Originally invented as a hiking snack, the Trail mix has become a popular healthy snack worldwide. Not only is it easy to make but also easy to carry. Just pack away the desired quantity in a zip-pouch and be on your way with your pocketful of healthy snack.

A personalized bowl of Trail mix can be prepared to please a sweet craving or a savoury yearning. The best part of the Trail mix besides eating it is, MAKING IT!

Listed below are the individual ingredients and their health benefits that go into a Trail Mix. All you need to do is mix and match as per your taste and create a customized bowl for yourself.

Nuts: Nuts are full of unsaturated fats, protein, fibre, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals. One thing to keep in mind is to have the nuts unsalted and unsweetened to ward off the excess sugar and sodium. The nutty flavour can be extracted from these nuts:

1. Almonds
2. Cashews
3. Pinenuts
4. Pistachios
5. Peanuts
6. Walnuts
7. Hazelnuts
8. Pecans
9. Macademia nuts

Seeds: Another source of healthy nutrients which provides us with omega-3 fatty acids, gamma linolenic acid, protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Also those of us with nut allergies can use seeds as a nut substitute to reap similar health benefits. The list of healthy seeds that can be used is:

1. Flaxseeds
2. Sunflower seeds
3. Hemp seeds
4. Pumpkinseeds
5. Sesame seeds

Dried Fruits: Although a little more on the sugary side, dried fruits provide fibre, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Control your serving size to control the excess sugar. Too much dried fruit might promote fat storage in your body. Preferred dried fruit options are

1. Figs
2. Cherries
3. Apricots
4. Banana chips
5. Apples
6. Mango
7. Dates
8. Strawberries
9. Blueberries
10. Pineapple chunks

Grains: The addition of grains to your high fibre mix will ensure a balance of complex carbohydrates in your bowl and will make it crunchier. Grains also act as an energy booster. To keep the mix healthy, avoid processed cereals which add unnecessary sugar and sodium to your diet. The grains that can be used are:

1. Wheat cereals
2. Bran cereals
3. Whole grain cereals
4. Toasted oats
5. Puffed rice
6. Granola
7. Air-popped pop
8. Corn Pretzels

Sweets: Sprinkling a little sweet to your mix will keep the whole mix fun and more palatable. Just ensure you don’t go overboard with the quantity as then you will just end up with a bowl of fat instead of a balanced mix of nutrients. The yummy sweets which can be used are:

1. Gems
2. Chocolate chips- preferably dark
3.Chocolate covered nuts
4. Mini marshmallows
5. Butterscotch chips
6. Peanut butter chips

Seasoning: Once the stage is set, all is lifeless without the sound and lights. So just add some seasoning to create a twist of flavours with added health benefits and enjoy your awesome snack. Some seasoning which can be added is:

1. Salt
2. Sea salt
3.White pepper
4. Black pepper
5. Cinnamon
6. Nutmeg
7. Cardamom
8. Ground ginger
9. Onion powder
10. Coconut powder/flakes

You can start experimenting on your own but just to get you started on the trail mix, we have written down the combination of three different types of trail mix.

Ingredients for a Savoury nibble:

1. GarlicPowder
2. Onion Powder
3. PepperSalt
4. Flaxseeds
5. Almonds
6. Peanuts

To make just put together the whole bunch of above mentioned ingredients in a bowl, mix with the mentioned seasoning and enjoy!

Ingredients for a Spicy mix:

1. Almonds
2. Cashews
3. Sesame seeds
4. Dried peas
5. Corn flakes
6. Sea salt
7. Chilli powder

Add the quantities as per taste and requirement and munch away.

Ingredients for a Sweet craving:
1. Air-popped pop corn
2. Raisins
3. Puffed rice
4. Dark chocolate chips

The sweet version does contain sugar. For a healthier version, skip the dark chocolate chips.

But wait! Before you start chomping on the delicious mix you made, remember that a healthy portion is a quarter of a cup and not more. Avoid over consumption in order to ward off those unnecessary calories. Happy Snacking!