Trail Mix Made Easy

Homemade Trail Mix

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Are you tired of watching your family snack on junk?  You probably can’t eliminate junk completely but you can make it easier to skip it by providing a jar of homemade trail mix.  Keep the jar filled up and in clear view!  The easier it is to grab, the better the chances they will better!!!

I keep trail mix on my kitchen counter along with a couple other snack jars:

Jar 1 holds random types of crackers for the grandkids (wheat saltines, ritz, etc.)

Jar 2 is the candy stash.  I keep it filled up for those times we want something sweet but don’t have any dessert.  I realize not everyone could keep it out in the open like that but it works for us.  I, personally, just like knowing it’s there.  I go a little crazy if there’s nothing sweet in the house.  But as long as I have sweets, I don’t necessarily need to eat them.

Jar 3 is homemade trail mix.

My husband works hard (remodeling contractor), exercises regularly and needs a LOT of calories.  But he doesn’t want to eat junk.  I’ve purchased trail mixes for him and even made some using recipes I’ve found, but his favorite trail mix is the random stuff I mix up using whatever I happen to have on hand.

trail mix 2

Trail mix is actually a pretty good snack, especially if you make it yourself.  I purchase a variety of ingredients from Wal-mart and keep them on hand in the pantry.  Some of our favorites include:

  • Raisins (regular or golden)
  • Mixed fruit bits
  • Banana chips
  • Almonds
  • Cocoa dusted almonds
  • Yogurt covered raisins
  • Granola cereal
  • Chopped dates
  • Craisins
  • Dried cranberries
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Shelled sunflower seeds

Trail Mix IngredientsYou can add bits of chocolate, like m&m’s or chocolate chips, but my husband prefers I leave those out.  He likes the cocoa dusted almonds but doesn’t need the yogurt covered raisins.  He wants it to be as healthy as possible.

It’s best to include a cereal of some kind – like granola.  I found a dark chocolate granola once that was amazing.  But I haven’t been able to find it again.  You can make your own granola and I do that sometimes, too.

Avoid soft, sticky dried fruits like apples or apricots.  They don’t blend well in the granola mix.

I purchased dried blueberries once but David said they were loaded with sugar and didn’t taste all that great in the mix.

Experiment with whatever sounds good.  It doesn’t have to be nuts, cereal and dried fruit, either.  You can add anything that sounds good.

Trail mix isn’t just for snacking, either.  Add it to your cereal.  Mix it in your yogurt.  Put it on your ice cream.  It’s extremely versatile.

So grab a variety of healthy ingredients and mix up some trail mix.  Put it in a handy container on the counter where your family can see it and watch how often they grab some.

Do you make trail mix? What do you put in yours?


More recipes are available in the Recipe Index


Comments

  1. You’re right..it is so easy to make trail mix yourself. One time i got a trail mix that had a few wasabi peas mixed in. LOVED it. The contrast between the sweet and hot was a really good combo. Try adding a few of those in next time. (unless you hate wasabi) ;) I’m with Dave..I don’t care for the heavily sugared items…but its very hard to find dehydrated fruit that isn’t pre sweetened.

    • David actually tried wasabi once and he hated it. I should try something salty, though. The sweet and salty combination is always good.

  2. I mix my own trail mix from the bulk section at the grocery store. Usually cranberries, pumpkin seeds, unsalted sunflowers, cashews macadamia nuts, and whatever else catches my eye that is high in protein. I keep it Ina bag at work, and portion it out using a little applesauce cup.

    We keep a bag of cashews on the counter for snacking. And grapes, pears and apples most weeks, with bananas or clementines lately. Makes a huge difference. All the crackers and other packaged goods live in the pantry, where they are less obvious. And the sugary cereals and leftover holiday candy goes on the tops shelf. Keeps us all honest :)
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    • That’s what we do, too – fruit on the counter; crackers in the pantry; cashews on the counter frequently. I hadn’t thought about pumpkin seeds for the trail mix. Great idea.

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