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Review and Giveaway: Back to Nature Trail Mixes and Nuts

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[A tempting selection of dark chocolate-covered almonds, dried cranberries, and vanilla almonds.]

When I received an email from the Canadian arm of  Back to Nature trail mixes and nuts a few weeks back, I must admit that I was, at first, skeptical.  First of all, the mixes, while marketed under the “Back to Nature” brand name, were produced by the megaconglomerate (inventor of Cheez Whiz and Tang–and you know how I feel about Tang), Kraft Foods. But don’t judge a nut by its company, I told myself.

Still, there was the issue of a trail mix “ready made,” delivered in premixed bags. For many reasons, I don’t indulge in pre-packaged trail mixes. 

First of all, most of them contain added sugars; and if they don’t add sugar directly, they usually include some kind of sweetened ingredients, such as “yogurt” bits, dried fruits bathed in sugar, chocolate, or even candy.  In addition, most of the nuts in prepackaged mixes have been roasted in oil, most likely cheap, old, or rancid oils.  If I don’t know the origin of the oils in which my food is cooked, I’m not eating it. (Did you know that most canola oil is genetically modified when not organic?  Or that most conventional vegetable oils–the ones that don’t have a distinct flavor or aroma–have been heated at extremely high temperatures, bleached, deodorized, or worse, so that consumers won’t be able to detect when the oil is actually rancid? No thanks.)

In fact, although the HH is a huge fan of trail mix, I usually just make my own, by buying raw nuts and seeds, toasting them myself, and combining them with dried fruits (I talked about the proportions in my basic trail mix in this post). 

However, I couldn’t argue with the mixes’ ingredients or philosophy. Back to Nature promised all-natural mixes with “no artificial additives, preservatives (or sulfites), sweeteners, chemicals or hydrogenated oils.”  In addition, their “ingredients are premium made with only the best available nuts and fruits. Nuts are individually dry roasted, and blended in small batches to ensure optimum flavour.”  Seemed like an offer I couldn’t refuse.

The package arrived shortly thereafter.  And just look at it:

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Besides the beautiful wooden basket in which the mixes arrived, the flavors themselves sounded quite tempting, ranging from simple one-ingredient roasted jumbo cashews in one bag and roasted almonds in another (both roasted with sea salt), to the more elaborate and complex Raisins, Almonds, Pumpkin Seeds, Pecans and Apricots in another or (my favorite combo) Cranberries, Chocolate Covered Almonds and Vanilla Almonds (the most decadent of the mixes, of course).

Because of my current ACD status, I wasn’t able to sample all the dried fruits in the bags, but immediately dug into the almonds and cashews.  I must admit that the cashews were among the best pre-roasted ones I’ve ever tasted.  I also sampled the nuts and seeds from the other bags and was pleased with virtually every one.  The HH must have liked his share, as he finished the entire bag of Cashews, Almonds and Pistachios in one sitting!  He did remark that the dried apricots were a tad too dry for his taste, however.  I wonder if this is due to the lack of conventional preservatives in the bag–a drawback I’m willing to accept for the knowledge that nothing unnatural has been added to the ingredients.

I was saving the Chocolate-Covered Almond pack in the hopes that I could indulge in chocolate before I wrote this review, but as of this writing, alas, I’m still off chocolate.  Given the quality of the other bags, however, I am confident that this one, too, will be delicious.

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[Chocolate-covered almonds, dried cranberries and vanilla almonds]

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to prepare your own trail mixes, the Back to Nature brand is a great way to partake of a healthy and delicious snack that won’t provide any unwanted ingredients along with the nuts, seeds, and fruit. 

And guess what?  The generous folks at Back To Nature have offered to provide  not just one, but THREE sampler baskets as gifts for three of my lucky blog readers!  Since these are made by the Canadian branch of the company, these prizes are available to Canadian residents only (sorry, American and International friends! But don’t despair–another great giveaway is coming up in the next few days that will be open worldwide).

Here’s how to enter:

If you’re a Canadian resident, you can enter one of the following ways (additional entries for each one you do):

  • Leave a comment on this post telling me why you’d like to win, or what your favorite recipe for the ideal trail mix contains.
  • Tweet about the giveaway on twitter, with a link to this post (be sure to include @RickiHeller so I see it!)
  • Write about it on Facebook, and let me know that you’ve done so.
  • Write about the giveaway on your own blog, with a link to this post.

The contest closes at midnight on Friday, November 13th (thereby making Friday the 13th a lucky day this year!) 😉  At that time, I’ll choose 3 numbers using Random.org and will announce the winners.

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27 comments to Review and Giveaway: Back to Nature Trail Mixes and Nuts

  • Eve

    A giveaway open only to Canadians? You don’t say! 🙂 I would love to win because I need to try a delicious trail mix! I generally prefer to eat my nuts in cooking or baking than in a mix, but I think this often has to do with the quality of nuts that goes into trail mix. However, I think my opinion may be swayed by those vanilla almonds! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • maie

    Hi Ricki – love your blog and all your tips.
    I love trail mix because it’s the healthy alternative to jujubes and wine gums and licorice….

