Making your own trail mix is a pretty darn smart thing to do. For the cost of about two tiny packets, you can make a whole batch – enough to feed a whole soccer team. And you can totally control the ingredients. It is also dead simple to prepare.
This recipe is gluten, dairy and sugar free, packed with all sort of nutritious ingredients that taste great together and is so much better for you than 99% of the packaged trail mix you can buy (okay – that 99% is not a scientific number. I just made that up, but it is probably true).
Coconut has a list of health benefits a mile long which include improving digestion and the absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (so important for those with gluten sensitivity), boosting energy and endurance, killing viruses and reducing inflammation.
Almonds are great for improving brain development, are packed with protein, relieve constipation and other digestive issues and boost energy.
Macadamia nuts are also protein packed, a good source of your vitamin Bs and heart healthy fats.
Pumpkin seeds also reduce inflammation, are a natural treatment for parasites and a great source of magnesium.
Pineapples are rich in vitamin C and help ward off colds and such, strengthen the bones and help keep your gums healthy.
Mangos are a great source of antioxidants, help improve eye heath, boost the immune system and are even said to improve your sex life.
OK, so you get the idea, this stuff is really good for you. But almost as important (maybe even more because if it doesn’t taste good, no one will eat it) is how flavorful this is. It’s got an island-inspired tropical taste thanks to the macadamia nuts, coconut flakes and freeze dried pineapples and mangoes. Since macadamia nuts tend to be pricey, I filled it with less expensive almond slices and pumpkin seeds. For a bit of color, I added some freeze-dried strawberries; that little pop of red makes it pretty and adds yet another element of sugar free sweetness.
As a little side note, I took away the hubby’s bowl of trail mix that is packed with M & Ms and all sorts of other sugary things and replaced it with this – as I write this, he is happily munching away and doesn’t even miss those M & Ms!
So seriously, there is no reason to break the bank with portable, healthy, gluten free snacks – make your own trail mix at home and make your family a little healthier and really, really happy!
Gluten Free Tropical Trail Mix Recipe
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
1 – 1.5 ounce bag freeze dried pineapple
1 – 1.5 ounce bag freeze dried mango
1 – 1 ounce bag freeze dried strawberries
Place the almonds and coconut flakes in a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often until the coconut and almonds are fragrant and toasted, about 6 minutes. Let cool completely.
Put the toasted coconut and almonds into a mixing bowl along with the remaining ingredients and combine. Break the pineapple into smaller pieces if desired. Store in an airtight container.
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