You might not know this about me, but I have a bit of a thing for snacks.
I don't go anywhere without a snack. In fact, if you opened up my purse right now, I'm pretty sure you'd see a container of almonds and probably an energy bar. And I most definitely have a snack stash in the car for emergencies. Like when you get stuck in traffic and you missed lunch. You know, snacking emergencies. (I can feel my husband's eyes rolling at me through my office walls as I type).
When it comes to snacking, I mostly choose nourishing foods that taste great and that help me to stay energized and satisfied. Trail mix is one of my go-to simple snacks. I make my own: it's easy and less expensive than the store bought versions.
I keep my trail mix pretty nutritious, filled with mostly nuts and seeds, plus dried fruit and sometimes toasted oats. Occasionally, there's a little dark chocolate added in for extra yumminess. Trail mix is super convenient and makes an ideal packable snack -- great for hiking, biking, road trips, car emergencies...you get the picture.
This Roasted Almond Dark Chocolate Coconut Trail mix is one of my faves; it's a perfect mix of crunchy, salty and a little bit sweet. The roasted almonds, pepitas, dark chocolate, coconut and dried blueberries just really WORK together to create a whole lot of deliciousness. Roasting the almonds gives a rich, almond flavour. I chop the almonds in half so you can enjoy them in every single bite.
Nutritionally speaking, this trail mix packs a punch! The almonds and pepitas provide you with protein, healthy fats and fibre; that combo provides long lasting snacking satisfaction and helps keep energy levels and blood sugar levels stable.
Almonds are also rich in nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium and potassium that play a role in heart helath and so also healthy aging. They're have the most fibre of all the tree nuts and include prebiotic fibre for good gut health. Although fresh or frozen blueberries are the better choices for nutrition, you can't put them in trail mix (squish!) and so the dried, although processed with a bit of sugar and oil, will still provide some nutrients like cell-protecting antioxidants and fibre.
Okay, so I've been writing all morning. Time for a snack. Good thing I have my kitchen nearby (perk of a home office) and that trail mix in my pantry -- it's calling my name!
Disclosure: I shared this recipe on CHCH TV with the Almond Board of California and now I'm sharing it with you! Although I was compensated for the TV segment, almonds have always been part of my snacks, recipes and posts.
Roasted Almond Dark Chocolate Coconut Trail Mix Recipe
Enjoy this trail mix it's own or add it as a topper to yogurt, oatmeal or fresh fruit salad.
Makes: 3 cups
1 cup (250 mL) roasted almonds, chopped in half *
½ cup (125 mL) roasted, salted pepitas
½ cup (125 mL) dark chocolate, finely chopped or dark chocolate chips
½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened coconut chips (or large flakes)
½ cup dried (125 mL) blueberries, cherries or cranberries
In a small bowl, add all ingredients and stir until combined. Store in an airtight container. You can also pre-portion some into smaller containers (about 1/3 cup), ready for packing and snacking.
* I buy raw almonds in a HUGE bag at Costco and then I roast them myself. Why? Well, first of all, the price can't be beat. Secondly, I like to buy them raw because it allows me versatility -- sometimes I like them raw, sometimes I like them roasted. To roast almonds, preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Add 1 cup of almonds to pan, drizzle with 1 tsp canola oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Using your hands, toss almonds with canola oil and salt until all almonds are covered in oil. Roast for 5 to 7 minutes until just starting to brown. OR...keep it super simple and just buy roasted almonds. Easy peasy!
Download the recipe HERE.