This trail mix can really contain whatever variation of bits and pieces that you like. I have chosen high-fibre foods as I am actively trying to increase my fibre intake at the moment while still sticking to a “paleo” template.
The tiger nuts I used here are from The Tiger Nut Company and are the peeled tiger nuts. The unpeeled ones are cheaper but they are really quite chewy and the peeled ones taste much sweeter. Tiger nuts are not actually nuts, they are a small root vegetable (tuber), grown in a field and harvested in pretty much the same way as a potato. Known in Spain as the ‘Chufa’, they are packed with super food qualities.
Tiger nuts were first recognised as an important food some 4000 years ago, and it is now known that the tiger nut formed part of THE original paleo diet of our ancestors. Tiger nuts are a fantastic food – rich in a type of prebiotic called Resistant Starch that feeds beneficial gut bacteria. They are super high in fibre, containing 23g per 100g (which is more than most other “high-fibre” foods). They also contain good amounts of healthy fats, Vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. For more detailed info on the health benefits of tiger nuts and our history with them, read this fantastic post over at Free The Animal: The Incredible Edible Tiger Nut.
The 100% dark chocolate drops are from Hotel Chocolat and contain 100% cocoa solids. They cost £6 for a 230g bag and I used 100g in this trail mix. Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Yacon flakes are simply sliced and dried pieces of the yacon root. They are also extremely high in fibre – containing 40g of fibre per 100g. Yacon flakes are another prebiotic – they contain a type of fibre called fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) which will feed beneficial gut bacteria – particularly Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species. FOS are not digested in the stomach or small intestine and reach the large intestine where they feed the beneficial bacteria that reside there. These bacteria (as discussed previously) are hugely important for our health. Gut health translates to overall health, so a robust microbiota ecosystem is essential for preventing inflammation and boosting intestinal immunity. When these bacteria digest the FOS they produce short-chain fatty acids that are incredibly important. There is also some evidence that they lower the levels of a hormone called ghrelin that makes us feel hungry. I buy my yacon flakes (and yacon syrup) from Of The Earth Superfoods.
Goji berries contain vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin A, iron, selenium and other antioxidants. They go well in this trail mix as I always think you need something chewy but you could also use chopped dried dates or other dried fruit.
In this recipe I have also used Brazil nuts. An excellent source of selenium – Brazil nuts are the richest dietary source of selenium, with just two nuts providing the recommended dietary intake of 70mcg per day.6, 7 Selenium, is a powerful antioxidant which may reduce the risk of heart disease and is important for the immune system. You could substitute any other type of nut for Brazil nuts and you could also add various seeds instead of nuts.
The final ingredient is dried coconut flakes. Dried coconut contains healthy fats and some additional fibre. You could use toasted coconut flakes too.
- Method :
Simply mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.