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How To Build a Healthy Trail Mix

August 4, 2015

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!

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 trail mix to your needs and wants!Trail Mix gets a bad rap far too frequently. I’m not going to delve into the conversation as to why fat is good for you (mainly because it’s the weekend and I don’t need to get worked up before it), but let’s just say that all of the flack that trail mix gets in the weight-loss and occasionally healthy living community isn’t always warranted.

I’m not about to go out and say that most conventional trail-mixes on the market are healthy, because that would be straight falsehood, but I am going to try to convince you that your conceptions as to why trail mix isn’t part of a healthy diet stem from all of the wrong accusations.

True, trail mix is high in fat and sugar. Fat from the nuts and seeds and sugar from the dried fruit and occasional add-ins. *News alert*  your bodies need both fat and sugar to function. Again, not going to delve too much into this, but the important thing here is that it’s the QUALITY of the fat and sugar that affect our bodies, not whether or not it’s a part of our diet.

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 trail mix to your needs and wants!If trail mix was all built like this recipe, you could rest assured that it is 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…

I think 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.

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 trail mix to your needs and wants!I will forever associate homemade trail mix with my hiking adventures. I pretty much exclusively munch on trail mix when I’m out hiking 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 favourite ingredients. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s have a look at the anatomy of the 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 trail mix to your needs and wants!

HEALTHY TRAIL MIX RECIPE

1. NutsFeel 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.

2. SeedsDon’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. Again, look for raw, unsalted 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.

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. Dark chocolate and popcorn are my favs so those are my go-tos but feel free to get a little crazy with some pretzels, peanut butter chips or other sweet treat.

Now let’s learn how to build your own healthy trail mix!

Print

How To Build a Healthy Trail Mix

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 cups 1x
Scale

Ingredients

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..
  • Spice i.e. 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg (optional)

My Go-To Trail Mix Recipe:

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Store in a ziploc bag or mason jar.
  3. Will keep for up to 1 month.

Optional: If you really need the extra sweetness, you can coat the mix with 2 T maple syrup, spread it out on a baking sheet and allow it to dry before bagging.

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 trail mix to your needs and wants!

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  • Reply
    Lori
    July 8, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you for the recipe. We loved this healthy trail mix. I try it every day with yogurt, banana, avocado sometimes.

  • Reply
    Margot
    June 26, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    what’s a good serving size? I’ve read that average serving is 1/4 cup…

    • Reply
      Georgina Webster
      July 17, 2020 at 7:44 am

      i think its 1/4 cup twice daily….good luck!

  • Reply
    Callie
    June 23, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    Yum! I know whose desk I’m heading for when the crunch monster calls =) Besides, snack time I do believe your granola would be gorgeous with a cup of ice cream =)

  • Reply
    Susan Dubose
    May 14, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Such a great guide for making trail-Mix at home. the dried RASPBERRIES, Chocolate + popcorn combo was crazy.

  • Reply
    Ryan
    April 7, 2020 at 10:53 am

    This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Propst
    March 27, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    My family loved it! In less than 24 hours a single batch is now history. Off to the kitchen to make 7 times the recipe, in hopes that it will last a week.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      March 27, 2020 at 8:38 pm

      So happy to hear that! Enjoy!

      • Reply
        Stephanie
        April 6, 2020 at 7:35 pm

        Oh yes!!! Awesome recipe and so easy to double (triple/quadruple) as needed. I keep coming back to this and every time I do my own little happy dance.

  • Reply
    Patrick
    March 12, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    These look for healthy and delicious. I will definitely give them a try. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    moin
    February 29, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Great Mix! I love the dried fruit mix

  • Reply
    Erika
    February 17, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    I love love love LOVE this!!! ? haha I’m glad i’m not the only one who gets the crunch monster hahaha great pictures btw make me want to grab some nuts ?

  • Reply
    Dulci Josh
    July 20, 2019 at 1:33 am

    Nice post. I love this recipe.

  • Reply
    jacquie shaw
    June 29, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I haven’t tried this yet but it looks delicious. I add trail mix to yoghurt, cottage cheese and ice cream. Also, it makes a great cereal if you just add milk. Quick tip. Portion these out as soon as possible in case you eat more than you would want and also grab and go. Also, buy your ingredients from whole foods bulk. just get a scoop of your fave ingredient

  • Reply
    Wirekite
    June 13, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Where do you guys buy your raw nuts from? Online, local store? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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