The Foodie Physician: Dining with the Doc: Amazin' Tropical Trail Mix
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Dining with the Doc: Amazin' Tropical Trail Mix






I’ve never been a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions because they’re easy to make but also so easy to break.  However, I do think that the New Year is a great time to start developing healthier eating habits, especially after overindulging during the holidays.  But rather than setting unreasonable goals for yourself (and invariably ending up disappointed), why not try making small but significant changes to your diet and lifestyle?  Changes that will positively impact your health and put you on the road to success for the whole year.    


A few weeks ago I wrote about getting my family into the habit of eating a nutritious breakfast on a more regular basis.  Along those same lines, focusing on healthy snacks is also a great and easy way to improve the quality of your diet.  Snacking isn’t a bad thing.  Eating frequent meals and snacks throughout the day is actually a great way to keep your energy and blood sugar levels steady which helps prevent binge eating.  The problem is that we often reach for the wrong types of snacks when hunger strikes. 




I was asked to create a healthy snack recipe incorporating Sunsweet® prunes.  As a busy working mom who usually works 12-hour shifts in the hospital, I definitely understand the importance of nutritious snacks to give me long-lasting energy.  Sunsweet® prunes are a naturally low calorie snack that have no added sugar or preservatives.  They’re packed with fiber, which is important for maintaining good digestive health.  A diet high in fiber also helps to reduce cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar levels and promote heart health.  In addition, prunes are rich in several other nutrients like potassium, Vitamin K and copper, which in combination have many benefits including promoting bone health.    




I’ve been a fan of Sunsweet® prunes ever since our pediatrician recommended them for my daughter when she was having problems with constipation.  We especially love the Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes, which are conveniently diced into small pieces.  They’re perfect for tossing into oatmeal, yogurt, granola, salads or just about anything else you can think of.  My daughter loves to gobble them up by the handful! 




My Amazin’ Tropical Trail Mix has a well-balanced mix of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and some healthy fat.  It’s the perfect snack to keep you feeling full and satisfied.  Pack some of this trail mix in a bag and take it with you when you’re heading out for the day.  It will help you resist the temptation of the vending machine and will give you a boost of energy to get you through the day.




My trail mix has a nice balance of flavors (salty and sweet) as well as textures (crunchy and chewy).  Although popcorn may not be a traditional ingredient in trail mix, it’s a healthy and affordable whole grain that’s packed with nutrients.  Be careful though as many brands of microwave popcorn are loaded with partially hydrogenated oils and sodium.  The healthiest way to make popcorn is with an air popper.  Then you can spray it lightly with olive oil and add your own flavorings.  The Amaz!n™ Diced Prunes add a bright pop of flavor that nicely complement the other ingredients.




Amazin’ Tropical Trail Mix
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
4 cups air popped popcorn
Olive oil (use an oil sprayer)
Sea salt
1 cup mixed roasted nuts (like almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and pecans)
½ cup banana chips
1/3 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted


Directions:
Place the popcorn in a large bowl and spray the kernels with olive oil until lightly coated.  Season with salt to taste.  Add the nuts, prunes, banana chips and coconut flakes and toss to combine. 


One serving: Calories 235; Fat 17g (Sat 6.2g); Protein 6.3g; Carb 15.9g; Fiber 5.1g; Sodium 2mg


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

40 comments :

  1. This is the type of snack that I would mindlessly eat until it was all gone and I would look over and be like UHHHHH WHERE THE HECK DID IT GO?!?!?!? ah ha ha!

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    1. Haha, I know what you mean! Thanks for stopping by, Gigi!

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  2. You know, it's been ages since I've eaten prunes- Ironically, ate them when I was younger! Love the idea of combining it with popcorn and as a trail mix!

    Love the photos Sonali! :)

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    1. It's a great sweet and salty combination! Thanks, Arman!

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  3. These chopped prunes are fab! We love prunes here, especially as a sweetener.

