Pepita Trail Mix by Joelle Cole

By Joelle Cole

Pepita Trail Mix

Joelle makes an excellent homemade trail mix using roasted chick peas and homemade Greek seasoning.

What makes this recipe different is the ingredient, chickpea or garbanzo bean.  Most trail mixes do not have it.  Chickpeas give you three major benefits.

First, they help satisfy hunger better than Snickers.  Chickpeas have a low glycemic index.  Glycemic index is measuring digestion of carbohydrate absorption, which converts to sugars in the blood stream.  Unlike Snickers, which does satisfy with higher glycemic index, sugar enters blood stream quickly and signals the release of insulin.  One day I think Joelle will learn how to make Snickers healthy, but for now their glycemic index remains high, triggering the pancreas to release insulin.

Insulin removes sugars from the bloodstream to store extra sugars as fat.

Think of lower glycemic index as a natural time-release vitamin, but for this case, sugar.  Snickers are not “time-released” sugar and flood our bloodstream too quickly, since its form of sugar is not with fiber.  A possible way to make candy bars “healthier” would be to add whole grain, unbleached flours.

However, glycemic index has its limits.

Carrots, for example, have a higher glycemic index of 74.  Chickpeas are 48, but the last item to consider when measuring glycemic index is glycemic load.

Glycemic load measures the amount of carbohydrate (to sugar available) consumed.  While carrots have a higher glycemic index, its glycemic load is less than 10.  While most carrots have extremely lower glycemic loads like 5 or less, a healthy carrot would be closer to 10, which have been measured in organic carrots with more “carrot sugar”, which is healthy.

Second benefit in chickpeas added to trail mix is its ability to lower LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol.  With ¾ cup of chickpea, can lower your LDL levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Thirdly, checkpeas are versatile.  They can be added to soups, salads, curries, stews, and trail mixes.  They have also been a healthy substitute to make flour for those requiring gluten-free diets through flour called garam.

“I struggle with ideas to keep snacking healthy, but processed food is so convenient,” said Joelle.  Teaching how to make your own trail mix is rewarding and healthy.  It’s also a fun way to teach the kids how to make themselves healthy snacks. Check out Joelle’s Pepita Trail Mix for complete recipe by photos.

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