At work, I don't exactly have drawers to store food (or a desk for that matter), so I keep my lab coat pockets stuffed with my healthy snacks. One of my favorites, especially on days when I have a run or workout on the schedule, is trail mix. I mean, who doesn't love trail mix? What I don't love is paying a hefty price for a bag of trail mix, only to find myself wishing there were more dried cranberries, less chunks of overly-sweet pineapple and of course, more chocolate! :) So I make my own!
Making your own trail/snack mix is not only cost-effective, but it's healthier because you are able to control the ingredients, and therefore the nutrition content. My chosen ingredients this week: dried unsweetened cranberries, roasted almonds, banana chips, sunflower seeds and semi-sweet chocolate chips!
I set up a mini assembly line for myself with my chosen ingredients, measuring spoons and snack-size ziplock baggies and got to work!
Approximately 20-25 almonds
1 Tbsp dried cranberries
1/4 cup banana chips
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp mini chocolate chips
The end result? Healthy and satisfying snacks, ready to grab-and-go! I love being able to make more than 2 weeks worth of snacks in less than 5 minutes, using only the ingredients I wanted...in the ratios I wanted them in! And this particular mix cost only about $1.22 per bag! Actually less, as there are still leftover sunflower seeds and cranberries for my next creation!
This mix comes in at about 250-300 calories per bag but has plenty of heart healthy fats with those almonds and sunflower seeds. Remember to always be mindful of portion sizes when creating your mixes, but don't be afraid to get creative! The possibilities are endless! Add wasabi peas and cashews for an Asian-style mix or coconut flakes and dried pineapple for island-inspired flavor!
Tell me...Are you a trail-mixer? Do you make your own or buy pre-packaged just to end up tossing out your least favorite bits? :)