn trail mix 

Makes about 8 cups (2L)

No sour cream popcorn seasoning? Mix together 1⁄4 cup (60ml) milk powder and 11⁄2 tsp (8ml) cream of tartar. 


For the ranch spice

3 Tbsp (45ml) sour cream popcorn seasoning
1 Tbsp (15ml) each garlic and onion powder
2 tsp (10ml) mixed herbs
2 tsp (10ml) dried dill
1 ½ tsp (5ml) fine salt
1 tsp (5ml) sugar 
1 tsp (5ml) mustard powder 
Milled pepper  

1 packet (200g) pretzel and cracker mix (or plain pretzels) 
1 cup (50g) corn flakes
1 packet (250g) salted peanuts 
1⁄4 cup (60ml) melted butter
6 cups (1.5L) popped popcorn 
1 cup (50g) biltong rugby mix (or a mix of biltong, salami or dried sliced meats)   


  1. Combine the ranch spice ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Combine the pretzel mix, corn flakes and nuts. 
  3. Add the ranch spice to the butter and mix well.
  4. Pour over pretzel mix and toss to coat well. 
  5. Add popcorn and give it another toss, making sure to coat lightly.
  6. Spread evenly onto a lined baking tray. 
  7. Bake at 180°C for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until toasted.
  8. Mix through biltong rugby mix and bake for another 8-10 minutes. 
  9. Cool completely before tossing through the biltong mix, then store it in an airtight container. 


Super sarmies – Travel approved

Pastrami and cheese loaf with atchar mayo 

Serves 6-8  

For the really long roads you’ll need a sturdier base. Simply swap out the French loaf for a baguette.


¼ cup mango atchar
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and milled pepper
1 french loaf (2 mini loaves work well too)
butter for toasting
1 packet (80g) rocket (or butter lettuce) 
10-12 cheddar slices
1-2 packets (125g each) sliced pastrami, sliced ham or shaved chicken
6-8 pickles, cut into ribbons 
1 avocado, sliced   


  1. Combine atchar and mayo and season. Set aside.
  2. Halve the French loaf lengthways, making sure not to cut all the way through and toast in a pan with butter.
  3. Spread the mayo mixture onto both halves.  
  4. Layer with rocket, cheese, sliced pastrami, pickles and avo.
  5. Sandwich closed and serve. 


Triple chicken club sarmie 

Serves 8

Using three slices of bread instead of just two makes for a much more sturdy sarmie, perfect for those long road trips.


1-2 avocados, smashed 
squeeze lemon juice
salt and milled pepper
1 loaf sliced bread, toasted on both sides 
½ – 1 cup mayonnaise
½ head butter lettuce, leaves separated 
16 Emmental or Gouda slices
4 tomatoes, sliced
2 packets (125g each) shaved chargrilled chicken  

For serving

potato crisps 


1. Combine smashed avo with lemon juice and season. Set aside.
2. Spread the bread slices with mayo.
3. Layer one slice of bread with lettuce, cheese, smashed avo, tomato and chargrilled chicken.
4. Top with another slice of bread and repeat the layering process.
5. Sandwich closed with a third slice of bread.
6. Cut into triangles, secure with a toothpick and serve.

Jerk-spiced chicken wings  

Serves 8

Serve these as is, with store-bought tzatziki or a herbed yoghurt sauce.  


800g-1kg chicken wings 
Salt and milled pepper 
¼ cup jerk spice
Glug olive or canola oil  

For serving

Grilled or fresh pineapple chunks, optional
Lime halves or wedges 
Herbed yoghurt sauce (mix 1 cup yoghurt with a handful chopped coriander and juice (30ml) and grated peel of ½ a lemon)  


  1. Cut the chicken wings into smaller portions. Season well.
  2.  Combine the jerk spice and oil then rub over chicken to coat well.
  3. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. Roast in the oven at 160°C for about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.  
  5. Serve with the pineapple, lime and herbed yoghurt sauce on the side. 


Jerk spice

Makes about 1 cup

Combine 2 Tbsp each dried thyme, garlic powder (or crushed flakes), onion powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and sugar, 1 Tbsp dried parsley, 2 tsp each allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli flakes, salt and milled pepper. Mix well, store in an airtight container and use as needed.


Recipes & Styling: Gail Damon
Photographs: Zhann Solomons

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