Say goodbye to store-bought trail mix and hello to this Almond Cacao Crunch Trail Mix.
Hints of rich chocolate meet the tropical vibes of flaked coconut with crunchy almonds and a subtle tartness from dried cranberries. In other words, this superfood mix is spot on with taste and texture.
For a while, I gave up on all things trail mix. Well, mainly almonds and any kind of raw nut.
Recognizing that these literally hurt my stomach was not easy to come to terms with (due to the phytic acid levels) because I love adding them to everything from smoothie bowls to salads and more. Eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts etc. would trigger sharp pains in my stomach, similar to chickpeas and lentils which I no longer eat, and is the reasoning why my more recent recipes don’t have chickpeas or lentils. That’s a different story and could be due to an allergy from the raffinose which is a sugar in the legumes family… humans lack the enzyme required to digest raffinose therefore causing stomach pain.
As far as nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews etc., they’re amazing in terms of nutrients but can also be very drying throughout the digestive process. Roasted store-bought nuts are dry or oily and feel very “heavy” in the stomach. There are some foods that just don’t agree with our bodies. These can range and are different for everyone because we’re not all the same, obviously. Being able to recognize how you feel after you eat and then identifying what specific foods trigger specific feelings is important!
Some people experience this with gluten and most definitely with meat and dairy but the good news is, you don’t have to put yourself through the torture when it comes to nuts and seeds. There is a way to make them friendly on digestion and majorly enhance the absorption of nutrients they offer.
How? By “activating” them, which is also known as soaking nuts & seeds in water.
I always thought the process of soaking nuts and seeds was pointless and very time-consuming, until I actually tried it myself. Almonds are like sponges… super dehydrated and dry, until they come in contact with water. Soaking almonds in filtered water for 8 hours (or overnight) will rehydrate and plump them up, making them tastier, softer and easier to chew because let’s be real, they taste SUPER dry on their own… ya know?!
Why so dry?
Almonds stay protected from sunlight and moisture through their brown skin which has tannic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Until a proper level of moisture and sunlight has been reached, the enzymes are not released. This means our bodies are literally unable to absorb all the nutrients that almonds have to offer, until they are unlocked with water.
If you want to get the most out of those expensive almonds, cashews etc. that you buy, it’s time to access to ALL of their goodness.
The process of soaking is easy. All you do is:
- Pour the nuts/seeds in a large bowl
- Fill with enough filtered water until all are submerged
- Soak overnight or for 8 hours
- Drain and rinse with water thoroughly. Allow to dry or use paper towel
That’s it! Then you can enjoy all the almonds you want 🙂 but let me tell you, they are especially delish in this trail mix recipe. Perfect for light snacking, for a smoothie bowl topping or to throw in a salad for extra crunch. YUM. I used this flaked coconut, these cacao nibs and these raw organic almonds.
- 1 1/2 cups raw almonds, soaked
- 1 cup flaked coconut, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs
- Start by soaking the almonds in water in a large bowl overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Then drain and rinse thoroughly. Dry them with a paper towel.
- Combine all the ingredients for trail mix in a bowl and mix until combined.