Trail mix is a snacking classic. It’s quick, convenient and portable. But many store-bought mixes can be filled with extra sugar, fat and sodium, or come in bags that are much larger than an appropriate serving size. Cut the calories, amp up the health-factor and control portion size by mixing your own batches.
The best place to begin if you’re thinking about making yourself a mix, is at a bulk food store where you’ll be able to get larger quantities of all your ingredients at a lower price. When choosing ingredients, look out for not-so-healthy “health foods.” For example, banana chips are most often deep fried and dried bananas–not such a healthy option (like all deep fried things). Dried cranberries, another trail mix favourite, are very tart and therefore often have a lot of sugar added to them. To avoid being tricked, dry your own fruit with a dehydrator, or bake your own banana chips in the oven.
While nuts and seeds are great sources of healthy fats that every runner needs, with a mix that is almost entirely nuts (and maybe some chocolate), it is easy to break the calorie bank. To avoid this, make the base of your mix some sort of puffed whole grain, like popcorn, or cereal, for volume.
Here are seven healthy and fun takes on trail mix:
Feels like fall trail mix
Maple toasted oats and almonds – here’s how to do it
Tropical tastes trail mix
Commuter’s pick-me up
Chocolate covered coffee beans
Childhood (in a bag)
Dry roasted edamame
The health kick