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    1. Yes, so much easier than trying to chop them up yourself :) And they're a great natural sweetener. Thanks, Katie!

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  4. Right there with you on having healthy snacks easily available! This trail mix looks like it would hit the spot for my sweet tooth cravings. Prunes are not something we eat on a regular basis. I think I'll have to change that!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! This will definitely satisfy any sweet cravings :)

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  5. This trail mix looks amazing! I love the addition of popcorn in there. It does help to have something healthy ready to snack on! Keeps me from eating too many cookies! :)

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    1. Thanks! I love popcorn and am always trying to find new ways to use it. I keep a bag of this trail mix with me so that I have it on hand when I get a snack attack!

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  6. I am an ALL-day snacker - and this would satisfy my sweet and salty cravings in one go! LOVE this - thanks so much for sharing Sonali!

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    1. Yes, I definitely know what you mean! Thanks for your comment, Shashi!

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  7. I'm a huge fan of popcorn in trailmix! A common afternoon snack for me is popcorn, dried fruit, and almonds. Guess great minds think alike! Love Amazins too!

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    1. Yes, we definitely do! And that sounds like my kind of snack :)

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  8. WOW! I love this. I love the sweet and salty combos too. AND I just happen to have some of these lovely diced plums...gotta try this. I snack from morning til night....or some call it 'grazing'. Love this healthy snack.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marsha! I'm definitely a grazer too, which is not a bad thing :)

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  9. This looks like an awesome snack! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Sonali, I totally hear you on the healthy snacking and you are so right!! As long as we have healthy snacks already made and ready and within reach, we can go for something amazing like this trail mix, over chips or cookies!! love this!! and love the dried prunes!

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    1. Thanks so much Alice! It's so true, snacking is definitely a matter of what's convenient and within reach so a little prep ahead of time really goes a long way!

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  11. What a creative snack idea! Love it! Plums? So delicious! Pinning to try it!

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    1. Thanks Mira! The plums adds an awesome sweetness. I hope you like it if you try it.

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  12. I love this! <3 I feel like I'd have to make up a huge batch and then portion it out and strategically hide it, or else it'd be gone in one sitting, hahaha. :P

    I hope you have a great weekend! :]

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    1. Haha! I've definitely "hidden" things from myself too. You gotta do what you gotta do ;) Have a great weekend too!

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  13. I love making my own trail mix snacks.. so this recipe is ideal for me. Great idea to add popcorn too!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Thalia! You should totally try a little popcorn next time, it's a really nice addition.

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  14. Oh I don't know what I'd do without snacks!! I'd be a very grumpy, irritable person, that's for sure ;). I LOVE this trail mix! I just made an Asian popcorn snack mix as well, but it's more savory than sweet. love the addition of prunes and banana chips! Banana chips remind me of my dad..when we first moved to the States, he was absolutely obsessed with them! ahh the memories

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    1. Thanks Min! Asian popcorn snack mix sounds amazing- I hope it's coming to the blog soon! Aren't food memories the best?

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  15. This could easily become my go-to snack. Love the combination of salty and slightly sweet ingredients.

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    1. Salty and sweet is the best! Thanks for stopping by Libby!

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  16. What a perfect salty, sweet, healthy snack! Thanks for sharing, Sonali!

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    1. Thanks Marissa! Don't you just love the salty and sweet combo?

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  17. I love that you incorporated dried prunes into this snack mix! The tropical flavors sound amazing. I could snack on this all afternoon!

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    1. Thanks so much Ashley! It really is addictive :)

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  18. What a yummy snack! I need to start using my air popper!! mmmm.

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  19. Tropical Trail Mix sounds and looks an AMAZING idea, Sonali! I have all these ingredients lying in my pantry—It’s a sign that I have to make them very soon! :) Also LOVED your beautiful photographs! :)

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    1. Thanks so much Anu! I'm so glad you stopped by and yes, it must be a sign :)

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