I don’t know about you, but my Monday could use a good munch. Take it from this snackaholic, having a go-to, easy munch on hand at all times is key to getting through a busy Monday.
Snacking is one of my favorite pastimes. I am definitely more of a grazer than a “sit down to a full meal” kinda gal. I’m far more likely to eat small bites of various things throughout the day than to sit down for an actual “breakfast” or “lunch.” I think it’s because I get bored easily and want to spread my caloric intake out as much as I can throughout the day. Munching on a variety of things keeps me happy.
So, needless to say, finding new and delicious snacks is always on my goal list. While my go-to for years and years has been a few slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese with some Triscuits, or a big handful of homemade granola with some yogurt, sometimes I want a snack with a bigger nutritional punch. Something that will not only fill me up until my next grazing session but will also keep me energized. After all, a sluggish Molly come 2 pm is not a pretty sight.
Trail mix is something from my childhood that I really haven’t revisited much as an adult. Every time we had a road trip or even just a day trip, my mom would pass out baggies of trail mix in the car. My sisters and I loved it. My mom stuck to the usual mix of cereal, nuts, raisins, and chocolate chips. I think every 80s/90s child probably had a combo like this growing up. The chocolate chips were a very special treat, and I think that’s why we used to get so excited when my mom would tell us she had made trail mix. That and it was super fun to eat. Mixes with a bunch of choices are great for kids and adults alike. Why do you think Chex Mix is so popular and has been for decades? It’s got a little bit of everything. Keeps things interesting.
So, when trying to come up with a trail mix that would appeal to my adult palate, all while keeping health and nutrition in mind, I decided that it had to be a good mix of things. Variety was key! Otherwise, I’d get bored and be far less likely to eat it.
Macadamia nuts are one of my favorite nuts (I buy mine here). That said, I hardly ever use them! I don’t know why. Maybe because almonds and pistachios are more readily available? Maybe because those seem more like “everyday” nuts? Yeah, I think that’s it. Macadamia nuts feel special to me. They’re buttery and tender and incredibly delish, and I definitely need to figure out more ways to incorporate them into my life (besides the classic white chocolate and macadamia cookie). This trail mix is the first step.
When I think about macadamia nuts, tropical flavors come to mind. Specifically, pineapple, coconut, and mango. And so, all three of those went into my mix! They add the perfect chew and fruit sweetness. The coconut just enhances that tropical, nutty flavor. And then, to give things a little heft, I added in some cashews (another fav) and rice cereal, and for even more nutritional goodness, some dried goji berries.
Goji berries are a great addition to this mix. They’re chewy, slightly sweet, and tart (similar to a dried cranberry), which was the perfect counter to the sweeter ingredients. Goji berries can be quite expensive, so I tend to by mine in bulk online. They have a long shelf life and make a great addition to granola, oatmeal, yogurt, and even smoothies (if taking the smoothie route, I recommend soaking them in a little bit of warm water before blending). The added antioxidant bonus (and fun pop of color!) is awesome. This 30-something is all about the antioxidants these days!
And finally, because I couldn’t ignore my childhood trail mix memories completely, I threw in a couple handfuls of dark chocolate chips. Just like when I was a kid, they totally make the mix for me. The combo of flavors going on here is so great, and each ingredient tastes delicious on its own AND when paired with everything else going on, even if its only one or two or all eight ingredients in a handful. Chocolate goes with everything. The nuts go with everything. The coconut and dried fruits go with everything.
And the best part: it gives me tons of natural energy and definitely doesn’t weigh me down. I can feel good about this snack, and I love that.
It’s Monday munchie perfection.
1 cup unsweetened cereal of choice (such as Cheerios, Chex, etc)
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
½ cup roasted, salted whole cashews
1 cup roasted macadamia nuts, lightly chopped
¼ cup dried mango, chopped into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup dried pineapple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup dried goji berries
½ cup dark chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, tossing well to combine. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
[Disclaimer: while I link to Nuts.com for my product recommendations above, this is not a sponsored post. Writing this post and referencing their ingredients gives me the opportunity to win some goods, but I did not receive any monetary compensation for including their products. As always, all opinions are my own. If trail mix isn’t your thing, check out their other recommendations for great snacks. I’ve already added several to my “must try” list!]