Homemade Trail Mix

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If you are looking for a healthy and delicious snack, this homemade trail mix recipe is for you! Packed with healthy nuts, seeds, fruit, and more, it’s a simple snack everyone will enjoy!

A glass jar filled with easy trail mix with a small bowl of homemade trail mix in the back on a dark grey counter.
Easy Trail Mix

I think we can all agree that there is just something about a sweet and salty snack that satisfies just about every craving. Trail mix is one of those snacks – you get your salty fix from the nuts and seeds, and your sweet fix from the dried fruits and chocolate.

While it’s super convenient to pick up a bag of trail mix at the store, here are my reasons to make it at home:

Reasons to love this recipe

  1. Completely customizable to your taste
  2. Made with ingredients that are good for you.
  3. Makes for a great gift.
  4. Cheaper and healthier than storebought!
  5. Perfect for meal-prepping snacks for the week.

Is trail mix good for you?

Most health enthusiasts debate this for a number of reasons.

Trail mix contains a blend of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and additional mix-ins. The nuts and seeds provide protein, fiber, and healthy fats that keep you full and satisfied longer. Dried fruit is also packed with fiber, as well as additional vitamins.

When you make trail mix at home, you are able to control what goes in the mix, and therefore what you are adding to your body.

Unfortunately, the pre-made mixes you buy at the supermarket fall short of the health benefits you can get from a homemade trail mix. The nuts are often roasted in hydrogenated oils and coated in added salt, while the amount of dried fruit and other mix-ins outweigh the nuts, packing in more added sugar than a homemade trail mix contains.

This is why I prefer to make my own trail mix at home!

The history of trail mix

Trail mix was developed as a snack often made by hikers. Its blend of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, are lightweight and have a long shelf life, making it ideal for taking on the road.

Some other names associated with trail mix include “Scroggins,” which is what it’s called in New Zealand and Australia, and “gorp,” which is another North American name used primarily by hikers. It’s believed the name comes from the ingredients “good ‘ole raisins and peanuts”.

How to make Homemade Trail Mix

Ingredients at a glance

To make a delicious and healthy batch of trail mix, it should contain 4 components – nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and mix-ins to make it fun.

  • Nuts – Almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts provide protein and antioxidants to the trail mix. They are also a low-carb addition!
  • Sunflower Seeds – While optional, I think they are a great addition to the trail mix since they are packed with vitamins and minerals.
  • Dried Fruits – Dates, raisins, craisins, and dried bananas add sweetness to the trail mix, but also add a good source of fiber.
  • M&Ms – These sweet chocolate bites balance out the saltiness of the trail mix. If you use dark chocolate M&Ms or dark chocolate chunks, you’ll also get a boost of antioxidants!

Homemade trail mix formula

Note: In my view, the ratio does not matter. Add as much or as little of any ingredient as you want. But if you are starting out and want to stick to a formula, here’s how I usually make it.

2 cups nuts – choose from cashews, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans. I like them toasted, but you can skip toasting if you don’t want to.

1 cup dried fruits – Choose from cranberries, cherries, raisins, chopped apricots, dates, dried banana, blueberries, etc. Go for unsweetened ones. You can also include freeze-dried fruits!

1/4 cup seeds – choose from sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup mix-ins – chopped chocolate chunks, pretzels, popcorn, m&ms, Chex mix, toasted coconut flakes, etc.

Once you get the hang of it, you can eyeball the ingredients – just make sure to keep the mix-ins to a minimum – they can add calories quickly. 

Directions for Homemade Trail Mix

Step #1: Toast the Nuts (optional but highly recommended)

  • Set the temperature of your air-fryer to 325°F.
  • Add the nuts to the air-fryer and cook for 8 minutes.
  • Toss the nuts at the halfway mark (4 minutes) to evenly brown them.
  • Remove from the air-fryer and allow to cool completely.

Step #2: Prepare the Trail Mix

  • In a large bowl, add the toasted nuts, dried fruit, and M&Ms.
  • Mix well.
  • Store the trail mix in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.
Two glass bowls of trail mix on a dark grey counter with other nuts sprinkled around.
Trail Mix Recipe

Recipe notes

Tips

  • Don’t use mini m&ms or chocolate chip morsels – they tend to sink to the bottom. Use the standard m&ms or chopped chocolate pieces instead.
  • If you are toasting nuts, make sure they are completely cool before adding any mix-ins.

How to store

Store it in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place for up to a month.

