This is a variation of our trail mix base recipe. As dietitians, we get a lot of questions about healthy snacks; trail mix is one of our go-to recommendations for a satisfying snack. Trail mix is lightweight, temperature-stable, energy-providing, and well-balanced. It’s easy to pack for a day on the trails, at the office, on the run, or even at home! This sweet and salty trail mix recipe is filling, flavorful, and fun!
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Culinary Tips for this Easy Trail Mix Recipe
Homemade trail mix doesn’t need a lot of ingredients and requires just one simple step, so it’s a great recipe to practice customizing to your taste!
Feel free to leave your measuring tools in the cabinet for this recipe! There is no need for precise measurements. Our ingredient quantities are just suggestions based on purchased bag weights.
Trail mix is a great recipe for kids to help make. They love stirring, mixing, and shaking the ingredients together!
- Peanuts & Almonds: substitute any nut or combination of nuts. For best flavor, choose lightly-salted roasted nuts or toast nuts yourself. Cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts are all good options.
- Raisins & Dates: substitute any dried fruit or combination of dried fruits. Look for unsulfured and sugar-free varieties. Some sour or bitter fruits such as cherries and cranberries have added sugar, and that’s okay. Avoid artificially-sweetened varieties. Apples, apricots, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, figs, mangoes, and prunes are all good options.
- Pumpkin Seeds: substitute sunflower seeds. We don’t recommend using tiny seeds like chia, flax, hemp or poppy seeds.
- Dark Chocolate Chips: substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips or leave out. We don’t recommend using milk or white chocolate chips, as these are higher in added sugars and not as rich in disease-fighting phytonutrients
Want to make trail mix without nuts? Replace the nuts with the same volume of other add-ins, such as granola, seeds, pretzels, or popcorn.
Want to add even more ingredients to your trail mix? Here are some of our favorite trail mix recipe additions:
- Spices: sweet (allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg) or savory (chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, turmeric) toasted with the nuts
- Popcorn: air-popped or a low-sugar kettle variety
- Coconut Flakes: unsweetened, flaked (not shredded)
- Granola: homemade or a low-sugar variety
- Pretzels: break into bite-sized pieces if large
- Roasted Chickpeas: don’t add to the whole mixture, as roasted chickpeas go bad faster than trail mix. Add to a single serving if using.
Need some recipe inspiration?
Use our trail mix base recipe as a guide to make it your own, or try out these tasty variations!
Is Trail Mix Healthy?
A lot of store-bought trail mixes aren’t super healthy, but making your own trail mix at home allows you to choose the ingredients you use, which certainly means that it can be a healthy snack! The featured ingredients in this healthy sweet and salty trail mix recipe are nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate
Peanuts, Almonds, and Pumpkin Seeds
Peanuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds contain plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These nutrients help you feel satisfied until your next meal.
Raisins and Dates
Raisins and dates contain carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. These nutrients provide your body with energy and can fulfill a craving for something sweet without cutting into your daily added sugar budget.
Dark Chocolate Chips
Cocoa is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The darker, the better. You will receive the most nutritional benefits by consuming dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa solids.
What can you do with trail mix?
Eat this sweet and salty snack mix recipe on its own, use it to top yogurt for a balanced breakfast, or sprinkle over homemade pancakes. If you leave the chocolate chips out, trail mix could even be a tasty addition to a green salad or grain-based salad.
What is a serving of trail mix?
One serving of trail mix is about ¼ cup or 2 ounces. If you need help with portion control, divide the trail mix into small, reusable containers in 2-ounce portions.
Trail Mix Storage Suggestions
How long does homemade trail mix last? We recommend storing trail mix for about one to two months. Nuts and seeds might start to go rancid after that point.
Want more healthy snack ideas?
Check out some of our other favorite snack recipes!
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix
- 12 ounces (~2 ½ cups) roasted, lightly salted peanuts
- 12 ounces (~2 ½ cups) roasted, lightly salted almonds
- 12- ounce bag dark chocolate chips
- 8 ounces (~1 ½ cups) raisins
- 8 ounces (~1 ½ cups) chopped dates
- 8 ounces (~1 ½ cups) toasted pumpkin seeds
- Place all ingredients in a large bag or container and shake or stir to mix. Enjoy!