I am a huge fan of trail mix–it is a portable, nutrient dense snack. I have an issue with many store bought trail mixes though as they often contain sugar-sweetened dried fruits (otherwise known as candy) as well as candy (hello there M & M’s) and more. So, in the quest to rid your cart of less-than-healthy packaged foods I figured I would give you a simple tutorial on building your own trail mix!
DIY Trail Mixes can be super fun to create and you can get the whole family involved. I love making a trail mix bar where I lay out a ton of different ingredients and everyone gets to build their own. I like to add my chosen ingredients to a big bowl then I give them the mix and measure out single serve snack portions of 1/4-1/3 cup of the mix into portable containers. My four year old has fun creating his own blends as well.
Nuts: Aim for raw, unsalted and organic (if possible) nuts. If you previously read my conscious living 101 post, you are familiar with my philosophy about choosing good quality ingredients. The better the quality the healthier the ingredients (in most cases). Don’t limit yourself to one nut as they all have something unique to add to the mix. Nuts I love:
- raw almonds, walnuts, cashews and roasted pistachios top my lists
Seeds: Like nuts, seeds are packed with fiber, protein and healthy, anti-inflammatory fats. Did you know that 1/4 cup of sesame seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk? Pretty awesome! Adding raw seeds is a great way to up the nutrient density of your snack plus it adds the the texture of the trail-mix. Seeds I love:
- raw sesame (black and white), pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, poppy and chia.
Dried Fruit: Dried and dehydrated fruits help to balance the mix by adding carbohydrates and extra fiber, of course. You have got to read the ingredient list when you are choosing dried fruits as they can be loaded with sugar and sometimes contain inexpensive fats. I skip fruits that are sweetened with fruit juice concentrate as well. Be a purist: choose a dried fruit that lists the fruit (period) on the ingredient list. Sadly, cranberries will never make the list as they are considered to be too tart without sugar added. Dried and dehydrated fruits I love:
- Organic unsweetened dried mango, apricots (unsulfured), raisins, mulberries, goji and acai (check out Nativas Naturals), cherries, blueberries and more. Peeled snacks are a favorite brand!
- Dehydrated blueberries, strawberries and more (check out Natures All). Bare Snacks makes baked banana and apple chips that are delish as well.
- Feeling ambitious? Try this DIY dried fruit!
The Extras: This is the part where you get to have some fun. Some of my favorite add-ins include:
- organic, unsweetened coconut, cocao nibs, baked chick peas (check out The Good Bean), freeze dried vegetables like corn, peas and sweet potatoes (I love Just Tomatoes), tiger nuts, puffed cereals like Natures Path puffed millet or kamut.
Spices: Adding some seasonings to your trail mix gives it an extra kick of flavor. My favorites:
- cinnamon, cayenne, curry, pumpkin spices, chai spice blends
Go ahead, get nutty and share your favorite trail mix blends!
“Financial compensation was not received for this post. Sample products were/ was gifted from Bare Snacks, Navitas Naturals and Organic Gemini. Opinions expressed here are my own and I only recommend products I would personally use.”