    Eat it on its own, or add it to yogurt or morning cooked oatmeal.

    Yes, I would love to win a basket,

    maie

  • Arielle

    What’s this?! A giveaway only for Canadians?? FINALLY! Oh, how I have despaired all those contests only for Americans 😉
    This basket looks just beautiful. I love taking a mix of nuts and and berries to uni with me as a snack – so easy to eat on the go and small enough to fit in any bag (even my tiny handbags 🙂

  • K

    Mmm, that picture looks absolutely delicious. Like you said, the philosophy sounds good and I am all for Canadian only giveaways! 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us and I do hope you can get back to chocolate soon so you can try that yummy looking mix.
    -K

  • Jen

    My husband LOVES trail mix and if I won these I would pack them in his lunches without the guilt I normally feel when he backs those horrible trail mix granola bars. I would covet the basket for myself though 🙂

  • Cheryl

    My ideal trail mix would contain no added sugar, or any artificial sugars. Just nuts and berries and oats and good healthy stuff.

  • I would love to win this trail mix! Who doesn’t love trail mix? This is exciting, a contest for Canadians only! That never happens.
    Thanks!

  • I love nuts and trail mixes, so this would be fantastic! Not to mention awesome that its only for us Canadians =D.

  • Darn it that it’s a Canadian-only give-away! 😉 I’m glad you were able to try some of the products, event if ACD prevented you from tasting them all.

  • Those mixes sound great! They’d make for a useful snack when I’m traveling and I get hungry before reaching the nearest vegan option. As for my ideal trail mix recipe, it could include pretty much any nuts, seeds, and dried fruits *but* raisins (I’m not a raisins lover!).

  • I’d like to win because trail mixes are the perfect snack and because these look so delicious!

    I just discovered your blog by the way and I like it!

  • My ideal trail mix would include raisins, almonds, and cashews with any form of chocolate thrown in.

  • Mmmmmm…trail mix. I would love to win this prize! I always have a little baggie of nuts or granala in my purse for snacking. It keeps me away from other evil foods.

  • ikkinlala

    I’d like to win because then I’d have something convenient to take along when I’m hiking or cross-country skiing.

    I don’t have a favourite recipe for trail mix. My ideal trail mix includes only one or two kinds of nuts and one or two kinds of dried fruit (as well as, sometimes, a few chocolate chips or something) so that I can taste all the ingredients, but I like to vary the types of nuts and fruit.

  • Diane B.

    i love trailmixes because of the ingredients – 1- nuts have calcium (and i need a lot of extra calcium) 2- they make a good snack (just half a handful) when you need it 3- dry fruits are the sweet part of that snack.

  • irene

    ideal trail mix? might sound boring but cashews, raisins, cranberries, and peanuts. yes, good ol’ cheap filler peanuts! oh, trail mix is just another reason for me to “indulge” in roasted nuts…

  • medu3a

    A trail mix giveaway! Wonderful. Trail mix is one of those foods I can convince my sweetheart to eat instead of sweets. Personally I’m a big fan of raw homemade trail mix, but it is always nice to “indulge” as the last poster said!

  • kristen

    Yum, I’m a trail mix junkie…that looks delicious! I must say my new trail mix fave is chunky nuts mixed with seeds and chocolate covered espresso beans!!!

  • Oo perfect for a college student! Trail mix is a great snack that’s easily portable. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Kristine

    YAY!! This stuff is BEAUTIFUL!
    Thanks,Ricki!!

  • Rowena

    Hi Ricki,
    This is the first time on your blog. I haven’t eaten trail mix before because of the unhealthy ingredients it them. However, my husband and I are on a strict nutritional program due to high cholesterol (his) pre-diabetic (both) and weight loss (both). We have both been trying new foods and recipes including dried fruits and nuts. I think these trail mixes would be perfect for us. I too am thrilled that this is a Canada only promo. Yay.
    Thanks Rowena

  • Samantha

    I would like to win some trail mix to put on my oatmeal, YUM! + it makes a very convenient snack 🙂

  • Heather

    Hi Ricki… I’d love to win some trail mix! 🙂 Your picture sold me on them!

  • Hi Ricki,
    Who needs a recipe to indulge in trail mix? It is fabulous all by itself. 😀 I’d love to try the Back to Nature mix.

  • I love how you leave the giveaways open for so long so I don’t end up missing them! I’ve been curious about trying these Back to Nature trail mixes. My ideal trail mix would contain yogurt chips, dried raspberries, and pistachios.

  • Sondi Bruner

    I adore trail mixes. I like to make mine with cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, raisins and dried cranberries. Sometimes, as a treat, I’ll add in dried cherries or chocolate chips.

  • […] In the spirit of lovely granola, enter for a chance to win some ready-made stuff here. […]