What is trail mix?
Trail mix is a snack mix, which is usually a combination of dried fruit, nuts, whole grains and sometimes chocolate. Nutritionists consider trail mix the ideal snack food for travelers, because it is lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, providing a quick energy boost from the carbs in the dried fruit or grains, and the sustained energy from the fats in nuts.
Trail mix has been around longer than most people think. Californians believe that trail mix was invented in 1968 by surfers who mixed together peanuts and raisins to keep their energy levels up during their big wave encounters. In reality trail mix has actually been around for thousands of years. Ancient nomadic tribes mixed dried berries, fruits, nuts and meats together. Trail mix was (and is) high in energy, needs no specialized storage, and does not require cooking prior to eating.
European explorers continued the use of trail mixes, for the very same reasons, taking the high-energy food with them on their rough travels over oceans, mountains, and trails. Native Americans had a unique trail mix, which they shared with those explorers they had peaceful relationships with. Their mix was called pemmican, and made up of dried buffalo, moose or caribou, mixed with animal fat and berries, and it lasted for several months.
Modern day trail mix most often includes fruit, grain cereals, nuts, flavorings, chocolate or carob, coconut, pretzels, and spices like Cajun or crystallized ginger.
In Part 2 of Trail Mix – The Ultimate Travel Snack we will discuss the plethora of health benefits associated with trail mix.
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