Make Your Own Trail Mix

by in Healthy Recipes, Meal Makeovers, September 20, 2010
Almond Lover's Trail Mix - Photo Courtesy Food Network Magazine

The sweet and crunchy combo of nuts and dried fruit makes a satisfying snack you can enjoy just about anywhere. But when you buy pre-made kinds, there’s usually something in there you don’t really like. The solution: Make your own signature blend in three simple steps.

Nutrition Facts
On average, a 1/4-cup serving of trail mix has about 175 calories. While these are good quality calories, they can get out of control fast if you don’t mind the portions. Here’s the trick: Use a quarter-cup measure as a scoop when serving yourself a handful and portion out into individual bags ahead of time for snacking on the go.

Making Your Own
All you need to do is combine equal parts of nuts, dried fruit, and a little something for extra crunch. To finish, a sprinkle of a few “bonus” ingredients.  Make a big batch and store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.

Step 1: Nuts
Nuts are a good source of hunger fighting fiber and heart-healthy fats. Choose raw or dry-roasted and unsalted nuts to avoid too much extra fat and sodium. Walnuts will give you some omega-3 fats, while almonds are packed with vitamin E and iron. Other good choices are pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts.

Step 2: Dried Fruit
Dried fruit contributes natural sweetness as well as more fiber and vitamins to the mix. Dried apricots are high in iron and dried cranberries are packed with vitamin C. Other fun choices are dried blueberries, cherries, dates, mango, pear or pineapple.

Step 3: Extra Crunch
Whole grain cereal, mini pretzels, toasted soybeans (“soy nuts”) or air-popped popcorn will give you a dose of crunch to balance out the flavors and give your mix some extra texture. Crunchy foods also help relieve stress making trail mix a wise choice to fend off an afternoon slump.

Bonus Ingredients

Once you have your main ingredients, add in a few teaspoons of any of these flavor-packed extras.

  • Toasted coconut
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Granola
  • Chili powder or Cajun seasoning (just a sprinkle)

Winning Combos
Try these combinations on for size:

  • Raw almonds, dried apricots and mini-sized shredded wheat cereal
  • Cashews, dried cranberries, puffed rice and toasted coconut
  • Walnuts, golden raisins, mini pretzels and dark chocolate chips
  • Almonds, dried blueberries, oat cereal (such as Cheerios)

TELL US: What’s your favorite trail mix combo?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

More Recipes to Try:
Alton’s Trail Mix
Almond Lover’s Trail Mix
Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix

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Comments (245)

  1. Bauch weg says:

    Found your web-site on today and genuinely loved it.. i saved as a favorite it and will be back to check it out some more later .. As a Noob, I am constantly seeking online for posts that can help me. Regards! My best wishes, Julio.

  2. Melissa Smith says:

    Trying to figure out how much of each ingredient to make trail mix for about 100 people….any ideas?

  3. […] Mix (you can buy it prepackaged or make your own to suit your […]

  4. […] place of them in recipes. Add diced plums to muffins and breads, oatmeal, yogurt and cold cereal or make your own trail mix with them. This is a nice way to add fruits to your healthy eating plan, especially when winter […]

  5. […] diced plums t&#959 muffins &#1072nd breads, oatmeal, yogurt &#1072nd &#1089&#959ld cereal &#959r m&#1072k&#1077 &#1091&#959&#965r &#959wn trail mix w&#1110th th&#1077m. Th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 a nice way t&#959 add fruits t&#959 […]

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  7. peter says:

    I am making a batch of trail mix. I want to add prunes but have a concern that when compared to the other dried fruits that I will put in (raisins, cranberries etc) the prunes are not fully dried. I need the mix to last 6 months on the trail so will I have spoilage problems if I add the prunes? Peter

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