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Heidi’s Favorite Trail Mix

I’ve never been a huge fan of trail mixes, especially those of the store-bought variety because there’s usually too many things going on in them that don’t appeal to my taste buds.

Nor do I care for protein bars.  I know a lot of folks like them (my boys love LÄRABARS) and they are very handy to keep in your purse, briefcase, backpack, etc. for quick gluten free on-the-go sustenance, but the texture of protein bars just ain’t my cup of tea.

I threw this blend together last winter when we were on the modified elimination diet and I was struggling to figure out some easy, portable snacks (I also relied heavily on my Knee Slappin’ Good Blueberry Muffins and The BEST Mayo-Free Chicken Salad.  The inspiration for this trail mix came from a product that I do like (well, I like 99% of it, I really don’t care for raisins): Eden Foods – All Mixed Up, which is the perfect blend of sweet, salty and tart.

Just leave out the sweet and jack up the tart for me! :-D

I use Marcona almonds instead of regular almonds, because once you’ve had a Marcona, you’ll never go back to a regular almond again (thank you to Shirley and Diane for introducing them to me at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle last year!).  And I’m really not joking, Marcona almonds have a smooth, buttery texture, unlike regular almonds which I find to be more on the mealy side.

There is just one little pitfall with Marcona almonds for people following a strict gluten-free diet…finding one that is truly gluten-free.  Typically, I buy all of my nuts online from the appropriately named Nutsonline.com, because they participate in the Gluten Free Certification program and I will always support companies that go the extra mile to protect me and my family by certifying their products as gluten-free.   Of the 500 Certified Gluten Free products available on Nuts Online (click here to see the list), Marcona almonds are not one of them.  I spoke with a representative from Nuts Online and the reason Marconas are not on their list is due to the fact they are processed in a facility that also processes gluten ingredients (click here to learn more from Nuts Online).

So, I currently buy my Marconas from Superior Nut Company.  They state on their website that all of their Nuts and Nut Products are gluten-free, however, they do not test for cross-contamination either.  Personally, I don’t react to them but I could eat a slice of wheat bread and not know it (hence one of the reasons that my celiac panel may be continuing to come back positive).

I wonder if I could grow a Marcona almond tree in my back yard? ;-)

I also add sunflower seeds, pistachios  (which I buy raw and “roast” in my dehydrator following these instructions) and pumpkin seeds to my mix, along with Eden Foods Dried Tart Montmorency Cherries (click here to read Eden Foods Gluten Free Statement).  I absolutely LOVE these babies, especially since Eden Foods uses apple juice concentrate as the sweetener instead of cane sugar.  Did you know that sugar cane is a grass?  It may sound crazy, but I’ve pondered if one of the reasons I react poorly to cane sugar has anything to do with my severe grass allergy (I’m allergic to at least 26 varieties of “lawn” grass).  Plus, I have an IgE allergy to wheat (in addition to having celiac disease) and corn, both of which are also in the grass family.  I digress.  (Do you ever think about “weird” things like that?).

If you have an allergy to tree nuts, just omit the almonds and pistachios.

Want to sweeten it up?  Try adding a few dairy-free chocolate chips from Enjoy Life Foods or a handful of gluten and allergen friendly “Fruit Loops” from Freedom Foods.

Heidi’s Favorite Trail Mix

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 5 cups

Quart size mason jars work great for this, I even carry the jar in one of my ginormous "mom" purses.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted Marcona Almonds
  • 1 cup roasted Pistachios
  • 1 cup roasted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 cup roasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 cup Dried Montmorency Tart Cherries

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
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 What’s your favorite trail mix (or other gluten-free on-the-go snack)?

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Comments

  1. Michelle Olejar says:

    You are my long lost sister! I don't like raisins either. I haven't really cared for protein bars but do like the raw evolution bars, but they have dates in them and I have an oral allergy to those. I too love the combo of cherries and chocolate :) I have not tried those almonds, maybe I shall in the future. I really should eat more healthy nuts vs. peanut butter which I love (but my rear doesn't). Thanks for another lovely post. I hope you enjoy your camping trip!

  2. Shelly says:

    I have trouble with cane sugar, too! And I am severely allergic to all grasses except Johnson grass, the allergist told me it was the worst reaction he had ever seen in his 30 years of practice. Gee thanks! :) I am also IgE allergic to wheat, as well as Celiac, and corn too! Though my doctor believes my body was in such a state of breakdown from untreated Celiac that my immune system was responding to everything, they tested me for 98 environmental/food and I reacted to 89. I have hit a road block in my healing and my doctor is doing the Cyrex testing on me for gluten cross reactive foods. He started to explain it to me, and I told him I knew all about it from you! Big thanks, Heidi!!

    • Oh Shelly, thank you for sharing this, your troubles with the grasses do make me wonder even more. It's funny, I had no clue that cane sugar and corn bothered me (I've noticed it with other grains too), until I did the elimination diet. It's amazing how removing a large amount of foods from your diet for a given period time can help you "see" the the foods that are causing problems. I've suffered from SEVERE and chronic sinusitis for about 30 years (just assumed it was "my normal") but once I did the MED (and then removed the foods from the Cyrex Labs Array 4), I know for a fact that corn and sorghum make me congested, as well as cane sugar to a lesser degree (which is a big reason why I'm now mostly grain-free, I breathe much better when I don't eat them…just wish my taste buds would quit driving me to sneak bites here and there!).

      Please let me know what your Array 4 shows, that test is absolutely fascinating to me…although, not nearly as much as Array 3 (that test is a really humdinger, hope to get it posted on my blog very soon).

