News & Opinion

Going nuts on the course
This trail mix features coconut, dried fruit and walnuts. [Photo: Sandra Gutierrez]

The last thing a golfer wants during the middle of a great round is to run out of energy. That is why packing a nutrient-rich snack in the bag makes sense. Nuts are natural energy boosters that keep your body fueled and your mental concentration sharp. 

Almonds are a fabulous source of iron and ounce-by-ounce they have as much protein as red meat. Cashews, hazelnuts, and walnuts are powerhouses of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and Omega 3-fatty acids that will keep you energized. Pistachios are super rich in manganese and vitamin B-6, plus they have the most unsaturated fat of the nuts listed here. Called the "smart nuts," pistachios also contain huge amounts of lutein, an antioxidant credited with reducing the risk of macular degeneration, which will make it easier to keep an eye on your golf ball. The largest of all, the coconut (yes, it's a nut), offers a significant amount of potassium, which can offset cramps.

The downside with nuts, though, is that they are high in fat. The good news is that just a handful is enough to satiate and to offer energy mid-round. Make a trail mix with a mixture of favored nuts. Incorporate a touch of natural sugars with dried fruits (select berries and raisins work great). Don't forget great seeds like pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower. If you can find nature's chocolate chips, called cocoa nibs (raw, crushed cacao beans), add them for a rich chocolate taste with none of the melting mess. Pack them into individual servings and enjoy your round.

Coconut, Fruit and Walnut Trail Mix 
⅓ cup raw and unsalted walnut halves 
¼ cup unsalted and slivered almonds 
¼ cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
¼ cup assorted dried berries (such as cranberries, cherries, and blueberries)
¼ cup unsweetened coconut chips
2 tablespoons roasted, unsweetened cocoa nibs.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl; divide into portions and seal in small containers or bags. Note: This mixture keeps well in an airtight container and at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. 

Serves: 6.

Sandra A. Gutierrez is an award-winning writer and author of four cookbooks.

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