Life today is busy. Between work, family, errands, training and social commitments, it's hard to stop and eat a healthy snack. But, it can be done. Put down that energy bar that's loaded with sugar, calories and fat, and pick up this healthy trail mix. This recipe is very easy. In fact, it takes as little as five seconds to make. Seriously, it only involves three ingredients. You can handle that, right?
This recipe is pro triathlete, Jenny Fletcher's, go-to snack. "This gives me all the nutrients I need to fuel me for my training. Plus it's so tasty; I mean there's chocolate, too," she says.
More: How to Snack Smart
Nutrition Events Near You
Healthy Trail Mix
- Goji berries
- Cacao nibs
- Raw almonds
Go to your local market, pick up these ingredients and dump them in a bowl. Mix them up and, voila, you've got your trail mix. Make a batch that will last you all week. This trail mix is low fat, and offers great nutritional value.
Break Down of Each Ingredient
This orange-red berry comes from China, where people eat to increase longevity. Goji berries are filled with antioxidants that may slow the aging process. The antioxidants also reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and high-blood pressure. In addition, some research says Goji may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's because the berry's extracts boost brain health. Compounds such as Vitamin A, which can help protect eye health, can be found in this little berry.
First, let's define the difference between from cocoa and cacao. Cocoa refers to the plant and powder from the cocoa tree. Cacao refers to a portion of the product that's made from cocoa bean, also known as Theobroma Cacao.
Cacao Nibs are essentially cocoa beans that have been broken down into smaller pieces, hence nibs. The health benefits are endless. Cacao nibs contain theobromine, which stimulates the central nervous system in a similar manner to caffeine. If you're feeling sluggish, snack on this. It's a great source of flavanols, an antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease. Plus, it's in the chocolate family, so you can fulfill your chocolate cravings.
Almonds are one of the most nutrient-rich nuts on earth. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), calcium, fiber, protein, riboflavin and niacin. Eat almonds regularly to reduce cholesterol, heart disease, blood pressure and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, almonds help prevent colon cancer, diabetes, constipation and birth defects in newborns. They also help increase brain productivity, and boost energy. Reap all the benefits with just a handful a day.
Recipe and nutritional information provided by chef Sandy Dominguez from the Culinary Institute of America, pro triathlete Jenny Fletcher and registered dietitian and tri coach Marni Sumbal.
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