There are few things that can ruin a day out on the water faster than a rumbling stomach or a hangry companion. But while your appetite may be inevitable, going hungry certainly isn't. That's why we've rounded up our list of the top 20 crowd-pleasing boat snacks to keep full and happy, no matter what you're craving.
Sweet Boat Snacks
If you've got a sweet tooth, there are plenty of easy, affordable, portable snacks that are worth tossing in the bag or cooler on your next excursion, like:
Candied ginger serves a dual purpose on this list. While it's not the most common treat, it offers an incredible, complex sweet and spicy flavoring that many find very satisfying. Not to mention, a little goes a long way. More importantly, ginger has been known to help with motion sickness, making it a delicious way to combat seasickness that may strike you or your companions.
Trail mix is the classic choice for active outdoor pursuits, whether it's homemade or a store-bought variety. It typically includes a mix of nuts, dried fruit, and other treats like M&Ms, peanut butter chips, or anything else small and tasty. Trail mix has plenty of fiber and protein and can be easily made, stored, and transported.
Along similar lines, energy bites or bars can provide a sweet, filling, and sometimes even healthier boat snack. Generally, they consist of oats or similar grains mixed with sweeteners and additions like dried fruit or chocolate, then compressed. Think handheld trail mix. Stores are packed with commercially made options, while foodies can craft no-bake varieties at home.
Who says fruit snacks are just for kids? These individually packaged gummy snacks can hit the sweet spot for those looking for a tasty treat. Easy to transport and super long-lasting, they're a true crowd-pleaser for all ages.
Savory Boat Snacks
The flip side of sweet snacks is their savory rivals, ranging from crunchy and salty to zesty and piquant. If that's what you're in the mood for, try these options:
Chips or pretzels
What more can be said about what may be one of the most common snacks out there? Available in all flavors and styles, nothing can compare to the salty crunch of a good chip or pretzel. They're often among the more affordable snacks, and can be found in both individual bags and larger ones perfect for group snack sessions.
Popcorn offers limitless flavor possibilities for creative snackers. Any combination of spices can shine on this crunchy, easy-to-make snack. On its own, popcorn is also a great low-calorie snack for those watching their weight. In addition, it can last significant lengths of time in a well-sealed bag.
Roasted chickpeas are a healthier alternative for those looking for a savory, crunchy snack. They typically require far less oil and fat to produce and have health benefits like protein and fiber that many other chips or similar items don't. Plus, their light flavor makes it easy to amp up with spices of all types.
For those looking for an alternative to the crunchier savory snacks for a boat, olives provide a briny flavor blast that pairs perfectly with the open water. Individual-serving packages are now commonly available, though you may find yourself craving a whole jar once you start eating!
Protein Filled Boat Snacks
A busy day out on the water can mean plenty of hard work operating the boat or reeling in that big catch. Fuel up with some extra protein with these convenient choices.
The most familiar way for many folks to grab a protein boost on the go, jerky is as convenient as it is delicious. Explore the dozens of commercially available flavors, from black pepper to teriyaki or buffalo, or try exotic meats that go far beyond traditional beef.
Add a high-class touch to the high seas with charcuterie—a general term for prepared or cured meats served alongside cheese, pickles, nuts, or other items. There's plenty of protein here and certainly no shortage of sophisticated flavors and taste combinations that will have your fellow boaters talking.
Almonds may make appearances in trail mix or on a charcuterie board but deserve their own mention. High in protein, fiber, and nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium, almonds are absolutely delicious. These days, you can find them raw or dusted with spicy seasonings that can satisfy any craving. Unlike many protein-rich snacks, they also don't require any temperature control or refrigeration.
Simple to make, affordable, and healthy, there's a lot to love about packing up some hard-boiled eggs for a midday boat snack. Hard-boiled eggs also offer the distinct advantage of being individually packaged for easy transport and consumption on the water.
Fruits and Vegetable Boat Snacks
If you're looking for the best boat snacks that maximize both health and delicious taste, it's hard to beat nature's own snacking goodies, like:
Sweet snacks for a boat don't have to be unhealthy, as the many varieties of berries out there prove. This low-calorie, high-fiber treat is also packed with antioxidants and vitamins and is easy to prepare and share. For especially hot days, you can even briefly freeze berries before heading out, providing a satisfying, cooling crunch.
Veggies and hummus
One of the best ways to eat more veggies is with a delicious dip, and hummus is one of the tastiest and healthiest options. Flavor possibilities are endless, as are the pairing possibilities, which generally include carrots, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, or other sturdier vegetables. It's also easy to stow and transport, no matter where your boating adventures take you.
On a hot day, watermelon hits the spot for a refreshing snack. Whether you're bringing a whole melon (conveniently protected by its rind) or preparing slices or cubes ahead of time, it's a perfect way to cool off with a classic summer flavor. Plus, your body will appreciate the hydration under the hot sun.
Even those who typically don't enjoy tomatoes may be surprised by the sweet, snackable cherry variety. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, they're delicious on their own or can be combined with a simple dip or hummus.
Mini-Meal Boat Snacks
Boat food isn't limited to just small bites. Those craving something more substantial to munch on may find exactly what they're looking for here:
Wraps are a general category that offers two significant benefits for longer boat days and hungrier boaters. First, they're ultra-convenient, able to be eaten with just one hand without worrying about spilling ingredients or other issues. Additionally, they're endlessly customizable with various fillings, sauces, and wrapping material (including veggie-oriented options like lettuce wraps.)
An easy, no-mess alternative to traditional tacos, walking tacos are built directly inside a personal-sized bag of tortilla or corn chips. The chips are topped with ground beef or chili, which is then dressed with any toppings you desire, from cheese and beans to sour cream and jalapenos. Eat it with a fork and toss out the bag after for simple cleanup.
Who doesn't love a good hot dog? Thermos dogs are prepared by filling an insulated thermos or container with hot or near-boiling water and enclosing the hot dogs inside. Later, your dogs will be satisfyingly warm without the need for any cooking out on the water. Just add to buns and top as desired for a quick, filling snack.
Pasta salads combine energizing carbs, healthy veggies, and tasty toppings like cheese and salad dressing to provide a relatively well-rounded boat food mini-meal. It's simple to prepare ahead of time, and, without the need to heat, it can be served and eaten in just a few minutes.
Fuel Up With Free Fly’s Favorite Boat Snacks
While every day on the water is different, it's easy to rely on these best boat snacks no matter what you have planned or who you have along with you. Mix and match these familiar favorites to create snack spreads that can keep you and your guests happy and well-fed for those fun hours on the water. For more snacks, tips, and apparel recommendations for life on the water, visit The Guide Post.