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Healthy, versatile, and totally adaptable, nothing curbs a crunch craving quite like a healthy, homemade sweet and salty trail mix.

How To Make Healthy Sweet and Salty Trail Mix | Neighborfoodblog.com

Every afternoon it strikes me. Somewhere in the lull between lunch and dinner that twinge of hunger appears, and the crunch monster inside me starts a-grumbling.

For me, it’s the most dangerous time of the day. When the crunch monster gets hungry there’s no telling what he might reach for. It could be carrots…or it could be carrot’s equally orange but slightly less healthy cousin, Doritos.

I’ve gotten to know the crunch monster pretty well over the years, and I’ve learned that nothing makes him happier than a handful of crunchy, sweet, and salty trail mix.

For two years running, I’ve kept a stash of trail mix in my desk drawer at work so I always have something healthy to keep the crunch monster satisfied.

How To Make Healthy Sweet and Salty Trail Mix | Neighborfoodblog.com

I used to buy trail mix in the stores, but after awhile I got bored with the options. I also got sick of picking around the dried out raisins. You know the kind–those stale hard globs that stick in your teeth and leave your tongue to dig them out for the rest of the afternoon. Not cool, raisins.

Plus, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but trail mix can be expensive! Buying in bulk allows you to create a trail mix with only things you love AND save a buck or two along the way.

Creating your own perfect healthy trail mix is easy. Below I’ve included some guidelines to get you started.

How To Make Healthy Sweet and Salty Trail Mix | Neighborfoodblog.com

Nuts

-Nuts usually makes up the majority of trail mix recipes. Nuts are chock full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, which help you feel fuller longer and give you a sustained energy boosts.

-It’s best to choose nuts that are unsalted, unroasted or dry roasted, and without any added sugar, oils, or preservatives.

-I like to put 2 kinds of nuts in my trail mix, one cup of each. My favorite combo is almonds and cashews–almonds for crunch and cashews for their rich, buttery taste and slight sweetness. These, along with pistachios, are also the lowest calorie nut. You can also include seeds in your mix, if you like.

-For a great guide to nuts, including calories, protein, fiber, and fat contents, check out The Ultimate Guide to Nuts infographic. 

Dried Fruits

-Look for varieties with limited added sugar. I like to use dried cranberries and dried bananas. I’m a total sucker for dried bananas. Again, you just can’t beat the crunch! Dried apples, blueberries, pineapple, raisins, or dates are also good options.

-Fruits with little or no added sugar or best. Tart fruits like cranberries are likely to be sweetened with something. If they are, look for them to be sweetened with 100% fruit juice rather than high fructose corn syrup or other sugars.

-Depending on the size of your dried fruits, you’ll want to add 1-2 cups to your mix.

How To Make Healthy Sweet and Salty Trail Mix | Neighborfoodblog.com

Fun Extras

-While not quite the nutritional dynamos of nuts or dried fruits, I like to add some fun extras to keep things interesting. Stick with simple, low calorie treats. One of my college roommates used to snack on a mixture of oyster crackers and dark chocolate. I used to think she was weird. Until I tried it. OMG. The salty crunch of the oyster crackers paired with the smooth, bittersweet chocolate is a combo that’s hard to quit. Now, I like to add oyster crackers to my trail mix as a tribute to my former roommates’ snack genius. Pretzels, granola, puffed rice cereal, wheat chex, or cheerios are also good options. I usually keep these fun extras to 1 cup or less.

-Chocolate- of course. I love dark chocolate and it actually has several health benefits, including helping to lower blood sugar and being packed with antioxidants. However, white chocolate can pair well with cranberries and other snack mixes, and M&Ms are a classic trail mix choice. Just remember, these options will be higher in calories, so keep the add-ins to 1/3 cup or less.

Just out of curiosity, I ran my trail mix recipe through the calorie counter to see how it stacks up against store bought versions. This stuff will run you 110-130 calories per 1/4 cup serving which is actually a little lower than most store bought brands. As with any snack, portion control is important, but a handful of this trail mix is a great energy booster and craving-curber you can enjoy guilt free!

How To Make Healthy Sweet and Salty Trail Mix | Neighborfoodblog.com

You can use my ultimate trail mix recipe below as a starting place for creating your own favorite mix. Go forth and mix it up!

My fellow Sunday Supper members have come up with all sorts of recipes to keep your crunch monster satisfied. Be sure to check out their recipes below!

How To Make Healthy Sweet and Salty Trail Mix #SundaySupper
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup cashews-salted or unsalted
  • 1 cup banana chips
  • 1 cup oyster crackers
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼-1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir together until everything is fairly evenly distributed. Store in an airtight container. This mix will stay fresh for several weeks.

Recipe by Neighborfood

Keep Calm and Crunch On!

Crispy Appetizers:

Bitterballen from The Urban Mrs.
Caprese Wontons from Jane’s Adventure in Dinner
Crispy Broccoli Cheddar Bites from Curious Cuisiniere
Waldorf Salad from Noshing With The Nolands

Crunchy Entrees and Sides:

Crunchy Baked Chicken with Homemade Shake and Bake from Growing Up Gabel
Crunchy Crusted Chicken Strips with Chipotle Honey Mustard from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventure
Flautas de Rajas con Queso (Cheesy Poblano Pepper Taquitos) from La Cocina de Leslie
Penny’s Taco Salad from Webicurean
Popcorn Chowder from The ROXX Box
Rosemary Garlic Croutons on layered Savoy Cabbage Soup from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Strawberry and Mozzarella Flatbread from Family Foodie

Munch on Snacks:

Crunchy & Chewy Chocolate Hazelnut Granola from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Crunchy Granola Bars (Better than Nature Valley) from Shockingly Delicious
Crunchy Pumpkin Pie Spice Roasted Chickpeas from Daily Dish Recipes
Duck Fat Chex Mix from The Texan New Yorker
Easy Vegan Granola from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Fried Veg Momos with Cheese Recipe from Masala Herb
How to Make Homemade Sweet and Salty Trail Mix from Neighborfood
Orange Spiced Cashews from Hip Foodie Mom
Peanut and Pretzel Popcorn Balls from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from Hezzi-D’s Cooks and Books
Slow Cooker Bar-B-Q Party Mix from Hot Mamma’s Kitchen Chaos
Sourdough Grissini from girlichef
Spicy Lentil Crackers from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pepitas from Alida’s Kitchen
Sweet Potato Chips from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
Unbaked Healthy Oatmeal Sesame Bars from My Trials In The Kitchen
Vanilla Almonds from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Crisp Dessert:

Boo Berry Cereal Treats from Pies and Plots
Choco-Caramel Squares from Basic N Delicious
Chocolate Covered Potato Chip Rice Krispie Treats from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chocolate Pecan Biscotti from The Food Army Wife
Cookie Brittle from Juanita’s Cocina
Double Banana Pie Krispie Treats from What Smells So Good?
Honeycomb Crunch Candy from Food Lust People Love
Momofuku Chocolate Chip Cornflakes Cookies from Ninja Baking
Nutty Wedges with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream from Magnolia Days
Salted Caramel Cashew Cookies from Mess Makes Food
 
 

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