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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trail Mix

Trail Mix

"Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't."
- Almond Joy candy bar ad

As a Cub Scout Leader, an article with the title, "Create the Perfect Trail Mix", naturally caught my attention. It begins with an emphasis on nuts,
"Here’s the truth about the fat found in almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other nuts: It’s as healthy—or healthier—than anything else in your diet. It fills your belly better than any other snack on the planet while decreasing your risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, smoothing your skin, pumping you full of antioxidants, and helping you stay thin."
Then a simple recipe:

 Choose a Nut (1 cup)
 Choose a Seed (1/2 cup)
 Choose an Extra Crunch (1 cup)
 Choose a Sweetener (1-2 cups)
 Mix It Up

Nuts to consider: Almonds, Brazil nuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pistachios, or Walnuts.

Seeds: Sunflower, Pumpkin, Hemp(?!), Sesame, and Chia. (What's a Chia?). Sesame and Hemp seeds are both small and will slip through fingers. Use them only in mixes intended as a sprinkle atop yogurt or cereal.

Crunch: Hard cereals like Fiber One, Grape-Nuts, Cheerios, or Kix; Soy nuts, Wasabi peas, Pretzel bits, Sesame sticks

Sweetener: Dark chocolate chips or dried fruit like raisins, apricots, blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, cherries, banana chips.  (We use Peanut M&Ms)

Bottom Line

Experiment with the ratios in the recipe. Personally I'd use less sweet and more crunch. Also watch out for the moisture in your dried fruit. Combine dried apricots with a cereal like Chex and the cereal will go stale in a few days.
And remember that trail mix is not just for hiking. We always make a trail mix for long driving trips.