How To Make Your Own Healthy Trail Mix for On-The-Go Snacking
By Emily Comos
The beauty of trail mix is that it doesn’t make you choose just one specific snack, instead it incorporates all your favorites into one big sweet and salty combination that is perfect for those who are on the go. There are many different varieties of trail mix sold in stores, but the only way to truly customize the snack and assure that it doesn’t contain any unnecessary unhealthy ingredients is to make your own at home! Trail mix can be intimidating if you’ve never made it on your own before because there are so many components and different options to choose from. Use this guide to help you create the perfect filling snack that is both healthy and quick to prepare!
The absolute staple of trail mix is undoubtedly nuts. If you have a nut allergy you should obviously skip this step, but for those of you who don’t, your nut selection is crucial for creating the perfect blend. The most popular nut you’ll see in trail mix is almonds. They have extreme health benefits including being packed with magnesium and potassium as well as having as much calcium equivalent to ¼ cup of milk. Another popular type of nut you could include in your trail mix is walnuts. They provide a great texture and color to the mix as well as having omega-3 fats that can help lower depression and reduce the risk of heart disease. These are just a few of the healthy nut options you can choose to start off your trail mix, but there are countless more that will do the trick as well such as pistachios, pecans and peanuts.
The next element that should be included in your healthy trail mix is seeds of some sort. Seeds provide the crunchy texture that contrast the fattiness of the nuts. Often times these seeds are so small you can’t even taste them, but the health benefit of them is much larger than they look. Chia seeds, for example, are only 1 mm but they are considered to be a superfood due to the fact that they are loaded with antioxidants and only 100 calories per 28 grams! Don’t be afraid to include multiple different seeds as well, such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Although it may not seem like they go together, once they’re in the trail mix, all the flavors will magically blend.
3. Something Sweet
Now although we’re working to create a healthy trail mix, a crucial component to any good blend is something sweet. A popular addition is always chocolate of some sort because its sweetness complements the saltiness of the seeds and nuts perfectly. Dark chocolate is actually known to help boost your mood and energy levels which is helpful when you’re having a mid-work day slump. Another sweet component that you can include is dried fruit. Dried cherries and apricots are both full of fiber and vitamins and simultaneously help to sweeten up your trail mix. Another sweet addition that can really help to add a bit of healthy sugar into your blend is coconut chips.
The last step to creating your healthy trail mix is to simply add to the textural elements by including something else crunchy. This is where you can really get creative and include small snacks that you enjoy on a daily basis. If you’re looking for a kid-friendly version of this trail mix, here’s where you can add in some goldfish crackers or cheerios cereal. You can also include snacks like popcorn, granola or pretzels to achieve that crunchy element.
What will your healthy trail mix look like?