      Hugs,
      Heidi

  3. Shelly says:

    Oh and love this recipe! Very similar to mine, though I have never dehydrated my nuts and seeds, just slow roasted them in the oven. Need to try it! Plus we cannot have cherries, my daughter has severe IgE reaction, so I add, yes you guessed it, raisins, :( Though the Thompsons raisins from Nutsonline are not too bad (that's where I get all my seeds and raisins). I also throw in some coconut shreds, I use Let's Do It Organic, the unsweetened shreds are nice and wide and the company is GFCO!

    I also make something similar to a larabar with dates, almonds, cashews chocolate chips, throw them in the food processor and roll it into little balls. Refrigerate.

    That and trail mix are always in my fridge for the on the go snacks!

    • Hi Shelly! So sorry to hear about your daughter's cherry allergy! Can she have cranberries? I like dried cranberries too and they're quite not as tart (but raisins are just fine too!). I'll try adding some shredded coconut for my guys next time (I just can't seem to embrace the flavor of coconut, makes me think I'm eating suntan lotion, LOL!).

      I will also try to make my own protein bars (great idea!), I just might like them if they're homemade. :-D

  4. sproutsmama says:

    Yay! Thanks for sharing this source. We've been wrangling with safe sources for nuts here lately, and this will be a huge help.

  5. Carlyn Bergthoff says:

    Love the recipe! I couldn't agree more that I really don't care for store bought trail mix or protein bars. I like to keep the house stocked with a variety of gluten-free protein bars for the kids to grab on the go, but when it comes to my own personal preference, I prefer to create my own mix. I like to pick a variety of nuts from the bins in the grocery store and throw them all together. My favorites include: postachios, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, and sometimes a dried fruit (depends on if I'm in the mood for something sweet). I keep the mix at home and at work in my desk drawer, and find that it tends to last a long time simply due to the fact that a handful can fill you up so quickly. Thanks as always for sharing Heidi!

  6. Oh, Heidi, I like this! I didn't remember that we introduced you to Marcona almonds! It was one happy day when I sampled them at Mr. GFE's cousin's house. I almost ate the whole bowl! I don't get them oftne, but I sure enjoy it when I do. ;-) I really never buy protein bars. Most people will rave over them and I'll take a bite and go, huh? I have eaten Larabars if I couldn't find good nuts when on travel. I don't like raisins either. I keep trying. I really do, but I'd much rather have some other dried sweetness like cranberries. Will have to try the cherries. I am still learning to like them, too. Love them with chocolate in baked goods, does that count? ;-) Great mix, dear. If I had the ingredients readily available, I'd whip up a batch for our camping trip this weekend! :-)

    xo,

    Shirley

    • You're going camping this weekend too Shirley? What's on your menu plan, you always make delicious looking camp food! Oh, and how do you go about cooking artichokes in the great outdoors? Those sound really good to me right now!

      Wanna hear something funny? I found a "special" tent yesterday, one designed for hanging an outdoor shower thingy, so it's fairly small. I'm gonna use it to hold a porta-potty instead…I've been having nightmares of a rattlesnake taking a big ol' bite out of my you know what! Mike is going to have a heyday when he sees me pull this thing out, LOL!

      xoxo,
      Heidi

      • Thanks, Heidi! Well, remember that it's our property so we have an established camping spot. That means a gas grill and an outhouse! No running water other than the river, but we make out fine and follow proper hygiene. ;-) We have one of those enclosures you are talking about! It will be tight, but it will work for your purposes. We found that a hula hoop, shower curtains, and hooks works better as a shower enclosure, but I wouldn't trust your crew when using such an ensemble! LOL

        Anyway, it's just the two of us this weekend and Mr. GFE was waxing poetic about ribeyes the other day. So when I saw they were on sale, I picked some up. I plan to make some facsimile of this recipe of Kalyn's to go with them: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2009/06/recipe-for-r… (Mr. GFE also loves mushrooms. And there will be potatoes baked in the coals and artichokes steamed using our camp stove. I'm sure there will be leftovers from dinner (I can't each much steak, and I always cook an extra potato or two, plus there will be leftover artichoke butter–yum!), so I'll add an onion and seasonings and turn all into steak hash for breakfast the next day. :-)

        We'll leave a tad earlier than usual on Sunday as I'lll be heading to our support group's annual picnic that one of our member families is hosting on their farm that afternoon. So a great weekend is planned! :-) Hope yours is fabulous. Don't let those guys get you this time! ;-)

        xo,

        Shirley

  7. Erin Lanza says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I have recently been diagnosed with gluten intolerance ( I found out through a test done online by enterolab, you should check out there site!) I still find that some things are upsetting me and most recently I have cut ALL corn products out of my diet and noticed a drastic change so I am going to have to look into grass allergies and or intolerances! Thanks so much!

  8. Amo says:

    My go-to gf snacks are raisins and bananas, but this trail mix sounds delicious!

  9. Jessica says:

    Hmmm…I love LARA bars, so those are a go-to post workout snack for me.

  10. This is a lot like what I make for us to travel. Except I use the "raw" versions of nuts for more nutrition. But, I have recently found out that "raw" almonds are not really raw here. Oooooo, think I'm doing a post on that one soon. Makes me mad. Anyway, I am also part of the club that does not like store bought trail mixes or bars. But I like homemade. I hate it when they put those fake m'n'm's in trail mixes. Yuck! They are so gross. It's just wrong. Either give me the real thing, or leave them out. Anyway…

    xoxo,

    Tia

  11. Heidi – just found you blog and dove right into this post on the "trail mix"… I do find nuts and seeds to be a godsend as they travel so well and provide decent protein & energy. Like to avoid dried fruit in general as they are typically chock full of sulphites and mold. Ahhh… there is always something! Claudine

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