There are so many pre-made trail mixes, especially in airports, and they look enticing and well, maybe not so nutritionally deficient as some of the other things hanging on those many racks.
We all know, though, that a look at the ingredients on the wrapper of any one of those mixtures tells a grim story of salt, sugar, various fats, and a host of additives and preservatives. Also, all the nuts and seeds that they contain have been roasted, rendering them nutrient deficient. And, those innocent looking little packages are expensive as all get out!
All that is to say that it’s a much better deal for your health and your pocket book if you make your own trail mix. It’s very easy, so easy to put together, keeps a long time, and travels well under any conditions. You can add or eliminate ingredients according to your own taste and diet preference, and you always have a ready source of a tasty energy booster.
Here is my approach. You’ll find more fun and creative things to add as you go along.
Begin in the bulk foods department .
I buy one of those medium sized bags of each of the following:-Raw Nuts and Seeds—almonds, Brazils, pecans, cashews, walnuts, filberts (hazel nuts), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. (Macadamias and pine nuts don’t keep quite as well, and they are very expensive, so I skip them for trail mix.) Nuts are fattier than seeds, and seeds are more protein dense and less expensive. Buy them all raw so you get all the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in tact.
-Dried fruits from the bulk bins or the packaged bulk shelves in Clover’s or other health food stores, raisins, currants, goji berries, figs, apricots, etc. Others, which I then cut up, include papaya spears, mango slices, date rolls, pineapple, etc. Take care to buy the ones that have no sulfur, sulfites or sugar included. Sugar is more concentrated in dried fruits than in fresh, so don’t overdue. It’s all about balance, and there’s lots of room for creativity.
-There are other bagged, raw berries that I like and are labeled “raw”, like golden berries and mulberry berries. Buy ¼ to ½ as many variety of dried fruits as you do nuts and seeds. The fruits add a nice “sparkle” to the mix. They are also high in sugar, so it pays to be judicious about them.-Raw cacao nibs add a really nice surprise chocolate treat in trail mix, and are high in magnesium and anti-oxidants.
Then I put these all together– one cup of each thing, perhaps adding an extra half cup of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Suit yourself. This mixture will keep very well in the refrigerator and travels very well. Enjoy!!
Admittedly, buying all the ingredients can be a shock at the cash register. I try not to flinch, remembering that I’m only going to eat ½ cup a day, and that everything I’m buying will keep for a very long time. It’s an investment in my own health and well-being, after all, and far less costly than anything that’s packaged that even comes close to the same nutrient value. It’s also a nice thing to have in my pantry at home when company comes by..
Happy Travelling. Happy Healthy Eating!