The perfect homemade trail mix calls for the correct proportion of sweet, salty, nutty, and crunchy. Your trail mix should fill you up while you are out on a hike or craving an afternoon snack at work. Understanding the anatomy of trail mix, and how to portion each ingredient, will allow you to create a tasty, yet healthy mix! Keep these 5 foods in mind the next time you make trail mix: nuts, dried fruits, grains, seeds, and sweets. Also, try out our Healthy Harvest Trail Mix and Tropical Trial Mix recipes listed at the end of the blog!
The Anatomy of Trail Mix:
Regardless of what type of trail mix you are looking to make, nuts are the most important ingredient. They provide the crunch and flavor that helps bring everything together. Additionally, these pint-sized nutritional dynamos offer a high caloric value. Nuts are loaded with fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals. They will provide the energy and nutrients you need to make it through the day. Blain’s Farm & Fleet carries a wide variety of nuts that compliment any type of trail mix recipe – almonds, peanuts, cashews, Brazilian nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and mixed nuts.
Dried fruit helps provide a sweet kick to your trail mix and gives it some aesthetic beauty. From the deep red of dried cranberries to the bright yellow of dried pineapple, dried fruit is sure to bring your trail mix to life! Plus, it’s nutrient dense, high in fiber and phenols, and provides your body with much-needed sugars. At Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you’ll find a large variety of dried fruit to help add some flavor and fun to your trail mix. Choose from a selection of dried raisins, cranberries, dates, apricots, banana chips, cherries, kiwi fruit, pineapples, prunes, and fruit mixes.
Adding grains to your trail mix will help ensure it’s the only snack you need between lunch and dinner. This is because grains contain complex carbohydrates, which help boost overall energy levels in your body and helps you feel full longer. Consider adding pretzels, cereals, and popcorn to your homemade mix!
For those of you with nut allergies (or if you are just looking to mix things up) seeds are a great item to include in your trail mix, as they provide many of the same nutritional benefits as nuts. Seeds contain protein, iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium. Help fuel your body for the day ahead by adding some chia seeds, flax seeds, or sunflower seeds to your trail mix.
Unlike the ingredients we have mentioned up to this point, sweets do not provide a great deal of nutritional value to your trail mix. This is why you must be extra cautious on how many different types of sweets you include. At Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can choose from peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, yogurt covered raisins, shredded coconut, and semi-sweet mini gems to add the extra bit of sugar you are looking for. Just remember that everything is good in moderation, and this rule definitely applies to sweets.
3/4 cup raw pecans (option to toast in oven for 10 minutes at 350* F for extra crunch)
3/4 cup raw cashews (option to toast in oven for 10 minutes at 350* F for extra crunch)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup cherries
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped chocolate chips
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1.) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
2.) Store in a Ziploc bag or mason jar
3.) Will keep for up to 1 month
3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup banana chips
1/2 cup dried pineapple, diced
1/2 cup dried mango, diced
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1.) Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and toss together
2.) Store in an airtight container