One of my favorite snacks back in the day were those raisins coated in yogurt that you scoop out of the communal bins in the supermarket. This was partly because at that time I considered bin food to be, essentially, free, and partly because I thought yogurt covered goodies were healthy.

It wasn’t long into my master’s program in nutrition that I learned to read a food label and figured out that there really wasn’t any yogurt in my yogurt-covered raisins. But there was plenty of other stuff I really didn’t care to eat, such as partially hydrogenated fat and corn syrup. I stopped snacking on them, and I stopped stealing from the bins; I was in graduate school, after all.

It’s ingredients like yogurt covered raisins, along with artificially colored candies and sugar-sweetened dried fruit, and nuts that taste like they are two years old, that got me making my own trail mix instead of buying the pre-mixed kind at the supermarket. Plus, my way is cheaper, and I have a say in what goes into it. I hate picking around all those sunflower seeds.

In our house, we get out a big bowl and mix together our favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits, pretzels, and breakfast cereal. Sometimes we include a little dose of chocolate. Our current mix here includes chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, golden raisins, granola, salted peanuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, Puffin cereal, whole grain pretzels and dark chocolate chips.

I’d say we add each element in equal measure, plus double amounts of pretzels and cereal, and store it in an air-tight jar. The pretzels and cereal add crunch and interest, and cut down on the caloric density of the mix. It’s a no-brainer grab and go snack.

What’s your favorite trail mix combo?


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  1. Pamela
    03.31.2011 at 4:32 AM #

    Thanks…the simplicity is great!

  2. Meg
    03.31.2011 at 2:17 PM #

    Hey Katie,
    Wanted to chime in about how your delightful and witty blog continues to enrich our lives. Aside from being a joy to read, the advice and recipes are terrific. Have I told you that my kids won’t get out of bed unless the steel cut oats are on stove, lovingly prepared the night before? I’ve also made several of the other recipes with great success. The other night, I made the brown sugar bok choy(with chard), and we just loved how the flavors in the sauce blend. Last week it was the cabbage, sausage and apples – so quick and so tasty. We couldn’t believe it was so good for us. And our love affair with black beans continues – either in the form of the black bean dip or the soup.
    One of the greatest things you wrote was to prepare food that I, as chief cook and bottle washer, am excited to make, rather than catering to the kids. In doing so, I am enjoying meal prep again, and my kids universe is expanding in ways that they, with minor exception, find appealing.
    Thank you, it is wonderful having you in the kitchen with us!

  3. 03.31.2011 at 5:05 PM #

    Such great ideas — and now more do-able for us because E got the all-clear at the allergist — no more nut allergies! Also, I made the bok choy dish last night. I made it just with tofu (no pork) and double the amount of bok choy. These recipes are sooooo helpful — thank you!

  4. 03.31.2011 at 7:26 PM #

    Thanks for the great feedback. Good news on the allergies. What a relief that must be.

  5. Mel
    04.01.2011 at 2:37 AM #

    Kate – so happy to have stumbled across your latest publishing gem. I am laughing at the yogurt covered raisin rationale…know that one all too well. Miles and Ava will be most pleased when I start sharing some of your nibbles. Miss you! xoxo Mel

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