What is it?
Trail mix is a mixture of nuts and dried fruit commonly eaten when you’re out on the “trails” – hiking, camping, walking, running etc. It is meant to be dry, portable, easy to consume and packed full of energy-dense ingredients to keep you going!
What goes into a trail mix?
There are no set rules, proportions or combinations of each ingredient. Nutritonal value really depends on what’s in it! So, if you are buying store bought trail mix, CHECK the ingredients list and nutrition information.
When and how much to eat?
Trail mix was created for a purpose – to provide energy for intense activity. These days, trail mix is often consumed as a snack at work or at home. This can lead to mindless munching – weight gain alert!
Ideally, trail mix should be consumed when engaging in high physical activity. If you want to consume them as a snack, limit to only a handful (about 30g) a day or if you are active, two handfuls.
Quick tip: Pre-portion them into ziplock bags. That way, you only stick to that amount!
How to eat them?
Trail mix is often consumed as it is. However, you can sprinkle them on top of your yoghurt or smoothie bowl.
Trail Mix Combo Ideas – Mix and Match
The best way to really know what goes into your trail mix and to ensure that each ingredient is of the highest quality is to MAKE YOUR OWN AT HOME!
Here are the essentials:
1. Nuts – Nuts are packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. You can try buying raw nuts and dry roasting them at home! If you’re buying store bought versions, make sure that they are not coated in hydrogenated oils, sugar or excess salt.
Lower calorie options: Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios
Higher calorie options: Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, Pine nuts, Walnuts, Pecans
2. Seeds – Seeds also pack a nutritional punch! Sunflower seeds, for example, are rich in zinc, iron, calcium, B vitamins, fibre, copper, potassium, phosphorus and manganese. It is also a great alternative if you have a nut allergy! Go for unprocessed seeds.
3. Dried Fruit – Dried fruit can contain a high amount of natural sugars. Be mindful of how much you are adding. In the right amounts, they are a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre and of course, energy to fuel your activities! Again, opt for those that have no added sugars or you can simply dehydrate fruit in the oven!
4. Yummy Treats – What’s a trail mix without a sweet surprise?! Treats can always be enjoyed in moderation! Again, just be mindful of how much you’re adding! I like dark chocolate chunks, chocolate coated coffee beans and peanut butter chips!
5. Seasonings, Herbs and Spices – Adding some flavour will give your trail mix that extra kick! Sea salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cardamom, paprika, curry powder etc are good options.
Again, the great thing about trail mix is that there are NO RULES! Below are a few of my favourite combos. Feel free to go crazy with the ingredients! Enjoy!
Coffee Kick – Chocolate coated coffee beans, pecans, almonds, chocolate chips, chia seeds
Chunky Monkey – Dehydrated banana chips, almonds, walnuts, dark chocolate chunks, peanut butter chips, sea salt
Tropical Dream – Coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, almonds, macadamia, dried pineapple, sunflower seeds
Chocolate Bomb – Dark chocolate chunks, chocolate chips, cashews, almonds, cacao nibs, goji berries, chocolate coated peanuts, sea salt
The Staple – Almonds, walnuts, cranberries, mini pretzels, dark chocolate chunks, sea salt