One minute. That’s about all the time it would take to grab a handful of a few of your favorite trail mix-able ingredients, throw them into a bag and call it a day. To save a little time, I put together a list of a few great ingredients that can be mixed and matched to make a super scrumptious mix of your own. Grab one ingredient from each of the first three categories and you’ve concocted a Super Food Trail Mix. Enjoy!
Raw nuts, as opposed to roasted nuts, provide optimal unrefined nutrition that is otherwise lost in the heating process of “cooking” the nuts.
- Almonds: Lower LDL (bad cholesterol), improve blood fats.
- Cashews: Possess a lower fat content than most other nuts.
- Hazelnuts: A good source of B1, B2 and B6, this nut helps with blood formation and mental health.
- Walnuts: High in heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Sunflower seeds: Technically not a nut, but altogether nutritious.
Something starchy (about 1 part)
A little crunch can go a long way. Get creative with a carb-packed ingredient.
- Old-fashioned rolled oats: Loaded with unrefined fiber.
- Pretzels: An easy option.
- Sesame sticks: For those looking for a unique and savory taste.
- Cheerios®/Chex®: Choose any version of a healthier cereal for a little variety.
- Popcorn: Air pop and toss it in. This addition is high in fiber and low in calories.
Something for seasoning
Just a little dash of flavor at the very end. Add just enough to complement the other ingredients you’ve already added.
- Sea Salt: Generally much healthier than table salt and a staple to any mix.
- Cayenne Pepper: Packed with capsicum and shown to improve circulation.
- Cardamom: Combat a sour stomach with this super spice.
- Curry: Give aching joints a break by adding this spice to your diet daily.
- Cumin: Boost your immune system with the southwestern aroma of this spice.
Any dried fruit (about 1 part)
Even though these shriveled fruits contain a high concentration of sugar, in small amounts they’re a healthy snack with body benefits.
- Raisins: Have been shown to improve eye sight and oral hygiene.
- Pineapple: Strengthen your bones with this manganese-packed fruit.
- Apricot: A great source of iron, this fruit is a super energy booster.
- Banana: Have been shown to improve blood pressure and reduce water retention.
- Dates: Cleanses the blood with its incredible tonic effects.
Something sweet (about 1/2 part)
If you’ve got to have something a little decadent added to your trail mix, add in a half part of one of these sweet sensations.
- Dark Chocolate Chips: A staple to most mixes. Less is best!
- Carob Chips: Contains no cocoa and are a great alternative to chocolate.
- Yogurt-covered pretzels: Give trail mix a built in sweet/savory flare.
- Shaved Coconut: Countless benefits, including intestinal health due to high amounts of friendly bacteria.
It’s easy to go overboard when enjoying your trail mix. If portion control becomes a problem and one generous handful is just not enough, store in an air tight container with a tablespoon scoop and place out of sight. Save for picnics, hikes, post-workout snacks, post-lunch pick-me-ups, or as a nutritious snack for the kids. Or simply keep it on hand to sprinkle on top of a salad or grab a handful on-the go.