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Pumpkin Seed and Dried Cherry Trail Mix with Dark Chocolate Recipe

Pumpkin Seed and Dried Cherry Trail Mix with Dark Chocolate Recipe

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Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix with Dark Chocolate

Here’s a trail mix for those with a sweet tooth; decadent dark chocolate is sure to give you the energy boost you need for a hard day in the backcountry, while the pumpkin seeds give an energizing crunch. — Will Budiaman


  • 2 cups baby pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 6 tablespoons pure grade B maple syrup
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 3.3 ounces dark chocolate, preferably Dove, chopped into bite-sized pieces


Calories Per Serving434

Folate equivalent (total)34µg9%

Riboflavin (B2)0.5mg31.9%

Eat Right for Your Type: 7 Recipes for Blood Type A

You’ve probably heard about the Blood Type Diet and how you can actually eat foods that are better for your blood type than others. This theory comes from Dr. Peter D’Adamo, author of the best-selling book Eat Right for Your Type.

On Dr. D’Adamo’s website, he explains how our blood type and genetics stem from our ancestors, according to this theory. He answers the question, “what makes me me and you you?”

“This is the question that is at the heart of the genetic puzzle. It is also central to our exploration of blood types. The key is genetic heritage – the story line of your life. Even though you are living in the 21st century, you share a common bond with your ancestors. The genetic information that resulted in their particular characteristics has been passed on to you. People who are A blood type have a different set of characteristics than people who are Type O – they are susceptible to different diseases, they should eat different foods and exercise in a completely different manner. Some believe that personality is influenced by blood type!”

Doctor D’Adamo says there are more than 13,000 articles on Medline regarding blood type and disease. Since the 1950’s, there have been at least 60 articles that prove people who have type A blood have a much higher risk of heart disease and cancer. But with the right foods, blood A types can have better mental clarity, greater vitality and increased longevity.

For people with type A blood, D’Adamo’s theory explains how our history plays into our biological makeup and digestive structure.

“The cultivation of grains and livestock changed everything. For the first time, people were able to forego the hand to mouth lifestyle of the hunter/gatherer and establish stable communities. Over time the adaptations that produced Blood Type A were based on the need to fully utilize nutrients from carbohydrate sources. These biological adaptations can still be observed today in Type A’s digestive structure. Low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and high intestinal disaccharide digestive enzyme levels permit the more efficient digestion of carbohydrates. According to Dr. D’Adamo, these are also the very factors, along with low levels of intestinal alkaline phosphatase, that make it difficult for Type As to digest and metabolize animal protein and fat.”

There are definitely plenty of experts who agree and disagree with the blood type diet theory. But, if you happen to be curious about it, you could get Dr. D’Adamo’s book, listen to this fascinating interview with Dr. Oz to learn more, and even test out your own Blood Type Diet to see how it makes you feel.

Make Your Own Trail Mix

The sweet and crunchy combo of nuts and dried fruit makes a satisfying snack you can enjoy just about anywhere. But when you buy pre-made kinds, there’s usually something in there you don’t really like. The solution: Make your own signature blend in three simple steps.

On average, a 1/4-cup serving of trail mix has about 175 calories. While these are good quality calories, they can get out of control fast if you don’t mind the portions. Here's the trick: Use a quarter-cup measure as a scoop when serving yourself a handful and portion out into individual bags ahead of time for snacking on the go.

All you need to do is combine equal parts of nuts, dried fruit, and a little something for extra crunch. To finish, a sprinkle of a few “bonus” ingredients. Make a big batch and store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.

Nuts are a good source of hunger fighting fiber and heart-healthy fats. Choose raw or dry-roasted and unsalted nuts to avoid too much extra fat and sodium. Walnuts will give you some omega-3 fats, while almonds are packed with vitamin E and iron. Other good choices are pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts.

Dried fruit contributes natural sweetness as well as more fiber and vitamins to the mix. Dried apricots are high in iron and dried cranberries are packed with vitamin C. Other fun choices are dried blueberries, cherries, dates, mango, pear or pineapple.

Whole grain cereal, mini pretzels, toasted soybeans ("soy nuts") or air-popped popcorn will give you a dose of crunch to balance out the flavors and give your mix some extra texture. Crunchy foods also help relieve stress making trail mix a wise choice to fend off an afternoon slump.

