by Shanice Miranda, Cora Health.
Snacks are usually associated with detrimental qualities when it comes to our health. With trail mix, however, you can have your cake and eat it too! Of course, that is the metaphorical way of saying that you can indulge in deliciousness without giving up the nutrition part of it. Sticking to a particular diet plan can be laborious and setting unrealistic expectations on yourself may demotivate you even further. How can we make our fitness goals more accessible to us? We recommend finding your favourite snacks in the healthy aisle of the supermarket- try unique flavour combinations, put your own twist on the ones you love and reap all the benefits. Trail mix is an increasingly popular snack that ticks off all the boxes. It has sweet components like dried berries and cacao as well as savory ones like nuts and granola. It makes a brilliant snack for people of all ages as it provides and sustains energy levels throughout the day. You can use it on its own or in cereals, yoghurts and other dishes to amp up the texture. Make sure you have it handy in your bag so you have access to all the necessary carbs and fats whenever you are running low! You may even make your homemade trail mix, tailored to your specific tastes-
Let's go through some fun recipes that we think you will relish:
1. Crunchy Mix
Try this one with nuts and seeds that are packed with nutrients and minerals. This is a great one for you chocolate-lovers out there too!
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- ¾ cup raw pecans
- half cup raw sunflower seeds
- half cup raw pumpkin seeds
- half cup cherries
- half cup raisins
- half cup chopped 85% dark chocolate
- quarter tsp sea salt
- half tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- According to your preference, you may toast your pecans and cashews at 350°F for 10 mins.
- In a large bowl, Combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Store in a glass jar or airtight container.
Your crunchy trail mix is ready to go! Take this with you on hikes or pack it away for a rainy day – it stays good for nearly a month. (Talk about convenience!)
2. Popcorn Trail Mix
Make a big batch of this trail mix for your kids or when you have friends coming over!
- Combine all the elements and dig in!
- Store it carefully and consume it in two days so the popcorn stays crisp.
You may even add on pieces of candy for your little ones at home. It will make a healthy alternative to a sugary candy bar.
3. Coco-Nutty Mix
For those of you who enjoy coconuts, this trail mix could be your new best-loved snack.
- ½ cup walnuts, halved
- ½ cup pecans, halved
- ¾ cup almonds, dry-roasted and lightly salted
- ¼ cup cashews, dry-roasted
- ¼ cup cherries or cranberries
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Mix all the components in a bowl and store in a zip-lock bag or an airtight container.
As Indians, many of us are aware of the therapeutic effects of coconuts- they have incredible antibacterial, cardio-protective and anti-diabetic properties.
4. Spicy Trail Mix
If you prefer a bit of heat in your snacks, this is sure to fire up your taste buds.
- 1 ½ cup almonds
- 1 ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 4 tbsp organic tamari or liquid aminos
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp onion powder
- ¼ - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (mild-spicy)
- Toss all the ingredients in a bowl to ensure that the powders get properly mixed with the other components.
- You may line the mix on a piece of parchment paper and bake it in the oven on the lowest setting till dry.
- Store this in a glass jar or airtight container.
This trail mix can be made as spicy as you want with the versatile cayenne pepper. It will last 4-5 days so you can keep snacking until you have to make another batch.
5. Ginger Apricot Mix
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1 cup raw pistachios
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/3 cup ginger, chopped
- Get a bowl and thoroughly mix all the elements of your trail mix.
- Store in airtight containers- this should last a couple of weeks.
Take this nourishing snack with you to work or pack it for your children's lunches. Either way, it is one treat you don't want to miss!
Using good quality, natural ingredients ensures countless benefits for our health. Good fats and wholesome sources of carbohydrates may sustain blood sugar and heart vitality. Trail mixes are free of refined sugars and high concentrations of sodium as well. You can find your own take on these recipes so that you and the ones you love can make being healthy that much easier!