3 Healthy Trail Mix Recipes

Families need an easy way to ensure that their family is eating healthy foods that are easy to prepare and easy to take on-the-go! Dried fruits and nuts, the staple of most trail mixes, provide healthy amounts of antioxidants, fiber, protein, omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals. Store bought mixes are expensive and often contain preservatives and additional sugar and fats that aren’t needed. It is easy to custom create a trail mix as a healthy snack that everyone in your family will love! To create your own custom healthy trail mix, choose your favorite nuts and dried fruits and add some healthy 70% cacao dark chocolate chips or peanut butter chips and you have created your signature trail mix! Here are my family’s three favorite trail mixes we tote when we need a healthy snack:

Healthy Trail Mix #1 -Cherry-Berry Almond Chocolate Crunch Trail Mix

This trail mix was inspired by one of my favorite locations, Leelanau County, Michigan. Leelanau County is the Cherry Capital of the World. I buy dried cherries in bulk when visiting up north, but tasty, dried cherries can be purchased anywhere dried fruit can be purchased. I start with dried cherries and add dried cranberries and blueberries. I then add raw almonds. I finish off my favorite mix with Dark Chocolate chips. Make sure to use a brand that is at least 70% cacao in order to get all the healthy antioxidant benefits that chocolate has to offer! Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant contents of all dried fruits. Blueberries combined with the cherries create a trail mix is one of the healthiest you can eat! Research conducted by the University of Michigan suggests “that a cherry enriched diet may help lower body fat, total weight, inflammation and cholesterol – all major risk factors for heart disease.

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Healthy Trail Mix #2 -Sweet & Salty Trail Mix

If you crave a snack that is sweet and salty, you’ll enjoy this healthy trail mix. Toss together sourdough pretzel nuggets and walnuts. Then add in some sweetness with crunchy banana chips and peanut butter chips. Mix it up and this sweet and salty goodness will have your kids asking for this delicious trail mix snack! The banana chips are chock-full of potassium and vitamins B6 and C and the walnuts are a healthy source of Omega-3 fats and antioxidants.

Healthy Trail Mix #3 – Reindeer Chow Trail Mix

I usually make this during the holiday season in large batches, hence the name “Reindeer Chow!” In a large bowl, I mix the following ingredients:

1 jar of roasted peanuts

1 cup whole wheat Chex mix

1 cup rice Chex mix

1 cup corn Chex mix

1 cup toasted oat cereal

1 cup of pretzel sticks

1 large bag of either Peanut M&M;’s or Plain M&M;’s

1 large bag of white chocolate chips

Slowly melt a large bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave. Place the chips in a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and microwave on medium for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. Repeat this until the white chocolate is creamy and melted. Pour this in small amounts over the trail mix and stir to coat the mix until all the chocolate has been used to coat the trail mix. Do not cover for a few hours until the chocolate has had a chance to harden.

It should be noted that dried fruits have a much higher concentration of calories than their fresh fruit counterparts. However, all of these trail mixes provide loads of nutrients and will provide your family with a truly healthy snack. Enjoy!

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Sources:

www.orchardofhealth.com/blueberrydried.htm

www.choosecherries.com/health/heartHealth.aspx

www.eufic.org/page/en/page/FAQ/faqid/fruit-dry-nutritional-benefits/www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_7178_ENU_HTML.htm