Friday, February 21, 2014

Homemade Trail Mix - A great pre-running (or anytime) snack

When I was in Salt Lake City with Joey and his family, his mom had bought two packages of trail mix to snack on during the day. They were both good, but one of them just disappeared, we all liked it so much. It has dried cherries, dried cranberries, almonds, peanuts, cashews, and dark chocolate chunks. The combination worked really well together.

Once we got home, we decided we wanted to try making our own trail mix. We went to Whole Foods, and went crazy in their bulk food section. We bought roasted (unsalted) peanuts, roasted (salted) cashews, pistachios, dried cranberries, banana chips, and Joey got a medley just for snacking on its own. Joey found some fantastic cinnamon almonds from Walmart, and bought some dried cherries at Trader Joe's. Lastly, we found dark chocolate chunks at Kroger, in the baking section. Since then, we used up the cashews, banana chips, cranberries and almonds, and bought all but the cranberries (got those at Kroger) at Trader Joe's. Surprisingly, the cinnamon almonds were better from Walmart.

I've just been making up a bag each day to bring in, and haven't been weighing or measuring anything. I'm sure some days I get much more than others, just based on the small handful I take of each ingredient. Last night, I was curious to see how much I was actually taking, and how many calories that equaled.

So, here it is:

Dark Chocolate Chunks

Dry Roasted & Salted Cashews

Cinnamon Almonds (still good, but not as good as Walmart's)

Organic Banana Chips

Dried Tart Cherries

Craisins (Original)

Dry Roasted (no salt added) Peanuts

I weighed each ingredient out as I added (in grams), creating the following:


Finished product!

In case you don't feel like reading the small numbers in the pictures, this is what I added:
15g dark chocolate chunks (1 serving)
14g cashews (~1/2 serving)
13g cinnamon almonds (~1/2 serving)
10g banana chips (1/3 serving)
10g dried cherries (~1/4 serving)
8g dried cranberries (1/5 serving)
13g peanuts (~1/2 serving)

The amount I created here had the following nutrition:
406 calories
8.7 g protein
6.0 g fiber
25.9 g fat

While this is relatively high in calories and pretty high in fat, it's all good fat (from the nuts). It's also pretty high in protein, and really high in fiber, so it'll keep you full for hours. This was probably a pretty large version, and I could easily shave off some calories and fat by making it a bit smaller, or not using all of the nuts. This version has roughly 1.5 servings of nuts, 1 serving of chocolate, and 3/4 serving of dried fruit. I love that I can customize it to include whatever I want that day, and that I can eat it before running, without worrying about how it's going to affect my stomach. Best of all, it's so much less expensive than buying the prepackaged versions!