ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Trail Mix the Superfood; Mixes For Your Health

Updated on August 9, 2010

The Evolution of Trail Mix

Trail mix, otherwise known as scroggin in New Zealand, UK, and Iraq, can be a perfect blend of energy and nutrition. It was first invented by/for hikers, although some debate as to who exactly or what year, but somehwere in the early 60's people put peanuts and raisins together possibly fashioned after the idea of granola- similar idea. Ironicaly, I haven't put those two original ingredients in my trail mixes for years. There are just too many nutritious combinations available to experiment with.

Most stores and markets, especially health food stores, offer a variety of trail mixes premixed to do the thinking for you. The negative aspects to this is many of those pre-mixed contain a large ratio of peanuts and raisins to other ingresients that are healthier for you. They do this because peanuts and raisins are less expensve so often times you pay more for them just because they are mixed with a few optimal ingredients like cranberries or dark chocolate chips. This is why I make my own mixes. I would buy the pre-mixed only to have a bag full of peanuts and rasins left behind. Stores that carry bulk foods offer the ingredients separately, it just takes more effort o your part to mix everything.

One of the things we have forgotten about trail mixes is they were invented to be a light weight snack with high energy (calories) per ounce. Unfortunately people are eating several handfuls as a single serving. Since trail mix was originally for outdoors folks, such as hikers who expend a lot of calories, this made it an ideal snack food for active people. Now there is so much research to support all the health benefits of various trail mix ingredients, everybody is munching on it, even while sitting on the couch, but you should be careful of how much you eat if you are not consistently active. Trail mix is high in calories so it doesn't take much.

Getting smart about getting nuts

We'll start with the nuts: it's kind of like staring with the main ingredient and building from there. There are several more ingredients far more nutritious than peanuts and if you're like me, you could be allergic to peanut mold. Did you know about peanut mold found in many bulk foods that contain peanuts in the mix? If you want to use peanuts and avoid the mold, the best choice is from a fresh sealed can. Otherwise check out your other options:

  • cashews, macadamia nuts, filburts, pecans- sweet nuttty flavors, best with dried tropical fuits like papaya, pineapple, banana, dried date pieces, and coconut.
  • almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts- great for your health, true superfoods. These nuts have more distinct flavor so pair them with stronger flavor ingredients like dried cranberries, prunes, goji berries, acai, cherries, bluberries, ginger, raisins, apple, chocolate chips.

I think of cashews and macadamias as summer/tropical type nuts, meaning they go with fruits and ingredients from tropical regions and fruits of the summer season. Of course you can get any of these ingredients (dried) year round- the beauty of trail mix.

Almonds and walnuts are the opposite side of the spectrum. I tend to think of them as stronger flavored nuts so they need to be paired with other dried ingredients that have pronounced flavor as well like cranberries, apples bits, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, crystalzed ginger, chocolate ships (dark or carob too).

Trail mix treat?

Trail mix was intended to be healthy so I'm not going to suggest you add things like pretzels, marhsmellows, candy, or sugar coated anything else. Those ingredients offer no added nutrition- just fillers. However, if you don't eat trail mix because it has nothing you enjoy in it then I would suggest adding a little treat so you get the benefits of the other ingredients. If you like m&m's I suggest Sundrops, similar to m&m's but without artificial color dye. Concerning dried fruits; check ingredients and avoid sulfites or sulfur dioxide- horrible processing ingredient. If you're like me and could stomach anything if it was chocolate covered, then try dark chocolate chips for added antioxidants. You can have a treat and be healthy too.

Super Mixes

I'm not going to give you exact proportions and measurements of each ingredient, but I strive for equal fruit and nuts, and then a little of the "treat" ingredient.

1. Honey harvest

  • almonds
  • pineapple
  • chocolate chips
  • dried apple
  • Honey roasted peanuts
  • shred or flake coconut

2. Berry Treat (loaded with anti-oxidants)

  • almonds
  • brazil nuts
  • cranberries
  • cherries (tart)
  • blueberries
  • m&m's (healthy version)

3. Goji Goody

  • cashews
  • goji berries
  • date pieces
  • shred coconut
  • pumpkin seeds

4. Brain Booster

  • Walnuts (brain food)
  • cranberries
  • dark chocolate chips
  • blueberries
  • sunflower seeds
  • yogurt covered raisins

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      3 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thank you savateuse

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 

      3 years ago

      I love trail mix. Nice to see some variations.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      6 years ago from The Great Northwest

      thanks quester.ltd!

    • quester.ltd profile image

      quester.ltd 

      6 years ago

      great stuff - very tasty and healthy - thnaks!

      q

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Sally~ Trail mix is great for packing because such a small amount can deliver calories and nutrition. THanks fo the link and I'll go check out your hub.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Wonderful Hub on trail mixes. I don't think people realize the calorie punch a trail mix delivers. You presented excellent nutritional information and a fine selection of recipes. I linked to your Hub from mine on packing your own healthy road food. Up and useful!

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      parduc~ thank you for stopping by.

    • parduc profile image

      parduc 

      7 years ago from Kos island, Greece

      Wonderful hub, very informative, great work! Thanks!

      Liv

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      8 years ago

      Love the trail mix just don't care for granola. We will take a good trail mix when we go to some bluegrass fetivals. Great hub.

    • izettl profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Izett 

      8 years ago from The Great Northwest

      sabu singh~ i used to be an avid hiker and trail mix is a necessity. Good luck on the hike should be beautiful in the himalayas

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for this hub Izettl. I am going on a low altitude trek later this year to the Himalayas and your recommendations will form part of my diet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)