Have you ever made your own trail mix? Or do you tend to buy them pre-made? In the UK, even buying them in stores can be few and far between. But basically, it is a nut, fruit, and chocolate mix – I’ve even seen some in the US with pretzels and M&Ms in! When made well, it is a good balance of the right things that you need for a snack.
I’ve been looking into making my own trail mixes for a while now, as quite a lot of store bought mixes and dried fruits are all full of sugar or preservatives. And in reality, it is very easy to make your own – it literally takes five minutes, if that.
Other than it being easy to do so, there can be a lot of added chemicals in dried fruits that can come in trail mix packs. Many bags of raisins, dried mango, and dried cranberries, and bags of trail mix, have synthetic sulphites on them. While some foods naturally produce this, it is the ones with added sulphites that you want to avoid. So where you can, opt for organic and sulphite-free trail mixes or dried fruit if buying from stores.
I have been making my mixes with organic foods from Crazy Jack and Jumble Bee, the former having the first organic apricots in the UK that don’t have sulphur added to them. The same goes for their dried fruits like mango.
What are the best things to put in trail mix?
The good news is that there isn’t one strict recipe, and you can throw in whatever works for you. For instance, dark chocolate chips are going to have more of a nutritional benefit than milk chocolate ones, but if that is all you’ve got, then go for it.
Here are a few things that I have included in this recipe and why:
- Soft Apricots – these dried apricots are extra soft and have a delicious, fudge-like flavour which makes them ideal for snacking
- Goji Berries – these add a nice crunch to your mix and are a superfood
- Almonds – a source of vitamin E, magnesium, and high-quality protein; they also contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids and fibre
- Cashews – one of the lowest fat nuts, they also contain magnesium to help bone health, and copper to eliminate free radicals
- Hazelnuts – they contain a high amount of vitamin E, which is important in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails
- Brazil Nuts – selenium-rich, they include the ability to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, boost weight loss, and regulate thyroid function
- Pumpkin Seeds – a great source of protein and unsaturated fats, including omega-3
- Sunflower Seeds or Hemp Seeds – are a more digestible protein than meat, eggs, cheese, and cows milk
Vegan Trail Mix
- 1 bag Crazy Jack Blanched Hazlenuts
- 1 bag Jumble Bee Magnificent Nut mix
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds (or other seeds, like hemp seeds)
- handful of Crazy Jack apricots
- 3 tbsp dried goji berries
- 3 tbsp organic dark (dairy-free) chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp ground Himalayan pink salt
What To Do:
Chop the apricots if you’d like them in smaller pieces (the same goes for the nuts if you like the mix to be less chunky). Then simply mix everything in a large bowl, and transfer to a glass airtight container for storage.
You can keep the jar of mix at room temperature, but keeping it in the fridge will help to keep it fresher for longer.
There you have it, it really is that simple. Then you can grab a handful when you need a burst of energy, or fill a smaller tub to take to work with you or to throw in your handbag. Keeping in an airtight container will keep the mix for around two weeks – if it lasts that long!
Would love to hear what you think?
*post in collaboration with Community Foods. All opinions are my own.