This Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix blog post is sponsored by iHerb but the opinions are my own.
In autumn we all take a deep breath out, our memory box filled with summer adventures and good times, and we slowly make the transition into winter. For me, autumn is time to turn the oven back on to prepare meals for family and friends, and also start trialing holiday recipes and edible gifts. In our busy lives, we can all appreciate a versatile dish, something that can be used in multiple ways. That’s why I created this Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix and Oatmeal Topper because that’s exactly what it is. As a trail mix, it can be enjoyed as a quick and filling afternoon snack, or perhaps given to friends or coworkers as a holiday gift. As a meal, it tastes great added to your warming bowl of oatmeal or sprinkled on your next roasted winter squash salad. I’ve included more ideas below on how to enjoy this tasty holiday essential pumpkin spice trail mix, and some tips on how to maximise the nutritional quality.
“Pumpkin spice mix is comprised of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Choosing organic spices means your spices will not have been exposed to irradiation, and the farmers growing the spices generally agree to follow sustainable agricultural practices.”
Alongside versatile recipes, we also appreciate the convenience of online shopping. I have found that not only does purchasing your groceries online save time, it is also often cheaper with better quality ingredients. Whether you’re busy working five days a week, or find it difficult to leave the house with a trail of little kiddos, the convenience of online grocery shopping is unequivocal. I use iHerb because of the variety of products they carry, with over 5,000 grocery products I could easily find the organic spices, nuts, and seeds I was looking for. When researching which dried fruit to use I could read the product labels right from my home to avoid any that used added sugar or oil. They also have the added bonus of shipping to 160 different countries, and the Customer Service team provides support in 10 languages.
What makes this pumpkin spice trail mix unique is that it doesn’t use any oil or added sugar. We are getting a good amount of healthy fats from the nuts and seeds without needing to add an isolated fat source. The raisins add just the right amount of sweetness so you aren’t missing the sugar coated nuts. You may be wondering why cranberries didn’t make an appearance in this autumn dish – the reason? Cranberries are generally soaked in an apple juice or sugar, and use added sunflower oil for moisture. For a more local item, you could try dehydrated blueberries or even rose-hips!
I’ve included a basic recipe for making your own Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix. The recipe makes just over ¼ cup of spice mix so you will have leftovers to do as you please. I would suggest adding it to a Pumpkin Spiced Coffee, mix it into a Chia Seed Pudding, or add it to your favourite cookie recipe.
One thing I have not included in this recipe is instructions for soaking or sprouting nuts and seeds. For those following a plant-based diet, this can be especially helpful in ensuring you are meeting all your mineral needs. Both soaking and sprouting help reduce a component of nuts and seeds called phytate which binds to minerals in the nuts and seeds making them unabsorbable by the body. If you do not rely on nuts and seeds for a large portion of your minerals then it is not as necessary to take this extra step. Roasting your nuts can also reduce some of the phytate levels, as with this pumpkin spiced trail mix. Nuts such as almonds contain a compound called acrylamide which when heated over 260 degrees Fahrenheit / 130 degrees Celsius is carcinogenic in experimental animals. B-vitamins are also not heat-stable and are better roasted at a lower temperature.
To get the best out of the Pumpkin Spiced Trail Mix;
- Add it to your morning bowl of oatmeal
- Top off your next smoothie bowl with a sprinkle
- Use it on your next baked squash and kale salad
- Serve it on top of roasted yams
- Mix it with some leftover quinoa for breakfast, topped with homemade Hemp Milk
- Leave it out at your next dinner party for some healthy nibblies before or after dinner
- Bring ¼ cup with you to work to help resist the temptations of all the seasonal treats
- Make a double batch and fill mason jars, tying a bow around the top and giving it as a Thanksgiving or Christmas gift
I hope I have inspired you to turn the oven on [at a low heat] and make your own homemade pumpkin spice trail mix. The versatility of this dish is not to overshadow the simplicity of nuts and seeds as a snack. Nuts and seeds are rich in an array of vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and zinc. Evidence has shown that regular consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and has beneficial effects on hypertension, cancer, and inflammation. In a world filled with endless adultered and processed snack options, making it simple to reach for some tasty nuts and seeds may be all the motivation you need to make the better choice. If you need some more motivation to make this healthy treat, iHerb has offered shoppers $5 off your first order over $20!
Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix and Oatmeal Topper
This Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix is rich in the flavours of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. You have the option of using pumpkin pie filling to add that dimension of autumn flavours. Play around with different dried fruits, looking for an organic and unadulterated one. Add it to your oatmeal breakfast and enjoy the autumn pleasures.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix and Oatmeal Topper
- 3 tbsp Bob Mills Organic Golden Flaxseed, ground
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 cup Now Foods Organic Raw Almonds, unsalted
- 1 cup Now Foods Raw Pecans, unsalted
- 1 cup Now Foods Organic Raw Cashews, unsalted
- 1 cup Now Foods Organic Raw Sunflower Seeds, unsalted
- 1 cup Now Foods Organic Raw Pepitas, unsalted
- 2 tbsp organic pumpkin spice mix (see recipe below)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup Made in Nature Organic Raisins*
- 1/4 cup organic pumpkin pie filling (optional)
*any other dried fruit may be used. Look for one with no added sugar or oil. Organic fruit will not have added sulfites.
Method For Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix and Oatmeal Topper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit / 95 degrees Celsius
- Mix the ground flaxseeds and water in a bowl and set aside.
- Combine the nuts and seeds in a large mixing bowl. Add the ground flaxseed and water mixture and stir well to combine.
- If you are using pumpkin pie filling add it now, and stir well to combine.
- Next mix the pumpkin pie spice and salt in a bowl. Add to the nuts and seed mix and stir well.
- Place mixture on a lined baking dish and bake in the oven for 60 minutes.
- Once it is ready, wait until it is cooled before storing. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator away from heat and light.
How to serve it: Serve it on top of your favourite oatmeal, on top of a baked squash salad, or on top of your morning smoothie bowl.
Simplify it: If you don’t have all the ingredients for the pumpkin pie spice mix, use 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon instead.
Make it lower sodium: Use only ½ tsp of sodium.
Add a little sweetness: Add 1 tbsp of organic cane sugar with the spices.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix Recipe
Making your own pumpkin pie spice mix is so simple, and so versatile. Use it here to flavour your healthy Pumpkin Spiced Trail Mix, or try adding it to cookies, loaves, coffee, oatmeal, and smoothies.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
Method For Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
- Mix all spices together and store in a sealed glass container away from sunlight and heat.
Where to use it: Use this fresh pie spice mix in your next pumpkin pie and you will never go back. Add 1 tsp to your next Pumpkin Spiced Coffee in place of cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix 1 tsp into your steel cut oats, top with chopped walnuts and real maple syrup. Add 1 tsp to Blueberry Kefir Post-Workout Smoothie and replace berries with sliced bananas.
Amount per one of twenty servings of Trail Mix only
Total Fat: 11.3g
Saturated Fat: 1.3g
Vitamin C: 2mg