Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published February 4th 2011
If you're not really an outdoor type, trail mix is basically a bag of high energy goodies you take with you to snack on when you're on an adventure. To you, I'd like to suggest that trail mix isn't only for 'the trail', it's also useful to have in your bag on extended shopping trips, bus journeys, the cinema and anytime you're going anywhere with one of those people who gets cranky when their blood sugar gets a bit low. In all these circumstances your life may not be saved by the fact that you're carrying a bag full of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, sweets and chocolates, but it will certainly be improved.
There are a couple of rules that you should be aware of when you start preparing bags of sustenance for your various indoor and outdoor pursuits:
1. Avoid salty foods unless you want to carry a lot of water with you as well. This goes for city trail mix just as much as country trail mix. Nuts are an important part of any TM recipe, but always opt for unsalted.
2. Some nuts have a very strong taste so you might want to consider this when mixing everything together. Some of the more moderate nut options that make good TM fodder include almonds, walnuts, pistachios (shelled is going to be easier), peanuts and cashews.
3. Dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate – it's all the anti-oxidents that do it, but most people also find it less more-ish. And remember you don't want to get overexcited and eat one category of your TM all in one go.
4. Don't forget your seeds. Sesame and poppies probably aren't much use, but pumpkins and sunflowers (shelled of course) really fill the gaps in your TM bag, and in your hunger.
5. And don't forget your cereals. Both in traditional cereal format – like clusters of oats, or granola, or even cheerios or bran flakes – and also in the non traditional format, like popcorn.
6. Mind your melties. Chocolate buds and yogurt covered fruits or nuts etc. are all nice treats to include, but if you're going somewhere hot remember that they're prone to melting. M&Ms and smarties might just save the day.
Once you know the rules, making TM basically involves choosing your favourite seed, nut and dried fruit options and garnishing it with a few additional treats – chocolate, coconut flakes, banana chips for example – before mixing it all together to the ratio you see fit – have you ever heard of an easier recipe! Some extra smart and active ingredients you might want to go out of your way to include are dried cranberries, dried blueberries and dried cherries: which are rich in simple carbohydrates – much needed energy when exercising, dried apple: as it's sweet and filling, macadamia nuts: which are full of protein, which slows down the aforementioned carbs and bits or drops of dark chocolate.
Some health food shops sell ready mixed mix, but I'm sure you can do better, and probably cheaper as well.