I’m so excited! So excited! I get to share my creation… My taste buds love flavor, know flavor, and enjoy making new combinations. It all started when I wanted a crunchy, sweet, satisfying trail mix to bring along to long Nutcracker performance days. As I was browsing through Pinterest, I was looking for mixes with nuts for protein to carry me through, and I came across chocolate covered nuts. Who can go wrong with chocolate? Nobody. For some reason, I wasn’t in the chocolate mood, and I already had that sweet packed in my ballet bag, so I took that idea to the next level. What about fruit, nuts, and coconut? Crunchy. Baked fruit, nuts, and coconut. Everyone knows about honey or maple syrup mixed with nuts, but that can get so sweet in my opinion. Because of that inspiration, I decided to make toasted nuts with nothing but AWESOME, HEALTHY sugars all coming from fruit. No stevia, no nothin’. I grabbed a package of Just Strawberries, a brand that makes crunchy fruits/veggies with no added oils, sugars, etc. There was some strawberry powder as the strawberries were getting to the bottom of the bag… Perfect! I mushed all the fruits with water, not the prettiest at this moment, but was turning into a delish puree with only fruits, and I spooned it in with the cashews. Oh, right, don’t forget about preheating oven. Or else, this quick, toasted snack turns into extra waiting. Spreading out the cashews coated with puree (Strawberries+water) on a baking pan, I threw on some coconut on the other end of the pan. Plop it in the oven, wait for it to toast, and add these yummy additions once all is crisp. (I kept this mix in the freezer, so I could grab it fresh day of rehearsal, performance, etc.) Some of my additions once out of oven were banana chips, cocoa nibs (apparently I now felt like chocolate;), and raspberries. Balanced in protein, carbs, fat, flavor, and deliciousness!!!
Note: I made a second batch with almonds, and a raspberry puree instead (same method of raspberries+water), and it was just as good!