Once you have your main ingredients, add in a few teaspoons of any of these flavor-packed extras.

  • Toasted coconut
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Granola
  • Chili powder or Cajun seasoning (just a sprinkle)
  • Raw almonds, dried apricots and mini-sized shredded wheat cereal
  • Cashews, dried cranberries, puffed rice and toasted coconut
  • Walnuts, golden raisins, mini pretzels and dark chocolate chips
  • Almonds, dried blueberries, oat cereal (such as Cheerios)

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix

When you’re on the go, the temptation to grab junk food is high. Bringing along a little trail mix can help and homemade is even better!

“This is a quick option for an on-the-go snack,” says Emily Monfiletto, RD, a dietitian with OhioHealth McConnell Heart Center. “Making your own trail mix is generally cheaper and you have better control over the nutrition and flavor.”

And bonus! Trail mix is highly customizable. If you’re not hip to pecans or pumpkin seeds, change up the type of nuts and add-ins to make it your own.

Step 3: Add the tasty tidbits

Now here’s where you get to add in some fun goodies that elevate your trail mix from a desirable snack to what tastes like full-on indulgence. Throwing in a bit of air popped popcorn, pretzel pieces, or chopped up 75% cacao (or higher) dark chocolate, for example, can take your trail mix to another dimension without thwarting your weight loss goals.

Incorporating a scrumptious morsel here and there into your healthy trail mix is a great way to sneak in some extra savory or sweet without the guilt. Having flexibility in ingredients encourages creativity with items you may or may not already have in your pantry, too. And the best thing about it? You can take it anywhere. Put a handful in a snack bag anytime you’re on-the-go or grab a handful on your way out the door.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Mix

One of my favorite portable, nutrient-rich, plant-based snacks is a custom trail mix. I love blending my favorite combinations of seeds, nuts, dried fruits, and extra additions into one giant mix. This Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Mix is just the thing it’s vegan, gluten-free, and packed with powerful nutrition. This is the ideal energy mix for snacks, traveling, gym bags, and hiking trips. Thanks to the combination of walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, dried blueberries and cherries, and dark chocolate pieces, this trail mix is packed with heart healthy fats, omega-3s, fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and powerful phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Make up a big batch and enjoy it all week long. Portion it up into individual containers for your daily needs. It’s also a great gift—you can package it up in a mason jar with a ribbon. Check out my video on how to mix up this energy mix. With only 6 ingredients, you can whip up this mix in a couple of minutes. Making your own trail mix also allows you to be choosy about your ingredients by selecting organic, local ingredients that may be available in your own garden or community.

You can also trade out some of the ingredients for other nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, cashews, peanuts and hazelnuts. Or dried fruits, such as cranberries, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, and mango. Dark chocolate in this mix adds natural sweetness, plus a healthy indulgence that only chocolate can bring. You can even sprinkle in a bit of spice, such as cinnamon, turmeric, or cardamom for an extra twist.

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Trail Mix: 10 of the Most Tasty Recipes

Trail mix has been around forever! Seriously, the ancient nomads used a precursor to the modern day version. They had to figure out a way to carry their food as they moved from place to place, so many of them preserved food by drying it.

The first mention of trail mix in the modern era was in the 1910s when Horace Kephart recommended it in The Book of Camping and Woodcraft, a camping guide he wrote.

It wasn't until 1968 that a commercial product was introduced. The California company Hadley Fruit Orchards claims that it was the first one to produce &ldquotrail mix.&rdquo

Trail mix is one of the Cub Scout Six Essentials for outdoor activities. It will give our guys a good boost of energy when they start lagging behind on the hiking trail.

Did you know that trail mix has its own day? National Trail Mix Day is celebrated on August 31st every year. These fun days of the year were probably created by some marketing department to sell something, but I love them!

You can buy trail mix (that's my affiliate link), or you can make your own. Here are 10 delicious recipes that I know you'll want to make!

Recipe for Cherry Trail Mix

/> Morton's Kosher Salt (Coarse)
Morton's Kosher Salt is a coarse flake salt with a free flowing agent. A quick and easy touch in gourmet cooking or for preparing kosher meals. Also great for salt-rimmed cocktail glasses.

