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Sweet, salty, and a little bit fruity! This Tropical Trail Mix using Goldfish® Crackers is perfect for easy snack time!
Okay people, things are getting real. Judah is in first grade, Kaia just started 4K, and for the first time in six years I’ve got an empty house during the day. Amazing? Yes. A little bit scary? You bet. Since we have so many food restrictions I pack their lunches, and I sometimes struggle with keeping the options exciting because it’s super easy to fall into the lunch slump with the same thing over and over again. I don’t want to make them eat boring food every day, so I have been trying to think up fun new ways to serve our old favorites and came up with this fabulous Tropical Trail Mix that is perfect for bringing a little zing to boring old lunches!
There are a few key components to any great snack mix – you need a little protein, a little salt, a little sweet, and a little something else to tie it all together. Most of my mixes have at least one of each of those, and my “salty” portion is usually some kind of pretzel. For this mix I used Goldfish® Pretzels and it turned out perfectly! They don’t have an overwhelming salt flavor like a lot of pretzels do which I love, and they’re just so fun. Eating cute shapes definitely brings on the smiles, and of course Goldfish® is a brand that we all love because they are the perfect solution for kids snacks! Now that we are packing lunches, I have started buying snacks and lunch items in bulk from Walmart like this 30-count variety pack of Goldfish® flavors which includes pretzels, colors, and cheddar flavors. The bulk cartons of Goldfish® crackers are on rollback right now for $5.98, which is great when stocking up! Want to pair them with some other great lunchtime favorites? You can also save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Bolthouse Farms® 10 oz. Baby Carrots or Bolthouse Farms(® 11 oz. juice when you buy any ONE (1) Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® crackers 30 oz. or larger.
Now let’s make our trail mix! This is super easy to whip up, and it’s a great activity to get kids involved in. Total time is right at 20 minutes, and you will want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees before you start. Here is what you need:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup (NOT the kind you’re used to using on pancakes – we don’t want it to have added sugars. Pure maple syrup is not sweet.)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup Goldfish® Pretzel
- 1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple
- 1/3 cup chopped cashews (optional)
- baking sheet lined with parchment paper
There are only three real steps in this recipe: measure, mix and bake. My own kids love helping me out in the kitchen, and Judah is at the age where he can really start taking the reins on the mixing and measuring with minimal prompting, so I stood back and let him take care of that part. The first thing you want to do is measure all your ingredients and combine them in a large bowl. One of the problems I am facing with sending his lunch to school is with the fresh fruit. I can’t send him off with a knife to cut things like apples or pears, and being the rough boy that he is I am sure he would bang up any whole fruits I sent before the lunch bell even rang. I can’t not include fruit, but I need to get a little creative, so I decided to explore dried fruits. They have been a hit at our house, and as long as I am careful in the sugar content (because some of them can be crazy high in sugar) I don’t have anything to worry about.
Mix until everything is evenly coated with the syrup and honey.
After that, spread it in an even layer on a large cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until you have a nice golden brown color to your oats.
Once baked, take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes to cool. Now it’s ready for all your snacking needs! Doesn’t it look delicious? I love how well the flavors blend together, but if you don’t like one (or more) of the ingredients, swap it out for something you do! Just make sure you don’t add anything overly sweet or sugary because that doesn’t fit with the theme of smart ingredients. If you don’t like pineapple, you could also add dried apricots, strawberries, raisins, and more!
Lunch Box Goodie Bags
Being the maker that I am, I created some cute lunchbox printables in Photoshop that I can stick on lunchbox items for school. Aren’t they cute? Feel free to download and print them yourself for *personal use* only. To print, click on the image and you will be taken to a printable pdf file. *(note – they will not print blurry when scaled down to proper size.)*
Now that you have everything you need for an adorable snack, happy baking!
You can find Goldfish® crackers at your local Walmart.