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How To Make a Great Trail Mix Recipe

August 31st, 2012 Healthy Living

Trail mix is the ultimate grab-and-go food. Its ability to fit in any portable container or bag makes it highly convenient for road trips, picnics or outdoor excursions. While you can always opt for a store-bought mix, you'll get more for your money if you personalize it to your taste buds' preferences. Here are some tips for concocting the perfect trail mix that's both delicious and nutritious.

Grains

OrganicFacts.net reports that grains can help prevent and treat anemia, demineralization, gallstones, breast cancer, chronic inflammation, obesity and even tuberculosis. They're rich with mineral salts, calcium, zinc, vitamin B and vitamin E. They also make a tasty addition to any trail mix and will help keep your stomach from grumbling and your body full of energy. You should try to incorporate some oatmeal into your trail mix or, for a tasty touch, The Mayo Clinic recommends adding popcorn or crackers (the latter can be crushed up for easier eating).

Fruit

Try adding natural sweetness to your trail mix with some dried fruit. Raisins and prunes are inundated with nutrients and their chewy compositions will offset the crunch of the grains. Use a produce dehydrator to dry a variety of fruits, like apples, bananas or pears. You might even add shredded coconut. Consider getting tropical by introducing some pineapple or kiwi into your recipe. You might also want to cut a plantain into thin slices and fry it in a pan of oil. This'll give you a malleable chip that can be complemented with salt.

Salt

Adding salt into your trail mix can help make it more appealing, but just make sure that you properly hydrate as you eat it. Pretzels are always a delicious choice, or you may want to try your favorite brand of potato chips crushed up. You can also put Chex cereal in a pan of oil and sprinkle on some salt. Bake on a low temperature until the Chex has a golden brown hue. Sunflower seeds without the shells are also a good idea.

Sweets

Your trail mix can also become a dessert when you add in a few of your favorite treats. While chewy candies like Swedish Fish and Skittles might not complement the rest of the mix, M&Ms, with their rich chocolate taste and crunchy outer shell, will add a delicious and dynamic component.

Protein

To help give you energy and the proper amount of protein, think about adding some assorted nuts. According to EverydayHealth.com, nuts can help lower your cholesterol and they're also stocked with antioxidants, which are great for your complexion and help to prevent cancer. Walnuts are inundated with omega-3 fatty acids, which can decrease inflammation. Almonds are also a tasty choice that can help keep your blood sugar in check while encouraging a healthy heart. The source also reports that cashews have a high zinc content, which is beneficial to your immune system. If you can't decide on one type of nut, maybe a mixed bag is the right choice.

Storage

If you're going on a long camping trip, make sure to keep your trail mix in an airtight container or Ziploc bag to prevent it from going stale. The more diverse you make your mix, the more essential nutrients you'll get, which will give you the physical and mental energy to make it through your trip. If you have a base camp that you plan to come back to each night, bring a separate small canister that'll allow you to pack small portions each day. Trail mix is a food without rules - feel free to add your own creative ingredients.