Trail Mix

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Make your own trail mix! This post contains five different trail mix recipes — a tropical version, an indulgent version, a mountain version, a peanut lovers version, and a healthy version. 

Overhead shot of all five trail mix versions.

Save money and make your own!

There are few snacks I like more than trail mix, but you certainly pay a premium for pre-mixed nuts and candies. Making your own trail mix not only saves money, it also ensures you get exactly what you want in your mix (you know, so you don’t end up with an entire bag of leftover raisins that you didn’t ever want in the mix…).

So let’s start by talking about what’s in a trail mix and then go over options for customizing your own mix.

What is in trail mix?

Trail mix commonly includes a variety or nuts and/or seeds, a variety of dried fruits, and often, candies or chocolate. Below are the ingredients I’m using in the different recipes today. (None of the below brands I call out are sponsoring this post; they’re just what I use, love, and recommend.)

  • Roasted cashews: I like to save myself the step of roasting nuts and prefer to buy the pre-roasted varieties. Use whole cashews or even cashew halves and pieces.
  • Roasted and salted almonds: We prefer the salted and roasted almonds to regular almonds; they have so much more flavor!
  • Coconut chips: These toasted coconut chips by Bare® are my absolute favorites.
  • Banana chips: I also love Bare’s banana chips; for a nice flavor twist use the cinnamon or strawberry-flavored apple chips.
  • Dried mango: I don’t recommend the sugared dried mango; I find it too sweet. Instead, I highly recommend Sunsweet Pacific Tropicals® dried Mango.
  • White chocolate chips: If you don’t love white chocolate, use extra milk chocolate or a different type of chocolate instead.
  • Milk chocolate chips: If you are worried about sweetness, semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate can be used instead — whatever you like best!
  • Peanut butter baking chips: These chips are typically found on the baking aisle near other baking chips.
  • Dried cranberries: Sometimes we’ll switch it up and use cherry juice-infused dried cranberries; both are great in trail mix.
  • Dry roasted peanuts
  • Raisins
  • M&M’s: I like using miniature (baking) M&M’s in these mixes, but regular M&M’s also work.
  • Pretzels: I get the itty bitty mini pretzels so they’re about the same size as the other ingredients. Any pretzels work, but you might want to break larger pretzels up a bit.
  • Reese’s pieces
  • Vanilla yogurt raisins: I love Mariana® vanilla yogurt raisins for these trail mix recipes.

Other ingredients

Some other ingredients that pop up commonly in trail mix: Shelled sunflower seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dried pineapple, rice Chex® cereal, pecans, dried cherries, golden raisins, popcorn, pistachios, chocolate covered pretzels, dried papaya dates, teddy grahams®, mini peanut butter cups, chocolate covered pretzels, and chocolate chunks are all popular choices.

Feel free to replace ingredients you don’t love with the ones listed above, or add in extra ingredients.

Storage

To store trail mix, place in an airtight container (I like using mason jars or Weck® mold jars). Keep container in a cool dry place for 2 weeks to 1 month
 
If the dried fruit you’re using is not dry enough, it will make the mix soft. I like to keep the tropical mix in airtight bags in the freezer.

How to make trail mix

Find a flavor profile that resonates best with you and toss everything in a large bowl until combined. Transfer portions to a large bag or container, or individual bags or containers. 

Below are the five trail mix recipes and beneath the recipes are individual pictures and additional details for each mix.

Tropical Trail Mix

Tropical Trail Mix combines banana chips, coconut chips, dried mango, cashews, and almonds. To ensure crunchy nuts, this mix is best eaten soon after being made; sometimes the dried fruit still has enough moisture to make the rest of the ingredients soft. 

Other addition ideas: Try dried pineapple, dried papaya, yogurt-covered raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, dried kiwi, dried apricots, or chopped dates.

Overhead shot of the ingredients for Tropical Trail Mix; photo of the ingredients being mixed together.

Overhead view of Tropical Trail Mix.

Indulgent Trail Mix

Indulgent Trail Mix combines milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter baking chips, dried cranberries, peanuts, and cashews,. This mix is meant to be more of a treat, and is a great mix to bring to a party!

Other addition ideas: Try some dark chocolate chips or chunks, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate-covered almonds, popcorn, golden raisins, mini peanut butter cups, or dried cherries.

Overhead shot of the ingredients for Indulgent Trail Mix.

Overhead view of Indulgent Trail Mix.

Mountain Trail Mix

Mountain Trail Mix combines almonds, cashews, mini M&M’s, raisins, and cashews; it’s a great all-purpose trail mix — perfect for taking along as you hike up a mountain.

Other addition ideas: Include regular-sized M&M’s, sunflower seeds, chocolate-covered popcorn, dark chocolate chunks, or pecans.

Overhead shot of the ingredients for Mountain Trail Mix.Overhead view of Mountain Trail Mix.

