This sweet & spicy mango salsa is the perfect compliment to chips and guac or…
This sweet & spicy trail mix is one of my staples around here. It’s critical for me to have easy access to healthy snacks because, if not, I may go on an ice cream run or something crazy like that!
Sometimes you just need to crunch and I can’t think of anything better than nutritious whole foods like nuts, seeds, fruit or coconut.
What sets this sweet and spicy trail mix apart is the flavorful spice blend that deliciously coats the oven roasted nuts and seeds. It has:
- richness from butter (or ghee)
- heat from cayenne and cumin
- acidity from orange zest
- warmth from cinnamon
- sweetness from dates (subs below) and dried fruit
This low-carb trail mix is very easy to adapt depending on your diet preferences. I’ve included recommendations in the notes section.
This recipe was adapted by Alton Brown’s spiced pecans (YUMMMM)!
is trail mix healthy?
Depends on what you put in the mix! This sweet and spicy trail mix has nuts and seeds, which are good sources of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
If you add coconut to the mix, you get more protein, several important minerals, and small amounts of B vitamins. Finally, dates and raisins have several vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber and antioxidants.
Seems healthy to me!
how to make sweet & spicy trail mix
First, roast the nuts and seeds in the oven. While they are cooking, you’ll make the spice blend which will coat the nuts and seeds once they are cooked.
The spice blend starts with melted butter or ghee, salt, different spices, a little bit of orange zest and sweetener.
For sweetener, I’ve been using date paste (instructions below) but if you prefer, you can sub with maple syrup or brown sugar. I’ve also used Swerve brown (and it was delicious) if you want to keep carbs/sugar down.
Once you’ve poured the spice/butter/sweetener mix over the roasted nuts and seeds, spread them out on parchment paper to cool/dry. To speed up this process, you can stick them in the fridge.
Once cooled, I add the “extras” like dried fruit, coconut, dark chocolate chunks or additional nuts. The date/seed mix may still be slightly wet but will continue to dry out over time.
Store in tightly sealed container.
how to make date paste
Date paste is a great way to naturally sweeten foods. It’s whole30 approved, vegan and paleo friendly. You’ll need 12 ounces (12-16 medjool dates), pitted and 1-2 cups of water (enough to cover dates).
- Place dates in large bowl and cover completely with water. Soak dates for 2 hours or up to 2 days in fridge. For a quicker version you can use 1 cup boiling hot water.
- Once softened, place dates and soaking water into high powered blender or food processor.
NOTE – If you’d like the paste thicker, discard a few tbsp of the water.
- Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. The thinner the paste, the less sweet it is.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks or freeze for up to a year.
This healthy trail mix is a fantastic snack by itself or you can pile it on to a bowl of fresh fruit or a salad!
what if you could…
enjoy desserts without feeling guilty afterward?
8 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories364
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 4.7g 19%
- Sugars 11.4g
- Protein 2g 4%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.