Crack Open The Trail Mix
How to build a healthy version of the snack
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
August 15, 2022
Trail mix is a snack mix. It was created as a portable, nutritious, and energy-boosting food with a flavorful medley of healthy nuts and a touch of sweetness for hikers. But today, it's widely popular and consumed by not just hikers.
Classic versions often contain a combination of granola, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and sometimes, chocolate. Other types can include cereal, popcorn, and candy. Savory versions contain spices and seasonings like smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. For a healthier version, it's usually better to make your own trail mix. Store-bought versions are often coated in sugar or salt and may contain lots of candy, chocolate, and unhealthy oils.
Start with a duo or trio of nuts for protein if you are making a version of the snack. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, and peanuts are options for building a healthy mix. Toasting the nuts for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees can add depth to the texture and enhance flavor. Pumpkin, chia, and sunflower seeds are easy to add in and offer nutritional benefits. Dried fruit without added sugars is the healthiest option to help with low blood sugar. Raisins, dried unsweetened cherries, apricots, blueberries, and coconut flakes are flavorful options with a hint of sweetness. Mix in a couple of varieties, customizing according to your palate. If you want to up the level of sweetness, add some dark chocolate chips or chunks. The highest antioxidant benefits come from dark chocolate containing at least 70 percent cacao but start with 60 percent cacao if your taste buds have not acclimated to a higher percentage. You can substitute nuts for seeds and dried fruit if you have a nut allergy. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with ¼ tsp sea salt and mix well. You can add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg too. The serving size for most trail mixes is about ¼ cup.
For maximum freshness, trail mix should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. Container options include a glass or mason jar, a resealable plastic zip-top bag, or a plastic container with lids that seal tightly. A stand-up zipper pouch may be a standout choice since it can keep your mix fresher for longer. It's also typically easier to open, a more accessible and convenient option. You can also hold individually portioned resealable snack bags filled and ready to go. Trail mix should keep for at least a month. For extended storage time, freeze it in a resealable plastic bag.