You know all the best combinations: peanut butter and jelly, pork chops and applesauce, and trail mix and trekking. One just wouldn't be the same without the other.
But even the best combinations take time to perfect. If you're looking for the perfect trail mix recipe, you've come to the right place. Here's how to break down this essential hiking snack so you can choose the best ingredients for your next trek.
Choose a Base
The base of any good trail mix recipe is nuts; not only do they hold up against all the other ingredients, but they pack a serious protein punch and help fuel your outdoor adventures. Though most raw nuts will do the trick, consider the ones that are highest in nutrients.
- Almonds: The perfect protein and fat combination, with 13g of healthy fats and 6g of protein.
- Brazil nuts: These are a nutritional powerhouse with selenium, vitamin E and magnesium. Not to mention they're big, so you'll feel full with less.
- Pistachios: These have no cholesterol, and boast high fiber and B6 content. Buy them shelled to make eating easier.
Make it Sweet
No trail mix recipe is complete without a hint of sweetness. While most commercial brands turn to M&M's, you have a plethora of healthier options that are just as delicious.
- Dried fruit: The only thing to watch out for with this ingredient is added sugar, which is commonly used to keep dried fruit sweet. Look for "unsweetened" on the label.
- Chocolate covered nuts: Add in some chocolate covered nuts, and use for both the sweet and nutty components, or just boost your overall nut content by using both raw and chocolate covered.
- Golden raisins: These add a soft texture, a touch of iron, and just the right amount of sweetness to compliment the nuts.
- Coconut flakes: Try to find the raw shreds to avoid sugar overload.
- Chocolate chips: Go for dark or semisweet chocolate chips, which are better for your body than milk chocolate.
Add a Salty Touch
What's a little sweet without the salty? When hiking a long distance, you need to replenish and maintain the sodium levels in your bloodstream, and this is the perfect way to do it.
- Pretzels: Mini salted pretzels add the perfect amount of salt without overpowering the other trail mix ingredients.
- Salted seeds: Salted pumpkin and sunflower seeds add an extra layer of texture and just enough salt.
- Salted nuts: A mix of raw and salted nuts will pack more protein power into your trail mix recipe, along with the sodium content.