I’m a snacker of crunchy things. Jell-o just doesn’t do it for me. Some diets incorporate snacks into their plan. This is smart – it keeps our bodies from thinking they’re starving. (I would have to drop 50 pounds before the thought of starvation would even approach the radar of anyone who knows me.) I try to snack on healthy things, like pretzels. But, they’re better with Nutella.
You see my problem.
About a year ago, I discovered a nut mix that serves as a good snack for me. It has only healthy fats that nuts contain and just six tablespoons of real maple syrup.
No partially hydrogenated anything. I love it. Squirrels would love it too. So much so, that I call it Squirrel Nut Mix. (At Christmas time, I call it Reindeer Munch.) You can call it whatever you want. In case you struggle with
munching all day snacking too, here’s the recipe.
Squirrel Nut Mix
* 4 cups nuts
I think the best mix is this:
1 cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup walnuts, halved
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
However, I have used peanuts, and I have doubled up on one nut if I don’t have 4 different ones. (Cashews would be yummy, but they’re not heart-healthy.) Just 4 cups of nuts, whatever you like.
* 6 T. real maple syrup
This is kind of pricey, but pancake syrup does not work here. It burns and ruins the mix.
* Dried fruit
Cranberries and blueberries are what I like, but raisins would work too – or a mix of dried fruit. Whatever you like.
Toss all the nuts (not the dried fruit) together with the syrup, coating them evenly. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spread nuts thinly onto the pan, shoot for a single layer.
Bake at 300 degrees for about 25 minutes, stirring the nuts twice, until golden. Cool.
Stir in the dried fruit, as little or as much as you like. Store in an airtight container.
I think this mix would last a long time, especially if refrigerated, or frozen. Mine is always gone within a week. It’s great eaten by itself, or sprinkled onto cold cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream. You don’t even have to add dark chocolate chips to this mix to make it good.
But you could. 🙂