Hike up your pants and start walking to the cupboard. The last day of August is National Trail Mix Day!
It’s also National Eat Outside Day. If you’re literal-minded, as I am, then you’ll realize this is the perfect pairing. If you’re eating this mix of grains, nuts, and fruit on a trail, then you’re already eating outside anyway. That’s called killing two birds with one stone.
Sure enough, trail mix was invented with hiking in mind. It’s considered a perfect snack food to take along while hitting the Great Outdoors because it is lightweight, easy to store, and packed with nutrition. The carbohydrates in the dried fruit and granola, and the fat in the nuts, provide an energy boost to help you tackle the toughest of hiking trails. While some claim that a pair of California surfers invented trail mix in 1968 when they combined peanuts and raisins for an energy snack, fans of Jack Kerouac need only point to his novel The Dharma Bums to prove this story is a hoax: trail mix is mentioned in the book, which was published in 1958, back when the mystery surfers were probably still learning their ABCs. It probably dates back even further, under different names; an 1833 Danish book mentions Studenterhavre, a popular mix of raisins, almonds, and chocolate.
Trail mix can contain a wide variety of ingredients suited to your individual tastes. Common items include nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, granola, pretzels, seeds, shredded coconut, crystallized ginger, and marshmallows.
Even with guests in town, it was easy enough to celebrate today’s holidays. We shared a bag of trail mix outside. Done, and done!