Having a nutritious trail mix up your sleeve is a great way to stay energised in the outdoors. When you mix it right, you’ve got a lightweight snack that is filled with nutrients and ready to eat on-the-go. Here are a couple of our favourite recipes for you to try out on your next adventure.
The typical trail mix recipe should include a combination of textures (soft and crunchy) and flavours (salty and sweet). Nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruit often feature, but you can always personalise your recipe by including your favourite seeds/nuts or even adding in your favourite little sweet treat like dark chocolate or a few M&Ms.
Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats and are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fibre and protein. Including dried fruits and/or sweets adds sugar to the mix for a little extra energy. Now that you’ve got a handle on the basics, let’s get to it.
Trail Mix Recipes
Before getting started, make sure you have a clean work surface.
1. The healthy maven’s go-to trail mix
Davina, from The Healthy Maven, has created a go-to trail mix recipe that is salty, sweet, crunchy and just a little bit fancy.
- 3/4 cup raw pecans (toasted in the oven for 10 mins at 175 degrees celcius)
- 3/4 cup raw cashews (toasted in the oven for 10 mins at 175 degrees celcius)
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cherries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped 82% dark chocolate
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
2. Simple trail mix
This easy trail mix recipe by David from Backpacking Tips might seem basic but it has the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
- 2 cups salted peanuts
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 1 cup sunflower kernels
- 1 cup dark raisins
- 1 cup light raisins
3. Caribbean Trail Mix
Amy Roskelley from Super Healthy Kids has concocted an exotic Caribbean trail mix recipe.
- 1 cup dried pineapple
- 2 cups cashews
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup banana chips
- 1 cup yogurt covered raisins
4. Nut-Free Trail Mix
If you have a nut allergy, we’ve got a little something for you too. This recipe by Chelsey from C it Nutritionally is a great nut-free choice.
- 1 cup raw and unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 cup chili-rubbed roasted pepitas (see below)
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup unsweeteened, dried cherries
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- Chilli-Rubbed Roasted Pepitas:
- 1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- Dash sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
- Dash of black or white pepper
- Pinch of garlic powder
5. Simple homemade trail mix
- 1 cup of unsalted nuts (e.g., almonds, cashews, peanuts)
1 cup of dried fruits (e.g., raisins, cranberries, apricots)
1 cup of whole-grain cereal (e.g., Cheerios, Chex)
1/2 cup of chocolate chips or M&M’s (optional for sweetness)
1/2 cup of pretzels or popcorn (optional for a salty crunch)
- Gather all your ingredients and make sure they are ready to use.
- If your nuts are not already roasted, you can roast them for added flavor. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast them for about 8-10 minutes, or until they become slightly golden. Be sure to watch them closely to prevent burning. Let them cool before using.
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted nuts, dried fruits, whole-grain cereal, and any optional ingredients like chocolate chips, pretzels, or popcorn.
- Gently mix all the ingredients together until they are evenly distributed. You can adjust the quantities to your preference, adding more or less of each ingredient.
- Transfer your trail mix to an airtight container or portion it into individual snack-sized bags.
- Your homemade trail mix is ready to enjoy! It’s a great portable snack for hikes, road trips, or anytime you need a quick energy boost.
- Feel free to customise your trail mix by adding your favorite nuts, fruits, or other snacks to suit your taste.
6. Create your own
Feeling creative? Use the measurements below to create a personalised trail mix recipe with your favourite ingredients.
- 1 1/2 cups of raw nuts
- 1 cup raw seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened dried fruit
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate, M&Ms, mini marshmallows or something sweet
- 1 cup of grains; popcorn, pretzels or granola clusters.
Storing your trail mix
When stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place like a cupboard, homemade trail mix can last for several weeks to a few months. The shelf life can vary depending on the specific ingredients you’ve used, but here are some general guidelines:
1. Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds have natural oils that can turn rancid over time. Properly stored, they can last up to six months in a cupboard. However, they may start to lose their freshness and flavor after a few weeks.
2. Dried fruits: Dried fruits, like raisins and cranberries, can last for several months to a year in a sealed container in the cupboard. Be sure they are properly dried and not overly moist to prevent mold growth.
3. Whole-grain cereal: Most whole-grain cereals have a relatively long shelf life and can last for several months to a year in a sealed container in the cupboard.
4. Optional ingredients like chocolate chips or M&M’s: These ingredients may last several months if kept in a cool, dry place. However, chocolate can melt in warm conditions, so it’s best to store the mix in a cool environment.
To maximise the shelf life of your trail mix, make sure the container is airtight and kept away from heat, humidity, and direct sunlight. Periodically check for any signs of spoilage, such as an off odor or taste. If you notice any, it’s best to discard the trail mix.
If you want to extend the shelf life further, you can also store your trail mix in the refrigerator or freezer, where it can last for several months to a year. Just be sure to use airtight, moisture-proof packaging if freezing to prevent freezer burn.