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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.


  1. Trail mix is a favorite of mine. I take it camping and hiking in the mountains. It is fast energy and really tastes good. Great article.

  2. Mix in a little honey as part of the sweet component (or bacon fat) and press it to bars about the size of energy bars sold in stores. I'm suprised there are no oats in this, there will be oats in mine. A little ascorbic acid powder (if you didn't have dried fruit) and you would have a pretty complete food.

  3. Chia seeds are (just like the pet) great for your health. You can mix them into juice or water for a drink or eat them raw. Read the book Born to Run, or google Chia Fresca.

  4. I doubt there is anything magical about chia seeds. The author of "Born to Run" like so many other authors has simply capitalized on a myth or fad. According to Oprah Winfry it is actually the Acai berry that is magical. Some people believe it is sprouts. Others think you must eat only raw foods. The list of mindless fads goes on and on as does the number of mindless people who believe in them.

  5. I really like trail mix. I will try this with my daughter. Thanks a lot.