I’m here today to reintroduce you to trail mix, Nutrition Stripped Energy Mix. I’m a huge fan of trail mix, it’s a fantastic yet so simple of a concept. A mix of nutrient dense nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and maybe some extra goodies for the sweet tooth. What I’m not a huge fan of is the majority of store bought trail mixes out there. At first glance, you may think they’re innocent and contain natural goodness filled with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit; and to no fault of your own (marketing works great these days), but wait (!) you spy an m&m and the “healthy” trail mix soon turns into a new type of “candy bar”. Don’t get me wrong I love the sweet and salty combination when chocolate is thrown into the mix, but it makes the world of difference what type of chocolate and the quality of ingredients you’re choosing.
Introducing Nutrition Stripped Energy Mix. There is no exact recipe for my Energy Mix, it’s simply a combination of your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and most importantly a couple superfood add-ins. Energy Mix is full of fiber, protein, healthy fats (omega-3′s especially when using chia, hemp, or walnuts), carbohydrates, and antioxidants (especially when using some of the superfood add-ins).
What you’ll find in most store bought trail mixes } a higher price tag, added canola oils, soybean oils, hydrogenated oils, added sodium, artificial colors and dyes, sulfites, added sugars, m&m’s or other highly refined chocolate candy covered in artificial dyes, some type of preservative, etc.
Let’s break it down a little. The base of trail mix includes nuts and seeds, which are loaded with healthy fat, there’s no need to have added oils into a trail mix full of natural “oils” and fats already. Most of these added oils are highly oxidized and high in omega-6 fatty acids, something our Standard American Diet already has too much of. Let’s take dried fruit for example, it’s another staple in most trail mixes which not only provides a great combination of chewy texture and sweet flavor to counterpart the saltier nuts/seeds, but also to provide a concentrated source of carbohydrates (i.e. natural sugars). No sugar needs to be added in this mix, period. What have huge food companies done to alter this perfectly natural concept of trail mix? Unfortunately added more fat, oils, sodium, preservatives, and sugar to get our tastes buds excited and dancing around craving more! Who wants all this going in to their beautiful body? I sure don’t! I would prefer these goodies below, wouldn’t you?
Energy Mix-in’s |
Nuts | raw & unsalted are best
- Almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, macadamia, pine nuts, peanuts, etc.
Seeds | raw & unsalted are best
- Sunflower, hemp, pumpkin, chia (although these are very small), etc.
Dried Fruits | sulfate free*
- Apricots, blueberries, cranberries, apple, banana, pineapple, goji berries, raisins, golden raisins, mango, prunes, strawberries, dates, etc.
Extra goodies |
- Shredded coconut (unsweetened), raw cacao nibs, organic dark chocolate chips (the higher the percentage the darker, the more antioxidants), dark chocolate covered berries, edible flowers, lightly roasted edamame (lightly salted too), homemade//organic store bought vegetable “chips” such as dehydrated carrot, sweet potato, beets, dried peas, etc.
Below, I share with you a “guideline” recipe from the pictures shown above. As with all my recipes I encourage you to own your creativity in the kitchen and choose ingredients you enjoy!
- 1 cup almonds, raw and unsalted
- ¾ cup shelled pistachio nuts
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup dried strawberries
- ½ cup dried banana chips
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup dark chocolate covered blueberries or espresso beans, etc.
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
- Simply combine in a large bowl until ingredients are mixed together.
- Portion into ¼ cup or ½ cup servings per snack size bag for a travel snack, otherwise store in a large ziplock storage back at room temperature OR an air tight container.
Energy Mix is a go-to snack in my house for a quick snack when I’m busy in between clients, working, running errands, enjoying some yard work, in the car, hiking, etc. It’s perfect combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates leaves me feeling satisfied and energetic not lethargic!
- Travel size } portion out about 1/4-1/2 cup of your trail mix into small snack size bags for easy portability.
- Large batches } make large batches of the energy mix at a time to last you the entire week or even two!
- I typically make this on my batch cooking days.
- On the go } Store these small snack size bags in your car (depending on the weather), at your office desk, in your purse//bag, with the kids for school, in a backpack for hiking/bike riding/walking, etc.
Have you tried making your own trail mix at home before? What are your favorite ingredients to use when making? Share below I love hearing your ideas!