Homemade Tropical Trail Mix

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a champion grazer when it comes to my eating habits. I am horrible when it comes to sitting down and eating a meal, especially for breakfast and lunch, and often times grab a few crackers here, a cookie there, a handful of something else a half hour later. I started a couple of weeks ago with a conscious effort to eat something healthy and somewhat substantial for breakfast and have done well making a habit of it over the last 10 days or so. Next up, I am tackling lunch and healthy snacks. If I actually plan what I’m going to eat and have it on hand, there is a much, much higher chance that I’ll eat it instead of just grabbing something that’s not very good for me. Enter trail mix.

When my mom, sister and I drove to New York back at the end of April, I picked up some snacks for car and found a big jug of tropical trail mix at Target. I fell in love with it and probably ate my weight in it. When I started thinking about the different types of healthy snacks I could throw together, I remembered that trail mix and decided to recreate it with some changes to suit my tastes.

The trail mix was delicious, but there were definitely some things I knew I would change up for my homemade version. For one thing, there were way too many raisins for my taste. I love raisins in my bagels, oatmeal, and cookies, but I don’t particularly enjoy eating them by the handful. I basically took a mix of my favorite dried fruits – papaya, mango, pineapple, dates and bananas – and added healthy nuts and some scoops of unsweetened coconut. The key to keeping this as healthy as possible is to use dried fruit that doesn’t have any sugar added and nuts that are raw (unsalted).

I’m excited and motivated to have secured at least one healthy snack to keep on hand, plus it will come in handy as a complement to our favorite granola when my Chief Culinary Consultant and I make our next road trip! It’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy, and has so many amazing flavors. Best of all, this is an incredibly forgiving “recipe”, so feel free to substitute your favorite dried fruit, nuts and seeds for a completely customized version.

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?

One year ago: Buttermilk Doughnuts
Two years ago: Homemade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Three years ago: Spumoni Ice Cream Terrine
Four years ago: Strawberry Mirror Cake

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Homemade Tropical Trail Mix

Ingredients:

1½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes

1 cup almonds

1 cup pistachios

1 cup dried banana chips (broken in half or quarters if large)

½ cup chopped dried dates

½ cup chopped dried mango

½ cup chopped dried papaya

½ cup chopped dried pineapple


Directions:

1. Toss all ingredients together until evenly combined.


2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


Note: You can usually find unsweetened coconut in the organic/health food section of your local grocery store, or in the bulk bins if your store has them (you can also order from King Arthur Flour). I would ideally use the large flakes of coconut vs. the shredded that you see here, but I was all out!



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