As you might have suspected….I am a bit obsessed with nuts. I love almost every type….it has reached a point were the cashiers look at me weirdly as they scan pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, slices almonds, whole almonds, lightly salted mixed nuts, honey roasted mixed nuts…I mean what kind of weirdo buys so many nuts?!!?! I DO.. They are a great source of healthy fats, omega-3s and animal free protein. Plus each kind has it’s own particular taste. They are great in salads, PASTAS, rices and snacks! I mean they add an unexpected flavor. But beware….since they can pack on the fat content you must take that into account when cooking or snacking on them…This means – always always always eat them in portions. A handful is just about right for snacking. I love the practical nature of nuts – you can pack them and literally leave them in your purse for 1
month week as emergency food, and they will still taste good as new. No rotting, no weird smell or taste just good ol’ protein. I always keep some in my bag as a snack because it gives me a great quick jolt of energy until my next meal (on those busy days that seem endless they come in pretty handy). This is why they are the main ingredients on many trail mixes. Other key ingredients include dried fruit for a bit of sugar (quickest energy source in the body) and some include chocolate or candy.
In my version I added multigrain cereal to create a “complete meal” kind of snack: carbs, protein, sugar and fat. They also add FIBER and LOWER the calorie content of this trail mix. If you are a popcorn lover you can use popcorn instead of cereal -just don’t use the triple butter kind. Chose a healthy kind of popcorn made with only oil and salt. Popcorn is another source of fiber and the healthy kind is low in calories. The healthy kind of popcorn is usually around less than 150 calories per a 2 cups (about 2 handfuls). This is 1 serving (which visually is a LOT for a snack). Nowadays you can find healthy popcorn brands everywhere. However, instead of popcorn I chose honey nut multigrain cereal because I buy the mini boxes for a quick breakfast or snack on the go. These boxes contain only 60 calories each (plain kind), or 100 calories (if you choose the honey kind). In my recipe I used 1 multigrain box and 1 honey nut box because it’s what I had left – but feel free to use any kind of multigrain cereal. Plus after reading lots of ingredients labels I noticed how cheerios contain less preservatives than the Kashi brands and other brands that advertise themselves as “natural” and “healthy.” Beware with these misleading tags. Sometimes the classic brands are the ones with less chemicals. For instance did you know that Sarah Lee sandwich bread is one of the few american brands that does NOT add high fructose corn syrup to their bread? !?!? The other brand I’ve found which does not contain high fructose corn syrup or weird preservatives is Nature’s Own 100% whole wheat bread. I find this one tastes way better.
Going back to the recipe….When choosing a multigrain cereal for this recipe pick one with a low amount of sugar since you will be adding dried fruits and honey roasted nuts (which already provide your necessary sugar serving). If you choose honey nut multigrain cereal try to balance out the sugar content by using 1 cup of lightly salted nuts instead of adding 1/2 cup of the honey roasted kind.
1.5 cups honey nut cheerios or multigrain cereal – about 2 mini boxes
1/2 cup dried banana chips
1/2 cup honey roasted nuts
1/2 cup lightly salted nuts, I used cashews
1/4 cup raisins, dried cranberries or mini dark chocolate chips
Just pour everything into a mixing bowl and mix. Store in a sealed container to retain freshness. Divide into snacking ziplock bags or miniature containers for portion control!
Servings: 6 to 8
…want a handful? enjoy!!
Plus you can make this vegan or gluten free…it all depends on the cereal you choose.