Building a Healthy DIY Trail Mix
Learn how to build a healthy DIY trail mix! Sharing what to include & how to customize your trail mix to suit your needs.
I don't know about you guys but I am really good at mindlessly snacking, especially when I see crunchy, salty, and all things sweet within my reach. The boyfriend and I compete on finding the crunchiest potato chips from the bag and devouring them. I am not here to discuss our love for potato chips (or La Croix, Cheez-its, and popcorn among many other things) but share healthier snack alternative - DIY Trail Mix. If you suffer from mindlessly snacking syndrome or need something healthier to snack at your desk, you are going to love DIY Trail Mix. These are not your wanna-be trail mix with m & m's and peanuts (which I used to think were healthy), instead I will give you healthier choices so you can create your own DIY Trail Mix.
Trail mix was supposedly invented back in 1968 as a hiking-friendly snack because it's light, portable, and full of nutrient dense ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. From sweet to savory, you can make endless combinations of trail mix but the choice of ingredients and portion size is really important to consider for healthy snacking. Trail mix can have whatever your heart desires but we are going to focus on healthy and delicious add-ons so you don't feel like you are depriving yourself or eating hippie food (like the boyfriend addresses).
You can haphazardly add whatever nuts/seeds/grains/fruits and call it a day or stick with a theme and create different DIY trail mix. You do whatever makes you happy; I will share different ingredients and show how I mix n' match my DIY trail mix.
Nuts: The base for my DIY trail mix is nuts; roasted unsalted nuts such as pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans are all great sources of unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals. I typically stay away from salted or sweetened nuts because I want to dress them up however I please.
Seeds: Seeds are another nutritional powerhouse containing omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Only a tablespoon or two can boost the nutrition and are a great alternative for those with nut allergies. Some great examples of seeds include pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, hemp, or chia seeds.
Dried Fruits: Dried fruits provides an quick release of glucose along with fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Look for dried fruit options such as dried apples, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, and dates with as little added sugar and preservatives as possible.
Complex Carbohydrates: Adding complex carbohydrates to your trail mix adds fiber and will help you stay full longer. Some examples include shredded wheat cereal, whole wheat pretzels, whole-grain cereals like Cheerios or Chex, bran flakes, whole-wheat crackers, granola, toasted oats, puffed rice cereal, and air-popped popcorn. They add both nutrition and crunch!
Extras: You can upgrade your DIY Trail Mix with extras like chocolate chips, nutritional yeast, cinnamon powder, sea salt, sesame sticks etc.
I would suggest you to spend sometime at the bulk bin section and pick your nuts, seeds, dried, fruits, complex carbs, and extras to create your DIY Trail Mix. Instead of purchasing big bags of 10 different ingredients, it is better to buy small quantities of few different ingredients for your DIY Trail Mix. I am excited to see what combinations you will come up with. Don't forget to share your creation @foodpleasurehealth
I am sharing three different variations to give you some ideas for breakfast trail mix, tropical trail mix, and savory trail mix. I didn't provide any exact measurements because I typically start with nuts as a base and eyeball rest of the ingredients. Just don't add more chocolate chips than cheerios and those kind of things.
DIY Trail Mix can be stored in an airtight container for few weeks. You can also pre-portion them in individual zip lock bags so it's ready to go and decrease your risk of finishing the whole bag, which is a classic symptom of mindless snacking.
I hope you will make a large of DIY Trail Mix soon. Tag me and share your fun DIY Trail Mix @foodpleasurehealth or pin it for later use.