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I used to purchase pre-made, individually packaged trail mix packets for our home. My husband loved eating them as snacks and it was an easy way to get some protein, fiber, and healthy fats. In the past year or so, I have slowly been finding ways to make our home more “green” and eco-friendly. With the start of the New Year, I have become much more aware of our plastic waste from packaged food. Once you stop to notice it, it seems to bother you more and more!
Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop and as a Mom, I love the precut produce to cut back on my prep time. However, I find myself guilt for taking this shortcut when I do have the few extra minutes to cut and prep things at home. Buying produce and other items whole or in bulk even saves money! I decided the benefits towards the environment and our budget outweighed the amount of time I saved from purchasing all of these packaged items.
Luckily for Trader Joe’s shoppers, less plastic use is on the horizon. At the beginning of the year, they released a statement saying that they are taking steps to reduce plastic use in their stores in 2019. You can read more about their sustainability efforts here. I hope in the near future, Trader Joe’s has an abundant bulk section to choose from!
Go Green in 2019
After deciding to purchase less items in bulky plastic packaging, I went to another favorite store, Sprouts. They have a great variety of produce (including organic) and an amazing bulk bin section with a variety of nuts, dried fruits, grains, cereals, and more! As I began my shopping trip, I would find myself reaching for those little plastic bags and realized that I should try to cut back my usage of these as well! (Even though they do double-duty as doggy poo bags at home!) I generally try to use as little of these bags as possible, I don’t mind my apples rolling around my cart. However, they are necessary for the bulk bin items. So my search for reusable bulk and produce bags began.
I went straight to Amazon and *almost* purchased the cheapest ones I saw. It then dawned on me that they were made out of polyester and although a step up from the disposable plastic bags, still not ideal! After some searching, I landed upon a brand that I was excited to try: Colony Co. Their bags are made of biodegradable cotton, machine washable, and the packaging they come in is even recyclable! You can check them out by clicking the picture below. With my new bags in hand, I headed to the store – ready to make some simple trail mix!
Easy Trail Mix Ingredients
If you are looking for Whole30 compliant trail mix, make sure to read the ingredients on every item – there are hidden sugars and non-compliant oils in a lot of the dried fruits and nuts. So far these are the ones that I was able to find at my local stores. Not all of them were available in bulk so I did have to purchase some packaged ones.
The items listed below are the current full price listed for my location on the Sprouts website. The prices may vary in your area, also check the Sprouts website or app for current deals and coupons!
For the dried fruits, there were only a few without sugar added at my store. I was only able to find organic dried apricots, apple rings, and organic raisins without sugar.
Roasted Salted Almonds (Check the oil used) $6.99/lb
Raw Almonds $7.99/lb
Whole Raw Cashews $8.99/lb
Walnut Halves & Pieces $6.99/lb
Rax Mixed Nuts (*not Whole30 compliant due to peanuts) $8.99/lb
Organic Dried Apricots $6.99/lb
Organic Raisins $5.49/lb
Dried Apple Rings $5.99/lb
Dried Diced Sweetened Pineapple (*Not Whole30 compliant) $4.99/lb
Organic Dried Cranberries (*Not Whole30 compliant due to cane sugar) $8.99/lb
Additional Add-ins (Not Whole30 compliant)
Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups $6.99/lb
Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans $5.99/lb
Dark or Milk Chocolate Almonds $6.99/lb
Dried Fruits (Packaged)Diced Baby Sweet Pineapple (Unsweetened & Unsulfured) $3.99/6oz.
Freeze Dried Bananas (Unsweetened)
Freeze Dried Strawberries (Unsweetened & Unsulfured) $3.49/1.2oz.
Freeze Dried Raspberries (Unsweetened & Unsulfured)
There aren’t too many health food stores near me, so I am a little limited by my selection of bulk items. I plan to look at delivery services and other stores nearby to compare their offerings and cost. Make sure you subscribe to my email list so you get occasional alerts when I share future blog posts!
Easy Trail Mix Recipe
For my trail mix, I simply include:
- One salty/roasted nut – Almonds are my favorite!
- One filler nut (usually less expensive, softer, etc.) – Walnuts work great for this!
- Two dried fruits: Raisins, Dried Apricots, Dried Pineapple, etc.
- Storage containers: I use 4oz. glass mason jars with plastic lids. You can also use reusable snack bags, like these Bumkins ones!
- I also like using these Oxo Pop Storage Containers to store all of my bulk nuts and fruits.
Let me know in the comments below what your favorite trail mix combinations are!