Peanut Lover’s Trail Mix

Peanut Lover’s Trail Mix is more of a treat and truly for the peanut lover!

Other addition ideas: Add in some chocolate chips or chunks, chocolate-covered pretzels, white chocolate chips, mini Reese’s cups,or cocoa-roasted almonds.

Overhead view of the ingredients for Peanut Lover's Trail Mix.

Overhead view of of Peanut Lover's Trail Mix.

Healthy Trail Mix

This is the healthiest mix of all the recipes in this post. Healthy Trail Mix combines dried cranberries, yogurt-covered raisins, cashews, and almonds. This mix is great if you want a mix that is less sweet or if you’re watching your sugar intake.

Other addition ideas: Include some walnuts, pecans, dried cherries, pistachios, pepitas, sunflower seeds, cocoa-roasted almonds, or coconut chips.

Overhead view of the ingredients for Healthy Trail Mix.Overhead view of Healthy Trail Mix.

 

Health FAQs

How bad is trail mix for you?

Trail mix is a great snack to have in small quantities and in moderation. While nuts and seeds are incredibly healthy, they’re also high in calories and fat. Trail mixes also often have ingredients that don’t add significant nutritional value to the mix and are just add additional fat and sugar. Plus, it’s very easy to over-consume trail mix!

How to make trail mix healthier

  • Portion control: Portion out small amounts of the mix , so the whole thing isn’t consumed in one sitting.
  • Reduce sweet additions: Remove or reduce the amount of sugary add-ins.
  • Add air-popped popcorn: Popcorn is low in calories and fat, and can bulk up trail mix. This will make smaller quantities of the overall mix more filling and satisfying without tons of additional calories and fat.
  • Dried fruit: A lot of dried fruit is covered in sugar or has other added ingredients. Try to find dried fruit that lists just the fruit in the ingredient list.

More easy snacks

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Trail Mix

5 from 2 votes
Make your own trail mix! This post contains five different trail mix recipes -- a tropical version, an indulgent version, a mountain version, a peanut lovers, and a healthy version. 
Print Recipe

Trail Mix

5 from 2 votes
Make your own trail mix! This post contains five different trail mix recipes -- a tropical version, an indulgent version, a mountain version, a peanut lovers, and a healthy version. 
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword trail mix, trail mix recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 176kcal
Cost $5.50

Ingredients

Tropical Trail Mix

  • 1/2 cup (50g) banana chips, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (125g) dried mango, coarsely chopped (I like Sunsweet Pacific Tropicals Premium Mango)
  • 1 cup (126g) roasted cashews (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup (73g) roasted, salted almonds
  • 1/2 cup (26g) coconut chips

Indulgent Trail Mix

  • 1/3 cup (55g) white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup (55g) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup (55g) peanut butter baking chips
  • 1/2 cup (62g) dried cranberries
  • 1 cup (126g) roasted, salted cashews
  • 1/2 cup (70g) dry roasted peanuts

Mountain Trail Mix

  • 1 cup (129g) dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup (67g) raisins
  • 1 cup (184g) miniature M&M's
  • 1/2 cup (76g) almonds
  • 1/2 cup (67g) cashews

Peanut Lovers Mix

  • 1 cup (129g) dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup (52g) pretzels
  • 1/2 cup (84g) peanut butter baking chips
  • 1/2 cup (100g) Reese's pieces

Healthy Trail Mix

  • 1 cup (147g) roasted and salted almonds
  • 1 cup (120g) roasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup (60g) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (100g) vanilla yogurt raisins

Instructions

  • TROPICAL TRAIL MIX: Coarsely chop the banana chips and dried mango. Add 1/2 cup banana chips, 1 cup dried mango, 1 cup cashews, 1/2 cup almonds, and 1/2 cup coconut chips to a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to storage containers.
  • INDULGENT TRAIL MIX: Combine 1/3 cup white chocolate chips, 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips, 1/3 cup peanut butter baking chips, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup cashews, and 1/2 cup peanuts to a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to storage containers.
  • MOUNTAIN TRAIL MIX: Combine 1 cup peanuts, 1 cup pretzels, 1/2 cup peanut butter baking chips, and 1/2 cup Reese's pieces to a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to storage containers.
  • PEANUT LOVERS MIX: Combine 1 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 cup miniature M&M's, 1/2 cup almonds, and 1/2 cup cashews to a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to storage containers.
  • HEALTHY TRAIL MIX: Combine 1 cup almonds, 1 cup cashews, 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt raisins to a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to storage containers.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: I highly recommend buying roasted and salted nuts. Otherwise I'd suggest toasting and salting the nuts before adding to the mixes. Here's a tutorial on how to do that.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 176kcal

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Nutrition facts in trail mix

The above calories are for the tropical trail mix. There are 242 calories in the indulgent trail mix, 285 calories in the mountain trail mix, 202 grams in the Peanut Lovers Mix, and 196 calories in the healthy trail mix.

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