Saturday, January 12, 2013

Make Your Own Trail Mix

     At Living Well, we are on a journey to a happy, healthier, money saving New Year.  I'm not into resolutions, but what I am into is saving money, being happy and healthy.  So, onto this week's blog.

     Tomorrow we are going to go on a road trip, which for a family of six can get quite expensive, especially since we live in Europe.   We love to have snacks and drinks while we travel, but we mainly resort to pre-made granola bars, chips, and soda.  Not only are those snacks bad for you, they are expensive as well.  So, while surfing Pinterest, I came across another blog about grocery shopping, which included a blurb on making almost everything home made.  I already make most things home made, but I've never made trail mix.  So, I'd thought I'd give it a try.

     In order to do this so that you save money, you should already have all the ingredients, or the majority of them, on hand.  Basically, they should be staple ingredients already in your pantry.  Raisins and nuts, for example, can be on hand for a snack, or baked into recipes, and cereal such as Chex or Multigrain Cheerios have a slight sweetness to them, which also doubles as a breakfast food (who knew?).  If you normally have all these on hand, then you may have to go and and purchase M & Ms and pretzels, which brings the price of Trail Mix to about $4 for 6-9 servings.  Considering you would pay more than $1 for a single serving (that is mainly peanuts) at a gas station, I'd say you get a pretty good deal.

     Here is the recipe I used today for tomorrow's road trip.

Chex Cereal (Cinnamon flavor)
M & M fun packs (plain)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 - 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (to taste)

     Use your own combination of measurements.  I did about 2 handfuls of peanuts, 1/2 bag of pretzels, and used cereal to fill a large bowl until almost full.  

     Combine all ingredients except raisins, candy, butter and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Melt butter in microwave and pour over ingredients.  Stir well, place mixture in a cookie sheet, and bake in a 250 oven for 15 minutes.  Return to bowl.  Add cinnamon and stir well.  Let cool for about 10 minutes.  In individual zip lock sandwich bags, add 1 fun pack of M & Ms, and a handful of raisins.  Using a tablespoon (non-measuring), scoop about 6 spoonfuls into bags.  Zip and toss.  Makes about 6-9 servings.

     Feel free to change up this recipe any way that you like.  The entire idea is to save money while providing your family with a healthy snack to use on road trips, camping, as an after school snack, or during family movie nights.

     Enjoy your snack time!

COMING UP NEXT WEEK: Pictures of Evan's B-day cake and MMF (Marshmallow Fondant) recipe.

COMING UP LATER THIS MONTH: Staple Ingredients Every Home Should Have in Order to Live Well.

My weekly posts will always be on a Saturday unless other wise noted.  Next week's blog is currently scheduled for Sunday instead of Saturday due to the birthday is on Sunday.

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