/> Raw Almonds (No Shell)
Supercharge your health with all natural, raw almonds. These supreme-sized nuts pack protein, fiber, calcium, zinc and antioxidants for a mighty nutrition boost. Enjoy them as-is, in trail mix and over salads.

/> Raw Sunflower Seeds (No Shell)
Raw sunflower seeds have a great natural flavor to make your taste buds dance. They're also an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron and antioxidants. Enjoy them as a snack or sprinkled over salads.

/> Roasted Pepitas (Unsalted, No Shell Pumpkin Seeds)
Our unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds are rich in protein, phosphorous and iron. These pepitas are great in salads or just for snacking. No need to worry about what to do with the shells because there aren’t any!

/> Sour (Tart) Cherries
Dried tart cherries are a sweet, tangy, and flavorful treat that is great for snacking, cooking, and baking. Our delicious sour cherries are rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy nutrients.

21 Healthier Trail Mixes to Make Yourself

These days, trail mix goes way beyond basic GORP (good old raisins and peanuts). From sweet to savory, there are thousands of combinations to satisfy any palate or snack craving.

All you have to do is combine your favorite dry ingredients and stash the mix in an airtight container in a cool, dry location, and you’re good to go.

We love trail mix because it’s lightweight, portable, and full of energy-dense ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate — perfect for trailside noshing.

For those same reasons, though, trail mix can pack a hefty caloric punch, especially when we mindlessly munch while sitting around at work or home. We recommend keeping your serving size to a quarter-cup or less.

But we understand that everyone has their own nutritional and taste-related needs, so we listed these mix ideas without set ratios or measurements. There are no rules for trail mix — combine whatever sounds good!

1. Peanut butter friend

This mixture is a true crowd pleaser. Combine banana chips, peanut butter chips, peanuts, almonds, and dark chocolate chips.

2. Old-school GORP

Nothing like a good ol’ classic. Combine peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s.

3. Tropical mix

For a little taste of paradise, whip up a mixture of cashews, Brazil nuts, dried mango, coconut flakes, and banana chips.

4. Rich and creamy

This is basically dessert. Use coconut flakes, white chocolate chips, hazelnuts, chocolate-covered coffee beans, and cacao nibs.

5. Movie night

Got your Netflix show ready? Great. Combine popcorn, M&M’s, and dried cherries. To take the flavor up a notch, use hot popcorn to melt the chocolate.

6. Beachy

If you can’t take a trip right now, bring the vacation to you. Combine macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple, and coconut flakes.

7. Chocolate lover

This batch has three sources of chocolate, so we’re big fans. Try hazelnuts, dried cranberries, chocolate-covered almonds, M&M’s, and cacao nibs.

8. PB&J

Your inner child is about to be so pumped. Try peanuts with dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, and shredded wheat cereal.

9. Deconstructed puppy chow

It’s the treat we all know and love — without the extra sugar. Mix almonds, whole-grain Chex or wheat cereal, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cacao nibs, and dried cranberries.

10. Nuts for nuts

Nut lovers, rejoice. This hearty mix includes almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, and raisins.

11. Fall flavors

This mix will help you get into all the fall feels. Combine pecans, dried apples, maple granola, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

12. Thai fusion

Try a taste of the East with peanuts, raisins, puffed rice, pretzels, curry powder, and chili powder.

13. Coffee shop

Keep the buzz going with hazelnuts, almonds, raisins, chocolate-covered coffee beans, and white chocolate chips.

14. Cereal lover

Bran doesn’t have to mean bland, friends. Try bran flakes with shredded wheat cereal, puffed rice, granola, cashews, dried cherries, dried cranberries, and dried blueberries.

15. Simple and sophisticated

For wholesome with a bit of sweet, mix almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, and cinnamon.

16. Raw energy

Sweet and salty unite in this recipe. Mix walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, dried apricots, and dried cranberries.

17. Power mix

Make this your go-to workout snack. Combine goji berries, sea salt, pistachios, dried blueberries, flaxseeds, and dark chocolate chips.

18. Monkey munch

With so many delicious flavors in one recipe, each bite is the bomb. Mix banana chips, peanuts, sea salt, almonds, dark chocolate chips, raisins, and coconut flakes.

