I love trail mix, don’t you? Trouble is, I can never find a premade mix at the store that I’m 100% satisfied with. Usually they contain at least one ingredient that I want nothing to do with. Like peanuts, m & m’s, or yogurt covered raisins. No thank you. I’ll make my own!
I’ve been making my own trail mix for a while now. It’s a must-have on our kayaking trips and now it’s a standby in our lunches for work. It satisfies on so many levels. There are the salty-smoky pistachios, the bitter-crunchy cacao nibs, the sweet-chewy cherries, and the variation in texture with almonds, cashews, and sunflower & pumpkin seeds.
This mix is sure to please every palate. My boyfriend even likes it, and he used to swear he only liked peanuts. If you have some picky kids, try adding more dried fruit to up the sweetness factor. Try banana chips, raisins, strawberries, or apples. They might find the cacao a little bitter, but I find that the cherries (and other fruit, if you’re adding more) balance out the bitter quite nicely and you end up with a nice jolt of chocolate flavor without most of the bitter edge. Or maybe I’m just used to raw cacao. Not sure. I will say that the resident child requests this in her lunch quite often.
It's jam packed with all kinds of fun nutrients, like vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, potassium, B2, B6, phosphorus, zinc, iron, biotin, selenium, calcium, and even a little vitamin A. And, of course, tons of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. In addition to some of the vitamins and minerals already mentioned, the cacao nibs also add a few other things, like chromium (which is said to help balance blood sugar), theobromine (antibacterial), and vitamin C. They also contain some fun amino acids and many people even claim they boost serotonin. I’m not quite sure how that works, but I’ll take all the serotonin boosting I can get!
Anyhow… to make this awesome nutrient-dense trail mix, you’re going to need:
1 c. raw almonds
1 c. raw cashews
1 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1 c. raw sunflower seeds
¾ c. salted, shelled pistachios
¾ c. raw cacao nibs
½ c. dried cherries
½ c. brazil nuts (optional)
I like to add the brazil nuts…you know…to meet my selenium quota, but you can leave them out if you’re not a fan, or if you supplement selenium or whatever. I don’t supplement selenium because it makes my BO smell like garlic, which I think is rather repulsive.
Toss it all into a bowl, or a bag and shake it up. Make sure your cherries aren’t sticking together in big globs, then store the mix in glass jars. I like to store the mix in wide mouth mason jars and vacuum seal them with the food saver. But that’s just me. I seal everything.
Using the measurements listed, this recipe makes two 32 oz. jars. I consider about ¼ - ½ cup to be a serving.
Here are some rough nutrition facts. They're not exact, but pretty close. Don't pay any attention to the vitamin and mineral content or the servings. That's not accurate at all.