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
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Trail Mix
- How to Make Muesli
- Almond Cranberry Granola
- Homemade Granola Bars
- No-Bake Protein Oatmeal Energy Balls
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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LoriJuly 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.
MargotJune 26, 2020 at 8:18 pm
what’s a good serving size? I’ve read that average serving is 1/4 cup…
Georgina WebsterJuly 17, 2020 at 7:44 am
i think its 1/4 cup twice daily….good luck!
CallieJune 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 =)
Susan DuboseMay 14, 2020 at 9:35 pm
Such a great guide for making trail-Mix at home. the dried RASPBERRIES, Chocolate + popcorn combo was crazy.
RyanApril 7, 2020 at 10:53 am
This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
Elizabeth PropstMarch 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.
Davida LederleMarch 27, 2020 at 8:38 pm
So happy to hear that! Enjoy!
StephanieApril 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.
PatrickMarch 12, 2020 at 9:38 pm
These look for healthy and delicious. I will definitely give them a try. Thanks for sharing.
moinFebruary 29, 2020 at 9:29 am
Great Mix! I love the dried fruit mix
ErikaFebruary 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 ?
Dulci JoshJuly 20, 2019 at 1:33 am
Nice post. I love this recipe.
jacquie shawJune 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
WirekiteJune 13, 2019 at 9:57 am
Where do you guys buy your raw nuts from? Online, local store? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!