We get it: It’s a lot more convenient to buy snack or trail mix that’s already been made. In an effort to be more health and food conscious, though, we think it would prove an insightful endeavor to create a healthier, customizable mix. Thus, we’ve put together a list of nutritious ingredients that you can pick and choose from when you finally make the (wise) decision to put down those packaged mixes and make your own.[related]
We have to include a caveat before beginning, though: Many of these ingredients carry a pretty significant caloric content. Things like seeds and nuts are rich in fatty acids, but higher fat content also means more total calories. Thus, if you’re worried about calories, it may be wise to consume your mix moderately or to include less of the heavy calorie hitters.
There’s absolutely nothing unhealthy about almonds. They function quite well as the base of snack and trail mixes, and your body will thank you for the healthy fats that they provide.
Unlike some dried fruit, it’s easy to find these with nothing on the ingredients list except for vitamin A-rich apricots. They’re naturally sweet, so if you’re going for a mix that’s as sweet and healthy as can be, consider using apricots.
Looking to add some spice to your trail mix? Shake a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in, assess heat, and add more as you please. It’ll give a kick to not only your mix’s flavor but also your metabolism.
Cinnamon is a metabolism-boosting, low-calorie spice that can add a bit of flavor to any healthy mix.
Unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes, just like coconut oil and coconut butter, are one of the healthiest sources of fat out there. Try using them in a mix like this Coconut Curry Trail Mix.
Haven’t you heard? Dark chocolate is great for you. Well, the right kind is. Grab some chocolate with a high percentage of raw cocoa (70 percent or greater) and break it up into your mix to increase decadence.
If you get your hands on some dry roasted edamame, then you’ve found a simple, nutritious way to add a little crunch into your snack mix.
What’s that? Garlic powder?! You bet. Not only will this keep vampires at bay, but it can also be a simple addition to completely change your mix's flavor profile. Oh, and it could help reduce cholesterol as well.
Hemp seeds are protein-rich and contain disease-fighting phytonutrients. They’re also rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids.
These add-ins contain a lot of fat and, thus, a lot of calories, but putting a couple pine nuts into your mix will add texture, dietary fiber, and an incredible amount of vitamin K.
Pistachios only contain about three calories per nut. Low in fat and high in fiber, these green delights can be shelled and added to your snack or trail mix as a guilt-free base.
Looking for a sweet source of filling fiber? Look no further than prunes.
Some people fear puffed rice, but there’s really not a big reason to be concerned. We have crumbled up plenty of brown rice cakes in our trail mix before, and we’ve never had any issues yet – unless the issue is making perfect trail mixes. If that’s the case, then we have had many issues.
Pumpkin seeds are amazing for you and taste great! They’re full of protein, zinc, and essential fatty acids. Want to be both nutritionally savvy and hip? Consider trying sprouted pumpkin seeds from a brand like Go Raw.
Walnuts contain more antioxidants than any other nut, so why not put them into your next snack mix?