Variations

Every time you make trail mix, you can mix it up by changing the ingredients used or the ratio it is used in. Here are some fun variations I found on the internet – 10 sweet and savory trail mix combinations.

Trail Mix Uses

  • Snack – Bag it up for a healthy and energizing snack for after-school, a bike ride, or camping!
  • Salads– Use it as a topping for fresh, leafy green salads. You may want to omit the chocolate if you are using it to top a salad.
  • Popcorn– Toss with homemade popcorn for a filling sweet and salty snack mix everyone will enjoy!

What to serve homemade trail mix with

Here are a few other snacks you can pack up and take with you when you are snacking on trail mix.

  • Fresh fruit – Grapes, bananas, sliced apples, and berries.
  • Raw vegetables – Carrots, celery, or cucumbers.
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese

Frequently asked questions

Is it cheaper to make your own trail mix?

Yes and no. From an initial investment, it will cost a lot to buy your own almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts, compared to picking up a bag of pre-made trail mix.
However, once you have the ingredients, you will be able to make multiple batches of homemade trail mix, which will come out cheaper in the long run.

What is usually in trail mix?

Most trail mix recipes combine nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, and include some kinds of mix-ins. These added mix-ins range from chocolate to yogurt dipped raisins, wasabi peas, and more! Whatever your preference, there is a blend of trail mix perfect for you!

How is trail mix bad for you?

While there are many wonderful health benefits associated with trail mix, there are a few ingredients you will want to limit in the mix. Dried fruits and chocolate add additional sugar to the mix, and if your mix uses more fruit and chocolate than nuts, you won’t get the protein from the nuts that keeps you full longer.

Other healthy recipes you’ll love

  • 10 Minute Roasted Phool Makhana (Foxnuts)– Roasted phool makhana or fox nuts is an addictive treat that is perfect for movie nights or for whenever hunger strikes.
  • Strawberry Banana Smoothie– This delicious 4-ingredient gluten-free strawberry banana smoothie is perfect for busy families. 
  • Quick and Healthy Air Fryer Granola– Healthy and easy granola recipe made with whole ingredients that are good for you. Learn how to make it in your air fryer in half the time. 
  • Healthy Peanut Butter– Learn how to make your own creamy and healthy homemade peanut butter with this one ingredient recipe. 
  • Roasted Nuts– Making roasted nuts at home is easier than you think and barely takes a few minutes!
A glass jar with a lid attached on the left side with the lid hanging open and homemade trail mix inside the jar with a small glass bowl of homemade trail mix in the back.

Homemade Trail Mix

5 from 3 votes
Learn how to easily make your own trail mix at home with this simple and filling snack mix recipe!
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 8
Diet : Vegetarian
Course : Accompaniment
Method: Air fryer
Cuisine : Fusion

Ingredients
  

Nuts

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup walnuts

Seeds

  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, optional

Dried fruits

  • ¼ cup chopped dried dates
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup dried banana

Mix-ins

  • ¼ cup m&ms, or chopped chocolate

Instructions
 

Toasting nuts [optional step]

  • Set the temperature to 325°F in your air-fryer.
  • Add the nuts to the air-fryer and set the time to 8 minutes
  • Make sure to toss the nuts at the halfway mark(4 minutes) for even browning.
  • Let the nuts completely cool.

Preparing the trail mix

  • To a large bowl, add the cooled toasted nuts, along with all the ingredients. Mix well.
  • Store the trail mix in an air-tight container for about a month.

Notes

My formula for trail mix
2 cups nuts – choose from cashews, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans. I like them toasted but you can skip toasting if you don’t want to.
1 cup dried fruits – Choose from cranberries, cherries, raisins, chopped apricots, dates, dried banana, blueberries, etc. Go for unsweetened ones. You can also include freeze-dried fruits!
1/4 cup seeds – choose from sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup mix-ins – chopped chocolate chunks, pretzels, popcorn, m&ms, Chex mix, toasted coconut flakes, etc.
Tips
  • Don’t use mini m&ms or chocolate chip morsels – they tend to sink to the bottom. Use the standard m&ms or the chopped chocolate pieces instead.
  • If you are toasting nuts, make sure they are completely cool before adding any mix-ins.

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 7gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 8mgPotassium: 281mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 26IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : air fried, roasted, toasted

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Loved reading the blog. I have been using 4 in 1 Trail Mix from True Elements – a clean label food brand 4 in 1 Trail Mix after my gym workout for breakfast and I find it very tasty and healthy. Thank you.

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