We’d assume that most people who found their way to this blog already have a vested interest in Trail Mix and like us treat it as a staple in their snacking diet. However, for those who accidentally stumbled on to this corner of the internet, let’s start with explaining what Trail Mix is. It’s a traditionally American snack that is usually a combination of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and sometimes chocolate or sweets. It is designed to give the perfect mix of fast and slow release energy so the snack is commonly taken on hikes, which in a likely turn of events is how our Co-Founder Joe stumbled across it.
In his youthful and skinny days, Joe was preparing for an Ironman Triathlon and took on a training hike in the Grand Canyon, where he was greeted with a big bag of trail mix. Coming back to the U.K. and pining for something to help with training that wasn’t a tasteless energy gel, he waited for someone to launch the good stuff over here. As no one did, it wasn’t till a few years (and many reluctant gels) later, that he took on the job himself, launching Real Handful to market in 2016. Joined by his wife, and Co-Founder Carly, in 2019, the duo have been making better snacks that improve lives since. One of the best things we love about Trail Mix, is that you can literally see the ingredients you’re eating. It is mainly just fruits, nuts and seeds with minimal processing and packed full of vitamins and minerals. But what makes a ‘Real Handful’ Trail Mix is the fact we add our unruly flavour. We wanted to explain what this means to us, so here’s a bit more info on some of the ingredients we use in our Trail Mixes and what makes them unruly.
Juicy Strawberry Raisins
We infuse a lot of our fruits with natural liquid flavourings, so no added calories or sugar, just tasty flavour made from plant materials. This means you can have all the healthy stuff with all the fun flavour. We think you can never have enough strawberry and after a number of attempts we think we’ve cracked it with the natural ‘juicy strawberry’ flavour that we use to infuse these plump Grade A raisins.
Zingy Blood Orange Sultanas
We love the rich and fresh taste of blood oranges but they don’t look too pretty when they’re dried and are always candied with sugar. So instead we developed a special ‘zingy’ natural blood orange flavour of our own. We think it tastes pretty special and it is a fantastic combination with these sultanas, that are also a great source of dietary fibre.
Actually an imposter! Peanuts are in fact not nuts at all but legumes. But don’t hold it against them, they’re crunchy, filling, a great source of protein and are rich in monounsaturated fats -the type of fat commonly found in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.
Our Mint Choc Chipper Mix Uses Peanuts & Dark Chocolate
Belgian Dark Choc
We just love the combination of dark chocolate with our fruit, nut and seed and have added some indulgent Belgian chunks into our mixes. As well as tasting marvellous dark chocolate contains a decent level of dietary fibre and in tests has been shown to display high levels of antioxidant activity.
Jumbo Flame Raisins
These delicious jumbo flame raisins have travelled all the way from Chile to be part of our mixes – which means they’ve probably seen more sunshine than we will in our entire lifetime. But we won’t hold that against them as they add a lovely natural sweetness.
In our opinion strawberries are numero uno in the world of fruit. As well as having some heavyweight nutritional credentials they’re also sweet, moist and bloomin’ tasty. We mainly use the delightfully named Senga Sengana variety – hand diced so you get a few in each bag. Enjoy!
Goji Berries have been used in Chinese medicine for more than 6,000 years which means they have far greater longevity and popularity than Betamax, shell suits and the band Kula Shaker combined. Probably due in no small part to the fact that they contain vitamins C, B2 and A, iron, selenium and other antioxidants like polysaccharides.
Our Go Go Goji Berry Mix
As well as having a lovely delicate flavour pumpkin seeds are pretty special nutritionally. Almost 30% of the energy in a pumpkin seed comes from protein and they’re also a great source of vitamins and minerals – particularly magnesium which, supports the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body).
We use whole almonds which are crunchy and delicious and also a great source of Potassium, an important electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction (including the heart). Combined with the fact that they’re low in Sodium Almonds are a great addition to your diet to promote cardiovascular health.
Dried cranberries are a convenient and delicious source of dietary fibre. Cranberries are water-harvested which means they’re grown in bogs and then floated in water. This makes them easier to harvest but recent research also suggests that the extra natural sunlight this process exposes the berries could increase their levels of anthocyanin which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Who knew bogs could be so great!
We’ve infused these juicy sultanas with a natural coffee crème flavour which adds a seriously rich flavour and aroma. Sultanas whilst being yummy are also high in polyphenolic antioxidants which combat free radicals in the body – a primary, underlying factor leading to the spontaneous growth of cancer cells. That means having sultanas in your diet is good news.
If you’re now fully sold on Trail Mix as the best snack you now know everything about then you might be interested in the news that for a short time anyone, anywhere, will have the opportunity to own a slice of Real Handful as we are crowdfunding. Having spent the past 3 and a half years establishing our range, we’re now launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds needed to establish Trail Mix snacking as a mainstay in the diets of UK consumers. You can see our crowdcube pitch here, or read more about why we’re making this decision on our blog here.