How has it come to be summer camp season already? With school wrapping up this week, we’re making the switch from packing lunches to healthy snacks for zoo camp, then our road trip to the BC coast. Already we’ve been spending plenty of time at the outdoor pool, and I’ve been packing nibbles to keep the kids powered through hours in the water. One of my favourite things to pack for the boys when we go camping/hiking/swimming or they’re off to summer day camp is trail mix – I make a large jar of it to dip into, filling small snack-sized bags whenever they need something good to go. Trail mix doesn’t spoil, crush, melt or go soggy – it doesn’t require refrigeration, and is compact. Best of all, trail mix is nutrient-dense, packed with nuts, seeds and dried fruit, it’s the best way to provide a healthy source of energy for busy kids (and grown ups!). California walnuts are high in fiber, protein and heart-healthy fats – make sure you buy them fresh; walnuts should not be bitter, but sweet.
The heart-healthy goodness of omega-3s and other nutrients in this mix makes this an optimal high-energy snack for people on the go! It’s a great upgrade from fruit chews and other packaged snacks. Visit the bulk section of your grocery store and use your imagination, mixing and matching dried fruit and nuts to suit your taste.
California Walnut Trail Mix
2 cups California walnut halves
1 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup banana chips
1/2 cup goji or acai berries (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the centre of oven until fragrant and toasted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
In a large container, combine toasted walnuts with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, apricots, banana chips and acai berries (if using).
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Makes about 4 cups (1L).
Per 1/2 cup (125 mL) serving: about 460 cal, 14 g pro, 31 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 36 g carb, 6 g fibre, 5 mg sodium. %RDI: 4% calcium, 30% iron, 20% vit A, 2% vit C, 10% folate.
Recipe and photo courtesy of walnutinfo.com