Trail Mix Mash Up

My husband has an amazing metabolism. Seriously, people are amazed at how much food he eats, because he stays so thin! (Eating a whole Little Caesar’s pizza in one sitting is nothing for him- although I think his heart would say differently!) I definitely do not have that kind of metabolism.

However, my kids do. My son can eat a huge breakfast (three pieces of toast, 1-2 cups worth of scrambled eggs, a whole banana- and he’s only 2!); yet an hour later he’s asking for more food (I can’t even imagine when he’s a teenager!). My 10 month old daughter is starting to show similar habits.With all the fast metabolisms and eaters at my house, I like to have lots of snacks on hand so that no one goes hungry, but I don’t have to mess up the kitchen every ½ hour because someone is hungry! One of my favorite things to have on hand is trail mix.

Initially when we think of trail mix, we probably think of the standard peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s (and which of us is not guilty of sometimes wishing it was just M&M’s?). However, there is a whole world of options when it comes to trail mix. That’s one of the fun things about this snack idea- there are limitless possibilities! You’ll want to use ingredients that are high in protein to keep your blood sugars level, and to keep you from feeling hungry. Often, you’ll find mixes that have a bit of a sweet side as well, to help give you an extra boost of energy in addition to the protein. This is a great snack for hiking, exercising, or even just day to day. Here are some ideas of ingredients you could try:

Nuts. Tasty and so good for you! But don’t just stick with peanuts- branch out and try different kinds! Almonds, cashews, pecans, macadamias, pistachios, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts- all delicious and all nutritious! You could also add seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin or flax, which is a great option for people with nut allergies.

Dried Fruit. My son loves raisins, but they don’t do good things to his tummy. I prefer using craisins, though there are so many different dried fruits you could try- banana chips, dried mango or apricot, apple chips, pineapple chunks, dried blueberries, strawberries, etc.

Grains. If you want a little extra oomph to your trail mix, try adding a grain in the mixture to help you feel fuller longer-pretzels, Cheerios (definitely a favorite with the toddlers!), popcorn (but not the really buttery kind), granola, or even small wheat crackers could be added.

Sweets. Instead of sticking with the classic M&M’s, try chocolate chips (or peanut butter or butterscotch!), chocolate-covered nuts, mini marshmallows, toasted coconut, or carob chips.

It might even be fun to add a little seasoning to your mix, depending on what combination of ingredients you choose. Cumin, cinnamon, seasoning salt, curry, nutmeg, or chili powder could all be tasty additions to your mix!

Here are a few combinations that seem particularly tasty to me (I listed the source below- check it out for tons of combination ideas!):

  •   Almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper
  •   Macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple, coconut flakes
  •   Banana chips, peanut butter chips, peanuts, almonds, dark chocolate chips
  •   Almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sea salt, garlic powder, chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper.
  •   Popcorn, peanuts, M&Ms, dried cranberries
  •   Banana chips, peanuts, sea salt, almonds, dark chocolate chips, raisins, coconut flakes
  •   Almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, cinnamon

The possible combinations are endless! Try a few and see what you love!


    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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