In honor of National Trail Mix Day we've put together a guide for making the perfect trail mix with all the proper ingredients. Check out these tips while keeping your taste buds in mind and when you're ready, go crazy with your own trail mix concoction.
Nuts - Although they are small, they are mighty. Different types of nuts are packed with healthy fats, fiber, protein and essential vitamins. Try out almonds, cashews, peanuts or walnuts to help create the perfect trail mix. Keep portion control in mind since nuts do tend to be high in fat. Remember to try and stick to unsalted and unsweetened nuts to ensure you're keeping sodium and sugar counts under control.
Seeds - Nutritionally beneficial, seeds are a great addition to any trail mix. Seeds are high in fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamin E and are sure to help keep your body going. Throw in some pumpkin, sunflower or flax seeds to your trail mix for an extra boost.
Grains - Grains are a great source of dietary fiber, different B vitamins and minerals. By incorporating whole grains into your diet, you are reducing your risk of heart disease and helping with weight management. This makes grains a great addition to any trail mix. Thinking grains may be good for your mix? Try out shredded wheat cereal, bran flakes, granola, puffed rice cereal or even air popped popcorn to satisfy your taste buds.
Dried Fruit - Dried fruit can be a great addition to your trail mix, but choose which dried fruits you'll be adding wisely. Pay close attention to the ingredients and labeling of your dried fruits as many contain added sugars making them significantly higher in calorie and sugar count than their original form. When chosen properly, dried fruits are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and nutrients. Try adding dried cranberries, blueberries, apples, cherries or dates to sweeten up your mix a bit.
Sweets - If dried fruit isn't your thing, you can throw in some other types of sweet to satisfy that sweet tooth. Just keep in mind that this ingredient is a treat and is to be used sparingly in your trail mix. Great variations to try mixing in are chocolate covered nuts or coffee beans, yogurt covered raisins or pretzels or different types of chips such as chocolate or peanut butter.
A Little Extra - Want to take your mix to the next level? Think outside the box. You can always add different spices or flavorful ingredients to kick the flavor level up. Sea salt, cayenne pepper or cinnamon are great spices to try out. Other flavorful ingredients to keep in mind when mixing it up are coconut flakes, sesame sticks or wasabi peas.
Not sure where to start? Try some of these combos to ignite your imagination:
- Cashews, peanuts, almonds, raisins and M&Ms
- Almonds, dried cherries, chocolate chips, sea salt and cinnamon
- Pecans, dried apples, granola, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg and cinnamon
- Macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple and coconut flakes
If you've found the perfect combo, feel free to share your mix with us!