Finally, with two more tests down (and only two weeks of tests left to go) I actually have a minute to catch my breath, blog…and watch Biggest Loser. It’s been a lot of studying these last few weeks, and if you know me even the slightest bit, you know that I’d rather sell my soul to the devil do almost anything besides crack open those books. Despite my best procrastination efforts, my cooking has still been cut down a bit–but in order to get Fritz through a day of dental lectures without passing out I needed to make him a high-energy snack food. And if you know Fritz at all, you know he loves trail mix. So voila!
Brain Food Trail Mix
- 2 C raisins or other small dried fruit or berry
- 16 oz bag organic banana chips, preferably unsweetened
- 16 oz raw almonds
- 8 oz raw cashews
- 8 oz dried unsweetened apricots
- any other fruit or nuts you want! I had some leftover pine nuts so I tossed those in. I’ve also used yogurt covered raisins, and I know Fritz would love it if I added some peanut M&Ms (but I’m not going to. Sorry!)
Mix everything together and store in an airtight container. You’d be surprised at how fast this goes, even though we store an 1/4 C measuring cup in the container so we take appropriately sized portions.
Wanna know some of the healthy benefits stored in that container? Banana chips are a great source of fiber, manganese, potassium and iron. Raw almonds are one of the most nutritionally dense nuts, containing vitamin E, magnesium, and protein. Raw cashews (most aren’t really raw–just not roasted!) contain B vitamins, zinc, and protein. Raisins are high energy because they are chock full of sugar like any dried fruit, but also provide fiber and antioxidants. Lastly, dried apricots obviously have lots of fiber, but also produce the widest range and highest levels of carotenoids, antioxidants that help fight heart disease. Don’t forget to eat in moderation, but you can feel secure knowing there is not added sugar, salt, or preservatives in your homemade mix. Not to mention–it’s cheaper than buying a pre-made bag! You can buy an eight-pound bag of raw almonds at BJ’s for $9!
Even though it’s more work to shop for and throw together these ingredients, it’s definitely worth it because it takes only about an extra five minutes and you’ll feel so good! Sometimes it’s worth the extra mile, ya know?
I took a picture of our dinner tonight because it was so yummy and once again super healthy. One of our favorite ways to relax (and eat a TON) is to have taco night! I’ll let you see for yourself:
I used ground turkey and black beans (I use dried beans, not canned, because they are cheaper and aren’t packed in sodium) for the filling, with some onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Chop up and throw on any veggies (we used tomatoes and avocados), some fresh chopped cilantro, and a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt (that’s right–it tastes just like sour cream in this mix!) and you don’t even need cheese or other fatty additions. Toss it on a whole-wheat mini tortilla and you can eat three and still not feel guilty (which I did…and you should).
In some other lovely news, our good friends Breanna and Zev (henceforth known as “Zevanna”) came to visit this weekend! We went to our favorite breakfast place, Toast, and pumpkin picking at a farm out east and had a great time. You know how there are some people who you don’t get to see that often, but when you do get together, you can’t stop talking? That’s what these guys are like. On top of that, it was a celebratory weekend because Zev just took his DATs (to get into dental school) and got amazing scores. Congrats guys!
I bought ingredients for pumpernickel bread, so as soon as I have enough hours at home I’ll be making that. I also recently realized that I have dried chilis, chickpeas, and tahini–hot, spicy hummus here I come! On a non-food note, I have an appointment tomorrow to get my hair cut, so I’ll be posting a fabulous update soon. ‘Till then!