This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker®. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp

I am a crunchy snack addict. There’s no denying it. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

But this self-diagnosed ‘crunchy snack addiction’ can sometimes lead me down the wrong snacking path. When left to act on impulse alone, I can make poor choices by reaching for the nearest salty chip or candy bar. You’ve been there, right?

When you’re running around all day taking care of four hyper pugs (like I do), it can be exhausting. Sometimes feeding and caring for them means I’m too tired to cook (or think!)…so I reach for whatever snack is closest at hand. To help avoid acting on impulse and to make better snacking choices, I like to have readily on hand in my pantry some home-blended crunchy snacks that can satisfy my deep desire for crunchy goodness.

One of my go-to crunchy snacks is my “American Pie” Trail Mix. It’s got only four ingredients and you won’t believe how easy it is to make (in under 2 minutes!). I call it “American Pie” Trail Mix because it beautifully blends the flavors of warm cinnamon, tart apples, tangy cherries, and sweet maple-brown sugar.

Quaker_American Pie Trail Mix_redwhiteblue

American Pie Trail Mix

Ingredients:

Directions:

Gather and measure your ingredients.

Quaker_mise en place

Pour ingredients into a resealable plastic food bag.

Quaker Trail Mix_shake

Seal the bag and – to paraphrase from a popular song – “Shake It Off” for a few seconds until all the ingredients are blended. This can also be a great burst of cardio activity and a stress release!

Then I put some of the trail mix in two smaller snack-sized bags for the car, and keep the remaining trail mix sealed in the bag in a cool, dry place. I commute about 3 hours a day, on average, and the drive home during rush hour can be brutal. Not only am I fighting the traffic but I’m fighting the hunger beast. Having a small nosh in the car that’s a better alternative to chips or chocolate means I can tame the hunger beast and avoid over-indulging when I get home.

I wanted to share another quick trail mix recipe that is great for a tropical taste escape on a cold wintry day. It’s my Tropical Trail Mix snack.

Quaker_Tropical Trail Mix

Tropical Trail Mix

Ingredients:

Directions:

Gather and measure your ingredients; pour into the plastic food bag. Shake until blended and you’re ready to snack like you’re on vacation in the Caribbean!

I love the versatility of cereal, especially Quaker® Oatmeal Squares which I first came to appreciate when I was making a savory holiday snack mix for my family. You could make your own favorite trail mix blend with your favorite dried fruits. Or add some savory flavors with cashews, almonds or whatever nut you love the most.

Quaker_Real  Medleys

While my trail mix recipes have focused on using cold cereal as a base for a delicious crunchy snack, I’m also a fan of the easy breakfast. And Quaker® Real Medleys® Multigrain Cereal fills that bill to a tee! My favorite flavor is Peach Apple Walnut.

I wake up at 5:30 am to get ready for work. At that early hour, the last thing you want is a complicated breakfast. While it can be tempting to skip breakfast in favor of 15 minutes more of sleep, that’s not a solution to keep me fueled for the day. So I will sleep in for 10 minutes more of sleep and have a quick bowl of delicious (and crunchy!) multigrain flakes and granola clusters.

Quaker Squares with Honeycrisp Apple

You’ve probably guessed that there’s no meal where I can’t make cereal the star of the bowl. I do #LoveMyCereal! Even all by itself – no milk needed – cereal right from the box can be downright delicious! I especially love Quaker® Oatmeal Squares (with a hint of cinnamon). The crunch is deeply satisfying and perfect to pair with a Honeycrisp apple for a portable afternoon snack at the office.

Quaker_at Walmart_collage

I got all of the ingredients for my special trail mix blends recipes at Walmart. The variety of Quaker® hot and cold cereals available at Walmart (in the cereal aisle) is amazing. Be sure to try them all:

I’ve shared a few of my favorite trail mix recipes featuring Quaker® Life and Oatmeal Squares cereals. What ingredients do you love most in a trail mix? Share your suggestions in the comments below. And kudos if you also come up with a fun, funky name for your special trail mix blend.