Stress-Busting Chocolate Snack Mix

If you are like me, when you get stressed, you crave crunchy foods. Nothing is quite as satisfying as crashing on the couch with a bag of potato chips…until, of course, you reach the bottom of said bag, you feel that slow lurch in your stomach, and your whole body starts screaming, “Why?! For the love of all things holy, find a treadmill!” Actually, that’s the censored version of what my body says to me.

My husband and I are crunchy food addicts. I felt like I needed to find us an alternative treat that would produce stress busting endorphins, provide satisfactory crunch factor, but wouldn’t break the caloric bank for the day. This recipe is loosely based on a chocolate nut mix recipe found in The Flat Belly Diet Cookbook. I added some spices to change up the flavor and some fat free pretzels for extra crunch and a little saltiness.

Nuts are not a super low calorie food, but they are full of healthy fats and protein and are important to a balanced diet. To keep the calorie total of my snack bags low, I divided them up into 1.5 ounce portions, using a food scale. If you don’t have a scale, put two small handfuls in each bag. Nuts are very filling, and 1.5 ounces makes for a very hearty snack. Using completely unfounded “Elise Science”, I would say that each bag is somewhere between 150 to 200 calories.

This recipe can be easily cut in half or doubled.

Stress-Busting Chocolate Snack Mix

Makes 18 to 20 1.5 ounce snack bags

  • 1.5 lbs Raw Mixed Nuts
  • 2 cups Fat Free Mini Pretzels, broken into small pieces
  • 2 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 4 tsp Grape Seed, Coconut, or Canola Oil


*Other possible add-ins: chili powder, coconut flakes, dark chocolate chunks, chia seeds, crystallized ginger, orange zest, Kashi cereal, oats.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the nuts and pretzels with the oil.

In a small bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients, then add them to the nuts mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated.

Spread the mixture out between two parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Allow the nuts to cool for about an hour before portioning them out into snack sized plastic bags. If you don’t have a scale, put two small handfuls in each bag.

Store any bags that you don’t plan on eating within the week in the freezer, and take them out a few hours before you are ready to eat them. I actually think they taste good right out of the freezer as well.


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Posted in Healthy, Snacks, Vegetarian

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2 Responses to “Stress-Busting Chocolate Snack Mix”

  • I do munch from time to time into nuts and as you have mentioned, they make great healthy snacks for the balanced diet. Its a discovery for me that you have added five spice powder and that ingredients would have not only added more flavor but such wonderful fragrant too.

  • Linda says:

    I like this. I’m always snacking on nuts and when I saw your comment about orange zest as a possible addition I was hooked. YUM! It’s “orange” month all of January over at The Orange Bee – I’m all about orange anything!

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