I love a good trail mix- that perfect mixture of crunchy, salty, and sometimes sweet. Easy to grab, easy to perk you right back up when you need a little energy boost. Unfortunately, most of what we find on the shelves of our local stores don’t offer the best nutrition options. Most of them are made using poor quality ingredients, nuts and seeds that are past their prime, and to top it off the majority of them load up on extra sugars with dried fruits and candies. So what’s a person to do? Make their own of course! It’s really quite simple and you can make a big batch with little work involved. If you have ten minutes to prep and a few hours to find something else to do, you can do this!
First let’s talk about quality ingredients. Nuts and seeds are wonderful options packed full of omega fatty acids, proteins, minerals, vitamins… they make good choices for not just snacks, but meal toppers and unique recipe ingredients too. They’re suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. The thing is, they also can be somewhat fragile and need to be used and consumed in their best state. For this recipe I recommend you buy raw nuts and seeds from a trusted source. Local health food stores or companies you know and trust for their attention to quality are a great option. Always store your nuts and seeds in a cool, dark place. I like to keep mine in the fridge or the freezer until I am ready to use them. This preserves the natural oils and helps to prevent them from going rancid.
For this recipe I use avocado, olive, or coconut oil. It often depends on what flavor I want as to which one I choose. They all offer good health benefits, so feel free to choose your favorite (or whichever one you happen to have on hand!). Many store bought trail mixes rely on canola oil, soybean, safflower or sunflower oils. While these may look good on paper, they are not as stable when subjected to heat and friction, and therefore can become more problematic when consumed.
From this point on, just check your seasonings for freshness. These are our nutritional powerhouses. You know the saying…They may be small, but they are mighty! Each ingredient chosen for this recipe is packed full of medicinal benefits. From immune system support, to cardiovascular support, to digestive benefits… you name it, they’ve got it covered. You will want your herbs and spices to be fresh (hopefully less than six months old), kept in a cool, dark location; and purchased from a quality source. This will help you to get the maximum benefit from your foods. Once you have these in check, you are good to go. Mix, slow roast, and enjoy! It feels good to know you are eating something good for you, but it almost feels too good to know it also tastes so amazing!
Anti-Inflammatory Trail Mix
➢3c. Mixed Nuts or Seeds (I used Pumpkin, Sunflower, Black Sesame Seeds, etc…)
➢1/4c. Olive or Avocado Oil
➢1/4c. Maple Syrup
➢1 Lime, juiced
➢1 1/2t. Turmeric, ground
➢1T. Each Coriander, Cumin, and Fennel Seeds
➢1/2t. Ginger, ground
➢1/4t. Garlic, ground
➢1/4t. Cayenne, ground *optional
➢Sea Salt, to taste
➢Black Pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the seeds. These amounts are very forgiving and can be adjusted according to preferences, or substituted for something else entirely! Mix until you have a consistency similar to a dressing.
Now add the seed mixture to the bowl and stir thoroughly, ensuring the seeds are evenly coated.
Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at the lowest oven setting (170-200 degrees) for up to four hours. They will harden more as they cool, but they will feel soft while hot.
Allow to cool completely and then place in a container. Refrigerate or store in a cool, dark cabinet for up to three weeks.