Trail Mix Popcorn Recipe
Trail mix has made its name in the snack world as the healthy treat that marries two desirable flavors together: sweet and salty. Don't let that healthy branding on packages of premade trail mix deceive you, though. These flavors are often enhanced with added sugars and excess sodium, which are both bad for your waistline and your heart. For example, some bags of trail mix include a larger ratio of the sweet stuff like chocolate, coated candies, and butterscotch drops than the actual healthful ingredients like nuts and dried fruits.
While there are some healthful packaged trail mixes in supermarkets, it's definitely healthier (and more satisfying) to just make it on your own. A bag of good quality trail mix at the grocery store can be expensive on its own, while cheaper trail mixes can contain a handful of added oils and preservatives to ensure adequate shelf life, which also isn't ideal. The list of benefits to making your own trail mix is endless, and luckily this recipe is super easy, affordable, and (most importantly) delicious.
This recipe requires only two tools and appliances: a mixing bowl and an air-popper. In other words, you don't have to be the chef of the century to do this recipe! Additionally, there are only four ingredients needed to make this sweet and salty snack. Plus, one serving is 178 calories, which is right in line with what the United States Department of Agriculture deems a "smart snack." According to their standards, a smart snack is defined as something that's 200 calories or less, consists of a maximum of 200 mg of sodium, and has a fat content that accounts for a maximum of 35 percent of daily calories, among other things.
Give this healthy, homemade trail mix a try, and we bet you won't go back to store-bought again.
Total time: 5 minutes
Nutrition: 178 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated), 43 mg sodium, 14 g sugar, 4 g protein, 3g fiber
Makes 4 servings
1 cup air-popped popcorn
1 Tbsp salted dry-roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp dried cranberries
1 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
How to Make It
- In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients.
Eat This! Tip
- One cup of air-popped popcorn is only about 30 calories, and also counts as a serving of whole grains.
- Not all chocolates are equally as sweet for weight loss. Milk chocolate is full of sugar and fat, but lacks the healthy flavonoids a dark chocolate fix will deliver. Look for 70 percent cacao or higher.