Hey there! It's been a while since I've checked in, my apologies. I'm rolling into the second half of the second semester of my graduate program and this second half is LOADED with projects and papers. So, that means I'm spending a lot more time reading other people's articles than writing my own. Boo!
I did make a nut and seed mix this week that I thought I needed to share! It's a great option for those of you that are on the search for a good high fat snack that also has a decent amount of protein but low in sugar. There are some decent nut mixes out there, but I find that most of them are using vegetable oils, added sugars, and all this other junk that is honestly unnecessary! All of the nuts and seeds I used for this mix are raw and the coconut is unsweetened. I did add some 85% cacao chips for some sweetness but also made some with 100% cacao chips to eliminate all sugar (paleo-friendly!)
When buying nuts and seeds, it's a good idea to buy the raw form, soak them, and roast them yourself. This breaks down some of the compounds that make nuts and seeds harder for us to digest and may inhibit absorption of some of their nutrients.
I put my raw nuts and seeds in water and let them soak overnight. I made one batch with walnuts and one batch without which is why the walnuts pictured are lonely in their own container. For one batch, I used 1 cup almonds, 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds.
Once the soaking process is done then you can get to making this deliciousness. Drain the water off the nuts and seeds and combine (if not already combined) in a bowl. Here, you can add the vanilla and cinnamon. For a single batch I used 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp cinnamon and that gave the mix a subtle flavor. Feel free to add more or less as you desire. When I made this mix I also added the coconut here but found that adding the coconut to the roasting process made it soft rather than staying more crunchy. Next time, I'll add it after roasting.
Once you feel that you have everything mixed well, spread out the mix on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This should go in an oven set on a dehydrate/roast setting if possible, or just simply set at 170 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll leave this mix in the oven for 4-8 hours. It really depends on your preference. I test the almonds and when aren't too soft anymore I take out the mix. For this one, it was about 5 hours. (Again here the coconut is pictured within the mix but you may wish to wait to add that until later.)
When you're happy with how long your mix has been roasting, take it out and put it in a large bowl yet again. Now add in the coconut if you haven't already and the cacao chips. Just a tip (I may or may not have learned from experience) wait for the mix to cool before adding the cacao chips... if not, you end up with a melted chocolatey mess. Oops!
These are the chocolate chips that I used. As I mentioned, for a sugar-free and paleo-friendly version use the 100% cacao!
Just like that, your mix is complete. With plenty to last you for a few weeks. Serving size is 1/4 cup.
Here are the approximate nutrition facts:
85% Cacao Chips
- Calories - 223
- Fat - 18.4 g
- Carbohydrate - 8.4 g
- Fiber - 3 g
- Sugar - 2.4 g
- Protein - 6 g
100% Cacao Chips
- Calories - 232.5
- Fat - 19.9 g
- Carbohydrate - 7.4 g
- Fiber - 3.5 g
- Sugar - 0.9 g
- Protein - 6 g