Mix ‘n Match Trail Mix
When travelling or simply on the go, trail mix is always my snacking solution. It’s a healthy option that is portable and seems to satisfy everyone’s salty and sweet cravings. There are a ton trail mixes on the market, and although some may be great, many are loaded with too many sweets, salted nuts and even added candy in some cases. A great trail mix should include a tasty combo of two important things – nuts and seeds. Loaded with healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated and essential polyunsaturated fats like omega-3, as well as vitamins, minerals and gut friendly fibre, nuts and seeds make a great healthy snack!
The trick to making a great trail mix is to find the right combination of nuts, seeds and sweets to create a great balance of size, texture and flavours that will help keep you energized and full.
When making a mix, you’ll want to pick an option (or two or three) from each of the categories below to create a tasty blend. Think – heavy on the Nuts and Seeds, and a little lighter on the Sweets & Treats category. One of the most common mistakes people makes is adding too much dried fruits or chocolate to their trail mix turning their healthy snack into a sugar bomb! A rough ratio of 50% Nuts, 40% Seeds and 10% Sweets & Treats should do the trick.
Almonds: The trail mix staple, almonds high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Almonds are also rich in antioxidant vitamin E, where a 1/4 cup of almonds provides 40% of required daily value.
Walnuts: The ultimate nut brain-food, walnuts are incredibly rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are critical for mental health. The skins of walnuts are also rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, so make sure you eat the skin too.
Cashews: The creamiest of the nutty bunch, cashews are most certainly a crowd-pleasing favourite with their buttery taste. Their liver shape is no mystery, these nuts help support digestive function and prevent the development of gallstones.
Macadamia Nuts: These nutrient powerhouses are not only the richest in monounsaturated fats, but a great source of iron, phosphorus, zinc and calcium, as well as stress relieving nutrients magnesium and vitamin B6.
Pecans: These sweet little nuggets of goodness may be a high calorie nut but with 19+ vitamins and minerals, they punch far above their weight in nutritional value. Studies have shown pecans can help to lower cholesterol levels and promote heart health.
Pistachios: Bringing a little colour to the party, pistachios are a great source of protein, fibre and rich in B vitamins. Pistachios are also known to be a great weight loss nut, as with their high protein and fibre content they take longer to digest ensuring you stay feeling full.
Brazil Nuts: The highest source of dietary selenium, brazil nuts provide antioxidant protection and support thyroid function. One ounce of Brazil nuts may contain as much as 10 times the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendations for selenium intake.
Pumpkin: The pepita, or pumpkin seed, are a valued source of antioxidant mineral zinc, and when hulled provide a vibrant green colour to any trail mix blend.
Sunflower: A mere handful of sunflower seeds will take care of your hunger, while also enhancing your health by supplying significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.
Sesame: These tiny little seeds are one of the oldest crops known, and although they have subtle flavour, their nutritional benefits are staggering. Ounce per ounce, sesame seeds are the richest source of calcium providing more calcium than a glass of milk.
3. Sweets & Treats
Coconut: Flaked or shredded, coconut adds some healthy saturated fat to any trail mix. Coconuts are rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal, and boosts the immune system. Plus, it adds a little tropical vibe too.
Dried Fruits: Dates, raisins, cherries, goji berries, pineapple, mangos, apricots and the list goes on. When picking your dried fruit, look for oil-free and sugar-free versions as many dried fruits have added oils and sweeteners; freeze-dried options are best.
Chocolate: Who doesn’t love a little chocolatey goodness in their trail mix? When adding chocolate, dark chocolate or cocoa nibs are your healthiest options. The higher the cocoa percentage the better, anything over 75% is ideal.
Spices: Adding spices is a fun way to mix up the flavour profile of your trail mix. You can go sweet by adding a little cinnamon or vanilla, savoury with a little added sea salt, or try a spicy route with spices like cayenne and paprika.
Mix ‘n Match Trail Mix
Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds, this is the healthiest trail mix you could ever put together!
- Prep Time: 5
- Total Time: 5
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Snacks
- Cuisine: Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- 1 cup almonds
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 shredded coconut
- 1/4 goji berries
- 2 tbsp cocoa nibs
- Mix all ingredient together and store in a jar in a cool, dry place.