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Happy Trails Mix

By Alana Sugar, July 2, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

When you need a healthy, convenient snack, you can’t beat trail mix.

As the name implies, it’s the perfect pick-me-up for power walking, hiking, biking, boating, traveling and just about any outdoor adventure. A good trail mix provides both good nutrition and delicious taste. While there are no hard and fast rules, the foundation is most always nuts and/or seeds that provide good quality plant protein and healthy fats. The addition of dried fruits such as raisins, dates and figs provides natural sugars for energy along with a wide range of nutrients. Building a terrific trail mix starts with choosing nuts and seeds, then adding some extras you personally favor.

Here are some ideas:

  • Try unsalted plain nuts and/or seeds such as almonds, pecans, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. If desired, get a little exotic with macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts or pine nuts. If available, consider choosing sprouted nuts or seeds. If you love roasted nuts, be sure to choose the no-salt or low-salt varieties.
  • Add whole grains such as granola, plain rolled oats, puffed whole grains like amaranth, brown rice, millet and quinoa. For variety, experiment with natural cereal squares made from whole wheat or oats as well as whole grain pretzels, popcorn or small crackers.  (I’ve eaten a delicious trail mix made from a variety of nuts, dried fruits and small cheese, fish-shaped crackers.) Remember, cereal and granola can be high in added sugar, so choose low and no-sugar varieties.
  • Sweeten it up with unsulfured, unsweetened naturally dried fruits such as cranberries, cherries, raisins, currants, blueberries, dates, figs, dates and prunes.  For something different, add goji berries or chop up dried apples, apricots, pears, pineapple, mangoes and papaya. Unsweetened banana chips make a great, crunchy addition.
  • Enjoy extras such as dark chocolate chips, carob chips, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut chips, dark chocolate covered raisins or nuts, sprouted buckwheat, wasabi peas, crystallized ginger, roasted soy nuts, toasted garbanzo beans and anything else you particularly love.

Here are a couple of simple recipes:

Building a healthy, tasty trail mix without nuts or seeds is just as fun and easy, and there is no need to sacrifice good nutrition. Start with whole grain or puffed cereals, unsweetened coconut, dried banana chips and other dried fruits. Add any extras desired such as popcorn, whole grain pretzels and dark chocolate or carob chips. Be sure to check out our ready-to-eat trail mixes. We have a great selection with plenty of variety. And remember, our products never contain added sulfites or artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners. 

Now, that’s happy trails! Got a favorite trail mix or recipe you love?  Let me know.

Category: Food & Recipes