My rapidly growing boys are constantly hungry and – honestly – as a nursing mama, so am I. As a result, I carry snacks in my bag wherever we go. Yes, even heading to restaurants or when we’re leaving after just finishing a meal, I always carry something (because I’ve needed snacks in just those very situations).
I try to make sure the snacks I carry with me meet two characteristics:
- I want them to be healthy. We eat treats as parts of little celebrations, including the celebration of friendship expressed in gathering with friends, but we don’t carry them around with us or consume them on a daily basis.
- I want them to be not-immediately perishable. I don’t want to find an uneaten snack from a few days ago rotting in the bottom of my bag. Instead, if we don’t eat it, I want to be able to be able to leave it there and take it out again the following day. It’s rare that a snack in my bag goes uneaten for even a week, so it doesn’t have to have a super long shelf life, but I’m not going to carry cheese or something of the sort. (I should note that I distinguish between carrying snacks for when we’re running errands and the like, and carrying food for a picnic or meal on the go, which we do often and then we carry perishables almost exclusively.)
One of the things we love to carry with us is Homemade Trail Mix. We make it from whatever nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that we have on hand. However our favorite mix contains goji berries, golden berries, and mulberries.
These berries each a different nutritional profiles, but they’re all extremely healthy, contain a wide assortment of vitamins and minerals, are lower in sugar than most dried fruit, contain a high amount of protein (for berries), are high in fiber, and taste wonderful.
More specifically, goji berries are a sweet fruit also known as wolfberries. They are full of antioxidants, contain high amounts of beta carotene – which promotes healthy skin, they’re said to boost the immune system and protect the eyes, and their high amount of Vitamin C can help to support your immune system during a cold (Patel, 2014). Golden berries are a delightful combination of sweet and tart, and are high in phosphorous, calcium, Vitamin A, and an assortment of B vitamins. In addition to their high antioxidant content, they’re said to help with cancer prevention, support the liver and kidneys, help maintain normal blood sugar levels, support the immune system, and reduce inflammation (Williams, 2014). Mulberries are sweet and slightly chewy, like a raisin, they are high in antioxidant phenols, support heart health, and can help reduce blood sugar spikes (Oz, 2013).
Together, they make a fantastic sweet, tart addition to nuts in a trail mix.
Here’s how we make ours:
Homemade Super Berry Trail Mix Recipe
Fill jar 1/3 full of cashews.
Fill jar 1/3 full of pecans.
Fill remaining 1/3 of jar with a mix of goji berries, mulberries, and golden berries.
Shake to combine.
Eat and enjoy.
Oz, Mehmet. (2013, September 20) White Mulberry Checklist: Try the Latest Superfood. The Dr. Oz Show.
Patel, Arti. (2014, March 28) Goji Berry Benefits: 12 Facts about this Healthy Superfood. The Huffington Post.
Williams, J.E. (2014, May 30) Incan Golden Berries: 10 Benefits of a Peruvian Super Food. Renegade Health.