Healthy Homemade Trail Mix: 4 Easy Recipes

With fall approaching and cooler temperatures on the horizon, it’s time to start planning for the upcoming hiking season. Most hikers are familiar with the acronym GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts and often with M&Ms). And even if they’re not, they understand the importance of a having a high-protein, high-fat, sweet, and salty snack for the trail.

There are many theories as to the true origin of the term. However, the one thing that can’t be argued is its importance as an energy booster whether taking a day hike, extended backcountry trip, or just looking for a healthy afternoon snack at home. 

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It’s easy to become inundated with all of the prepackaged options available at your local grocery store. It’s just as easy to create your own trail mixes that contain just the ingredients that you desire. Making your own mix at home can also eliminate any unwanted preservatives.

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 less 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 treat.

Here are 4 of our favorite mixes below. However, feel free to “mix” and “match” and customize a trail mix that accommodates your individual palate. 

Tropical 

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

Peanut Butter Cup Banana Split

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

Go Nuts

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

Spicy & Sweet

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 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 storage container. Add dark chocolate chips  and mix well (optional).

It’s A Blank Slate

As a personal preference, I steer clear of items like pretzels, Chex cereal, sesame sticks, and similar items that can be crushed or easily broken into smaller pieces. These bags of “trail” goodies are often stashed inside of a backpack or carry-on bag and take a good beating before emerging for their first caloric contribution. 

Be creative! The suggestions above are just the starting point and can be experimented with and enhanced or supplemented to create your new favorite trail mix.

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