Nuts are an excellent snack. But at 200 calories per ¼ cup they can be a challenge to portion control and therefore easy to overindulge. Many a new client has told me they eat them knowing they’re healthy yet they still seek my nutrition coaching services because of weight challenges. Weight management can be difficult even with making healthy choices. One way to dilute the caloric density of nuts is to mix with a less caloric product. Trail mix is slightly better with its added dried fruit but still pretty dense in calories. Watch this video or read the transcript of a label reading demonstration.
Inspired by a recent new client, I created this modified version of trail mix adding nuts with raisins, dried cranberries and one of my favorite cereals—Kashi® GOLEAN. For a ½ cup serving it’s 200 calories versus 400 calories for a ½ cup serving of nuts. Plus it’s high in fiber as well as protein.
Neily’s Rockin’ Trail Mix
- 4 cups Kashi® GOLEAN Original cereal
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup almonds, slivered, sliced or coarsely chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sunflower seeds or pistachios
Mix together and portion out 1/2 cup servings. Makes 18 servings. Although it does not need to be refrigerated, I like to store in fridge or freezer—tastes great cold!
Variations: Use all raisins or all dried cranberries and any combination of the nuts you prefer. Just make sure to keep those portions accurate to keep the nutrition information correct.
Look at that nutrition fact panel!
- Keep sodium this low by using unsalted nuts.
- Look at the super low 1 gram of saturated fat, that means the remaining 9 grams are the rock star unsat fats!
- Of the 12 grams of sugar, most are naturally occurring from the dried fruit—less than 2 grams from the cereal.
- 5 grams of fiber qualifies this for a high or excellent source of fiber.
- Kashi® GOLEAN is higher in protein than most cereals giving this 1/2 cup portion 8 grams.
Like any healthy treat though, portion control is still key! Here are a few examples of how you can keep portions in check. And you’ll need to—this is good stuff! Measure out 1/2 cup servings and keep them in reusable plastic containers or the little snack baggies.
Disclosure: Neily on Nutrition has no relationship with Kashi® brand or any other ingredient used in this recipe with exception of pistachios. I have worked with Pistachio Health Institute in the past. All products were purchased by me. I simply love all the ingredients I use!
Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach