Padkos to make you (me)bos

Padkos to make you bos

One cannot embark on a road trip without packing ample padkos. Whether you like your treats sweet, savoury or a bit of both, these are some padkos ideas to keep top of mind for the upcoming holiday season.

It’s important to remember that your cooler box needs to have enough ice packs to keep your food fresh, ice will melt and create a mess. Keep a car bin nearby, preferably a brown paper bag, so that you can dispose of your waste items.


If you’re looking for something savoury that will also give you stamina, there are a number of food items you can cook up before you leave for your trip.

1. Sandwiches

This may seem like the obvious, but a good old fashioned sandwich can really pack in the protein and glucose your body needs to keep going.

Try keep your bread low on the processed side (white bread is a no-no) and higher on the nutritional side. Sourdough is low in phytate levels which makes it more nutritional and easier to digest. You won’t feel sluggish or lethargic while on the road, which can be dangerous.

When it comes to spreads and fillings, keep it simple and delicious. You don’t want your body to burn energy unnecessarily while you’re long-hauling it.

Some spreads and fillings to include on your broodjie can include a combination of the following ingredients:

  • Hummus
  • Marmite
  • Cheese (nothing processed though)
  • Eggs with a lite mayo
  • Avo
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber

2. Vegetable sticks

Another great savoury snack can be vegetable sticks. These are super easy to make and go a long way. Include a dip like hummus in your cooler box to give it an extra bit of flavour and protein.

Other vegetables that work well for this include cucumbers, celery, red, yellow and green peppers and throw in some cherry tomatoes for good measure.

3. Boiled eggs

Boiled eggs are a staple padkos item. These will fill you up quickly and give you a protein boost of note. It may be tempting to scoff down three of four of these bad boys, but try your best not to fill up on these only. Variety is the greatest weapon to maintaining your stamina on a long drive.

4. Oat jars

Oats are an excellent way to get the nutrients your body needs, especially if you cook them the night before and leave them to soak in some delicious ingredients. Admittedly, this should be consumed by the co-pilot before switching to the driver seat. To keep your oats interesting and nutritious, avoid excessive milk and sugar and rather consider adding these items:

  • Blueberries
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • A plant-based milk or very minimal cows milk (which can sour and cause a stench)
  • Cashews, almonds, etc
  • Travellers tip: If you live in Cape Town or are visiting, you can buy these ingredients from Atlas Trading for much cheaper than in commercial grocery stores.

4. Vegetable crisps or popcorn

While you can buy these from the shops, making them at home helps to reduce the sodium and sugar. The vest vegetables for this yummy snack includes beetroots, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale or butternut. Use a grater or mandolin to slice up the vegetables, sprinkle them with seasoning of your choice, a splash of olive oil and bake in the oven, making sure they don’t touch, for 2.5 hours at 150ºC. Popcorn is also a great snack for the car, so long as you aren’t coating it in salt and butter.


For those with a sweet tooth, there are ample ways to keep yourself going while on a road trip. Sweet treats usually require a bit more effort if you want to make them yourself, which is always the better option, but can also be purchased if you’re pressed for time.

1. Scones

Scones can be a bit messy because of their crumbliness but if you’re planning on making them from scratch, you can add a little flair to your mixture. Think:

2. Brownies

I mean, need we say more? Brownies are the ultimate sugar kick you may need at the end of the line. The end of your road trip is the best and worst because you’re feeling low, but excited to arrive. Brownies are a great way to give your body a quick-fix sugar rush but should be saved for last.

3. Peanut butter cups

Another good sugar kick, peanut butter cups add in a protein boost too. You can buy these at conventional stores or make them yourself. 

4. Protein balls

Dynamite comes in small packages and protein balls are the best of both worlds. The best protein balls are ones that need no baking or processing. Medjool dates are generally the base for these food items with additional ingredients of your choice. For protein balls four ways, using the same base ingredients, click here. 

Picture: Unsplash