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Hit the Trails With These Homemade Trail Mix Recipes

Spring has sprung, and for many of us, so has the desire to get back out and enjoy the great outdoors. There are so many elements to love. The crisp mornings and deliciously warm afternoons, the powerful force of mighty waterfalls, every bloom bursting with fresh newness, and endless wildlife waiting to be admired. The joys of being one with nature are truly endless.

Whether you’re a hiking novice or a total outdoor pro, there’s certainly one thing we all have in common — the need for healthy food fuel to get us through those fun flirtations with Mother Nature. The tried and true standard for this requirement? You guessed it. Trail mix. Sure, there are plenty of options these days in the world of healthy trail time snacks. But trail mix has long held the crown, and for good reason. It’s the perfect balance of healthy proteins and fats like nuts and fruits that keep our bodies energetic and our minds sharp. Toss in some M&Ms for good measure, and you’re bound to get a smile out of even the unhappiest camper.

Of course, there are plenty of store-bought options for those who enjoy the convenience of a pre-wrapped package. But making your own homemade trail mix is really quite simple, and better yet, totally customizable to your particular tastes. So before hitting the trails this spring, try mixing up a batch or two of your own personal homemade trail mix.

Trail mix on a resealable plastic pouch.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Basics

  • Nuts: Peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, or cashews (roasted or raw)
  • Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, or hemp seeds are a great addition 
  • Dried Fruit: Choose sun-dried fruit as it contains fewer added sugars. Good choices include raisins, cranberries, apricots, peaches, cherries, dates, etc.
  • The “GOOD” Stuff: This category allows for a sweet addition in the form of chocolate chips, M&M’s, banana chips, pretzels, peanut butter chips, or other sweet treats.

Here are 4 of our favorite recipes below. But the beauty of homemade trail mix is that you’re allowed to do anything you want (except, perhaps, grab a bag of chocolate chips and call it a day — that’s cheating). Embrace your inner chef by swapping one nut or fruit for another. Hate sunflower seeds? Leave ’em out! Can’t get enough dried cranberries? Feel free to throw in an extra scoop or two. You get the idea.

Tropical Trail Mix Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup banana chips
  • 1/4 cup Brazil nuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup dried mango

Method

  1. Mix and store in a sealable container.

Peanut Butter Cup Banana Split Trail Mix Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup banana chips
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Method

  1. Mix and store in a sealable container.

Go Nuts Trail Mix Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup pistachios 
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Mix and store in a sealable container.

Spicy & Sweet Trail Mix Recipe

This one will require a little preparation but the rewards will be so worth the effort.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons sriracha 
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans 
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine the sriracha, honey, and olive oil and blend well before adding the nuts and seeds. Mix well so that all are coated with the mixture. 
  3. Spread evenly over a parchment-lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for approximately 10 mins or until slightly golden brown.
  4. Allow to cool before placing in a storage container. Add dark chocolate chips and mix well (optional).

It’s A Blank Slate

The beautiful thing about homemade trail mix is that it’s pretty much idiot-proof. No complicated cooking methods to master, no Teppanyaki knife skills required. Just throw a good balance of what you love in a bag, hit the path, and enjoy all Mother Nature has to offer.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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