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!
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.
What’s your favorite trail mix (or other gluten-free on-the-go snack)?
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