By Megan Fisher, Grocery Manager, Co-op Owner
What exactly is in your bulk trail mix?
Do you load up on protein-packed nuts? Do you lean more into naturally sweet dried fruits? Classic GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts) all the way? Or is it mainly chocolate with a hint of fiber mixed in… somewhere?
No matter what your preferences are, it’s easy to craft your own mix at the Co-op! Personally, my mix is mango and papaya heavy, with cashews and sunflower seeds – no extra crunchy almonds for me please – and pass on the chocolate! Trail mix has been eaten for thousands of years in one form or another. The first mixes often included dried jerky, but since the early 1900s it’s common to see mainly mixes of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Trail mix can be beneficial to your diet depending on what exactly you put in it. Unsalted nuts, no added sugar dried fruits, and less chocolate are easy ways to direct your mix into healthier for you territory. Better than bars, trail mix doesn’t need to be held together with honey, dates, or other binders either.
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of:
- plant-based protein (good for tissue repair and muscle development)
- healthy fats like omega-3s (helps reduce inflammation)
- fiber (great for gut health and keeping you fuller longer)
Dried fruits are a great source of:
- energy (natural sugars help jump start your energy stores)
- antioxidants (helps lower your risk of heart disease)
- vitamins and minerals (for your overall health)
What to include in your mix:
- Nuts: raw walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews, and/or pecans
- Seeds: pumpkin, and/or sunflower
- Dried fruit: papaya, pineapple, raisins, prunes, and/or figs, cherries, mulberries, etc.
- Other add-ins can include: granola, pretzels, yogurt covered items, chocolate pieces, coconut, and so much more!