Trail Mix Make-Over

Tired of eating the same old trail mix?  Come up with your own! Here are some ideas about where to begin, and how to add more protein, more sweet, more fiber and fruit.

What is Trail Mix and Why Have It?

Trail mix is a high-calorie snack full of lean protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates.  Trail mix is a good snack to enjoy mid-afternoon, 1-2 hours pre-exercise, and immediately post-exercise.  Additionally, trail mix is well-known as a snack during hikes, since it provides long-term energy for the body.

Slappa De Base, Mon

First, you have to have a great base.  If you don’t slappa de base right (quoting, “I Love You, Man”) then you won’t have a tasty and nutritious trail mix.  Base ideas are those higher in your carbohydrates and fiber, such as whole wheat pretzels and high-fiber cereal.

What’s in the Middle? The Right Stuff

The next ingredient in trail mix should be high in protein and healthy fats.  This is where to add mixed nuts and seeds.  Besides being healthy for your skin, hair, nails and heart, nuts are tasty and a great source of long-term, satiating energy since they are high in protein and fat.  Those nutrients sit in the stomach longer than carbohydrate, meaning, your body will stay fuller for a longer amount of time.

A Few Sprinkles of Genius

… with a chance of doom.  Sprinkling in salty or sweet ingredients (chocolate chips, dried fruit) is a great way to add flavor.  But notice the key word: sprinkle.  Including too much saltiness or sweetness to your mixture can turn a healthy trail mix to doom.

Recipe Ideas

Mix together anything from the below categories — toss into a zip lock bag and shake!

STARCH (for your base): Pretzels, Cheerios, Fiber-1, Weetabix, Goldfish, Cracklin’ Oatbran, Puffins, Kashi GoLean crunch, Bear Naked Granola

PROTEIN/FAT (for your middle): dry-roasted edamame, soy nuts, peanuts, mixed nuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, almonds

SWEET (for your sprinkles): dried fruit (apples, banana, raisins, craisins), m&ms, dark chocolate chips, coconut, crunched up yogurt covered pretzels

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