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August 31, 2016 – NATIONAL TRAIL MIX DAY

National Trail Mix Day - August 31

 

NATIONAL TRAIL MIX DAY

Observed annually on August 31, National Trail Mix Day honors the mix developed as a healthy snack to be taken along on hikes.

Filled with nuts, dried fruit, and grains, trail mix packs a boost of carbohydrates when the body needs it most. The nuts supply good fats as well as sustained energy, too. Since it’s lightweight, trail mix travels easily, as well.  On long trails or while camping, trail mix keeps without spoiling since most of the ingredients are dried. 

Two California surfers claim the creation of trail mix. In 1968, they blended peanuts and raisins for an energy snack. However, in the 1958 novel The Dharma Bums written by Jack Kerouac, the two main characters mention trail mix when planning meals for their hiking trip. 

Trail mix is sometimes referred to as Gorp.

Regardless of who created trail mix, the food has become an integral part of camping, hiking, and outdoor life for generations. When preparing for a hike, selecting a favorite combination of ingredients comes down to balancing flavor and nutrition.  Some factors to keep in mind:

  • Portability – Be sure all the components can withstand heat and bouncing around. For example, potato chips and caramel baking bits probably won’t survive the trek or heat. However, pretzel rods, M&Ms, and other candy-coated chocolates hold up under stress.
  • Protein – Choosing the right nuts and seeds adds healthy proteins and fats, too. The following are the top protein-producing seeds and nuts to add to your trail mix:
    • almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hemp, pepito, sunflower, flax, sesame, chia, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts
  • Salty & Sweet – Not only does the flavor factor increase but the salt, along with drinking plenty of water throughout your hike prevents dehydration. When we sweat, we lose essential electrolytes, and trail mix helps to replenish them. The salt comes from the ingredients already added to the mix. There’s no need to add more. And the sweet? Well, that all depends on your tastes and how much additional glucose your physical needs require.
  • Spice – Kick the flavor profile up a notch with some spice. Here are a few combinations to try:
    • Fall blend – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger
    • Savory blend– garlic powder, dill, lemon pepper
    • Spicy blend – wasabi, mustard powder, lemon pepper, dried cilantro, dried lime zest
    • Spicy sweet blend – paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, a touch of brown sugar
  • Energy Booster – For a twist, add chocolate covered roasted coffee beans to your mix. This is especially nice if you don’t have time or a way to make a cup of java while roughing it. You’ll get your caffeine and your breakfast while seeking the next fantastic view.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalTrailMixDay

You can make your own trail mix using your favorite ingredients.  Many varieties of trail mix are available at your favorite grocery or convenience store. Use #NationalTrailMixDay to post on social media.
Educators, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for a lesson designed especially for trail mix.
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NATIONAL TRAIL MIX DAY HISTORY

We were unable to find the creator of National Trail Mix Day.

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