snack to school week: trail mix
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Today my children started back to school; it’s a day I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Not just because we’re (okay, I’m) ready to get back on a more structured schedule, but because I’ve been dreaming up recipes and planning posts to share for “Snack to School Week” here on Wildberry Press! Yipee!
Before we jump into today’s recipe, a little disclaimer…while I hope these recipes will please those little palettes – and your too! – I won’t use the label “kid friendly.” I’ve been down that road enough times to know there is always at least one child who refuses to eat “kid friendly” foods. I don’t know about you, but that has always left me feeling a) I was scammed by the recipe creators or b) my child isn’t normal. Neither of which is true; it’s just life. 😉 Instead, I’m sharing recipes that are generally crowd pleasers and have been given the thumbs up by most of my brood.
Like this trail mix.
Though it’s tempting to buy pre-made trail mixes in the stores, I have yet to find one that doesn’t contain an unnecessary amount of added sugar, preservatives and/or food dyes. So for the longest time, I’ve made up my own mixes.
Back when my children were little and I hadn’t curbed my sugar intake LOL I used to make this version all the time and I had to share it because of the secret I discovered in getting them to eat all the trail mix and not just picking out the chocolate chips.
Want to know what it is?
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and pop it in a warm oven like 200 degrees F) for at least 15-20 minutes.
Then simply stir until all the pieces are coated in chocolate, pour onto a jelly roll pan and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. And voila! Trail mix with chocolate that can’t be picked out.
The other thing I love about this recipe is the ability to customize it to different tastes and control the sugar content (or eliminate all together if you’ve cut back on sugar like me).
To keep it vegan, look for dairy-free chocolate chips. If you’re sending this to nut-free school, check if seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower, are allowed instead or eliminate them all together.
(contains affiliate links)
- Buying nuts in bulk is cheapest. I get mine at BJs, but you also can find them here
- I buy Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels (also at BJ’s), which you can find here.
- I get my chocolate chips at Trader Joe’s, but here is another kind of dairy-free chocolate chip if you aren’t near a Trader Joe’s
- I prefer using apple juice sweetened cranberries which I find in the bulk section at Whole Foods, but you also can find them here
- I also get my raw pumpkin seeds in the Whole Foods bulk section, but they also can be purchased here.
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Easily cutomizable and free of the excessive added sugars, preservatives and/or food dyes commonly found in store-bought trail mixes.
- mini pretzels
- raw pumpkin seeds
- dried cranberries
- dairy free chocolate chips
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Place in a warm oven (around 200 degrees F) for 15-20 minutes or until the chocolate chips are soft and melty. Pour the mixture onto a jelly roll pan and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate has firmed up. Store in an airtight container.
- Using apple juice sweetened cranberries lowers the added sugar content
- Try different combinations of nuts and seeds and dried fruits.