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Creating a healthy and delicious trail mix involves combining a variety of nutrient-rich ingredients for a balanced and satisfying snack.

Good quality ingredients and variety are important in creating a good, well-balanced, nutritious snack. Read about why choosing organic is important to your health here. Each food has its own nutrient profile offering different benefits, so variety is key to obtaining a wide range of nutrients.

Since many of the ingredients in a trail mix are nutritiously dense as well as calorie-dense, it’s important to eat them in moderation. A good serving size of trail mix is about a handful or approximately a 1/4 cup.

Here are some ideas for assembling a nutritious trail mix:

Nuts

Nuts are packed with essential nutrients, including healthy fats, protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The healthy fats, protein, and fiber in nuts can help stabilize blood sugar levels, making them a suitable option for individuals with diabetes. Nuts contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with various chronic diseases.

  • Almonds: Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, healthy monounsaturated fats, and fiber. They also provide a good amount of magnesium and protein.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health and brain function. They also contain antioxidants, protein, and fiber.
  • Pistachios: Pistachios are relatively low in calories and provide a good balance of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They are also a good source of vitamin B6 and potassium.
  • Cashews: Cashews are rich in monounsaturated fats and provide minerals like magnesium, zinc, and copper. They are also a good source of antioxidants and protein.
  • Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, a mineral important for thyroid function and antioxidant defense. However, they should be consumed in moderation due to their high selenium content.
  • Hazelnuts (Filberts): Hazelnuts are a good source of vitamin E, healthy fats, and dietary fiber. They also provide minerals like magnesium and copper.
  • Macadamia Nuts: Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fats and low in omega-6 fatty acids, making them a heart-healthy choice. They also provide fiber, magnesium, and manganese.
  • Pecans: Pecans are rich in antioxidants and provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain fiber and minerals like zinc and magnesium.
  • Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are a good source of vitamin K and manganese. They also provide healthy fats and protein.

Seeds

They can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet, providing a variety of nutrients, healthy fats, and texture to your meals and snacks.

  • Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants.
  • Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E, healthy fats, and protein.

Dried Fruits

When selecting dried fruits, be mindful of added sugars. Many commercial dried fruits have added sugars to enhance sweetness and prolong shelf life. Look for options labeled as “unsweetened” or “no added sugar.”

  • Raisins: Raisins are high in natural sugars but also provide fiber, antioxidants, and certain minerals like iron and potassium.
  • Cranberries: Dried cranberries can be tart and slightly sweet, making them a great addition to a trail mix. They contain antioxidants too which are beneficial for health.
  • Cherries: Dried cherries contain antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, and provide a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
  • Blueberries: Dried blueberries are another option rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins. They provide vitamins and minerals, although their sweetness is often enhanced with added sugars.
  • Mango: Dried mango is sweet and tropical. It offers vitamin C, vitamin A, and dietary fiber.
  • Apricots: Dried apricots are a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and dietary fiber. They are also relatively low in calories and provide natural sweetness.

Chocolate

For an additional sweet treat in your trail mix, you can add some chocolate pieces. For the best health benefits, you’ll want to choose dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs. Dark chocolate, when consumed in moderation and as part of a healthy diet, offers a range of potential health benefits.

Where to Buy

You can buy ingredients in bulk at your local grocery store or find some great options online. It’s best to assemble the trail mix as needed and vary it so you’re not getting the exact same nutrients daily.

You can store it in reusable snack bags, glass or stainless steel containers.

Shopping at club stores like Sam’s or Costco helps reduce costs. Sam’s Club currently carries organic almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, and cashews. Amazon and Thrive Market are also great places to look for trail mix options.


Healthy Trail Mix

Grab some trail mix full of healthy, nutrient-dense foods for a balanced satisfying snack.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings 1

Equipment

  • 1 approximately 1/4 cup container Stainless steel reusable containers

Ingredients
  

Nuts

  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • pistachios
  • cashews
  • brazil nuts
  • hazelnuts
  • macadamia nuts
  • pecans
  • pine nuts

Seeds

  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds

Dried Fruits

  • raisins
  • dried cranberries
  • dried cherries
  • dried blueberries
  • dried mango
  • dried apricot

Chocolate

  • dark chocolate

Instructions
 

  • Mix and match various nuts, seeds, and chocolates in your desired ratios for a healthy and satisfying snack. Change up the type of nuts, seeds, and fruits you choose to get a variety of micronutrients in your diet.