A trail-mix can be the ultimate snack, with great taste and a good combination of all 3 macro-nutrients: protein, (healthy fats), and carbs. Unfortunately, in many store-bought versions, flavors skew too sweet and way too salty. Take for example this Great Value Mountain Trail Mix:
Raisins, Peanuts, M&M’s Milk Chocolate Candies (Milk Chocolate [Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Skim Milk, Milkfat, Lactose, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Artificial Flavors], Sugar, Cornstarch, Corn Syrup, Dextrin, Coloring [Includes Blue 1 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 2], Gum Acacia), Almonds, Cashews, Peanut Oil, Salt.
The first ingredient is not a nut, but a raisin (concentrated sugars). Then, after peanuts, the next ingredient is M&Ms. Weren’t the raisins sweet enough? Not to mention all the artificial crap in M&Ms. The more expensive nuts appear towards the end of the ingredient list. There are more chocolate candies here than almonds or cashews. Oil is added – but what for? The nuts are naturally rich in healthy fats. Last but not least is the addition of salt. Is it really necessary to add salt to a trail mix?
Here’s a radical idea that is healthier, tastier, and economical to boot. Make your own trail mix. You can choose the nuts and seeds you love and buy them in bulk, unsalted and unroasted. Go ahead and splurge on cashews or pistachios too. Buy quality dried fruit or cacao nibs for a little bit of sweetness. Mix the ingredients together, and then portion out 1 ounce servings into individual ziploc bags. No need to add oil. No need to add salt. If raw nuts are not your thing, you can lightly roast the nuts and seeds them on a baking sheet in your oven for 30 minutes on low heat.
Here’s list of ingredients for trail mix, you only need 3-5 to make it work:
- Brazil nuts
- pine nuts
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- macadamia nuts
- cranberries (unfortunately most have added sugars)
- goji berries
- cocoa nibs
- dried blueberries
- other dried fruit, chopped into smaller pieces
What 5 ingredients would make your perfect trail mix?