Today, I was feeling trail mix! So… guess what? I MADE TRAIL MIX. I like to call it a fruit & nut mix, because when I think “trail mix”, I think the store-bought kind, where the dried fruit is coated in refined sugar, the nuts & seeds are roasted in partially hydrogenated oils & the entire mix is coated in table salt. THIS ONE AIN’T ANYTHING LIKE THAT. So… for the sake of my sanity, let’s call it a healthy homemade fruit & nut mix, or we can just call it TRAIL MIX THE CLEAN WAY, kay? Great, now that we’ve got that down-packed, let’s talk about this mix in a bit more detail.
For starters, this one’s made right at home, in JUST 5 minutes! The fruit is unsulphured & unsweetened, the nuts are raw, organic & unsalted & only sea salt & Ceylon cinnamon are added to coat the entire mix! As you can see, there is quite a difference between this one & the one you’d pick up at your local “dépanneur” (Sorry, if you’re not from Quebec, that’s what we call our 7/11!).
Trail mix is a great snack to keep in your car or purse if ever you’re on the go & you begin to feel an energy slump or light-headed. It’s also great for pre or post-workout fuel. It’s full of healthy fats, fibre, plant-based protein, natural sugar, vitamin C, antioxidants & tons of other minerals, such as: iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin E & A & manganese.
What’s fun about trail mix is you can customize it & use your fave nuts, seeds & dried fruit to make it your own! I threw in some raw cacao nibs for magnesium & iron & coconut for an added touch of natural sweetness & fibre. But you can literally throw in anything your heart desires from chocolate chips to banana or plantain chips to popcorn to pretzels to a different blend of nuts, seeds & dried fruit.
Ideally, you want to use raw nuts to ensure that they haven’t been coated &/or roasted in hydrogenated or soybean oils & loaded with table salt. You can always roast the raw nuts in the comfort of your own home if you prefer a toasted flavour & at least you’ll know how you roasted them & that nothing was added to them! When it comes to the seeds, try to keep ’em raw & unsalted as well!
Raw nuts & seeds are relatively easy to find. When it comes to dried fruit, you need to be more careful! Dried fruit naturally contain high amounts of natural sugar (obviously… they’re fruit!). They are a great way to boost blood sugar levels after high-intensity workouts. BUT, you want to be careful when you’re purchasing your dried fruit & always read your labels. The package should contain JUST THE DRIED FRUIT, NOTHING ELSE. You don’t’ want to be picking up dried fruit off the shelves that’s coated in added or refined sugars. You also want to go for dried fruit that is unsulphured (which means that no preservatives, such as: sulfur dioxide, were added to prevent it from going rancid & to preserve its pretty bright colour. Most unsulphured fruit will be brown or black).
Here’s how I chose to customize mine, but feel free to change it up!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- Feel free to change up the nuts for your faves: peanuts, pecans, brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts etc.
- 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
- Feel free to change up the cacao nibs for some vegan chocolate chips, chunks of your fave chocolate bar, pretzels or popcorn!
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Feel free to swap for banana or plantain chips
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried raisins
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried golden berries
- Swap for any combination of your fave dried fruit: apple slices, mango, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, dark tart cherries, cranberries, or banana
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon
- OPTIONAL: A few pinches of nutmeg
- OPTIONAL SWEETENER: If you really need the added sweetness, you can also lay the trail mix flat on a baking sheet & pour over 2-3 tbsp. pure organic maple syrup, let it dry out & then store!
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl & mix well.
- If adding maple syrup, lay the mix flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with maple syrup, let it dry & then store.
- Store in a jar or ziploc to preserve freshness!