Pumpkin pie spiced nuts trail mix
Courtesy Shaw's Simple Swaps There are more reasons to use pumpkin than just in a pumpkin spice latte (and here are some of our delicious faves). Pumpkin spice can really amplify the flavor profile of traditional trail mix and it works well with other ingredients, like almonds, cinnamon, and sunflower seeds.To increase the healthy fat content and keep the mix low-sugar, Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, dietitian and blogger at Shaw’s Simple Swaps, shares a secret—she uses nuts over too many sweet ingredients, like dried fruit, to fill up on protein and not sugar. “Nuts are the great building block of a solid trail mix blend that will help increase your satiety since the majority of their nutrient density comes from their unsaturated fat content,” as well as other key nutrients, such as protein, fiber, and magnesium. Get the full recipe.
Deconstructed trail mix
Courtesy Shaw's Simple Swaps Another tip and recipe from Shaw, this “deconstructed trail mix” helps regulate portion control and instill mindfulness. Here’s why: It can satisfy your guests and fill their bellies with satiating fiber, protein, and heart healthy fats, she says. What’s more, “by using the in-shell pistachios, your guests have to take a moment to crack and pop those beautiful polyphenol-filled pistachios in their mouths, which inevitably means fewer calories consumed,” she adds. Like magic, right? In fact, nutritionists often carry pistachios for a go-to snack during the day. The visual representation of the shells helps remind you just how much you’ve consumed. “So, rather than shoveling a handful of candy-coated trail mix down, which can easily rack up to over 500 calories in less than three handfuls, the deconstructed concept allows you to practice mindful eating a bit more, leaving you content after just a 200 calorie sampling,” says Shaw. Plus, it doubles as a great centerpiece too! Get the full recipe.