Not all trail mixes are created equal! With this tutorial on how to build a healthy trail mix, you’ll get the low-down on what to include, what not to include and how to customize your homemade trail mix recipe to your needs and wants!
I will forever associate homemade trail mix with my hiking adventures or long road trips. I pretty much exclusively munch on trail mix when I’m out hiking or driving to a point where it also starts to infiltrate all of my meals. It just packs a serious nutrition bang for its buck.
In September, I’ll be hiking in Yosemite and being the planner that I am, I am already prepping every detail, including this healthy trail mix! I mean I needed to make sure it tasted good at least 7 times before we actually leave…right?!
I have my go-to trail mix, which I’ll share with you today, but I’ve also created a customizable recipe so that you can sub in and sub out your favorite ingredients.
Benefits of Trail Mix
If all trail mix was built like this recipe, you could rest assured that it would be of the utmost quality; however, few store-bought trail mixes are this simple.
God only know where they’re sourcing their ingredients from, and typically their dried fruit is coated in sugar, nuts and seeds roasted in hydrogenated oils and then the entire mix is coated in bad-quality salt and jacked up in price. I think you’re getting where I’m going with this…
Good quality homemade trail mix, in moderation is 100% part of a healthy diet. Especially in those circumstances of high physical activity where you need energy, fast.
This trail mix includes healthy fats and antioxidants from nuts and seeds, quality dried fruit for energy and the fun stuff because health doesn’t need to mean sacrificing on fun. The flavor is also spot on!
So let me convince you to ditch the store-bought trail mix in favor of this homemade trail mix recipe. Trust me it will quickly become your go-to snack mix.
Ingredients in Trail Mix
1. Nuts – Feel free to use any kind of nut here! Ideally, purchase raw nuts that haven’t been coated and roasted in hydrogenated or soybean oils and salt. You’re welcome to dry roast them at home for an added toastiness, but if you’re a nut purist, just keep them raw. Options include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts etc…
2. Seeds – Don’t forget about seeds! Often overlooked for the health benefits of nuts, seeds actually pack a serious nutritional punch including protein, iron, magnesium and an array of vitamins and minerals including Omega-3 + 6 Fatty Acids. Again, look for raw, unsalted seeds. Options include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds.
3. Dried Fruit – Because of the high sugar content in dried fruit, they’re a great snack to help boost your low blood sugar after a high dose of physical activity. Be careful when picking dried fruit! Do your best to find sun dried fruit that isn’t coated in sugar and is ideally unsulfured. It’s more expensive, but it’s worth it. Options include good old raisins, dried mangos, apricots, blueberries, coconut flakes, dried bananas (or banana chips), strawberries and cranberries.
4. Fun Stuff!– Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a little fun! I’m all about balance, so feel free to add in a handful of your favourite decadent or healthified decadent treat (kids love it too!). Dark chocolate and popcorn are my favs so those are my go-tos but feel free to get a little crazy with some pretzels, candy (hello m&m), peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, cereal (cheerios or chex are great!) or other sweet treat.
5. Spices – this is my secret ingredient in trail mix. Add a pinch of salt (or skip if watching sodium), some cinnamon and a little nutmeg. You can also add some cayenne pepper if you like a little kick!
Now let’s learn how to build your own healthy trail mix!
My Go-To Trail Mix Ratio
- 1 1/2 cups raw nuts – almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts etc..
- 1 cup raw seeds – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc…
- 1 cup dried fruit – ideally unsweetened, unsulphured dried fruit
- Fun stuff – amounts vary – see below
- Spices- 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg (optional)
How to Make Trail Mix
The instructions for how to make this trail mix couldn’t be any easier. Just combine all your ingredients in a large bowl and then store in a ziplock bag or large mason jar. I’ve included the basic amounts and my go-to recipe below.
Pro Tip: Store in individual ziplock bags or reusable stasher bags for easy snacking on the go.
More Recipes You’ll Love
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How To Build a Healthy Trail Mix
Not all trail mixes are created equal! With this tutorial on how to build a healthy trail mix, you’ll get the low-down on what to include, what not to include and how to customize your homemade trail mix to your needs and wants!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 4–5 cups 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Raw
- Diet: Vegan
For the customizable version:
- 1 1/2 cups raw nuts i.e. almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts etc..
- 1 cup raw seeds i.e. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc…
- 1 cup unsweetened, unsulphured dried fruit
- Fun stuff (amounts vary) i.e. 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate, 1 cup popped popcorn, 1 cup pretzels etc..
- Spices e.g. 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg (optional)
My Go-To Trail Mix Recipe:
- 3/4 cup raw pecans (I toast mine in the oven for 10 mins at 350 degrees F)
- 3/4 cup raw cashews (I toast mine in the oven for 10 mins at 350 degrees F)
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, unsulfured cherries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, unsulfured raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped 82% dark chocolate
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Store in a ziploc bag or mason jar.
- Will keep for up to 1 month.
Optional: If you really need the extra sweetness, you can coat the mix with 2 tbsp maple syrup, spread it out on a baking sheet and allow it to dry before bagging.
Keywords: trail mix
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LaurenJune 3, 2023 at 10:56 pm
Loved the trail mix! I mixed ¼ teaspoon of salt with a generous ½ teaspoon of cardamom and sprinkled it throughout the trail mix. It paired amazingly well with the dried fruits and nuts!
ShelleyApril 17, 2023 at 9:23 am
I thought chocolate was a no no for GERD
BlancaDecember 23, 2022 at 12:03 pm
FredAugust 9, 2022 at 1:18 pm
Thank you this was perfect. It was not easy to find raw, no sugar added ingredients but it was worth looking for them. This makes a wonderful work time snack.
MichelleMarch 12, 2022 at 12:31 am
An excellent trail mix recipe, love it. I would never of thought to add cinnamon but it is so good, I did use cranberries and apple for the dried fruit so it went with that perfectly!
GeorgiaFebruary 28, 2022 at 1:08 am
Hello what are the calories and protein for a single serving? Xx
AndreaMay 2, 2022 at 5:43 am
Lets say that a serving is 50gr (1.8oz) there is around 265 kcal, 10g carbs, 10g fat, 3g protein, 5g sugar and 30mg sodium in a serving. This is an estimate 🙂
AliciaMarch 2, 2021 at 3:24 pm
I was lucky enough to discover your site and couldn’t be more grateful to you Davida for providing this huge amount of help/resources! Speaks a lot to your genuine desire to educate others. I recently started cooking from home for dieting purposes – as going out for food has been a nasty habit of mine – and I’ve been especially enjoying the recipes on the site.
While I definitely need to carve out more time for some meal prep, the plan and shopping list is handled 🙂 I don’t know if your readers would be interested, but I have a free report detailing my experience and tips I’ve used to help me lose a few pounds. Well done, Davida! Hope your helpfulness returns to you 7 fold.