Sweet and salty. Few combinations of words can simultaneously strike both fear and pleasure. On one hand, a sweet/salty combination can result in amazing flavor, like a savory Apple Stuffed Chicken or Pork Loin with Mango Salsa. On the other hand, the food industry caught on long ago that sweet and salty was an addictive combination and proceeded to load snack foods with obscene amounts of salt and sugar.
The great thing about making your own snack food at home is that you control what goes into it. You can have a little sweet and a little salty together without any fear of sending your healthy diet into a nosedive. Sara Hatch adds a teaspoon of sea salt and 1/4 cup of raw honey to her Sweet and Salty Primal Trail Mix (Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook contest submission) to give it tons of flavor and a sticky, clumpy texture similar to granola. When you make this recipe in your own kitchen, tailor it to your own sweet/salty preference. Add a little more or less salt and cut back on the honey if you like, or, for that matter don’t add any – the dried fruit will add plenty of sweetness for some. However you make it, this trail mix is still a fresher, healthier option than most store-bought versions.
The combination of nuts and seeds brings plenty of healthy protein and fat to this snack mix. You can toss the nuts and seeds together raw, but Sara’s touch of baking them briefly in the oven give the nuts a rich, toasted flavor and slight crunch that’s hard to beat. This is a perfect non-perishable snack to take hiking or camping (it is, after all, trail mix) or, keep an airtight container of Sara’s trail mix in your car or at work for snacking during the day.
Sweet and Salty Primal Trail Mix
1/2 cup each raw walnuts, almonds, and pecans
1/2 cup each raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup or less raw honey
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roughly chop nuts and mix with seeds, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread on a cookie sheet or rimmed baking pan lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with half of the salt.
Toast in the oven for 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure the nuts and seeds are merely toasted, not burned (keep a watchful eye).
Take pan out of the oven and let cool, then add the remaining salt and drizzle the honey over the top. Toast in oven for another 5 minutes, stirring often (I keep my oven cracked for this). Remove from oven, mix thoroughly with apricots and cranberries and let cool. It will be clumpy and sticky like granola when done. You should end up with 12- 14 quarter-cup servings (approximately).