February 27


Trail Mix

By Sunny Brigham, MS, CNS, LDN

February 27, 2017

minutes read time


Ever been on a road trip and stopped for snacks?  I’m sure you have…even if you didn’t call it a road trip.  When I think back to the old days before I put my health first, I used to stop for beef jerky, trail mix, and a giant fountain soda.  Yup!  I did that!  At the time…IT. WAS. GLORIOUS!!!  I don’t look at the stuff now and couldn’t imagine putting many of the things I used to eat on a regular basis in my body today.  But I digress.  Beef jerky and trail mix are my go to snacks for many, even if not road trippin’!  Beef jerky is a topic for another day.  Today, let’s talk about trail mix.

Is store bought okay?

Ever bought a package of trail mix and read the label?  Probably not but now would be a good time to start.  People like the trail mix because of the sweet and salty mix with the nuts, chocolate, and fruit bits.  They feel healthy yet naughty (wink wink)!  But there’s a lot less of the healthy in the store bought versions and more of the naughty.

Even those bought from health food stores aren’t really that amazing.  The nuts are usually fine.  But for chocolate, they like to add M&Ms or their rip off version of them.  They have sugar, food dyes, and a mess of other things including sugar (did I already say that?).

That’s not really the surprise.  The surprise is with the fruit.  It’s been dehydrated, which is perfectly fine in moderation.  In order to preserve its color and some sweetness though, they add oil and sugar to it.  Essentially, they’ve taken a somewhat healthy food and made it not healthy at all.  The only real benefit of trail mix is the nuts themselves.

Many of my clients like to eat trail mix because it’s satiating.  I am all about healthier choices.  I don’t expect anyone to eat perfectly all the time.  And I certainly don’t want anyone to be miserable on my account.  So we talk about better alternatives.  A better alternative to eating store bought trail mix is to make your own.  While this probably sounds difficult, it’s actually easy peasy!  Here’s the recipe:

Trail Mix Recipe

3-4 cups of mixed nuts, salted or unsalted (you could even go half and half)

1 cup of seeds (sunflower or pumpkin)

1 canister/box of raisins

1 bar 72% or more dark chocolate (88% would be the best!)

Mix the nuts together in a bag or container.  Add in the raisins (the box or however much you like).  Chop the chocolate bar using a food chopping or good ol’ elbow grease.  Add the chocolate to the bag.  Mix and enjoy!

I use raisins because you can easily buy a box, which saves you time in the long run.  I’m sure there are people out there that have plenty of time to dehydrate their own fruit, but I am not one of them.  Perhaps one day when I have retired to a beach side bungalow near the equator, I can take up dehydrating my own fruit.  Sigh….a girl can dream, right?

Raisins are also a good source of iron, potassium, and antioxidants.  Yes, they are also higher in sugar as well so don’t polish off the box in one sitting.  Eat 1 to 2 handfuls of your trail mix a day and you’ll be set for a healthy fat and antioxidant filled snack!  Health starts from within!

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