Make your own trail mix! This post contains 5 different trail mix recipes — a tropical version, an indulgent version, a mountain version, a peanut lovers version, and a healthy version.
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 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, 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; 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. Grab 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 favorite.
- 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 — just whatever you like best!
- Peanut butter baking chips: these chips are typically found on the baking asile 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
- M&Ms: I like using miniature (baking) M&Ms in these mixes, but regular M&Ms also work
- Pretzels: I get the itty bitty mini’s 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.
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, chocolate chunks
Feel free to replace ingredients you don’t love with the ones listed above OR add in extra ingredients.
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/container or individual bags/containers.
Below are the 5 trail mix recipes and beneath the recipe are individual pictures and additional details for each mix.
Make your own trail mix! This post contains 5 different trail mix recipes -- a tropical version, an indulgent version, a mountain version, a peanut lovers, and a healthy version.
- 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
- 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 and salted cashews
- 1/2 cup (70g) dry roasted peanuts
- 1 cup (129g) dry roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup (67g) raisins
- 1 cup (184g) miniature M&Ms
- 1/2 cup (76g) almonds
- 1/2 cup (67g) cashews
- 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
- 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
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&Ms, 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.
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.
Tropical Trail Mix
This 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: dried pineapple, dried papaya, yogurt covered raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, dried kiwi, dried apricots, chopped dates
Indulgent Trail Mix
This 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: dark chocolate chips or chunks, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered almonds, popcorn, golden raisins, mini peanut butter cups, dried cherries
Mountain Trail Mix
This mix combines almonds, cashews, mini M&Ms, raisins, and cashews; it’s a great all-purpose trail mix — perfect for taking along as you hike up a mountain. 🙂
Other addition ideas: regular sized M&Ms, sunflower seeds, chocolate covered popcorn, dark chocolate chunks, pecans
Peanut Lovers’ Trail Mix
This mix combines peanut butter baking chips, peanuts, miniature pretzels, and Reese’s pieces. This mix is meant to be more of a treat and truly for the peanut lover!
Other addition ideas: chocolate chips or chunks, chocolate covered pretzels, white chocolate chips, mini Reese’s cups, cocoa roasted almonds
Healthy Trail Mix
This is the healthiest mix of all the recipes shared in this post. This mix combines dried cranberries, yogurt covered raisins, cashews, and almonds. This mix is great if you want a mix that is overall less sweet or if you’re watching sugar intake.
Other addition ideas: walnuts, pecans, dried cherries, pistachios, pepitas, sunflower seeds, cocoa roasted almonds, coconut chips
More easy snacks:
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 in fat. Trail mixes also often have ingredients that don’t add significant nutritional value to the mix and are just adding additional fat and sugar.
How to make it healthier
- Portion control: portion out small amounts of the mix 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, but can bulk up trail mix. This will make less of the overall mix be more filling and satisfying without tons of additional calories/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.