If it weren’t for those loads of calories, that favorite supermarket-bought trail mix of yours would be the perfect snack. That’s because it provides all sorts of nutrients to keep you going as well as stave off that grumbling stomach. Alas, alongside the complex carbohydrates, good fats and fiber it offers is a truckload of sugar. Just take a peek at the nutrition information and list of ingredients at the back of the packaging!
Trail mix got its name from the fact that it’s the ideal snack for hikers. It’s dense in nutrients and trouble-free to store. It is not just wonderful for hikes, but also any other activity as it serves as your body’s quick source of energy, courtesy of the friendly carbs trail mix boasts of. Then it also yields beneficial fats that keep your energy levels sustained.
Making most supermarket-bought trail mix varieties these days carry a bad reputation are some of the ingredients they have. Manufacturers add them to make their commodities more palatable, albeit causing the consumers’ waistlines to expand in the process. That’s too bad because, without those unnecessary ingredients, trail mix would have been ideal not only for hikers, but just about any other health-conscious and active individuals.
You can hop from supermarket to supermarket just to get your hands on the perfect trail mix — the kind that is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and complex carbohydrates but without causing your blood glucose levels to spike due to all the refined sugars unnecessarily added into it. Or you may continue reading this article. That’s because below you will find some really smart tips and tricks on how to make your very own homemade trail mix.
Just like in most cases, if not all, homemade is much better than supermarket-bought because you know exactly which ingredients are included and which ones are left out. When making trail mix from scratch, you are basically coming up with a snack that you know is good for you and your loved ones.
So without further ado, here’s how you can make the perfect healthy trail mix in your own kitchen:
Opt for the Perfect Base
Nuts are trail mix staples because they provide the crunch that make the popular snack easy to love. More importantly, nuts supply your body with fiber and healthy fats. Basically, you may choose whatever nut you have in mind. But of course it’s a phenomenal idea to go for those that pack the most benefits, such as almonds, pistachios and Brazil nuts.
Are you allergic to nuts? There’s no need to spend the rest of your life staying away from trail mix. Because you have the power to decide which ingredients will make it to your homemade trail mix, you can leave out the nuts. Instead, you may go for seeds. Some great examples include pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Add Some Sweetness
You can keep your homemade trail mix far from being blah by giving it a dash of sweetness. Sprinkle some coconut flakes to make your sweet tooth happy, but do avoid the kinds that are overloaded with refined sugar. If you cannot say no to chocolates, go for semisweet rather than milk chocolates. And make sure that you keep the amount to a minimum.
No trail mix — supermarket-bought or homemade — would be complete without dried fruits. Definitely, you should throw in some raisins. Some other excellent sweet additions include dried cranberries, blueberries, apricots and cherries. When shopping for dried fruits, check that the packaging says “unsweetened”. Organic ones are the best!
Include Energy-Giving Goodies
Your homemade trail mix won’t be complete without ingredients that supply your body with complex carbohydrates — the good ones that allow you to enjoy an instant dose of energy. See to it that you add whole grains, and steer clear of heavily processed cereals that pack more sugar and sodium than your active body requires.
Granola and toasted oats can boost the fiber and complex carbohydrate content of your trail mix. The same is true with whole-grain cereals and crackers. It’s a good idea to throw in some whole-wheat pretzels to add a little sodium to your trail mix — you will benefit from such as it will replace sodium lost while engaging in intense physical activities.