Who knew that August 31, was National Trail Mix Day? I didn't, that's for sure, until the folks over at Nuts.com let me in on this American designation. So, when they told me about a contest they are cosponsoring where the winner of the contest's recipe will be featured on their Nuts.com blog, I thought it would be fun to participate. What's not to love about making a great snack worthy of tucking into your rucksack, backpack, or hand bag for when you are hitting the walking, running, cycling or traveling trail. I thought, hey, why not? Why not indeed, as hiking, or as the Brits much prefer to call it, just plain ole walking, is one of my favorite pastimes and our very own Serre Marchetto neighborhood in Val Chisone, Italy is just full of trails in every direction from our house. Our Bella Baita B&B -Italian Alps Retreat is a great choice for exploring the trails and beauty our neighborhood has on offer.
|All roads lead to Serre Marchetto, well at least some do|
|Some of Fabrizio's , my husband, handiwork|
In collaboration with our "Regione Piemonte", Fabrizio Roncaglia and our friend Silvano Damiano, have worked tirelessly to clean, reclaim and map out our trails, putting all the trails on a GPS system. We are one of the first communities to utilize this equipment that literally puts our trails on the GPS system. They have made a small map of the area with descriptions of 6 classic walks in the area for all to use. We're really proud of this undertaking and happy to help make this happen in what ever way we can.
This is an ongoing project with many paths being dusted off and made walkable for the public to discover and will continue to maintain the trails for years to come.
|The Pinasca trail map resulting from all that hard work|
|Fabrizio, Silvano and Valentina, Silvano's daughter working on the trail signs and others coming along for the guided walk|
|Hitting the trail in nearby Val Pellice|
|Serre Marchetto Trail Mix|
Yields about 5 1/4 cups
1 c / 5 oz /150g Sunflower seeds
1/4 c / 1 oz / 30g Sesame seeds
1/4c / 1 oz / 35g Pepitas or pumpkin seeds
1 Tb / 1/2 oz / 12g Soy sauce
1/2c / 5 oz/ 150g Almonds
1/2c / 2 oz / 75g Hazelnuts
1c / 5 oz / 150g Golden raisins
1c / 5 oz / 150g Dried Cranberries
1/2c / 1 oz / 40g Dried Apple cubes
1/4c / 1 oz / 25g Goji berries
3 Tb / 3/4 oz /25g Cacao nibs
- Measure out all of your ingredients so they are ready to toast and mix.
- I like to begin by warming up my heavy cast iron skillet.
- I toast my almonds and hazelnuts in the pan, stirring or shaking the pan to evenly toast to desired color. I tend to like them only slightly toasted. Remove from the heat and set aside in a mixing bowl to cool until you add the other ingredients. Place your pan back on the heat. **You can do this in the oven as well, but I don't like to turn the oven on for such a simple task that doesn't require a lot of time to achieve the right color and flavor. Your choice, just don't walk away and forget your nuts as they toast up fast either way.
- Now add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the pan and lightly toast them, stirring or shaking the pan regularly. As the seeds begin to get a little color I sprinkle the sesame seeds in and stir them to toast. Note that the sesame seeds will pop and dance about, so you might want to have a lid handy to keep them in the pan.
- Once you have the seeds to a light color, turn off the heat and add your soy sauce to the seeds and stir to coat all. The heat makes the seeds stick to the pan a bit, but also adds a bit of flavor as well. Let cool a bit before adding to the other nuts.
- Add all of your other ingredients while the seeds are still warm as they will soften the dried fruits and slightly clump up for your snacking pleasure.
- Let cool completely before storing in an air tight container.
- Take along whenever a high energy snack is needed.
- Happy Trails!!!!
|Serre Marchetto Trail mix and local maps of our neighborhood|