19. Savory seeds

This mix has a kick you’ll love. The recipe calls for almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.

20. Spicy and savory

Keep your taste buds guessing with almonds, wasabi peas, sesame seeds, dried ginger, and Chex cereal.

21. Cajun blend

A little spice makes everything nice. Combine almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sea salt, garlic powder, chili powder, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper.

The best part about trail mix is that it’s fully customizable. Our combinations are a great place to start, but feel free to get creative from here. All you have to do is mix the following ingredients to your liking.

These pint-size nutritional dynamos are loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Whether they’re raw or roasted, go for unsalted, unsweetened nuts to keep sugar and sodium under control.

Our favorites: Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts (higher-calorie macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, and pine nuts are also good options in moderation)


If you have a nut allergy (or you’re just looking to mix things up), seeds provide many of the same nutritional benefits as nuts.

Hemp seeds, for example, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, gamma linolenic acid, protein, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.

Our favorites: Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, and hemp seeds

Dried fruit

Dried fruit can be a great source of fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. But the grams of sugar can add up quickly, so pay attention to the ingredient lists and serving sizes.

Look for dried fruits with as little added sugar and as few preservatives as possible. Some varieties, like cranberries, are naturally quite tart and almost always sweetened with cane sugar or apple juice.

If you’re concerned about added sweeteners, it’s also pretty easy to make your own dried fruit in the oven.

Our favorites: Dried apples, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, raisins, banana chips, figs, pineapple chunks, mango, and dates


Add some complex carbohydrates to your custom blend for some fiber and a little crunch. Choose whole grains whenever possible and avoid highly processed cereals that add unnecessary sugar and sodium.

Our favorites: Shredded wheat cereal, pretzels, whole-grain cereals like Cheerios or Chex, bran flakes, whole-wheat crackers, granola, toasted oats, puffed rice cereal, and air-popped popcorn


Sometimes we all need a little something sweet to round out the mix. When going the chocolate route, choose dark varieties for extra antioxidants.

Our favorites: M&M’s, chips of various kinds (chocolate, peanut butter, carob, butterscotch), cacao nibs, yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate-covered coffee beans, mini marshmallows, or chocolate-covered nuts

Savory extras

Once the building blocks are all set, adding spices is a great way to change up the flavor a bit. Season your mix with sea salt, curry, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or cayenne pepper. You can even create your own mix of spices.

Our favorites: Wasabi peas, coconut flakes, sesame sticks, dried ginger, and coffee beans

Mix Master: How to Make Nutritious, Delicious Trail Mix

Trail mix is the hiker’s food of choice, and a go-to for many people trying to fit healthy fueling into a busy schedule, and for good reasons. It conveniently fits into a backpack or purse, is easy to make (just throw some simple ingredients together) and can provide you with quick energy you need to finish a difficult trail or make it through a late afternoon sweat session. But not all trail mixes are created equal some are just sugary snacks disguised in misleading packaging. Come on, there’s no way a candy-packed, fatty granola mix is good for you. So instead of relying on grocery store shelves, why not make your own, healthy recipe?

The first step is to get a solid base of unprocessed ingredients like raw nuts, raisins or unsweetened dry fruits. If you need that bit of extra decadence, a little dark chocolate won’t hurt—just don’t overdo it. Then you want to make sure you have a large bowl or container, so you can make enough to last you a while. Just pour the ingredients together, then mix by hand. Next time you go hiking, boating, etc., just put a handful or two into a sealable bag, and you’re good to go.

But if you’re not the type to create your own recipes, here’s three that will keep you coming back for more:

Savory Raw Vegan Trail Mix
• 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
• 1 1/4 cups hulled pumpkin seeds
• 1 1/2 cups raw sunflower seeds
• 4 tablespoons organic tamari or Bragg liquid aminos
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 3 teaspoon onion power
• 1/4–1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cajun Trail Mix
• 1/2 cup raw almonds
• 1/2 cup pecan halves
• 1/2 cup walnut halves
• 1/4 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
• 1/4 cup unsalted shelled pumpkin seeds
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 pinches cayenne pepper

Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix
• 2 cups baby pumpkin seeds
• 1 cup silvered almonds
• 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
• 6 tablespoons pure Grade B maple syrup
• Coarse salt
• 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries


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