Snack Suggestions: To-Die-For Trail Mix , 1 Comment

When it comes to keeping hunger pangs at bay throughout the day, nothing does a better job than trail mix (most likely because it contains healthy fats, fiber, and natural sugars). The perfect blend, however, is critical to the upkeep of your blood sugar levels and energy. As a general rule, we like to keep the ratio traditional: 5 parts nuts, 3 parts dried fruit, 1 part seeds, and 1 part flavor-enhancing ingredients (chocolate pieces happen to be my personal favorite for this category, but feel free to get creative!). Below, 3 of our go-to mixes (and some facts on how they help your body):

1) The Morning Report: Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, dried cherries, flax seeds, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and a dash of sea salt. This is a great mix for coffee-lovers! The nuts both have delicate flavors that mix well with sweetness of the chocolate, and the sea salt keeps the cherries from being overpoweringly sweet. Both nuts are an excellent source of magnesium, and provide much-needed protein and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Flax seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, while the chocolate-covered espresso beans will give you just a hint of a caffeine jolt.  

2) Tropical Flair: Cashews, macadamia nuts, crystallized pineapple chunks, dried acai berries, pumpkin seeds, toasted coconut flakes. This blend is sure to have you dreaming about white-sand beaches. Both cashews and macadamia nuts have a creamy consistency that plays well off the crunch of the seeds and toasted coconut, while the pineapple adds sweetness. Acai berries are a great source of calcium, and are also known for having high levels of antioxidants and oleic acids (both of which are great beautifying agents). Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, and new studies are showing that their bioavailability of Vitamin E could make them one of the best food sources of this particular vitamin!

3) Classic With a Twist: almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate chunks, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. With fall already on our doorstep, this mix really gets me in the mood for hot spiced cider (which, by the way, would make a fabulous accompaniment to this trail mix!). Both walnuts and sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin B-6, and the dark chocolate provides antioxidants as well as sweetness. Almonds have long been touted for their high content of potassium, and for their ability to aid in heart health (because of a richness of monounsaturated fats). 

- Maria Vasylivna