Healthy Trail Mix contains combination of nuts, dried fruits and seeds which you can munch on the go. Trail mix is a perfect healthy snacking option.
Mixture of nuts, dried fruits and seeds is named as 'trail mix' because it's a non-perishable snack item which is easy to carry and fends off hunger due to its dense nature while you travel. While browsing I came to know there were two travelers who lost their path and survived nearly about a year on the stock of nuts and berries. So imagine just a handful of trail mix can keep you filled and fueled especially during hiking or travelling a long route.
Benefits of Healthy Trail Mix
This trail mix is ideal for travelers as it is
- Nutrient rich with energy dense ingredients
So, does it mean trail mix is only restricted to travelers? Not at all! Healthy trail mix is for everyone unless someone is allergic to nuts and other ingredients or have any other medical conditions. Trail mix is just right for your 4 pm hunger pangs when you crave for all the junks? Yes! this happens with me, and trail mix helps to avoid me the junk foods.
Why do you need to prepare healthy trail at home?
There are plenty of trail mix options available in departmental stores. However, here is why homemade trail mix is way healthier than the store-bought one:
- You are not aware of the sources of each ingredients.
- Most of the store bought trail mix contains sugar coated nuts which are not good for health.
- Ingredients are roasted in hydrogenated oils in most of the cases.
- They use salt to make it salty in taste and you are not aware of the quality of salt used here.
- Moreover, store-bought trail mix packs are heavy for your pocket and mostly available in bulk amount.
When you prepare trail mix at home it automatically becomes healthy because we can address all the above problems.
What are the common ingredients of trail mix?
Trail mix contains nuts, dried fruits and seeds.
Nuts: Nuts are primary ingredient of a trail mix. Nuts are good source of fat, fiber and protein. Hence, nuts can help to boost the energy and keep you full for longer time. You can use any nuts of your choice in the trail mix. Most popularly used nuts in trail mix are almonds, cashews and peanuts. You can also add pistachios, pecans, walnuts, Brazilian nuts, Macadamaia nuts, etc. Click here to know more about nuts, their nutritional values and calorie counts.
Dried Fruits: Dried fruits are great source of fiber and contains good amount of antioxidants. Fiber is good for fighting heart disease, obesity and some types of cancer. Dried fruits have high sugar content and help to increase the blood sugar after a vigorous session of physical activity. Like different types of nuts you can add varieties of dried fruits in your trail mix. You can add different types of berries including cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, golden raisins, black raisins, dried bananas, pineapples, etc are good options.
Seeds: Seeds are also good source of fiber. they contain good fats and many essential vitamins and minerals. So it is good to incorporate different types of seeds in to your diet. Addition of seeds gives earthy flavors and crunchy texture to your trail mix. Commonly used seeds are pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
Additional fun stuffs: Apart from nuts, dried fruits and seeds, you can also add some fun stuffs to make your trail mix more interesting. You can add chocochips, M&Ms, popcorns, butterscotch chips, pretzels, etc. However, if you want to make a healthy trail mix avoid adding any fun stuffs or additional ingredients.
Do I need to roast the nuts and seeds before adding them to trail mix?
It is not mandatory to roast the nuts and seeds before adding them to trail mix, you can add raw nuts and seeds. However, I prefer to roast the nuts and seeds so that they remain crunchy and increase the shelf life. Avoid roasting them in oil, instead dry roast them for few minutes. After that allow to cool them and add to prepare your trail mix.
Should I add salt and sugar in my trail mix?
Store-bought trail mix contains added salt and sugar. Hence, when you are preparing at home, it's better to avoid adding salt and sugar to make the trail mix healthy. If you want you can add spices to add an extra flavor to your trail mix. You can season the mixture with sea salt, ground ginger, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder or cayenne pepper to make it flavorful.
After preparing the trail mix, store it in a dry air-tight container in a cool and dry place. It is good if you store in a glass jar for example mason jar.
Recipes you can make with Trail mix
Trail mix itself is a good snacking option. If you are making a large quantity of trail mix you can also use it to prepare other snacking options.
- You can make chocolate (dark or white chocolate) bark using your homemade trail mix mixture
- Homemade trail mix can be added while you are making your granola bar or energy bars.
- You can use it as topping while baking a homemade loaf cake or muffin.
- They come handy when you are making some no bake truffles.
After knowing the benefits let's learn how to make trail mix. It's kind of a DIY weekend project! Check the ingredients given here and if you don't have all of them try to get them otherwise you can do it your way with less ingredients over the weekend and pack it in a small box and carry to your office on Monday morning. While your stomach starts growling at 4 pm you can snack healthy on your trail mix and stop your binge eating habit. These days the major problem is travel time especially in Tier I & 2 cities. So keep a box of trail mix in your bag which will be helpful while you travel.
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Healthy Trail Mix
- ½ cup Almonds
- ½ cup Cashew Nuts
- ¼ cup Walnuts
- 3 tablespoons Black Raisins
- 3 tablespoons Dried Cranberries
- 3 tablespoons Dried Blueberries
- 2 tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
- 2 tablespoons Melon Seeds
- Dry roast almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds and melon seeds each separately and allow to cool down.
- Once they are cool add all the nuts,dried fruits and seeds in a big bowl. Give them a good mix. Alternatively, you can take all the ingredients in a zip-lock bag and shake well to mix them.
- Take a dry airtight container and store it.
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