Snacking Done Right: DIY Nutrient-Packed Trail Mix Recipe

Snacking Done Right: DIY Nutrient-Packed Trail Mix Recipe
Diet & Nutrition
By Maya Bain, 28 July 2016

Always feel like you are snacking? Dealing with your body’s cravings for salty snacks and decadent treats can certainly be a challenge! Don't worry you can enjoy sweet and savory treats and still follow healthy snacking guidelines. You can create a simple healthy trail mix by using four types of ingredients to keep your body energized and satisfied any time of day. This DIY nutrient-packed trail mix recipe is simple to make and easy to take on the go.

The key to a good trail mix is including the following four types of ingredients:

  • Nutty
  • Fruity
  • Salty
  • Sweet

Follow these guidelines to create a nutrient-dense trail mix that will provide your body with a boost of energy while satisfying those summertime cravings:

1. Nutty

When looking for the right kind of nut to add to your trail mix, choose unsalted or low salt varieties.

Try adding selections such as almonds and shelled pistachios to your mix. Almonds are jam-packed with nutrients such as calcium, iron and folate. Their high fiber content, at around three grams per one-ounce serving, keeps you fuller longer, so you won’t be as tempted to grab that bag of chips or candy bar.

Pistachios are known for containing a blend of Vitamins A and E, antioxidants that help defend and maintain a healthy immune system. Making pistachios part of your regular diet can help regulate your body’s cholesterol levels by reducing LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol.

You should also note that incorporating nuts into your trail mix can be an excellent way to boost your protein intake. One-ounce servings of each almonds and pistachios contain about 6 grams of high quality plant-based protein that can keep you fueled and alert all throughout your day.

2. Fruity

Why not toss in some dried fruit? Dried fruit provides concentrated forms of nutrients such as Vitamin C. Make sure to read the nutrition labels when selecting dried fruits, as it is quite common for sugar to be added during the dehydration process.

Look for fruits such as goji berries, mulberries, and figs. Goji berries, in particular, are packed with vitamins A and C, and are known for their high protein content relative to other fruits. They are also known for containing anti-inflammatory compounds, and they serve as an antioxidant that helps protect your immune system and keeps you feeling healthy and on-point year-round.

3. Salty

We all get those snacking cravings for something salty as we reach for snack options. Try incorporating low-sodium mini pretzels or whole grain pita chips in moderation as you piece together your custom trail mix. This way, you are satisfying that craving for something with a little bit of salt and crunch, while also being mindful of your overall sodium intake levels.

Our bodies need sodium to function properly. Processed foods that are available pre-packaged on supermarket shelves tend to have high levels of sodium that most consumers simply disregard as they reach for their favorite snacks. By taking an extra glance at the labels on food packaging, consumers may be able to make more informed decisions when purchasing snack options. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, the average sodium intake for the United States population, including all individuals one year and older, is approximately 3,440 mg per day. This is above the recommended maximum intake of sodium per day, which ranges from 1,500 to 2,500 mg depending on age and gender. Thus, by incorporating a low-sodium option into your trail mix, you can satisfy that craving for salty flavors, while also keeping your sodium intake within the recommended range.

4. Sweet

When it comes to something sweet, there is one thing that surely hits the spot: chocolate! While milk chocolate is loaded with additional sugars, dark chocolate is lower in calories. Dark chocolate contains high levels of compounds such as polyphenols, which function as antioxidants in our bodies and can support the maintenance of a healthy immune system. A dark chocolate that is made of 70-85% cocoa contains fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese that our bodies utilize on a regular basis. 

When you are in the mood for snacking, homemade healthy trail mix is a snack aimed at providing you with maximum energy that fits your own lifestyle. Everyone’s body is different. Take each ingredient and add it little by little into a standard mixing bowl. Take a large spoon and start stirring. You can even add a dash of cinnamon or coconut flakes to enhance the overall flavor of the mix. When the ratio of ingredients looks appealing to you, portion out the mix into reusable bags or small reusable plastic or glass containers. Now you have an ideal, healthy snack to take with you on the go! Enjoy this simple recipe to create a yummy treat to fulfill all of your snack time cravings.

No worries if this seems like a lot of effort. You can create a healthy snack in seconds with Nuzest's Clean Lean Protein shake. Or just grab a multivitamin bar Good Green Snack bar, for a healthy, satisfying snack anytime.

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